Monday, November 23, 2009

Surel Not, Queen Elizabeth II just doesn't do that!

Christmas is fast approaching and very soon you won't be able to turn without bumping into a Belén. A Belén is a nativity scene, so popular are they in this country that not only are there public ones, sometimes comprising of thousands of pieces, but most homes don't feel complete without one, and they often take up enormous amounts of space in people's flats and houses, There is a particularly curious tradition in the the more northerly parts of Spain and that is the inclusion of El Caganer somewhere in the scene. Traditionally it is the squatting figure of a shepherd - crapping. The fruits of his labour beneath his naked rear for all to see. This year the website has some interesting celebrity caganers, most notably Queen Elisabeth(sic) II. I was always told that royalty didn't!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Opera Flash mob in Valencia's Mercado Central

Opera en el Mercado from esoqueseconocecomolaopera on Vimeo.

Wish I'd been there! I just love these things. Members of Valencia's wonderful opera house, Palau de les Arts a couple of days ago in the beautiful Art Nouveau Mercado Central, said to be Europe's largest covered indoor market. See more of this beautiful city by visiting or buying Tim Birch's excellent just published Frommer's guide to the city 'Valencia day by day'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nick Nolte in Valencia!

Nick Nolte (centre) with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Brandon T Jackson and Jay Baruchel in the action comedy Tropic Thunder

Could this be the very spot Nick Nolte films at?

Hollywood Veteran Nick Nolte visits the Comunidad Valenciana for five weeks when he begins filming a new movie to be made on location in Valencia and at the City of Light studios in Alicante, The film, provisionally entitled 'Mi Querido Desconocido' (My unknown beloved) is the directorial debut for Madrilenian Maria Kannon Cle, and tells the story of people who meet at a set of traffic lights. The traffic lights in question are said to be those in the Plaza Ayuntamiento in Valencia. Filming starts 29 November and also stars Ángela Molina and Fernando Guillén. It is being shot simultaneously in Spanish and English and has a surprisingly low budget of 2 million euros . If we can find out the actual day of filming in the Plaza Ayuntamiento - we'll let you know!!

Viva Valencia!!

08/11/2009 - San Diego (USA, CA) - 33rd America's Cup - BMW ORACLE Racing - Wing revealed. Photographer: Gilles Martin-Raget

Team Alinghi have agreed that the America’s Cup ‘Deed of Gift’ series will, after all, take place in Valencia next February. The series will be fought by Cup defenders Team Alinghi against BMW Oracle, who challenged the Swiss team following the uproar resulting from Alinghi’s selection of a ‘tame’ Spanish challenger in July 2007. The ensuing litigation has dragged on through two and a quarter years and 8 court hearings.

The contestants will meet in two outrageously-modern multihulls, quite unlike any previously craft seen in America’s Cup racing. Team Alinghi have chosen a giant catamaran, whilst BMW Oracle have gone for a trimaran. Both craft are capable of speeds in excess of 50 knots (92.kph), so the closing speeds will be terrifying; especially for those on board!

Many details of the event are yet to be decided but one thing is certain – this contest will be a spectacular no-holds-barred fight to the finish.

Monday, November 02, 2009

‘Valencia is the best option’

The US Supreme Court last week ruled that the 33rd America’s Cup ‘Deed of Gift’ races should either take place in Valencia or at some venue in the Southern Hemisphere (it’s a bit warmer there in February, I believe). Russell Coutts, skipper of BMW Oracle said: “Valencia is the best option to get the America’s Cup back on track as soon as possible.”

A late-night telephone conversation between Rita Barberá and representatives from Team Alinghi seems to have confirmed Valencia as the probable venue.

There remain several obstacles to overcome before the event can truly be said to be certain. The biggest is the need for the two teams to agree to an independent, neutral jury with the usual powers to set courses and settle disputes. Another is the need to clean up the America’s Cup Port, which has been sadly neglected over the last two years. The jury question may be settled in court, following Justice Shirley Kornreich’s order that both parties should choose a rules expert who would then select an independent third. These three could then debate the whole matter in court on Wednesday 4 November.

The pace is quickening now, with just 3 months to go until the event. We will bring you up-dates as the news breaks.
Mike O’Neill
02 November 2009