ON THE TOWN

Restaurants and bars, movies, theater, dance, sports arenas, even the home… Keep abreast of what’s going on where, and how you can have the greatest fun.

CHESTNUTS, A YULETIDE STREET FEAST

In Madrid, as in any other self-respecting city, there are stands roasting chestnuts in strategic streets. They don’t come cheap, though. At least not in Madrid. A dozen costs between €2.00 and €3.00. But they're veritable health food, on top of the Christmassy feeling they evoke. They can even improve brain function! Happy eating!

AMAZON POP-UP AT THE CALLAO CITY LIGHTS USHERS IN THE HOLIDAY-SEASON BINGE!

Amazon swears it's its BEST BLACK FRIDAY in Spain yet. It's at the Callao City Lights in the nation's capital. What's in store for you apart from all the stuff that you might want to splurge on during these four-day event? Free manicure, can you beat that? Free others: Concerts, tomarse algo at the bar, taste-test different varies of café L'Or, get cartooned by a Hawkers caricaturist, snap your photo at the MeliaRewards, workshops for the whole family. . .

MADRID’S REAL JARDIN BOTANICO WILL TURN INTO AN ENCHANTED GARDEN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!

Friends, lovers, families, and solitary promenaders will adore "Las Luces del Real Jardín Botánico - Christmas Garden." An enchanting event in a natural landscape --  the Royal Botanical Garden, Madrid. It's Christmas fairy tale all the way. Christmas lights and special light effects heighten the beauty of the magical spots that the Real Jardin is so rich with. The after-dark trail is 1.5 km long, lit up by countless led bulbs in their amazing sizes, shapes and colors.

AN AMERICAN CLUB INVITE. IT’S ABOUT THANKSGIVING!

The American Club of Madrid is excited to celebrate this traditional American event with our friends and families. Join us and share the joy of the special evening on the 28th of November!

TASTE YOUR EMOTION WITH FEDERICO CAPOVILLA

Salumificio Verza dates back to the early 1900s when legendary grandfather Antonio, known as “Verza”, used to butcher cattle and pigs bred in the valley. This ancestor would preserve the meat in caves filled with snow and ice that he himself would collect in his cart from the Fiorentini Highlands. The family traditions in the butchery trade, which has begun in Velo d' Astico, Italy in 1968, contines today with the same passion, tradition, and quality of cured meat products.

THE BATTLE OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

Now that it's Christmastime, there are "better" things to squabble about. Martinez Almeida warned that “the Christmas lights in Madrid will shine so bright you’ll be able to see them in Vigo.” Caballero shot back: “Don’t even dream of competing with me. New York tried and lost.”

SPAIN AND A WHOLE NEW BULL GAME: THE CLIMATE CORRIDA

One might say that COP25 and Greta Thunberg drowned out the spirit and festivities of Constitution Day. But it didn't. One can have one and the other too, and the Spaniards are delighted more than twice over because what transpired on Constitution Day was a happy synergy. Not only is Spain proud of hosting COP25; it’s facing the climate challenge with more vigor and conviction than ever before. Now that it’s hosting COP25, the country is shouldering the responsibilities of a center-stage actor. Hopefully for the long haul.

CLIMATE CHANGE: WHAT’S AT STAKE AT THE UN CONFERENCE IN MADRID

As the global climate emergency intensifies and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, governments and world leaders are gathering in Madrid on 2 – 13 December 2019 for the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 to take the next crucial steps in the UN Climate Change process.

A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “HUNTING IN SPAIN”, 31 OCTOBER 1969

As the leaves change color and fall to the ground, a great many men in Spain, as in almost every country in the world, get their guns out of the closets and head for the fields and forests. The hunting season has arrived. It is recommended that foreigners hunting in Spain either make as complete arrangements as possible before going to any of the hunting areas, or arrange a hunting party with some Spanish friend who knows what would be necessary. One other thing, the normal and natural courtesies existing in the rest of the world apply equally in Spain. Observe the legal requirements and the general customs, and you will really have a HAPPY HUNTING!

SPAIN IS THE 13TH BEST DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD!

Spain climbs 7 places in The Global State of Democracy 2019 Report and obtains a score similar to those of the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium, and higher than Canada, France and Austria.

SPAIN, NOVEMBER 2019: A ROAD TO THE FAR RIGHT

The radical right is "a political ideology, the core element of which is a myth of a homogeneous nation, a romantic and populist ultranationalism which is directed against the concept of liberal and pluralistic democracy. . .  It wants government by the people, but in terms of ethnocracy instead of democracy." Thus, one of the biggest political stories in Spain these days, as a young but stable demo crary, is the sudden and perplexing rise of the reactionary far-right Vox party. In the 10 November 2019 snap election, Vox won no less than 15.09% of the vote. Overnight, it has become Spain’s third largest parliamentary party. Should Spain -- and Europe -- begin to worry?

BOTIN: TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT BUT IT’S THE OLDEST AND ONE OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE WORLD!

The Guinness World Records deems it the oldest restaurant in the world. Some dispute the title, claiming other restaurants have been there longer. But Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez, one of the proprietors of the fabled restaurant, does not mind. He credits its success to the quality of the food, the service and the ambiance. The bottom line, really, is that Sobrino de Botín is a formidable mix of great food, good vibes and a most fascinating history. The result is a much-deserved global fame that Pepe, a consummate restaurateur, seems to take in his stride.

REALLY, WHAT IS CATALONIA’S “TSUNAMI DEMOCRÀTIC” ABOUT?

Since 14 October, when Spain's Supreme Court decision to sentence the separatist leaders to years of jail terms was published, there seems to be an scalation of violence in the Tsunami Democràtic demonstrations. In the middle of it all, Catalonia President Quim Torra has provocatively declared that there will be a repeat of the illegal referendum on the independence of Catalonia before his term ends in 2020. Torra not only advocates civil disobedience; he headed up one of the demonstrations. Not exactly what a President of all Catalonia would do.

A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “FOCUS ON SPAIN,” 13 July 1979

““It’s difficult to be Spanish and not be an alcoholic. We are born almost programmed to be alcoholics, given the availability of this drug," notes Dr. Emilio Bogani, the director of Alcoholism and Toxicology at the Bétera Hospìtal in Valencia. The Spànish soociety is beginning to be educated against air pollution, but no one has organized any marches or demonstrations against liver pollution. Alcoholism is a disease and that the alcoholic should be treated as a sick person. . .

A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “Who’s Who, Where and Why!,” 15 JUNE 1990

Micahel Douglas and wife Diandra in Mallorca supervising the renovation of their newly acquired "dream house"// Spanish tenor Placido Domingo opening the glittering homage to Dame Magot Fonteyn at London’s Covent Garden; enthusiastic in their applause were Diana, the Princess of Wales, and Princess Margaret.// Paco Rabanne presenting his latest collection at Madrid’s fashionable Joy Eslava. //Spain’s Infanta Cristina celebrating her 25th birthday in New York and missing her uncle’s (ex King Constantine of Greece) 50th birthday party in London. Some 600 guests attended, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Constantine’s sister and brother-in-law Queen Sofia and King Juan Carlos I of Spain. . .

THE REAL MADRID

Any and everything about the fascinating capital city of Spain — and the Autonomous Community of Madrid — from its rich history through its vibrant present to what the future holds, recounted from every angle imaginable.
This category, however, goes beyond Madrid; it embraces stories of what occurred, are occurring, and will probably occur in the Spanish nation whose capital is Madrid.

  • THE AMERICAN CLUB OF MADRID & THE U.S. MARINES: HAPPY HOUR + TOYS FOR TOTS!

    Fun fusion: Happy Hour & Toys for Tots!
  • A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “WHAT’S IN A NAME: WALKING THROUGH HISTORY”, 8 JUNE 1990

    I still travel through the backstreets of Madrid with city plan close at hand. But at every opportunity I carry “Los Nombres de las Calles de Madrid” and let myself get lost – lost in the rich, exciting history that was, is and continue to be Madrid. The book is more than mere recited facts: it is an historical perspective of Madrid during many phases of its development, peppered with insights into tradition, customs and culture. It is a fascinating compendium of personalities, historical, mythical, religious, aristocratic and legendary figures, as well as geographical locations, trades, important battles and other well-placed events, which have all lent their names and distinction to the Spanish capital.
  • THE GREEN TRAIN HURTLES DOWN TO ITS 100TH BIRTHDAY LIKE THE CHAMP THAT IT IS

    On 17 October 1919 King Alfonso XIII of Spain inaugurated the capital’s first ever subway line. It went from under the Puerta del Sol in the center of the city up 3.48 kilometers north to Cuatro Caminos. A century later, the fledgling underground transport system of a measly eight stations boasts 12 lines and 302 stations, spanning 294 kilometers. It is the third longest subway in Europe, and the world’s eighth. It is a vanguard of accessibility with its 1705 escalators and 530 lifts. It has always run on electrciity, even long before saving our Planet via the clean-air route has become an urgent task!
  • AT LAST MADRID IS TAKING CLEAN AIR SERIOUSLY!

    When the pedestrianization of the iconic Puerta del Sol is done, and the ongoing remodelling of the Plaza de Canalejas is completed, the Madrileños will enjoy “one of the great urban areas that any European capital must have,” according to the Mayor of Madrid.
  • FOLKS ARE BACK FROM SUMMER VACATION! AMERICAN CLUB ANNOUNCES ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    Date:  September 10, 2019. Time:   First call to order 5:00 pm; Second call to order 6:00 pm. Place:    Hotel Intercontinental, 49 Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid
  • KICK THE BALL BUT PLEASE DON’T CHOP DOWN THE TREES!

    The massive felling of trees constitutes a very serious infringement of the Law 8/2005 for the Protection and Promotion of Urban

  • A GUIDEPOST REPRINT: “MADRID: A VIEW FROM ‘DOWN UNDER’,” 29 JULY 1983

    Rodney Ward, like many back-packing ‘cowboys’ of the mid-seventies, first arrived in Madrid in 1975 and was at once struck by Spain’s fine old capital city. Although planning to move on within a few days, the Magic of Madrid compelled him to stay for two years. Only then did Rodney Ward set off back to Australia. Does he miss Madrid? “It’s always nice to come home,"he says, but Madrid gets in the blood.

  • THE BATTLE OF THE BAD AIR IN MADRID

    One of the very first things Madrid's new rightwing government has done was to impose a moratorium on the fines on unauthorized vehicles that enter Madrid Central, thereby allowing that low-emissions area to revert to the free-for-all area it used to be. Fortunately, last week the court stepped in and suspended the moratorium as a precautionary measure. The court ruling will remain in force until a new decision is made. What will the fate of Madrid Central be?