September 24, 2000 |
I got ballet the first time I went. I didn't get bullfighting until my sixth go. My grasp of both came on a recent visit to Spain's capital. Andrea and I had the weekend off from Spanish school in Avila. To maximize our time, we took the 90-minute train to Madrid on Friday afternoon and returned early Monday morning before class. We made our way through several tapas bars, sipped cafe con leche on the Plaza Mayor and strolled through the sprawling flea market El Rastro.
May 27, 1999 |
An amusement park company thought that a clever way to promote the first day of its stock sale Wednesday would be to take an elephant to the stock exchange. The pachyderm thought otherwise. The noise, cars and crowds of downtown Madrid spooked Clarisa, a 12-year-old elephant, so badly that she broke away from her caretakers and knocked into traffic lights, a lamppost and a trash bin. The handlers briefly managed to tie the 2-ton animal to a tree, but she got away again.
February 21, 1993 |
The twin skyscrapers that lean like modern towers of Pisa at the Plaza de Castilla here were supposed to be the city skyline's architectural signature--bold monuments to the nation's prosperity. But on closer inspection, their naked steel girders betray a billion-dollar bankruptcy and a boom decade gone bust. After years of record growth, Spain is suffering its worst economic crisis in a decade. The national economy is faltering, financial scandals clog the courts and pessimism prevails.
June 30, 1992 |
" Before I came to Barcelona, I thought I knew what a sporting city was. . . . " --Baron Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympics " Real Madrid, Real Madrid. The team of the government, the shame of the nation. " --Barcelona soccer chant Modern modes of travel have reduced the 360 miles separating Barcelona and Madrid to an afterthought.
November 1, 1991 |
The culinary delights of Madrid are considerable, but they have been lost on some religious members of the Israeli delegation to the Middle East peace conference. They brought no kosher food, and there is none to be found in the Spanish capital. "It is a sensitive issue," said Nachman Shai, an Israeli spokesman, after Jerusalem newspapers reported the kosher shortfall Thursday.
October 19, 1991 |
Lausanne reacted with surprise and anger Friday to news that Madrid is to host the Middle East peace conference. The decision, coming after weeks of preparation for an event Lausanne hoped would boost its own prestige, stunned the lakeside tourist city. "Madrid? It feels like April Fools' Day. We've really been conned," said one hotel owner. Lausanne had been seen as the strongest candidate because of Israeli objections to meeting in nearby Geneva.
October 19, 1991 |
For Spaniards, Madrid's selection as the site of the Mideast peace conference is a romantic chance to redress the troubled history of 500 years ago and reassert Spain as a crossroads of the Muslim and Jewish worlds. Spaniards, in fact, believe that this history and their special geography make Spain a natural host for the conference scheduled to start Oct. 30.
September 23, 1990 |
We don't want bread! We don't want wine! We want the mayor... Hanging from a pine! That's the first verse of a new national anthem adopted by an angry suburb of Madrid that says it's seceding--and the song pretty much sums up the feelings of the 500 residents. They charge that the Madrid City Council is trying to snatch their homes at a fraction of fair market value, and they are waging a savvy public relations campaign to stop it.