Valencia Map
Site Index
Our Apartment
For 91 Days

Takashi Murakami: Japanese Pop Art

Add to Flipboard Magazine.
Takashi Murakami
Photo Credit C-Monster

Takashi Murakami has reached incredible levels of fame for a Japanese pop artist, and his work has been shown in museums across the world. This isn’t heavy stuff which requires a lot of study and contemplation. Murakami’s paintings and sculptures are just indescribably cute.

Murakami is a sculptor, a painter, and a creator of marketable goods for the masses, but he’s most well-known for helping create the style known as Superflat, a term he defined to describe “flattened forms in Japanese graphic art, animation, pop culture and fine arts, as well as the ‘shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture'” (Wikipedia).

Years ago, we had the chance to see his work in Boston and now Takashi Murakami has arrived in Valencia. Until December 29th, you can see an exhibition dedicated to the Superflat style at the CAM Culture Room, near the Mercado Central (location). Opening hours are Mon-Fri, 10-13 and 17-21h.

More information: Obra Social CAM (in Spanish)
Location on our Valencia Map

December 22, 2009 at 10:15 am Comments (0)

December 22nd – El Gordo

Add to Flipboard Magazine.
El Gordo

The financial crisis has everyone down. This year, the kid’s getting wooden toys carved by dad, and dad’s getting ugly socks knitted by mom. Mom’s getting nuthin.

Our only savior? The Christmas lottery! Tomorrow, Tuesday the 22nd, is Spain’s biggest lottery drawing in Spain… the largest in the world. El Gordo, which we were introduced to last year, is a way of life here. Something like 97% of Spaniards have at least some stake in the gigantic Christmas lottery. If all the payouts are totaled together, the prize money is well over two billion dollars. It’s incredible.

People here usually buy tickets with friends and family… it’s a social event, and if you hit the big jackpot, the chances are that some of your buddies have, too. This year, we forced all our visitors to buy tickets with us, even if they didn’t want to.

If you don’t have any numbers, you have very little time remaining to go out and get some. The draw is tomorrow at 8am, and you can expect most of Spain to be huddled around their TVs or radios for 3 hours. It’s worth watching the draw even if you don’t have a stake… orphaned children sing out hundreds of winning numbers and prizes. Surreal.

Nice Gifts

December 21, 2009 at 8:53 am Comments (2)

The Valencian Community Gets Yet Hotter

Add to Flipboard Magazine.
Hot Valencia

Levante ran an article showing that the temperature in the Valencian Community has risen for the third decade in a row.

Average Temperature in the CV, by Decade
1970s – 14.40° C (57.92° F)
1980s – 15.16° C (59.28° F)
1990s – 15.23° C (59.41° F)
2000s – 15.52° C (59.93° F … almost to 60°. Woo!)

The current weather is unseasonably warm for Christmas (apart, of course from the polar wind that blew through this week) and November was ridiculous. T-shirts and jeans on Thanksgiving Day? No problem!

Although I’m enjoying the warmth, it’s difficult to get into a festive spirit. It doesn’t help that everyone in the world is flat broke, laid off or without clients. The city has scaled back the lights this year… even the tree in the Ayuntamiento looks like it’s crying. And does anyone else detect a strong whiff of desperation in stores’ promotional displays? Please, please shop here!! We have to feed our children.

Yeah, it’s going to be the worst Christmas ever. At least we’ll be tan.

December 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm Comments (0)

Nativity Scene in the Cathedral

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

This year’s nativity scene is up and ready to be visited in the city cathedral. The artist, Daniel José Pons, has added 30 new figures and the display is even bigger than last year’s, which is shocking. Around 6000 animal pieces join over 300 humans in this gigantic display.

At 15 meters long, and with a depth of 8 meters, this nativity scene is a must for Christmas fanatics. But be prepared for a wait and a pushy, impatient crowd — the “belén” is extremely popular. I’ve noticed that the smallest and most pious looking Spanish elderly ladies are those most likely to cut in line. Stay alert.

It’s free to visit, and will be open until January 6th. Weekday hours are from 10:00 – 13:30 and 17:00 – 20:30. Weekends & holidays are from 11:00 to 13:30, and 18:00 to 20:30.

More pictures:


Fallas in Valencia

December 18, 2009 at 5:45 pm Comments (0)

Aquarium Club

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

On Calle Salvador Sastre 16b, near Plaza de Espanya, we happened to walk by the Sociedad Acuariófila, a great aquarium store which also serves a club and get-together locale for fans of peces.


If you have an aquarium, this store has all the products you could ever need, and knowledgeable employees there to help. It’s still worth poking your head in, even if you don’t own fish. In addition to the store, there’s a bar and a gallery of interesting fish presented by members of the club — big, colorful fish which you don’t see every day. The piranhas were watching Juergen and I with hungry eyes. Honestly, it was freaky.

When we lived in Berlin, I kept an aquarium and loathed it. The cool fish were the first to die, and I was left with a horde of guppies who spent their time procreating and eating each other. Eventually, the sheer number of unwanted young prompted the tragic Guppicide of 2004. Nearly all of the babies & females met their maker at the bottom of my toilet. But this would have dire consequences on life in the tank. The horde of violent males attacked the young and constantly molested the remaining female, reducing my aquarium to a terrifying psycho-sexual horror show. I quietly prayed for their deaths while feeding my guppies, and tried my best to avoid watching them.

Anyway, don’t let my experience keep you away from the Sociedad Acuariófila. Although I’ll probably never own another aquarium, this is a neat place to spend a little time.

Sociedad Acuariófila Valenciana
Calle Salvador Sastre 16b
46007 Valencia
Phone: 96 341 34 62
Web: Sovac Pretty flashy!

Location on our Valencia Map


Real big fish in Valencia

December 17, 2009 at 5:15 pm Comment (1)

« Older PostsNewer Posts »