red building madridFor someone who currently lives in Madrid, I don’t write nearly enough about this great city. I guess it’s like the saying goes: the grass always seems greener on the other side. Well, the grass is rarely green in dry, sunny Spain – but the sky is (famously) blue, the buildings vibrant, and the lifestyle even more so. So let’s back-track and return to a few of the places I’ve been (re)discovering these past few weeks…

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speed sound music magazine

It has been a while since my last Music Monday post. But that doesn’t mean we’re not listening to new tunes over here. Just over a week ago I was invited to the launch party of a new music zine, here in Madrid. Speed Sound Magazine is for people who are always looking for something different to listen to; for open-minded, urban music-lovers. In the editor’s own words: “We want you to discover new young bands, especially national ones, and those from our own city. Because there’s so much talent out there, and we’re tired of seeing the same faces on the cover.” 

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With Black Friday behind us and the city’s Christmas lights on full display, Madrid’s navideño spirit is alive and well. The holidays are only a few weeks away, and while some of us are looking forward to a few days of sleeping in and reading by the fireplace, others are in full-on gift hunting mode and ready to find something for everyone on their list. So, in the spirit of giving, I contributed a guest post over at Naked Madrid about the best Christmas markets going on in the Spanish capital. From pop-ups that only last a few days, to season-long traditional “mercadillos”, these are my recommendations for Madrid’s best Christmas markets.
[Photo credit: TheHovse]


movie tickets
Starting today, for the next three days, is Madrid’s annual “Fiesta del Cine“. From the 27th to the 29th of October, movies are only €2.90 for all those who sign up on the official website for a special code. So while we can watch almost anything online, it will never beat the feeling of seeing a movie on the big screen. Three days of dirt cheap movies in Madrid… What to see?

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Fall is upon us and festival season seems like a faded memory of headbands and beat-up cowboy boots. But the dreary weather comes with a whole new line-up of gigs and festivals to get us through rainy weekends. A little melancholic and maybe even bluesy, this playlist will match the color of the sky at times, even if the voices don’t. In the next couple of months, these artists’ deep timbers and soulful folk tunes will grace Madrid with their presence.

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Pop up stores seem to be, well, popping up everywhere in Madrid. A trend that had its moment in the U.S a few years ago, is now catching on in the Spanish capital. And at a time when it is virtually impossible to open a small business and survive; artisans, boutique owners, and even cinemas are opting for the more pocket-friendly and mass-drawing option of the pop-up store. As temperatures rise, there are a few ephemeral spots that will only be around this summer…

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Moving to three different cities in three years means I’ve experienced three challenging (some more than others) quests for the perfect apartment. And while it might have helped to be the kind of traveler who goes with everything set up and ready for arrival, I prefer to figure things out along the way. When I first moved to Paris (a tough city for finding a decent apartment on a budget) I went with a single bag and an overly-optimistic 4-night booking at a youth hostel. Daunting as it was, had I not done this, I would’ve never found the best apartment gig I could have asked for… And, if I were to do it all over again, here are a few things I would have liked to know before arriving in each place:

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Spain is not exactly well known for its contemporary art… Velazquez, Goya, Sorolla; these are the names that come to mind when I tell visiting friends which artists’ works to see if they come to Spain. But this summer, the city of Madrid Is Pop. The Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza, two of Madrid’s most prominent (and, it just so happens, my favorite) museums picked the ironic and critical pop art as the main theme of their current exhibits.

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If there’s any valid excuse for my prolonged absence from this page, also known as my blog, it’s the fact that I’ve recently moved to a new city. Well, technically it’s an old city, but with a new house, new job, new change of direction in the long and winding path. Because only a month ago, I moved back to Madrid to start a career as a copywriter.

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As I write this post, I am not sitting in the usual spot at my desk, staring out the window through grey sleet. No; today I’m sitting on a porch, in the sun, with a canvas of pure blue sky stretched overhead. I’m writing from the house my family has lived in for 13 years. And while times may be tough, and futures uncertain, I still count myself pretty lucky to call Madrid home.

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