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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Walking around Sevilla....."Life must be lived as play" - Plato

So, I must write about these photos now. As I have been reviewing and selecting them, I am reminded of what it felt like to be there. Sevilla to me was the most sensuous city I visited; everywhere you looked there was beauty - old and new; the food I ate there was the best - fresh and complex, yet simple; Sevilla was preparing, practicing for upcoming festivals that would last for 3 of the 4 weeks of June - the music, the dancing, and general energy emanating around the city; Parties lasted past 4am (this town never slept & was loud about it!); and visually the constrasts of old and new were exciting and stimulating.

The photo above is my favorite meal of my trip - Grilled cheese on top of a thinly sliced 'candied' apple, the strawberries covered in honey & balsalmic vinegear and the lettuce sprinkled with salt. So simple, but the taste and textures were amazing. A perfect embodiment of Sevilla - I had it for lunch both days I was there!

At lunch: View (up) from my table between the umbrellas.

Another thing the Spanish do incredibly well every place I visited was DETAILS! Modern, clean and elegant. And care was taken to keep them looking good. This shop was near Seville's cathedral where there is a new pedestrian thoroughfare (Avenida de la Constitucion). There are no curbs on the street - the sidewalk is level with the shop entrances creating a very open/expansive space.

I was in Seville the 3rd week of May and they were just starting to install the shades between the buildings that would cover the crooked outdoor streets for the summer. This is done to alleviate the heat and go up throughout the residential/commercial areas of the old Jewish Quarter where the streets are narrow (the barrio de santa cruz).



The pedestrian street, Avenida de la Constitucion, with the new tram that is so quiet it seemed to float down the street....In 2007, the main boulevards eliminated the congested noisy traffic that cut the city in two.

I found the design of the ground fascinating - the sidewalk is differentiated from the street by only a set of round discs in the ground. Pedestrians could more or less ignore them, but the occasional car stayed within them. It also makes it extremely bike and handicapp accessible since there are no curbs to deal with....anywhere!

This was a clever way to integrate a newer building with the old ones - black and white photos the size of windows are placed on the facade instead of windows. It did not grab my attention the first time I saw it and fit the sensibility of that area of Sevilla.

Ahhh, my favorite part...an extremely modern display of contemporary photos lined the sidewalk of Avenida de la Constitucion, from the cathedral to the park.


The contrast between the historic Sevilla Catedral and the elegant and modern public photography exhibit had me buzzing...


heading towards the park...



Throughout Andalucia, the custom is to leave the front door open so that people passing by can enjoy the view into the central courtyard....

The trees lining the sidewalks create a pleasant place to stroll or eat a meal, but also define the spaces of the business at ground level and the residences above, at the same time creating the space between the buildings and the street. In Spain almost everyone has a balcony and it is highly valued. A wonderful place to sit and have a drink and watch what is happening down below.

the old jewish quarter with the narrow streets & wonderful shade.

The underside of the balconies had a beautiful tile that could be seen from below



View from the balcony of my hotel room. This religous parade was practice for the real thing the next week. The band was up ahead and the kids were in back dressed in costumes and trying to carefully carry the displays.

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