Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making Improvements

As I continue to make repairs to my mental and physical well-being, I've noticed the city of Sevilla is making improvements as well. Given the state of the European Union and Spain's economy, it will be interesting to see if these improvements slow over the course of the next year but, for now at least, Sevilla (and I) keep working at it.

PLAZA REPAIRS OUTSIDE CAFÉ SANTA MARTA.

We went to Café Santa Marta Friday for lunch. We don't go there as often as before — perhaps once a week now. Given that the food is always good and also cheap, we ignore the fact that the staff is usually cold and unfriendly. So, we were pleasantly surprised yesterday to receive warm smiles from two of the staffers. Maybe they're working on their attitudes, too.

LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED.
Saturday afternoon, I met a couple of friends at a new (to me) café/tapas bar in the neighborhood of El Arenal. The bar (Flor de Toranzo) was just one block off Plaza Nueva, but I had never been in this little enclave, nor have I explored much of El Arenal. This cluster of streets was charming and I look forward to doing some wandering. The orange trees that line most of the city's streets and plazas are in fruitful abundance. Last year at this time (while here for three weeks) we saw harvesters here and there around the city filling crates. I like watching the faces of the tourists who pick them off the trees thinking they're about to enjoy a sweet orange only to discover a bitter fruit (intended for marmalade). Miguel told me the other day that in late March the entire city is filled with the fragrance of orange blossoms. I'll have to post a scratch-n-sniff video.

THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF EL ARENAL.

IMPROVEMENTS IN PROGRESS IN EL ARENAL, NEXT DOOR TO THE CAFÉ.

On the way home, as I started back up the little street (called Barcelona) toward Plaza Nueva, I snapped a picture, not noticing until I downloaded it that there was a café on the right named Porta Gayola. I found that funny. But it seems that Porta Gayola is simply a bullfighting term referring to when the matador kneels at the door of the bullpen awaiting the entrance of the bull. I still like the name.


LOOKING TOWARD PLAZA NUEVA. PORTA GAYOLA ON THE RIGHT.

ALMOST HOME. FLOWERS ENCHANCING PLAZA DE LA CONCORDIA.
OUR PLAZA IS IN THE CENTER BACKGROUND.

20 comments:

  1. You and Sevilla, a work in progress.
    That's just life, eh?
    And a cafe called Gayola!??! It's like the Mother Ship has landed.
    I need a standing reservation.

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    1. Bob:
      I like the idea of always being a work in progress! And, yes, a café called Gayola. It's perfect. I'll have to check it out.

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  2. It's JUST NOT FAIR AT ALL! Imagine oranges growing everywhere!Not to mention those FLOWERS!
    Personally, I thought you were mostly perfect....how can one improve on that! Seriously though, striving for perfection all the time can have its drawbacks.

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  3. Seville oranges are known for the best marmalade in the world and look you have them at your finger tips. Let me tell you I'd be snapping them up pretty quick. I love marmalade. That cafe and the description is so very funny...we gays have so much fun don't we!

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    1. Ron:
      See? I clicked "Comment" instead of "Reply," so Jim missed out on the personal touch! One of these days, I'll be consistent (but then would that make me perfect?)...

      I also have always loved orange marmalade (mermelada) and can't believe I ended up here. We've got a jar in the house, purchased locally, and it's the best I've ever tasted (but I could just be imagining that).

      Hoping Gayola doesn't get shut down for accepting payola.

      Delete
  4. Jim:
    Perfection is definitely not a rational goal (nor is there any such thing). Now, I'm just aiming for "sometimes content."

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  5. Getting the streets done this way is certainly precision work. I'm glad you're feeling better a day at a time.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Peter. Poca a poca (just like my Spanish skills).

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  6. Not fair that you have such warmth and we are just launched into real winter! The lovely pansies and the orange tree.... But I'm happy for you. (Or trying to be!)

    I like the making of the road. I would get too caught up in making a design that would be part of people's lives for years to come.

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    1. Kristi:
      It hits 65F during the day but we do complain that it's only 40F when we wake up in the morning. (Do I get any points for that?)

      As for the road, I immediately thought... I wonder what kind of patterns I could make? That would be one very expensive project!

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  7. Fantastic place to live! Amazing too that they are laying cobbles - in England the council usually baulks at the expense or cite Elfin Saferty and bung down conrete or tarmac. Apparently cobbles trip up the buses or something.

    Sod going for "perfection" - go for "fabulous" instead.

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  8. Fabulous? Mitch is already there!

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    Replies
    1. tag:
      Fabulous has never been a word used to describe me (as far as I know). Most days now I just aim for "presentable"!

      Delete
  9. The Owl Wood:
    New York replaced most of the cobbles ages ago. Boston put a lot of them back in. Sevilla, thankfully, appreciates that it's part of the character of the city. But, I was really surprised to see the amount of custom work that goes into using the placement of these little stones. I assumed they carried around prefab "tiles." No idea each one was done by hand. I hope this doesn't have to go the way of all things to save money.

    Fabulous? I was recently told I was born "glamorous." Can we just leave it at that?

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  10. I love wandering the streets just soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying people watching. Sevilla just looks the perfect place for such an activity. I love the look of your city.

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    1. the cuby poet:
      You've listed some of my favorite things. I'm going to do some more wandering this afternoon. Sevilla IS the perfect place for this and I love the fact that you call it my city!

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  11. I want someone to come and make a rock patio at my house. I'd do it myself but I am far too lazy and untalented.

    God, all that gorgeousness in one place....and I admit that I focused on the pretty face of the woman walking towards you more than the other stuff....

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    Replies
    1. Maria:
      I would love working on a rock patio. I might complete one square! And I'm so glad you enjoyed that pretty face!

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  12. I love the orange trees! I can't believe the guys working on the cobblestone ground are not wearing knee pads! Hope today is a little better. xox

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    Replies
    1. I am so looking forward to being in the city when all those orange trees are in bloom! And, I'm so glad you commented on the lack of knee pads. I had the same thought. I don't know how they do it.

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