Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm back, staring at my computer screen again. My Flamenco Festival weekend in NYC was great. Need some vicarious thrills -- or calories? Read on…
Note: This isn't NYC. I took some of today's photos in Spain when I was there in 2006 for the Flamenco Biennial. This ceramic embellished building tower was in Seville. I've provided photo info, so you won't get lost.

FRIDAY'S AGENDA: Today, Dan and I worked on revising our bios and putting together a few paragraphs of tantalizing text describing our Cozy Waterside Cottages book.

Our editor at Gibbs Smith needs to submit copy for their Spring 2009 catalog before she goes on maternity leave in March. We also spent some time researching a future project.
(El Alcazar, Seville, Spain)

Our research took us to Smith Street, one of Brooklyn's tragically hip shopping destinations. Home & Haven and Environment337 are two chic home boutiques that are must sees.
(Home & Haven)

We also stopped into one of my favorite Boerum Hill haunts, Ohio Knitting Mills.
The shop’s story is unique. Several years ago, sculptor Steven Tatar was searching for scrap metal near his Cleveland studio and came across an abandoned factory.

Inside, he discovered thousands of never sold sweaters, capes, vests, and other knit goods. He acquired the rights to sell the Ohio Knitting Mills items and opened his novel shop.
Brand new, yet vintage, all of the shop's knits were produced from 1947 through 1974 when the mill was shuttered.

We also checked out several of the antique and salvage shops on Atlantic Avenue. In the early 80s, when I lived on Atlantic Avenue, there were dozens of shops and bargains to be had.

Now, the number of shops has shrunk and the price tags have skyrocketed. Looking to blow the budget? Try City Foundry (and City Foundry Annex) for an intriguing assortment of quirky salvage and vintage wares. One of their scrap metal robots would make a great conversation piece.
(Cordoba, Spain)

CHOW DOWN: Lunch (party of 2): Brawta, my favorite Jamaican restaurant. Since I was going to be having an early dinner, I ordered the "available all day" breakfast special, ackee and salt cod.
Dinner (party of 2): Molyvos, a Greek restaurant around the corner from City Center. Assorted spreads, salad, and grilled fish with wild greens and lentils.
Terrific tidbits catered by Solera.

FLAMENCO: Tonight my friend Linda and I attended the World Music Institute’s 8th annual Flamenco Festival Gala at City Center. (I’ve missed only one of the eight galas due to a severe flu.)

City Center resembles a mosque with neo-Moorish architecture and decorations. It was built in 1923 as a meeting hall for the members of the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and later converted into a concert hall.
It was great catching up with dozens of music world friends, sipping Spanish wines and nibbling on tapas.
Before the show, there were free flamenco lessons and Marisa (above) shows off her moves.

This year, the show was titled Mujeres (Women). It showcased three dancers, Rocio Molina (below, who stole the show), Belen Maya (who in the show must go on tradition danced with a sprained ankle), and Merche Esmeralda (one of Flamenco’s grande dames) plus Diana Navarro, an outstanding singer.The show was extraordinary. Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times agreed with me. In her review of the performance she said, “the core of [Rocio’s] solo was a sustained build-up that was spellbinding, a term I resolutely stayed away from for three decades.”
(Robert and Helene, Cordoba, Spain)

SWEET DREAMS: I spent the night, or what was left of it at a friends’ apt in Brooklyn Heights. (Full Disclosure: my friends, Robert and Helene Browning, are the executive director and publicity director of The World Music Institute.)

(Courtyard, Cordoba, Spain)

SATURDAY’S AGENDA: My hosts and I shopped at several Middle Eastern groceries, bakeries and record shops. I stocked up on some hard-to-find ingredients and a reissue of an old Arabic CD.

(Seville, Spain)

CHOW DOWN: Lunch (party of 3): Assorted Middle Eastern salads, fresh baked pita bread with string cheese and a spinach potato pie.
(party of 8): Azucar/Guantanamera, about 2 blocks from City Center. Shared appetizers (including calamari, chorizos and seviche) and Cazuela Marinera (seafood casserole)
(Cordoba, Spain)

Tonight, our group of six fans of Spanish dance headed to City Center to see Eva Yerbabuena’s Santo y Sena (Signs and Wonders), another performance in Flamenco Festival 2008.

Several years ago at The Festival, Eva’s flamenco ballet 5 Mujeres 5 wowed me. This time I was disappointed. Que lastima (What a pity!)

(Cordoba, Spain)
To Be Continued...

MYSTERY PROJECT UPDATE: The latest new creative team has requested a substantial reorganization of the existing material. "Cut and Paste" makes moving around text blocks easy but unfortunately, it doesn’t magically provide flawless transition paragraphs. That is my problem!


Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

It sounds like so much fun! The great food, shopping (loved the Ohio Knitting Mills picture) and Flamenco Dancing!

Those pictures of Spain are amazing Barbara. I am looking forward to the continued story.

Alison Gibbs said...

Wow Barbara. What a fabulous time you have been having.
Love the photos from Spain.
What a great find by Steven Tatar - New Vintage!!
Lots of yummy food and great dancing to be seen.
Thanks for sharing it with us.

Natasha Burns said...

Wow Barbara! Looks like and sounds like you had a fabulous time. I would love to see the Flamenco Festival.
All the different food you ate sounds delicious! I think you would love Melbourne, the food is great and it sounds like we are a teeny tiny version of NYC.

Antique Paperie said...

Gorgeous photos, Interesting text, love reading about the Ohio Knitting Mills, and it sounds to me as if you had a fabulous time babe!
Lucky, Lucky girl! I mean Gypsy.
I tried dancing a Flamenco once.
And, it was only once. I almost threw my hip out. ha! (try bellydancing, it will knock you out) Totally not a good dancer, but boy do I enjoy watching it. I was mesmerized by the Spanish Greenery and Blue & White Vase/Urn photo - such depth, multi-faceted and I think that is my fave photo to date. Your such fun! xo Sherri

PAT said...

Beautiful images and your descriptions make me feel like I was right there with you!

Great post, Barbara!


The Desperate Diva said...

You always have the BEST FUN...:)
And see the most amazing sites.
And find the most talented people..
I LOVED the knitting mill. What treasures. Can't wait to see more.
Happy Blogging,

Lisa said...

Great pictures. Looks like so much fun. I've read about that Ohio Knitting Mill before. I'd love to pop in there one day.

Collecting said...

Enjoyed your posting today! I was taken back in time with the Ohio Knitting Mills vintage knit shop. Love the Spain photos too! To Be Continued will keep me coming back...
thanks for sharing,

Marcela said...

Hello Barbara
I'm back. Thank you for stopping by my blog.
You pictures are amazing !!!

A Romantic Porch said...

Your pictures are so beautiful. It looks like a fun time! xoRachel

Jenn and Jacqui said...

Hi Barbara, what a fantastic time you are having!! My goodenss, ALL of your photos are truly amazing....Spain looks fantastic through your eyes :) Great post Barbara, thanks so much for sharing :) Jenn and Jacqui

Shabbyfufu said...

Great post Barbara, keep 'em coming! XO~ Janet

NeereAnDear said...

Barbara a fantastic post... I loved the architecture and the mosaics in your pictures of Spain...

The food and flamenco dancing adds another dimension to it all... You made me very hungry ...

And the stores in New York.. Love them

Thanks for a great post..



FrenchGardenHouse said...

Stunning post, Barbara! Makes me want to return to Spain for the colors, the architecture, the people, dancing and okay, the Food!

:) so glad you get to play, too.
xo Lidy

Brook said...

OMG you are back and how very exciting that all looks!!! It looks like you had loads of fun!!!
Your posts are always fabulous just like your writing!!! Thank you for sharing with us Barbara.

Susie Q said...

Such glorious photos Barbara! How I would love to see Spain some day.
And what a fantastic time you had in NY! I love the idea of flamenco dance lessons!

Thank you for taking us along for the ride...I loved it!


Siobhan said...

Hi Barbara, What a fantastic t ime you had! The Flamenco dancing looks fantastic and the pics are wonderful!!! Thankyou for sharing with us.

Siobhan xo

Jen r. said...

Wow, what a very cool time... That sweater factory is awesome. It sounds like a great time. Thanks for sharing it with us!
Jen R

Melissa Lewis said...

This was my first time to visit your blog, and boy am I glad I did. I have been in need of a vacation, and all of your pictures and your story just made me feel like I was right there.

Can't wait for more stories:)

Seeb said...

Your pictures let me fell I have seen Spain,similar to middle east!
look great,thanks for sharing