Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Get Arty!

This is one of those websites for when you're pretending to work but really you're hiding behind your screen doing anything but. Make like the great Jackson Pollock himself and create a digital work of drip art for free and without getting your hands dirty!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Snow on the Calderona

A good friend of thisisvalencia.com, Wolf Schmidt, has sent these excellent photos of the recent snow on the Calderonas from the roof of his home in Bétera. Taken yesterday morning, they show quite a lot of Snow! Thanks W! (click on the pics for a larger view)

Friday, January 26, 2007

The real size of women's bodies in Spain

This week health Minister Elena Salgado has announced that the National Consumer Institute will measure 8500 Spanish women, between 12 & 70 years of age to get a better idea of the real woman's body. The Fashion retailers Inditex (Zara, Stradivarius, Bershka, Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti), El Corte Ingles, Mango and Cortefiel have all signed a pledge saying that the minimum sized mannequin used will be a UK size 10, all clothes sizes will be the same in each chain and the Spanish size 46, will no longer be classed as an outsize. These changes to retail sizes will be made over an 18-month period.

All this is an attempt to make women and girls feel better about themselves, to make shopping easier, as currently, no one size is the same in two shops! and to try and to "promote a healthy physical image that conforms with the reality of the Spanish population," as stated by the ministry.

This is great news for Spain and all women!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How things change!

Yesterday I was flicking through an old picture book on Sailing (Yachts by AK Beken) published in 1960, and came across this photo of Columbia - the challenger and winner or the America's Cup in 1958. Today there is news on the launch of the new italian team's Capitalia challenger ITA99 being launched over the weekend and also the New German challenger GER89 which has been unveiled over the weekend at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. And late last week the Luna Rossa challenger ITA94 was launched in Valencia
The designs have come a long way!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunshine Sunday in Valencia

Ok, so it's a bank holiday weekend here in Valencia, but the sun is shining, the temperature is soaring (it's 26º on our balcony) and the crowds have flocked to the City. Tomorrow is San Vicente Mártir, the day of the Patron Saint of Valencia. Well worth watching the processions.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Stuck in the Books

Feel like going out tonight? Got the urge to strap your dancing shoes on? Well, chances are most places you decide to hit this weekend (and for at least a fortnight to come) will be not exactly be buzzing. Exam fever has hit the City - until mid-February everyone of student material will be locked in with the books and it's highly likely their friends are too. And their friends. Believe you me, all mine are! What to do? It's time to round up all your friends-with-jobs and drag them out onto the streets, and while you're at it, have a go at bringing your nerdy housebound pals out to cut a rug - it's time they set down the notes and let their hair down, if only for a quick one. If they flat-out refuse, just grit your teeth and remember - in only two months from today you will be exhausted from partying your feet off throughout Fallas which will have just ended with a bang. Bear in mind that's what they're all holding out for!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

festival veo

A little bit of advance notice - the very entertaining street arts Festival Veo is set to start on the 14th of February, there will be more on thisisvalencia.com when we get it.
Apologies for the lack of entries over the past two days - smitten by flu!
more later.

Friday, January 12, 2007

FIB Benicassim tickets at great prices

Roll Up! Roll UP! Take advantage of the January sale on Passes for the most exciting festival of the year!
4 day passes (*) and VIP passes go on sale for the 2007 Festival at 2006 prices:
Three-day pass, €140;
four-day pass, €152;
and VIP pass, €300.
Remember that last year the 3 and 4 day passes sold out two months ahead of the Festival. So, don’t let this opportunity slip by, and get your passes now.

Even More on Alonso and the McLaren Mercedes Visit

Fernando Alonso will be visiting Valencia 15 Jan
The Woking-based F1 team Mclaren have chosen Valencia for the official international presentation of their new team on Monday 15th January. The location: the City of Arts and Sciences. Where else? Their two new drivers, twice-World Champion and Spanish hero Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton and test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffet will take to the streets of our City for yet another event that puts VLC in the spotlight.
At a press conference yesterday, Gerardo Camps, councillor of Economy, Employment and Treasury, and president of the CAC (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) Board of Administration, David Serra, the Sports secretary and Miguel Dominguez spoke about Monday's itinerary and highlighted how the City is fast becoming one of the key host destinations for a whole variety of world events. The Generalitat Valenciana and Ayuntamiento hope to have the capacity to host any future extravaganzas that might come their way, and are prepared to offer the necessary resources to make this calibre of happening happen. It was Mclaren themselves who approached the City of Arts and Sciences a few months back, having chosen the complex as the perfect backdrop for the mini urban circuit that will be set up on Monday. The Science Museum will be the press room, as it was for the Pope's visit last year, for 200 international and 200 national and local journalists and television coverage will be by Telecinco, who have the rights to Formula One, and Eurosport.
The proceedings will start around 7 pm and go on to about 1am, with the fab four lapping the circuit and then Fernando Alonso getting in the driving seat of the new single-seater for a few more laps. A performance from Cirque du Soleil will follow, and a fireworks display will bring the day to a close - it could be no other way in Valencia!
This event is free for all, and parking is available at the shopping centres nearby - El Corte Ingles, Aqua and El Saler, all surrounding roads being closed off from 16h. There will be live feed on six 4000 watt, 35sqm screens around the circuit and on the grass in the gardens of the Hemisferic of everything from the races and Cirque du Soleil to the fireworks. Security measures are tight, 230 local police and the Ricardo Tormo Circuit at Cheste's firemen will be on hand should anything go awry.
This should be a fun evening for motor-lovers, residents of Valencia and visitors to the City, and as Miguel Dominguez said "A historical day for the Valencian Community". The Vodafone-Mclaren-Mercedes team will be training at Cheste for the rest of the week for anyone who wants to pop up and take a closer look at 5 € a head.
Anita Darling

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Jazz in the Plaza de Toros, Yeah Man!

A bit of advance notice for once, on the 26th and 27th of January in the Plaza de Toros you can catch two evenings of quality Jazz. On the 26th Enclave Latin Jazz supported by the Jove Jazz Band. and on the 27th, the David Pastor Quartet, whose new Album, Introducing, is out now.
It should all amount to two great evenings for Jazz freaks. Oh and if you think it will all be a little cold, don't you worry 'bout a thing, it all takes place in a covered area with central heating!!!
Just so you don't have to be too 'cool for cats!'

A Festival of Clowning at the Alameda

If you love clowns, then head on down to the Gran Circo Mundial for thr 1st International Festival of Clowns. It all started tonight but goes on for the next three nights, over a hundred clowns competing for the Clown's Oscar and trophies. Could be a laugh, if you like clowns that is!

Beckham takes the Galaxy

Being my first entry on the blog, I would just like to take a moment and tell you all that I am not a fan of football, I don't even know how to play it... BUT! David Beckham is leaving Spain for LA Galaxy!
WHAT?! I hear you gasp! Yes, it is official. The Beckhams, Vicky, Dave, Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, are packing their Louis Vuittons and going to California.
"I have enjoyed my time in Spain enormously and I am extremely grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to play for such a great team and their amazing fans." he claimed in a statement this very afternoon.
It is said that he has agreed to a 5 year contract that could be worth up to 250 million U.S.A dollars and will be playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy from August this year.
I know this has not got a lot to do with Valencia, but hey! it's the Beckhams, innit?
More from me and the things I like and all about Valencia, next week.
ps. Beckham is the one with the red ring around his head. (As if you didn't know!)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More on the Alonso-fest

We went to the hastily put together press conference at the City of Arts and Sciences on the launch of the new McLaren/Mercedes car this morning and managed to get this plan of the route the car will take - he will do the circuit ten times.
No-one at the press conference would confirm or deny that this is a precursor to the proposed Grand Prix next year or indeed if it is even anywhere beyond a proposal! Interestingly, though its on their website, a journo friend rang Mercedes in the UK this morning about this launch and they knew nothing about it!
But here is the route for the night of the 15th of January. For more details see yesterday's entry, and keep coming back we'll keep posting info as we get it.
Oh, and this is a nice picture we took of the Alinghi Yacht in three inches of water outside the Science Museum, where there is an exhibition on the America's Cup.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fernando Alonso unveils the new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in Valencia!

Date for your Diary! 15th January 2007
Make your way down to the City of Arts and Sciences on the 15th January to see champion Racing Driver Fernando Alonso unveil the new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-22. All the team drivers will be there as well! The whole thing starts at 8pm when Alonso is planning to do ten laps around the streets surrounding L'Umbracle passing over the Puente Monteolivet and past the sculpture, the Parotet by Miquel Navarro, and then down the Avenida de Francia.
If all that wasn't enough, The Cirque du Soleil will put on a show and then there will be a huge (surprise, surprise!) firework display. It sounds like you should get there early because 200,000 people are expected to visit!

Puente de las Flores

The Rio Turia is a glorious park that runs through the city, it celebrates its 50th birthday this October. It is called Rio Turia because, until a huge and devastating flood in the 1950, it was actually a river. After the flood it was diverted to a new, purpose built flood channel outside the city and the extremely forward thinking city fathers of the time decided to make the old bed into a park, complete with bridges.
The Newest bridge is the Puente de las Flores, which is literally covered with flowers and plants year round, at the moment it is covered in deep red Poinsettas, over a hundred thousand of them!
Next to the bridge at the moment is the Circo Mundial, one of four circuses in town for Christmas. Next week, if you are into clowns, they are holding an international clown festival - 100 clowns from all over the world competing for Best Clown - it all takes place 11 and 12 january - more info and how to book on their website -http://www.grancircomundial.com/valencia_05.htm

thisisvalencia newsletter

Take a look at our new newsletter, a fortnightly guide to what's going on in Valencia. Don't forget to sign up for the mailing list if you want it delivered to your mailbox on a regular basisi! This issue is packed with stuff, from chocolate to semi naked firemen to the opening of the new Starbucks.

Robert Indiana

The large letterworks of Robert Indiana are on display in the centre of the Gran Via Marques del Turia from now until March. Great big rusty iron words and numerals, and shiny red painted aluminium ones as well! It makes for a nice stroll on a sunny day.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Last chance to see...

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the last chance to see the huge Belen in the Ayuntamiento. This huge Nativity scene has been on display for 45 days and tomorrow at 8pm will close forever. It is also the last chance to ice skate down in the City of Arts and Sciences. In fact, most things Christmassy finish tomorrow, so if you don't want to shop, get down to the city and have a wander round.
The excellent Supermercado del Arte finishes on monday, it's at the American Print Gallery in Calle Ciscar,10. Up and coming artists work for very reasonable prices

The Three Kings Arrive in Valencia

The Three Kings arrived in Valencia Port last night and, accompanied by 40 floats and 2,000 people paraded through the streets of Valencia throwing a total of ten thousand kilos of sweets and thousands of toys. The Parade started at 5 and lasted several hours. The streets were lined with what seemed like the entire child population of Valencia with their parents, all clutching carrier bags to store their spoils. The Parade ended at the city hall where the king received those lucky enough to get in and handed out more presents. Today (a holiday even though it is Saturday) is the most important day in the Spanish Christmas calendar for children especially, for this is the day they get their Christmas presents.
Tomorrow, Sunday, all the shops will be open so the populace can spend their Christmas present money.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sunday in the Park

As a child in the ‘50’s, long before the days of Sunday opening had turned every weekend into just another couple of shopping days with bigger crowds, I remember my ‘Sunday best’, clothes worn only on that high day and holidays, and a stroll with my parents and siblings (often begrudgingly!) at the times we didn’t have a car, or a Sunday drive out at the times we did.

All that has vanished in the UK, but in Spain the couple of hours before the big Sunday lunch, when all the family get together, is still seen as ‘quality time’, a horrible Americanism, but one which perfectly sums up the Spanish approach; a couple of hours to spend with the niños, have a paseo with mum and dad, read the paper or stretch out in the sun.

One of my favourite spots in Valencia on Sunday morning is the area surrounding the fountains in front of the Palau de Musica in the Jardines de Turia, the dried-up riverbed that almost encircles the city. I can’t say that a friend was correct when he said that it was better than strolling in New York’s Central Park because I’ve never been there, but I love watching the world go by on Sunday in the park, whether it be on skateboard, bike, roller-blade, on the chuffy little train, or peddling those silly four wheel bikes where dad pretends to let the little lad steer but in fact wants to do it himself (like buying a top-of the line Scalextric for his son’s third birthday). Kids sail boats on the pond, lovers canoodle on the grass, grannies and granddads put the world to rights – and there’s always a doting parent or two taking photos of their chicos to slap in the family album and embarrass them with in years to come.
by Derek Workman - info@derekworkman-journalist.com