Acquiring a work of art from the Guggenheim Museum in New York

August 30th my wife and I acquired another work of art for our collection.

In this case we chose Colombian contemporary artist Carlos Motta: “Brief history of US Interventions in Latin America since 1946, 2005/14″ (Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2014.39).

It is part of a series produced by Carlos Motta between 2005 and 2009 that present two chronologies of events in Latin America: one of U.S. interventions in the region since 1946, and one of the area’s leftist guerrilla movements. One side of the print outlines the interventions’ interconnected narratives in text; the other depicts two bloody handprints and the symbol of the Mano Blanca death squads from the 1980s El Salvador.

Canceling a trip to India due to bureaucracy… I’m going to Tokyo

The absurdly convoluted visa policies of India, and the absurdly privatized process of obtaining it, have made me cancel a trip that was supposed to be a routine work day in Kalkata. It’s amazing that in the XXI century bureaucracy affects so many countries so much, and toy with people’s lives via ridiculous laws.

The official information handled by my travel agency, one of the largest in the world, says that if I spend less than 24 hours in India I do not need visa. But the Indian government says I do. However, an officer of the consulate said that, even if they allowed me in the country, they probably would not have let me out of the airport, but he did not know for sure. Furthermore, although a transit visa and emergency visa exist, the first one takes 5 days to obtain since the documents reach the consulate, but there are exceptional circumstances (as in my case: Spaniard requesting a visa from the United States), in which case it may take (much) longer. And while traveling in fewer days than necessary for the visa processing, the emergency visa did not apply because it only applies to Indian citizens who live within a certain distance from the embassy and have had a death in the family. Motherf$%”# … So much for “quick business trips”.

But every cloud has a silver lining, so on the way to Singapore I will spend four days enjoying my favorite city in the world: Tokyo.

^ _ ^

Graffiti show at 21 Precinct, New York

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On August 24th we were invited to the graffiti show at 21 Precinct.

The show ironically took place in the old 21st police Precinct (327 East 22nd Street) which, from 1863 and for 50 years was notorious for corruption and brutality in a [formerly]seedy part of town.

Curated by Robert Aloia & VNA Mag, it featured Adam Dare, Al Diaz, Amanda Marie, ASVP, Bad Pedestrian, Ben Angotti , Bill Claps, Bishop203, Bunny M., Cash4, Chris RWK, Chris Soria, Coby Kennedy, Curtis Kulig, D. Gaja, Danielle Mastrion, Dasic, Dizmology, Duel, ELLE, Erasmo, Esteban del Valle, Faust, Ghost, GIZ, Hellbent, Hue, Icy & Sot, Iena Cruz, Jesper Haynes, Justin Carty, Ket, Lexi Bella, Li-Hall, Lorenzo Masnah, Matt Siren, Mr. Toll, N. Carlos Jay, Nepo, Nick Tengri, Pesu, Phil, Pixote, RAE, Rambo, Ricardo Cabret, SAE, Savior Elmundo, Shery-o & The Yok, Shiro, Tone Tank, URNY, Vexta, X-O.

Pure delight.

Cicerone in New York

These past 10 days I have been acting as a Cicerone for my sister and her partner. We really enjoyed having them in our Chelsea apartment. It was also a great opportunity to see NY from the eyes of a tourist again, which I sometimes fail to do since I have been living here for 3 years now.

There are a ton of anecdotes and discoveries behind these pictures, but you have to come to New York to experience them ;-)

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Atlanta and Houston in mid August

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Back in New York the first thing I did was… leave again. A quick business trip to Atlanta followed back to back by a trip to Houston.

Both trips and meetings went well, and the team of professionals in those meetings were, dare I say, the top in their respective fields in the world. It was a work-related pleasure.

But the one thing I will remember the most from those trips, even more than the delicious upscale Hugo’s Mexican restaurant in Houston, will be the black swans I met at the very nice Omni Houston Hotel.

Surprising Poblet restaurant in Valencia

I admit it, there are still great restaurants in Valencia that I have not tried yet. But I am on a mission to change that.

While Samsha remains my all-time favorite despite its location, before we flew back to New York we tried the Michelin Guide starred Poblet restaurant.

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I shouldn’t be surprised, since I ate at Quique Dacosta’s El Poblet in Denia a few years ago and knew he was onto something. And while it does not reach the level of inventiveness and fun Samsha reaches (with a fraction of the cost), it is definitely worth the steep price.

Saying bye to the summer in Valencia

The last week of July and first two weeks of August my wife and I were in Valencia with the kids. What a wonderful summer!

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Seeing my son brave the waves to slide into the Mediterranean sea from a high boat slide, my daughter ride her horse into the sunset, or enjoying movies on a big screen in our terrace overlooking the sea and the city, were memories that I will cherish forever. Thank you for all the love <3

3 days in Barcelona in July

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After the cruise my wife and I took our American relatives to Barcelona for 3 days. Nothing new for me there except the Sagrada Familia (yes, it’s true: after countless trips to Barcelona, I had never visited the amazing architectural wonder), although there are some things I can never get tired of, like Gaudi’s architecture, or Picasso’s museum.

Staying at the convenient and elegant Hotel España, next to the Liceu, was a great idea, made even better by their Martín Berasategui’s restaurant Fonda. Great food, great art, wonderful Barcelona as always.

Family Mediterranean Cruise Day 6: Palma de Mallorca

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The day at Palma was very nice. We strolled through town, enjoying the Cathedral’s altars (by Gaudi and Barceló), the typical architecture, tried some sobrasada, bought some ensaimada, and went back to the ship feeling at home. After all, I spent many summers in nearby Ibiza and visited Mallorca many times.