One thing I could not get right in Madrid last year was timing. The city shuts down between 2 PM to 5 PM for siesta. The ensuing photographs document the places I attempted to visit within a couple days, some with more success than others. Thank you to The Fluffy Family (Tom, Pamela, Claire and Fluffy) for walking this New Yorker senseless to take in the sights.
Palacio de Cristal/Crystal Palace: a glass and iron greenhouse built in 1887 in Buen Retiro Park for the Exposition of the Philippines. Photo by Julia Crowe.
I wanted to see this up close because every photograph I’ve found online has it shimmering like a prism. Just my luck to land an overcast day. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Conde Hermanos Guitars. Oops, closed. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Jose Ramirez Guitars. Really hard to find. Closed! Photo by Julia Crowe.
Closed. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Closed. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Wrong time o’clock. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Closed as well. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Flamenco fans, anyone? Come back later. Photo by Julia Crowe.
The best flamenco bookstore in the city, a tip from luthier Richard Bruné. I missed it being open by a whisker. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Take a nap, will you? We’re closed. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Places visited not subject to siesta hours for viewing:
El centro de Espana. Photo by Julia Crowe.
The church of San Sebastian in Madrid, where playwright Lope de Vega was buried in 1635. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Plaque marking the abode of Cervantes. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Plaza de Santa Ana, with Madrid’s oldest theatre on one side and the bullfighters’ favorite hotel, Madrid Reina Victoria. A comedy theatre expert tells me this is the plaza where it is believed Cervantes’ plays had first been performed. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Theatre featuring an all-Spanish cast for a Monty Python revue. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Statue of the painter outside the Prado museum. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Julia Old Postcards from Madrid
Photo by Julia Crowe.
La Torre del Oro bar Andalu in Plaza Mayor, Madrid.
La Torre del Oro bar Andalu. Photo by Julia Crowe.
La Torre del Oro’s vibrant green hues. Photo by Julia Crowe.
La Torre del Oro bar Andalu. Tapas guapas. Photo by Julia Crowe.
And the last goose chase of them all was to locate where this photograph of My First Guitar interviewee Juan Martin at a flamenco dance school in Madrid, called Amor de Dios.
Flamenco guitarist Juan Martin at Amor de Dios flamenco dance school. Photo courtesy of Helen Martin.
The only logical building to fit the address I had looked like a supermarket. I walked further down the block and encountered this theatre but it was too far past the address numbers:
Film revival house that opened at the turn of the century. Has an adjacent national film library. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Backtracking, this had to be the place:
What? Here? Yes, 2nd floor. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Training/teaching ground for Carmen Amaya, Pilar Lopez, Rosario, Juan Quintero, Carmen Mora, La Tati and many others. Amor de Dios offers classes in flamenco dancing, singing, guitar and cajón. A 1-hour long class is roughly ~15 euro.
Poster at the top of the steps.
Posters inside Amor de Dios flamenco dance school. Photo by Julia Crowe.
Brief recording of dancers at practice:
And, of course, if you dash around to the other end of the floor to the market, there is the inevitable cluster of dancers fueling up on snacks between classes, all while garbed in their black Cordova shoes and their hair drawn up into buns stuffed with an elaborately carved peineta–the Spanish equivalent to how one bellydancer in Manhattan can spot another from across the street for wearing tell-tale Melodia pants hiked up and knotted at the shins.