The Market of San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel

SRapallo, Percebes, watercolor, 2017
SRapallo, Percebes, watercolor, 2017

This is one of the most visited markets in Madrid. Walking distance from Plaza Mayor, in the heart of the city. I love their concept, it’s not a traditional grocery market but a gourmet tapas market where you can get a beer from one vendor and some tapas from the other. Just find a place to sit (if you are lucky enough) and enjoy it! I strongly recommend the oysters and Cava, just to start. The Mercado de San Miguel is one of the best things in Madrid, and the popularity of the market’s food and wine stands and convivial atmosphere has soared to a stratospheric level. The weekends are heaving with happy locals and tourists alike munching on the gourmet goodies (stuffed peppers, oysters and champagne, Galician octopus, Catalan canelones, marinated olives, artisan cheeses, Jamón de Bellota, Chorizo, etc) and buckets of vino de Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Sherry, Cava, Priorat….

And if you find yourself in Madrid, a visit here is a must. Best enjoyed midweek and before dinnertime. If you don’t mind crowds, the weekends are a whole lot of fun. But take care with the pick-pockets … it’s a very touristic place.

Official website: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es/en/

 

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(Português)

Este é um dos lugares mais visitados em Madri. Perto da Plaza Mayor, no coração da cidade. Eu gosto do conceito do lugar, não é um mercado tradicional mas um espaço gourmet de tapas, onde vc pode pegar uma cerveja de um vendedor e algumas tapas de outro. Apenas escolha um lugar para se sentar (se vc tiver bastante sorte) e aproveite! Eu recomendo começar saboreando ostras e Cava. O Mercado de São Miguel é um dos melhores lugares de Madri e a popularidade do local é bem alta e tem uma boa atmosfera. Nos fins de semana fica muito movimentado e tem uma ampla variedade de produtos espanhois (pimentos recheados, ostras e champanhe, polvo da Galícia, canelones Catalanes, azeitonas marinadas, queijos artesanais, Presunto de Bellota, Chourizo etc) além de barris de vino da Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Sherry, Cava, Priorat….

Se vc estiver por Madri é certamente um lugar imperdível. Melhor passar por lá nos dias de semana, antes do jantar, para uns drinks. Se vc não se importa com multidão, nos fins de semana, fica muito movimentado. Mas cuidado com os batedores de carteira… É um lugar muito turístico.

Página Oficial: http://www.mercadodesanmiguel.es

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La Ardosa

Bodela de la Ardosa, Madrid

SRapallo BodegaArdosa, watercolor, 2017.
SRapallo BodegaArdosa, watercolor, 2017.

Calle de Colón, 13, Malasaña

One of the first bars we visit when we arrived in Madrid. It´s a old bar with excellent salmorejo (cold tomato soup made with bread, oil, garlic and vinegar) and croquetas or tortilla de patatas (potato and onion omelette). You have to try it!

As a decor I specially love the grotesque  Goya´s drawings hanged all over the walls. Most of the people don´t even notice them. They have two ambient s;  one in front and the other at the back of the bar, you have to pass below the counter top.

A brief history

In 1892 Rafael Fernández Bagena, owner of vineyards in the region of La Ardosa, Toledo, created and founded the chain of Bodegas La Ardosa in Madrid, which would have 36 establishments. Some are still open in the streets Sta. Engracia, 70 , Ponzano, 10 and Abtao, 32.

Gregorio Monje, a butcher by profession, acquired La Ardosa in 1970. In 1979 he began working there with his wife Conchita, who presented the tavern to the most prestigious tortilla competitions, and his sons Rafael and Ángel.  At the death of Gregorio. In 1995, the distributor  was sold and the children continued with the brewery business. Currently, La Ardosa is run by Ángel, assisted by  his wife, Concepción, and by a team that he trained and educated to serve beer with the same dedication and devotion as always.

During the 80’s he specialized in beers, becoming an institution. They worked the English Bass brewery, the German Warsteiner and were pioneers in importing Czech beers like the authentic Czech Budweiser and Pilsner Urquell. Ah, they also have Guinness and Bombardier.
This place is crowded on weekends, well… in fact every night – the Spanish way of life. They are pro…. they drink Monday to Monday.

Continue reading “La Ardosa”

Bluebird´s Nest

Bluebird’s  Nest

SRapallo, Bluebird's Nest
SRapallo, Bluebird’s Nest

I totally forgot to fetch my pencil case at home when I came to work today, as I usually do. The only available pen in my bag was a Montblanc Meisterstuck filled with a turquoise ink, which I also like very much – the pen and the ink.

Today´s prompt is ¨Woody¨… well, blue is not a woody hue, so the solution was to make a Bluebird´s nest…. so I could work both ways, the little blue sketch on pencil and later on, at home, paint the nest with watercolor. Well you have to play with what you have in hands, right?

Lucky me… even the eggs were blue!! Thanks Bluebird…

Playlist: Bluebird, Paul McCartney from the album Band on the Run

 

 

 

 

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(Portuguese)

Hoje esqueci totalmente de colocar na minha bolsa o meu estojo de lápis como sempre o faço. A única caneta que eu tinha era uma caneta tinteiro, a  Montblanc Meisterstuck , carregada com tinta turquesa, que eu gosto muito, tanto da caneta quanto da cor.

O tema de hoje é ¨amadeirado¨, bem, como azul não é obviamente um tom de cor amadeirado, a solução encontrada foi fazer um esboço de um ninho de passarinho azul, o Azulão, assim eu poderia cumprir com o requisito amadeirado mesmo usando uma cor completamente distinta. Pois é, foi um pouco de esperteza minha, mas acho que a gente tem que usar o que se tem nas mãos, certo ?

Para sorte minha, os ovos do Azulão são, obviamente, azuis….Beleza!

Trilha Sonora: Bluebird, Paul McCartney do álbum Band on the Run

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London Pea Soup

SRapallo, Pea Soup
SRapallo, Pea Soup, watercolor, 2017.

London Pea Soup

 

Today’s prompt on World Watercolor Group is “Hazy”. Good for learning and training a new technique or at least some reflection over the theme. For this challenging subject I choose the fatal episode in England’s History to illustrate the effect of a green smoked lethal Londonian incident  that happened in 1952 called, later on, “pea soup”… because of the greenish color of the sky. Ugh!!! Chimney’s are charming but they can also be dangerous if combined with other climate factors. |That thick, greasy, grimy fog descended on the city and killed 12,000 people in four days. A blanket of soot hung over the streets so thickly that visibility was reduced to a couple of yards or less.

Pea soup, or a pea souper, also known as a black fog, killer fog or smog is a very thick and often yellowish, greenish, or blackish fog caused by air pollution that contains soot particulates and the poisonous gas sulfur dioxide. This very thick smog occurs in cities and is derived from the smoke given off by the burning of soft coal for home heating and in industrial processes. Smog of this intensity is often lethal to vulnerable people such as the elderly, the very young and those with respiratory problems. The result of these phenomena was commonly known as a London particular or London fog, which then, in a reversal of the idiom, became the name for a thick pea and ham soup.[1]

From as early as the 1200s,[2][3] air pollution became increasingly prevalent, and a predominant perception in the thirteenth century was that sea-coal smoke would affect one’s health.[4][5] From the mid-1600s, in UK cities, especially London, the incidence of ill-health was attributed to coal smoke from domestic chimneys and industry combining with the mists and fogs of the Thames Valley.[6] Luke Howard, a pioneer in urban climate studies, published The Climate of London in 1818–20, in which he uses the term ‘city fog’ and describes the heat island effect which concentrated the accumulation of smog over the city.[7]

In 1880 Francis Albert Rollo Russell, son of the former Prime Minister Lord John Russell, published a leaflet that blamed home hearth, rather than factory, smoke for damaging the city’s important buildings, depriving vegetation of sunlight, and increasing the expense and effort of laundering clothes. Furthermore he charged the ‘perpetually present’ sulphurous smoke with increasing bronchitis and other respiratory diseases. More than 2000 Londoners had ‘literally choked to death’, he wrote, on account of ‘a want of carefulness in preventing smoke in our domestic fires’ which emitted coal smoke from ‘more than a million chimneys’ that when combined with the prolonged fogs of late January and early February 1880, fatally aggravated pre-existing lung conditions and was ‘more fatal than the slaughter of many a great battle’.[8][9][10]

The most lethal incidence of this smog in London occurred in 1952 and resulted in the Clean Air Act 1956 and Clean Air Act 1968, both now repealed and consolidated into the Clean Air Act 1993 which were effective in largely removing sulphur dioxide and coal smoke, the causes of pea-soup fog, though these have been replaced by less visible pollutants that derive from vehicles in urban areas.[11]

Source: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea_soup_fog#cite_note-11 and Daily Mail:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2243732/Pea-souper-killed-12-000-So-black-screen-cinemas-So-suffocatingly-lethal-ran-coffins-How-Great-Smog-choked-London-60-years-ago-week.html

SRapallo, Londonian
SRapallo, Londonian, watercolor and Indian ink, 2017.

Playlist: Pink Floyd REDUX, A New Experience

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Shine on your crazy diamond

Shine on your crazy diamond

The only thing I came up to fulfill the prompt for World Watercolor Group was Pink Floyd… Well, my generation! Here is the lyrics for one of the greatest songs from Pink Floyd, from the album I Wish You Were Here, 1975.

SRapallo, Crazy Diamond, 2017
SRapallo, Crazy Diamond, 2017

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.

Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky
.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the cross fire of childhood and stardom,
Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger,
You legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter,
You piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Pile on many more layers and i’ll be joining you there.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
And we’ll bask in the shadow of yesterday’s triumph,
And sail on the steel breeze.
Come on you boy child, you winner and loser,
Come on you miner for truth and delusion, and shine!

Playlist: Pink Floyd’s 1975 concept album Wish You Were Here.

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Coffea

 For the sake of Coffee – Pelo bem do Café

SRapallo, Before & After Coffee
SRapallo, Before & After Coffee, watercolor, Madrid, 2017.

I´m absolutely fan of coffee, since infancy.  Well, Brazil is a coffee country and I remember that scenting the smell of strong coffee in the mornings at home was one of the best memories I have. I love everything about coffee: that comfort smell, the beautiful dark brownish/blackish color and the strong and vibrant taste of coffee.

Coffee is appreciated in many different ways in different countries. The Brazilians love dark short coffee, not frothy… but with sugar (Ugh… I hate it!). The Americans love something that tastes like coffee but it´s large and watery like tea,  Italians love extremely strong coffee called ristretto usually with cannoli, English people like tea, not coffee. French people like coffee too – no milk, maybe sugar – from a bowl. There is something great about grabbing a bowl with both hands and plunging your face into it. They like to take their coffee with a tartine, a piece of toasted baguette topped with butter and lumps of homemade jam.  And they love to dip it into the coffee, something that I used to love when I was a child.

Here in Spain, it´s a mess… they have so many names for coffee, considering the right amount of coffee and milk: café solo (espresso) very strong –  I mean unbearable!… I called it ¨caffeine shot¨  and it is as stronger as the regular Italian ristretto; café cortado is called so because the shot of espresso is “cut” with some steamed milk—but only some, as there’s more coffee than milk; café con leche is equal parts espresso and steamed milk, this is the best of both worlds; café manchado (“stained coffee”) is kind of confusing, because it’s really a cortado that has been stained with milk. But this coffee is more appropriately leche manchada (“stained milk”) because this drink is mostly steamed milk with a little bit of espresso, not quite an entire shot. Very milky with a little coffee flavor, this is for you folks who like to drink coffee but don’t actually like coffee and finally café americano, you add hot water to a shot of espresso.

If you crave coffee means you are Despresso…Desperate for a Espresso! If you know how to  make fancy types of coffee, then you are a Barista,… I´m a Certified Barista, BTW. I took classes some years ago, in Brazil. But nowadays a just press a button and get my coffee immediately. But I love gadgets and I have some of them to prepare stylish coffee if I´m in a mood.

If you like coffee or not it does not matter… but I invite you to watch 3 short movies about coffee a photographic journey through coffee growing countries, by Sebastião Salgado.

SALGADO: “SCENT OF A DREAM”, A JOURNEY IN THE COFFEE WORLD

http://www.illy.com/wps/wcm/connect/en/art/sebastiao-salgado

Playlist: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee on Spotify

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(Portuguese)

Sou fã de café desde que era pequena. Brasil é um grande produtor de café e o cheiro forte de café banhando a casa pela manhã é uma das melhores memórias que eu tenho de infância. Eu gosto de tudo que tem no café; o cheiro de café forte, a cor amaronzada e negra e seu gosto forte e vibrante. Brasileiros gostam de café puro, sem creme… mas, com açúcar (Huh… Detesto!). Norte-americanos gostam de algo parecido a café, mas a quantidade é demasiada e muito diluído, algo parecido com chá, italianos gostam de café forte, chamado ristretto e geralmente acompanhado de cannoli, ingleses não gostam muito de café, preferem chá. Franceses gostam muito de café largo, não muito aguado como os norte-americanos – sem leite, talvez com um pouco de açúcar – numa caneca bem grande. Existe algo nostálgico em se beber café com as duas mãos e quase que colocar a cara inteira dentro da xícara. A razão pela qual a xícara é grande é porque eles adoram molhar o pão com manteiga e geléia (tartine) na xícara. Uma coisa que eu adorava fazer quando era pequena, molhar o pão com manteiga no café com leite.

Aqui na Espanha, é uma confusão para acertar exatamente que tipo e quantidade de café vc quer. O tradicional Espresso é simplesmente fortíssimo… imbebível! Costumo chamá-lo de ¨shot de cafeína¨, tão forte quanto o ristretto italiano. Café cortado é chamado assim por causa do corte de leite que se dá no café – mas a proporção continua sendo mais café do que leite; café con leche  são partes iguais de café e leite, o melhor dos mundos; café manchado (“stained coffee”)  é confuso, parecidíssimo com o café cortado, ou o manchado com leite. Para mim são sinônimos; e temos ainda a leche manchada (“stained milk”) que é o inverso: leite morna manchada com café, acrescentando café até que fique na cor que o freguês gosta; e finalmente, café americano, em que se acrescenta água quente, diluindo o espresso, até que fique ao gosto do freguês.

Se vc está com abstinência de café diz-se que vc está Despresso…Desesperado por um Espresso! – Bom, essa piadinha não pega bem em Português. Se vc sabe preparar diversos tipos de café então vc é um Barista,… Eu sou uma Barista, por falar nisso. Fiz o curso há alguns anos atrás, no Brasil. Mas hoje em dia  eu simplesmente aperto um botão para saborear um café. Mas como adoro acessórios baristas, tenho alguns para poder preparar um café com mais estilo se estiver com vontade.

Se vc gosta ou não de café, pouco importa, mas eu o convido para assistir 3 curta metragens muito bonitos sobre os países produtores de café, um ensaio do fotógrafo Sebastião Salgado.

SALGADO: “O CHEIRO DE UM SONHO”, UMA JORNADA NO MUNDO DO CAFÉ

http://www.illy.com/wps/wcm/connect/en/art/sebastiao-salgado

Trilha sonora: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee  – Spotify

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