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Photos From Madrid

Spain is swell, I just wish my guidebook had warned me that the city walls in Ávila are closed on Mondays. Various people told me there wasn't much worth seeing in the Reina Sophia besides Guernica but those people are mistaken (a couple of great Dalí's, among other things). At any rate, here's a couple of photosets now up on my Flickr page -- this is the Madrid Botanical Gardens, which was great. I took a whole bunch of pictures of the Plaza Colón as well, even though nothing there especially justifies the attention. I just thought the monument was really odd and couldn't stop clicking.

March 27, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

Kind of a bummer to see that cig in your hand at St. Patrick's Day pub thing.

Old age learns too late to be wise

- some old dead dude

Posted by: ferd | Mar 27, 2006 7:11:09 PM

The Parque del Buen Retiro is great. My favorite spot aside from the lake is the Statue of the Fallen Angel. It's the only major public statue of Lucifer, thrown from heaven and condemned to a lifetime of pigeon shit.

Where else are you going in Spain?

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 27, 2006 7:35:11 PM

Sorry, I screwed up that link. Here it is.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 27, 2006 7:37:08 PM

Damn. You're younger than my daughter.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis | Mar 27, 2006 8:34:41 PM

"Kind of a bummer to see that cig in your hand at St. Patrick's Day pub thing."

Au contraire.

I have a newfound respect for Yglesias's style after seeing that photo. Thank you for smoking. Just make sure you get some aerobic exercise to balance it all out. Death to the anti-smoking nazis.

(I loved the rhetorical ploy in the movie Closer where all the characters who had given up tobacco spoke of it by saying, "I've given up." No doubt.)

Posted by: Petey | Mar 27, 2006 9:40:15 PM

And I don't know if things have changed in the past couple of years, but one of the things I loved when I was last in Spain was that people smoke while shopping in supermarkets. That's civilization.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 27, 2006 9:41:33 PM

Just make sure you get some aerobic exercise to balance it all out.

Yeah. Right. That clears the tar right out of your lungs.

Petey,

Spain has just passed verys trict smoking laws. That will get me to return.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 27, 2006 9:48:36 PM

this coming saturday, matthew, either be in front of a tv set or find your way to barcelona and scalp a ticket for barcelona v. real madrid. this is the great rivalry of spanish soccer, the rough equivalent of yankees-red sox, but since soccer is the only team sport that matters to the spanish, bigger.

real madrid is full of aging superstars (zidane, roberto carlos, david beckham, and the out-of-shape although still young ronaldo) while barcelona has the in-their-prime ronaldinho (the best player in the world) and samuel e'to, and the rising young argentinian Lionel Messi, Barcelona should kick their butt, but of course in these big emotional matches, form doesn't always tell.

The Camp Nou, where Barcelona plays, is said to be one of the great soccer stadiums. If you're still in Madrid, i guarantee you that virtually eveyrone will be watching the match on tv.

Posted by: Howard | Mar 27, 2006 10:32:54 PM

Howard,

It's a wonderful stadium and the biggest in Europe. I had the pleasure of seeing a game there in November 2000. Barça lost to Villarreal 2-1, but it was still a terrific experience.

I can't imagine how much the scalpers will be asking for this game.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 27, 2006 10:56:18 PM

Randy Paul, that's really my point to matthew: even if he doesn't like soccer (as i suspect he doesn't), seeing barcelona v. real madrid would be a terrific experience.

and you're right: god only knows what the scalpers get for a match like this.

PS. i've only been to some british soccer stadiums myself; i envy you your visit to the nou camp....

Posted by: Howard | Mar 27, 2006 11:10:51 PM

PS. i remember watching that november, 2004 wipeout on tv: it was one of the first indicators that real madrid was getting old and slow.

as for your beloved barcelona, they're looking good for the champs league this year, wouldn't you say?

Posted by: Howard | Mar 27, 2006 11:13:04 PM

It's an amazing place. The food is also terrific. Much better than the boiled burgers in England.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 27, 2006 11:13:48 PM

Howard,

I hope so. My dream would be Arsenal v Barcelona.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 27, 2006 11:14:57 PM

just to continue to hijack this thread a little longer, arsenal getting to the finals is, of course, a longshot, but after the last two years of liverpool and porto, anything can happen. i'm certainly looking forward to arsenal-juventus tomorrow.

Posted by: Howard | Mar 27, 2006 11:51:02 PM

"...one of the things I loved when I was last in Spain was that people smoke while shopping in supermarkets. That's civilization."

The first time I was in Madrid I remember seeing people walking out of a gym, clearly having just worked out, and lighting up. It's not particularly unusual but it struck me as funny.

I also second the recommendations to catch the Barca vs. Real Madrid match on Saturday. Find a good packed bar- everyone will be watching it, even though Barcelona is running away with the league.

Posted by: Ricky Barnhart | Mar 28, 2006 9:04:15 AM

"The first time I was in Madrid I remember seeing people walking out of a gym, clearly having just worked out, and lighting up. It's not particularly unusual but it struck me as funny."

My favorite cigarettes (other than the obvious post-coital ones) are the post-workout smokes. They really taste good, like a cigarette should.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 28, 2006 9:47:53 AM

MY leaves for a little while and this place turns into a soccer blog?

Posted by: Kriston | Mar 28, 2006 11:51:54 AM

It's the national sport in Spain, hence the relevance. On the same trip I was in Seville for the Sevilla/Real Betis derby. It was an amazing day: half the city festooned in green and white (Betis' colors) and the other half in red and white (FC Sevilla's colors). Great day for this norteamericano to be wearing blue.

It's a major part of the culture. Also FC Barcelona and Real Madrid both have basketball teams. Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies used to play for FC Barcelona.

Petey,

Perhaps someday you can tell us how good the smoke is when you're waiting for your new oxygen tank.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 28, 2006 11:59:43 AM

kriston, i admitted hijacking the thread to soccer!

but as randy says, when in rome - anyone with an interest in team sports in general should make it their business to tune into soccer while travelling internationally.

besides, we're talking about a chance to watch ronaldinho, the greatest soccer player in the world, against his team's major rival....

Posted by: howard | Mar 28, 2006 1:27:13 PM

I liked the Miros myself. Also, the Thyssen is fantastic too.

Posted by: Patrick | Mar 28, 2006 2:57:50 PM

Cool. I like the captions on the pictures.

But, again, cute children but no hot women--what gives?

Posted by: flippantangel | Mar 28, 2006 3:56:50 PM

"Petey, Perhaps someday you can tell us how good the smoke is when you're waiting for your new oxygen tank."

Randy Paul,

I hope you suffer a very prolonged and very painful disease in which you rot from the inside out. I hope your asshole and tiny genitalia become constantly and horribly painfully for years before falling off. I hope you get insensitive and substandard medical care that needlessly increases your agony. And I hope you die alone and untended to several days after your colostomy bag has exploded open.

Fuck off and die, anti-smoking Nazi.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 28, 2006 4:49:31 PM

I move for a moratorium on any and all comments on this thread judging other people's decisions, beliefs, or behaviors related to smoking, as it is clearly NOT a productive line of discussion.

Besides, if we're gonna talk about "vices," it's so much more fun to talk about sex. (And Petey's much more eloquent and interesting on that subject, too.)

Posted by: flippantangel | Mar 28, 2006 5:09:47 PM

Petey,

Perhaps you need a valium addiction instead.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Mar 28, 2006 5:35:33 PM

"I move for a moratorium on any and all comments on this thread judging other people's decisions, beliefs, or behaviors related to smoking, as it is clearly NOT a productive line of discussion."

It's as productive a line of discussion as any other except when putrid scum like Randy Paul decide to hope for the demise of other commenters.

A modest proposal would be that we should check and see if Randy Paul has any other beliefs that would shut off productive lines of discussions. Maybe he wishes for the doom of black folks or looks forward to the day that global warming kills millions of Bangladeshis. Then we could know that we should avoid those topics in order to avoid Randy Paul's sliming all over the thread.

Posted by: Petey | Mar 28, 2006 5:40:28 PM

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