Tag Archive: Seville


It has been a hectic rest of the year. I don’t think I’ve stopped to breathe since moving again in September. A lot has changed in my life, and I am still trying to figure out where it all fits. So when painter and friend, Alejandro Botubol,  invited me to a ferris wheel ride, I thought it would be a great way to see a different perspective. Sevilla, being one of the world’s heritage sites, has no buildings taller than the Giralda. Near sunset was definitely the perfect hour to go, with the sun setting the sky ablaze in the horizon.

Christmas Fair Rides

Skating rink gives a more winter feel.

The Cathedral and the Giralda as seen from the ferris wheel.

Sevillian sunset.

Painter Alejandro Botubol.

A russian friend of mine recently asked me to update her model book and wanted to incorporate this beautiful city of Seville into our shoot. I am quite pleased with the session we had. Here are some of my favorites …

 

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The Feria de Abril of Seville is THE biggest social event of the year. Residents spend the whole year pinching pennies and preparing for this festive week of food, drink and of course, Sevillanas, a traditional dance which is a branch of flamenco, named for the city that made it popular. Over a year ago I was invited by my then roommate to his families traditional feria preparatory lunch. Which is to say, they shake out the dust from the costumes and accessories, prepare the outfits for this year’s festivities and have a similar lunch as to one you might have in the casetas (tents), followed by a good round of Sevillanas. The afternoon turned into a good opportunity for me to do some portraiture, working with mixed natural and basic, harsh house lights.

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4 summers ago, I was a starry-eyed girl just starting to soak up the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of this wonderful city. I had just barely started to learn Spanish, navigate myself through the maze of old moorish maze of streets, or get accustomed to the Sevillian lifestyle.

My dear friend Carlos had warned me, it gets hot. Really, really hot. And everyone leaves and the city is left with the ancient ghosts of Romans and Phoenicians (ok those are actually my descriptions). I of course thought he was exaggerating, and did not heed his words. I am of course from the tropics and I could take it, and this city didn’t seem like a desert at all.

So I had decided to stay in the city for the summer of 2008. I was then working in a fine dining restaurant called Tribeca, and I didn’t want to leave the job I had just found to fund my European adventure.

Sure enough, it got hot. It averaged between 43°C – 47°C degrees (109°F – 116°F), with a couple of days hitting the 50s (122°F+). And everyone did leave. I was left not only with the ghosts of the city’s previous invader’s and occupants, but with a hodgepodge of people’s pets (well someone had to take care of them while the smarter ones fled the infierno in pursuit of cooler pastures).

It sizzled, it scorched. I learned. I learned which times of days to do your shopping. The time of day to nap. In the silence and lack of company, I studied my grammar and my vocabulary. Under the cover of the cool night, I learned the map of the city streets while walking a friend’s dog. And this way, the city became mine.

We’d somehow always end up by the river – me and Casper, the dog. The light breeze at night somehow always leads one there. And I took comfort in it. I treasure that first summer I had. Because it gave me the time, and the solitude, to really look around me and absorb just how beautiful this city that I had just then started to call home is.

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Photos taken with my then new Olympus Tough 1030 SW

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I have to confess that despite having been living in Andalusia for 3 years, I have never made any cold soup to save my life. There is always someone (Andalusians are fanatical about making you their version of gazpacho or salmorejo, or at least bring you their mother’s) around to make it for me. In a daring move, I set out to make a gazpacho today, but not the traditional recipe with tomatoes, but a variation using melon. I tried it in Madrid last summer, and the sweetness of the fruit and the saltiness of the ham is an addicting combo (think prosciutto with melon, in liquid form). Its quick and easy to prepare. I threw in a whole melon, a clove of garlic, dash of olive oil, and salt in a blender, liquified and after it cooled in the fridge, topped it with Iberian ham.

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I love walking around my neighborhood. Not just Seville, but pretty much any place I’ve lived in the world. I’m one of those people who walks everywhere. I hardly take public transportation, I don’t drive and after getting a few bikes stolen, is over having a bicycle.

I was feeling a bit melancholy the other day. So I grabbed my camera and went for a short walk to visit a friend. Sometimes that’s just all I need, some fresh air and see how beautiful things are for their simplicity.

The plaza or square in front of Iglesia del Salvador in Seville is well-known and loved by locals. For the religious, this is where the sculpture of Jesus Christ a top a donkey, flanked by palms exits on Palm Sunday during Holy Week. The rest of the year however it is a popular watering hole. Two bars across the church serves beer, wine, and tinto de verano, as well as simple tapas. The more practiced tradition among students and youngsters in to sit on the church steps with their own bottle of beer, wine or spirits (no seriously, this is Spain after all) which is better known as a botellon (derived from the spanish word for bottle- botella).

I snapped this picture one normal fall afternoon, while having pre-lunch drinks with some friends. A beverage company had been giving out balloons to promote their product and I looked up at mine, which I had lovingly nicknamed Borgas and noticed perfectly how it framed the blue sky with the church’s facade.

Territorios Sevilla is the musical highlight of the Sevillian Community. Even though the city is the 4th largest city in Spain, it has not developed as an international community in comparison to Madrid or Barcelona. Sevilla remains largely traditional and true to its roots. However once a year international bands invade the city and Sevillanos and visiting music enthusiasts stomp the ground of the old monestary, where Christopher Columbus planned his journey to the west, in search of their musical fare. This year marks the 3rd year I’ve been shooting the festival for the magazine CLONE. Here are some of these years highlights:


The Divine Comedy

The Klaxons

Raimundo Amador

Lin Cortes

Femi Kuti and the Positive Force

Bikini Red

La Mala Rodriguez

Asian Dub Foundation

2manyDJs

Dances with bulls

Bullfighter Daniel Luque comes dangerously close to a bull.

I have never been to a wine tasting or wine pairing of sorts in Spain. Which is quite strange actually, I have has visuals in my head as wine-guzzling sangria fiends. I arrive here to find that the national day-to-day drink is beer. So when a friend invited me to a cata in one of my favorite restaurants around the corner from my house, I jumped at the chance.

Barajas 20 has been open only a few short months, but it has quickly gained popularity with Sevillians. A somewhat out of place tiled portrayal of Jesus carrying the cross marks its entrance to pay respect to Jesús del Gran Poder, one of the most important churches of Seville, just down the street. Inside feels like a small-town (yet busy) train station bistro. The evolving menus are handwritten which compromises of wines beyond the typical Rioja, and classic Spanish cuisine with a touch of the house’s own flavor.

The pairing featured 3 wines – Red, white and rosé. Together with 3 tapas picked to complement each wine’s flavor, acidity and specific flavors from each region. I started off with the red (of course I would), from Ronda in Málaga. Heavy and deep-burgundy, paired well with the cannelloni with Iberian meat. The white, Las Corazas from Castilla, was paired off with a variation of the blood sausage, this one being from squid in its ink, topped with salty algae. I liked how the saltiness of the leaf contrasted with the sweetness of the wine. The best one of the night had to be the rosé, which surprised me since I barely drink sweeter, fruity wines anymore. A Catalan wine, Synera is appealing from the first moment. The smell is tantalizing and strong, a bouquet of berries, wild and fresh. I personally love berried and chicken together and was pleased to find the wine paired of with a brochette of chicken in mushroom sauce.

All in all … good food, good friends, good wine, good night!



Barajas 20 Tapas
Conde de Barajas nº 20 Sevilla