Jul 272013

Dracula as 20th Century character in films and books

written by Bram Stoker is the centre of an Exhibition in Matadero Madrid. The exhibition runs till September.

The exhibition covers the life of Bram Stoker one century after his death. Dealing with his relationship with contemporaries such as Walt Whitman and Mark Twain etc the Exhibition offers an insight into the creator of the Ghoul who frightened the wits out of many reader and cinema goer.

Matadero Madrid

Casa de Lector, Legazpi,8


Metro; Legazpi L3/L6 Emajadores L3 / L5

The City of cartoons

Every Day From: Monday 26 November To Wednesday 31 July

From: 10:00 To 20:00

Last days and opportunity to see;

An Exhibition of Cartoons with its Theme as Madrid; every couple of months a different person will draw and exhibit Cartoons which he or she considers relevant to the City of Madrid and the people who live in Madrid.

The Cartoon exhibition is in a small space, so dont expect a grand tour.Contributing Cartoonists are Miguel Ángel Martín, Santiago Valenzuela, Hermanas Pacheco and Puño.

Where; Palacio de Cibeles,CentroCentro, Plaza de Cibeles, Madrid

Guided Tour of Madrid on a Bike.

What better way to see the streets and monuments of Madrid than from the saddle of a bike and with an expert tour-guide who can show you the real sights of this exicting city.

Plaza Mayor, 27 (Plaza Mayor Tourist Center)

Book in Advance at the above address or by email; e-mail:visitasguiadas@esmadrid.com

Tours are on Saturdays and the group is limited to 20 people only. At the time of writing Bike Tour Prices are 6,90 Euros.

More information on tickets and sales in general,here

If you would like to go it alone and rent a bike to cruise around Madrid alone, check this page out for ideas and rentals.

Legends,Hauntings and Ghosts in Madrid.

Go on this Tour of the Spooky parts of Madrid. Ask any Madrileño and they are sure to have a heard of a Ghost Story connected to some building in Madrid City. This Tour takes you through the Legends and Ghostly areas of Madrid and is reported to be entertaining and fun for the family.

Departure is at 8PM on Fridays at Plaza De Mayor,27  best to book ahead to ensure a place; check this link to find out how and where to book tickets


Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com

Jul 162013

The Hot sweltering summer days of Madrid are here and day trips and sight seeing is on the agenda. How about Renting a Bike and whizzing around the streets of Madrid to see all those Monuments that you have been talking about?

Legazpi along the River/canal in Madrid

Legazpi along the River/canal in Madrid


There are lots of places to find Bike Rentals in Madrid and although the prices vary they are not too heavy on the pocket.

If you are not sure where you want to go but feel like Riding a Bike around, a good idea is Juan Carlos Park in the north of Madrid. The Park is definitely Bike riendly with its broad pathways for easy Bike Riding without creating foul ups with walkers. A man made Lake and circular route, plenty of grassy areas to stop and rest and benches to sit and snack on make it an enjoyable couple of hours of exercise and relaxation.

The last time I looked the Park had increased the number of bikes for Rent to 50+ because the idea has become very popular. In order to use the Bikes you have to sign-up and then be issued with a card that allows you to use the bikes last information was that the Bike Hire was Free of Charge.

Bike hire at Juan Carlos I Park

Avenida Manuel Azaña / Avda. Logroño / Vía de Dublín
Metro; Campo de las Naciones (Line 8)
Hiring Hours: 10 am 1 pm and 4.30 pm 7.30 pm, Monday to Friday. Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9.30 am 7.30 pm

Below is a list of several Places to Rent a Bike in Madrid


By Bike Madrid

Rent a Bike Spain


If your legs are tired and you’d rather Rent something with an Engine, then there are Scooters for rent too!

Most of the Bike rental services are situated around the Parks, such as El Retiro close to the City Centre and El Prado. When you set off for a spin around the city of Madrid , don’t forget to get a MadridCard so that you can get either a good Discount on Entrances to Sights and Monuments or Free Entrance to some places.

Madrid Scooter Renta



Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com

Apr 202013

The upcoming Madrid Marathon for 28th of April 2013 will go ahead as expected but with a new plan for security after the Events of the Bombing and Terrorist Hunt in Boston,USA.

The Madrid Marathon, known as the Madrid RockNRoll Marathon is a spectacular Event that attracts large numbers of runners and spectators.

Since the Boston Bombing tradegy the number of entrants for the Madrid Marathon has reached record numbers,now at 7,709 runners raring to go and get blisters and prizes.

The start time is a 9 am in El Buen Parque de Retiro. All Races start at the same time and place including the Half-Marathon.

Madrid City Council Spokesman Enrique Nunez stated that the Council have a new set of measures in place for security on the day. There will be a special tribute to Boston at the start of the Madrid Marathon.

If you are running on the day, the staff of trustmypaper.com and  I wish you the best of the best and enjoy the Thrilling feeling of completion of the race.


Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com

Feb 092013

5th Festival De Flamenco and Jazz

Cartel de V Festival de La escalera de jacob

V Festival de Jazz La escalera de Jacob

From 27 February to 21 March, 2012, La Escalera de Jacob presents its V Jazz Festival dedicated to flamenco.


For the fifth consecutive year, the emblematic cave of La Escalera de Jacob hosts its Jazz Festival in a new edition that is dedicated to Flamenco-Jazz.
La Escalera de Jacob aims to promote and spread the work of Spanish artists who, from their depth and rigor, have been able to combine the spirit of the most iconic of Spanish music with the richness of a genre that was created in the U.S. but yet is full of African, Latin American and Hispanic rhythmic components and resonances.
On the 27th of February, in a place as intimate as the Magic Cave of La Escalera de Jacob, the guitarist Josemi Carmona´s strings will open a cycle that brings together outstanding artists who explore the relationships between flamenco and jazz. Pablo Martín Caminero, Sandra Carrasco, José Luis Gutiérrez, Anita Kuruba, Enriquito, Carles Benavent, Tino di Geraldo or Jorge Pardo are some of the musicians who will share this expressive richness of a musical blend full of creativity and vitality in the festival. In addition, thanks to El Circuito de Músicas Populares Girando por Salas(The Circuit of Popular Musics Touring Concert Halls), one of the Spanish bass players with the greatest rising impact on a national level, Rubén Rubio, will be brought on stage with his quartet.
This year once again the program collaborates with the consultancy company SpaceMinds, plus different brandnames supporting jazz like Seagrams who solidly develop and carry out the Seagrams Original Sessions within the La Noche en Vivo,The Association of Live Concert Venues in Madrid “The Live Night”.
Besides this, for the first time this year,recently created association Asociación para la Promoción del Flamenco Jazz, will be joining the festival. The association dedicates to promote flamenco-jazz both in Spain and abroad through diverse activities such as an organized series of concerts, training activities, and activities that help to strengthen the emerging and already established values and traditions of Spanish Flamenco–Jazz in general.
All concerts take place at La Cueva de la Escalera de Jacob in Lavapiés from 27 February to 21 March at 9:30 pm.

La escalera de Jacob, Lavapiés 9, Madrid. Metro: Tirso de Molina and Lavapiés.

Wednesday, 27 February: Josemi Carmona

One of the Key Figures in Contemporary music in Spain, and, according to Paco Lucia, the best guitarist of his generation,Josemi Carmona explores the rich colorful palette of new possibilities for flamenco that is bound with jazz, salsa and bossa nova. His first solo project “Las Pequeñas Cosas”, recorded by Universal Music Spain, was given a Latin Grammy in 2011 as the Best Flamenco Album.

Thursday, 28 February: Pablo Martín Caminero

The Pablo Martin Quintet album “El caminero” was the winner of the best album in 2011, the award was recently presented by the BBK Foundation. In the festival the quintet continues to explore the thrilling relationship between flamenco and jazz, a field where there is still so much to discover.

Wednesday, 6 March: Sandra Carrasco

Having conquered around 15 stages in different countries on different continents within last year and worked together with great international artists like Anoushka Shankar and Avishai Cohen, the travells of this young artist, especially known for her extraordinary voice, will finally bring her to the stage of La Escalera de Jacob to give a concert that includes both,unreleased tracks form her latest album, plus pieces in collaboration with Melón Jiménez.

Thursday, 7 March: José Luis Gutiérrez-Iberjazz Quartet

Jose Luis Gutierrez, one of the most international Spanish jazz musicians, a brilliant saxophonist and composer, is not just a musician; he is one of these personalities where classifying him becomes really difficult.Exploring other cultures and far off lands, his originality and strong personality make his music as a perfect combination of different ingredients and creative improvisation, followed by an enthralling explosion of tastes,especially for the elusive and indescribable smack of “something” in his music.
One of the most important characteristics of his creation is the influence of Iberian music, giving way to the rise of truly original and passionate Iber-jazz. His first album “Núcleo” was considered the best jazz album of 2004 in Spain. His last album “The Fruit Salad”, released in 2012, goes even further in discovering the fascinating possibilities between Iberian music and jazz.

Wednesday, 13 March: Anita Kuruba

Anita Kuruba, the singer of Canteca de Macao, presents her first cycle entitled Women a collection of personal interpretations accompanied by flamenco guitar (GaizkaBaenaSolas) and trumpet (Enrique Rodriguez Enriquito). Between humor and the profound, Kuruba creates a trip that passes through different stages of a couples relationship where the female point of view, with all its delicious versions of the times, will become apparent.

Thursday, 14 March: Rubén Rubio GPS

Rubén Rubio´s “Biondo” was named as the best album of 2011 edited by a national bass player. The quartet that moves between Jazz and Funk with a touch of Flamenco and Folk, will bring to the stage newly developed themes of “Biondo”, plus more personal versions of Jazz Standards.To add more excitement, Rubio was chosen as The National Bass Player 2011 in the international fair Bassday 2011 held in Madrid.

Wednesday, 20 March: Enriquito, flamenco trumpet

The young, rising and very promising artist Enrique Rodríguez or Enriquito, presents his first album Me quito el Sombrero or I Take My Hat Off, an original work without precedents where the trumpet and flugel horn take the stage with flamenco themes winding around jazz improvisations. Enriquito has collaborated with many well-known artists like Carles Benavent, Antonio Serrano, Juan Diego de Jerez, also Jorge Pardo, whose music has been a great inspiration to him.

Thursday, 21 March:Benavent- Di Geraldo- Pardo

This trio rose as a continuation out of a former group of Jorge Pardo and Carles Benavent, a sextet that made history in new flamenco and toured the most important jazz festivals from Vitoria to Montreal. With the arrival of Di Geraldo this excellent trio was formed, consisting of three authentic fusion masters of flamenco and jazz, whose album “Sin Precedentes” was awarded as the best jazz album in 2010 at the Music Awards XIV Edition.


Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com


Jul 292012

Madrid is a Place of Pleasure and Fun Day and Night

Madrid is a place where both Young People and those of advanced Years can find fun and interesting things to do.

Plaza de Santa Bárbara cafe

Plaza de Santa Bárbara

There are plenty of opportunities for concerts,cinemas and dance clubs for those who love to hit the town late at night and keep going till the sun rises.

International bands play major Gigs here in Madrid just check out concert dates and who is in town this month.

Madrid is vibrant at night. The Weekend, which unofficially starts on a Thursday in Madrid, is the liveliest. Discos, bars and clubs can be located in some of the trendiest areas of Madrid. Malasaña and its surrounding areas like Chueca (the gay barrio) are the best places to go looking for a dance club or neat little bar that offers good food and friendly atmosphere. Try Tupperware in Malasaña

Generally, neighbourhoods that are away from main roads offer some of the best terraces to sit down on and enjoy the balmy nights of Spring and Summer in Madrid.

Plaza de Santa Ana is a great starting point for the evening in Madrid. A large square in the centre of the city that offers plenty of terraces and restaurants and cafés galore including a German bar that offers big cold glasses of German Wheat beer and a tapa to go with it.

when hunger beckons then head to Mercado de San Miguel for a tapa in the coverted Station. Its a stones throw from Plaza de Santa Ana.

Another option for food is Casa Mingo which is famous for its Roast Chicken, Cider and Chorizos.

In Winter there are plenty of terraces to find as these days bar owners have adopted outdoor heaters to attract more customers to their otherwise small establishment. There is something very comforting to sitting outside in Winter and being warm at the same time.

Its become a bit of a tradition to go to La Latina on a Sunday at midday for beer and tapas. You might want to brave the crowds and try your luck at finding a table on one of the many terraces in calle Cava Baja and drink beer or wine and eat some of the great tapas and raciónes of the local cafés in this famous street.

El Tigre is a totally recommended as a place to go and get a beer and plate full of whatever they offer you to eat only for the price of the beer which last time I looked was at 1,50 euros a small beer. Drink and eat for free.

In Madrid its common to get a tapa with your drink. You really can go out and order beer all evening and eat very well for free. Some places seem to give you a better tapa each time you order a fresh beer. Great traditions!

Plaza de Dos de Mayo in Malasaña offer an array of interesting bars and daytime shops of interest.

Chueca Cafe in c/Horteleza

Chueca Cafe in c/Horteleza

Paseo de castellana is full of cool clubs and bars that are the in place to go to if you want to dance and have a bit bit more of an up-market atmosphere.

There are businesses that offer trips and sporting activities that are well organised and cover most types of sports and adventure.

Towns and Villages to Visit around Madrid

Or, Go it alone and jump on a train (cercania) that will take you to Toledo or Segovia or San Lorenzo de Escorial for the day. These towns and villages make excellent day out excursions that offer long walks and plenty of fresh air.

Art and Culture

Culture in the city of Madrid is amazing. Musuems for every taste from Modern art to Classical art in the Prado Art Musuem to the Museo  Thyssen Bornemisza that have a standing collection and a Special exhibition that changes every few months. Reina Sofia Art Museum offers standing exhibitions and a regular rotation of some of Europes and Spain finest Contemporary artists. Sorolla Museum has an exhibition of this famous Spanish artists work. His style is Realism and each work is enormous. Wonderful scenes of people enjoying life.

If you are a student and have your card it can get you a discount in many museums around the city.

Travelling around the city isnt as expensive as london or New York for example but make it cheaper still by getting a discount ticket. If you are under 21 you find a special pass for travel, depending on how long you are staying in Madrid.

On Sunday Morning youcan visit El Rastro market and pick up a bargain Spanish style. The Market is considered one of the most crowded and biggest in Europe. Be careful of your wallet and purse, its an obvious workout for pickpockets.

After the Market you can take a walk in El Buen Parque de Retiro which is a peaceful place to get over your hangover from the partying the night before.

An absolute must tourist thing to do is go to Plaza de España and take your photo under the enormous statue of Don Quixote. Also, visit Puerta del Sol and get your photo on the plaque that marks the centre of the Peninsula Kilometro Zero as it is known. It can be located under the main balcony where the flags are flying over Sol.

The Royal Palace is a wonder for the eyes in that both the building is tremendous and the surrounding gardens are well-kept and colourful feast for the eyes.

Fuencarral Market is another choice for shopping for clothes and accessories. Avant Garde activities on offer are DJs, music and art exhibitions and Cinema projects.


Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com


Sep 172011

The barrio of Lavapiés lies south of the city centre. Once the Jewish and Moorish neighbourhood the name lavapiés being translated as Foot-Wash where people would come and have their feet washed ritually.

A great place to visit while in Madrid offering an enjoyable stroll in a non-touristy neighbourhood of Madrids Alternative barrio. In the morning you can stop for coffee and breakfast in one of the many cafés around the area. Just walk along Calle Argumosa (the main drag in Lavapiés) and you will find a table on the terrace to enjoy the Morning sun and something to eat. Keep walking, follow your nose and eventually youll find something to suit your taste. Small side streets offer a variety of cafes for morning coffee not all are open before  12 pm. A lot of the cafés and bars are more suited for night time fun. Calle Argumosa has the advantage of being situated so that you can choose a sunny side of the street or a shaded side of the street.

Today Lavapiés offers a labyrinth of streets to explore which are full of cafés and restaurants of many different types and themes. If you want Indian food Lavapiés is the right barrio. Calle Ave Maria offers a good selection of Indian restaurants as well as Spanish restaurants.

Walking up the hill, away from Plaza Lavapiés on Calle Ave Maria you have a choice of simple bars for drinking or restaurants also offering terraces or spacious seating inside. friendly welcomes and comfortability is offered in Taberna Viva Chapata where you can drink and eat Bocadillos (sandwiches). Next door is the famous and older Nuevo Café Barbiera which is spacious and very popular with the locals.
In summer dont imagine everywhere has air-conditioning. If they do, they will advertise it to get customers inside. There is often a place to find that offers the shade of trees on the terrace and when seated and a cold drink in hand, the heat isnt so bad its Spain.

If you really want a night out where you can explore a few bars and find out whats happening on the music scene and in the lovcal art-world, then Lavapiés is the right area. Visit any of the bars round and about and you will have the feeling that you are off the beaten track of tourist haunts. Left wing may be out of fashion but the area buzzes with the feeling of creativity, alternatives and artists; writers,poets,painters and self-defined artists like to hang out in Lavapiés at night.

You will also notice that most of the bars are covered in information posters and flyers. Info about local bands, shows and theatre events are all over the walls. Calle Argumosa is a favourite for buskers playing guitar and singing most of them are regulars and can play a pretty entertaining tune.

Point; in days gone by, people from Other Areas of Madrid would warn people that Lavapiés is dangerous at night. Muggers,robbers and blaggards galore. Not really true anymore; the police doing an excellent job of combating street crime in Madrid, the streets are safe to walk for the self aware tourist who doesnt advertise her or himself. Staying away from short-cuts through the back streets late at night is sensible in any city and all will be well.
The locals in Lavapiés are a friendly working class folk and welcome people of all nationalities and backgrounds.


Sean Durham is an Artist and Writer living in Madrid Make a Comment below and Your Latest Post from Your blog or website will be linked immediately. sean@madridnotes.com