Valencia Map
Site Index
Our Apartment
For 91 Days

Murder in the Cine Oriente

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Back in 1950’s Ruzafa, a gruesome crime took place which has become known as the Murder of the Cine Oriente. The cinema on Calle Sueca no longer exists, but it captured the headlines of Valencia for an entire summer.

Photo credit: missmass

For days, the patrons of the cinema had been complaining about a terrible odor. The owner explained it as dead rats, owing to the poison he’d recently spread around. But the stench was truly atrocious and didn’t go away, even after the rat cadavers where cleaned up.

Meanwhile, a bag had been found at the nearby train tracks, holding the extremities of an adult human. The legs and arms were cleanly shaven, with freshly painted nails. Shocking, but not nearly as horrific as the decapitated, armless and legless body that soon appeared locked in trunk, in an empty lot on Calle Sueca.

With these discoveries, the rancid odor at the Cine Oriente took on a more ominous tinge. Despite thorough searches of the premises, the police could find nothing. They began interrogating the cinema’s employees… but the janitor was strangely nowhere to be found. He lived with his mistress, María López, who explained that urgent business had called him away to Barcelona. Her story, though, seemed a little suspect. The janitor may have been a useless drunk, but at least would have informed his boss about a sudden departure.

A more thorough search of the cinema was immediately undertaken and finally, battling through the overwhelming stink, behind the cinema screen inside a box of cookies filled with dirt and manure, they found the partly decomposed head of the janitor.

María López confessed immediately. The janitor had been drunk, and they had been fighting when he fell backwards down the stairs and smacked his head on the ground, dying immediately. Panicked, she decided to chop up his body and hide the pieces, using a handsaw and knives. She painted the nails and shaved the limbs to confuse police. After her original hiding place inside the cinema began to stink and draw suspicion, she started removing the pieces one by one to various locations, but ran out of time before she got to the head.

A good story, but a little difficult to believe in its entirety… there was no contusion in the back of the janitor’s skull, nor did this version explain the crowbar stained with blood and hair, which was found in her apartment.

María López would serve 6 years for homicide, and another 5 months for the mutilation of the corpse.

Move Recommendation Search Engine

July 6, 2010 at 11:41 am Comments (0)

Fallas 2010: Cuba-Literato Azorín – 10th Place

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Alright, 10th place isn’t the greatest finish ever for the Fallas commission of Cuba-Literato Azorín, but they did emerge from the festival with the victory they were really hoping for — the prize for best Street Lights.


Filmed with the Sanyo VPC – CS 1 (super tiny) available here: USA, UK, Deutschland and Spain

In the dark blue glow of their beautiful lights, the monument almost seemed to be an afterthought… “The Family Skala” was a portrayal of a bourgeoisie family in Victorian England. An old man stood atop a spiral staircase, who could have been Watson, and other characters and scenes from the period littered the scene.

Our favorite ninot was of Jack the Ripper knocking on a door, with his blade hidden behind his back. But otherwise, this monument was just not as well done as a lot of others, and seriously suffered by its proximity to Sueca’s wonderful ode to the nations of the world.


For hostel/hotel bookings during Fallas, we’ve found the best rates at Hostelbookers, and Apartments in Valencia

, , , , , , ,
April 23, 2010 at 8:57 am Comments (0)

The Ubik Café & The Tapa del Libro

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

If you’re not familiar with the Ubik Café in Ruzafa, then you’re missing out on one of the coolest hangouts in the city.

The Ubik is more than just a bar or café… it’s also an incredible used & new book store, with a great selection of titles; mostly Spanish, though there are a few English boxes. The prices are great, especially on old, beat-up books, and the vibe in the café is unbeatable. Dogs run around freely, there’s an area for kids to play, and everyone seems chilled and probably a little bit cooler than you are. I recently picked up an old Agatha Christie for €1,50, ordered an Alhambra, and spent a couple hours on an old couch.

In celebration of the Feria del Libro currently going in the Turia Riverbed, the Ubik is holding a little fiesta of its own on Friday evening: The Tapa del Libro. For €3, you get a used book, a tapa, and a glass of wine. Not bad!!

The Ubik is popular anyway, and it’s almost impossible to find a spot to sit on Friday nights. So, I’m assuming that it’s going to be packed full for the Tapa del Libro. But for a deal like that, I’m willing to submit myself to a crowd. Besides, I’m already done with that Agatha Christie book. Maybe I can find an old Sherlock Holmes…

Tapa del Libro at Ubik
Friday, April 23rd at 8pm
C/ Literato Azorín 13
Location on our Valencia Map
963 741 255

Used books for 1 Euro, 1 Pound or one dollar!

, , , , ,
April 21, 2010 at 11:43 am Comments (4)

Fallas 2010: Sueca – 4th Place

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

A large Valencian man sleeps on the ground, dreaming of the world, in the monument of Sueca-Literato Azorín, titled “Planet Fallas”. Around and on top of him, we find characters from Scotland, the US, Mexico, Japan, India and other countries.


Filmed with the Sanyo VPC – CS 1 (super tiny) available here: USA, UK, Deutschland and Spain

This was a really fun monument; the portrayal of different cultures always provides a lot of opportunity for clever humor (and some good ‘ole Fallas-style racism). We saw a mutli-cutural paella competition, Nadal vs. Federer with an old Fallera judge, and various world leaders. There was a lot to look at.

This was the first monument my parents saw, and they loved it. For the commission, it marked a major improvement on their 9th place 2009 finish.


For hostel/hotel bookings during Fallas, we’ve found the best rates at Hostelbookers, and Apartments in Valencia

, , , , , , , , , , ,
April 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm Comments (2)

Fallas 2010: Miniature Street Mascletàs

Add to Flipboard Magazine.


Right after the last official mascletà of Fallas, a lot of commissions shoot off their own street mascletàs. While we sat down to lunch, the rhythmic, explosive sounds in the background accompanied our meal, like strange & special dinner music!

The great people from Freaky Pyromaniacs went around town and filmed a couple miniature mascletàs:

Do you want to attend a street mascletà? Well, make sure to read these tips first!

Here are some more street Mascletà aftermath pictures:



Youth Hostel Ruzafa

, , , , , ,
March 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm Comments (0)

« Older Posts