Spain staycation

You'll need a long siesta after you've experienced NYC's Spanish culture.



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  • La Nacional

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Experience Spanish culture | Get Spanish style | Eat like the Spanish

Get a taste of modern folk music when Madrilenian Rosalia Roio brings her avant-garde, guitar-based tunes to El Taller (2710 Broadway at 104th St, third floor; 212-665-9460, with a consulate-sponsored concert on Saturday 5. The 31-year-old cultural arts organization also offers an informal open-level Spanish conversation group that meets every other Friday (the next meeting is June 18 at 6pm; $10), giving you the opportunity to dissect Roio’s lyrics among amigos.

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Founded by the Spanish government in 1991, Instituto Cervantes (211 E 49th St between Second and Third Aves; 212-308-7720, is a one-stop cultural spot for language classes, free weekly screenings of modern films like Vicente Pearrocha’s political drama Arritmia (Wednesdays in June, 6pm), and a gallery of works by Picasso, Dal and Mir. Drop by the Jorge Luis Borges library to browse daily newspapers like El Pais, brush up on your conversational skills with more than 7,000 Spanish-language DVDs and videos, or crack open Don Quixote, which was written by the cultural center’s namesake, Miguel de Cervantes.

After a year of heavy-duty restoration, The Hispanic Society of America (Broadway between 155th and 156th Sts; 212-926-2234,; free) reopened last month. The center still boasts the largest assemblage of Spanish art and manuscripts outside Spain, housing masterpieces by El Greco, Goya and Ribera. “The museum has that old, early-20th-century feel,” says development and PR coordinator Mencia Figueroa. “When you walk in, you feel like you’re in the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.” Ogle Spanish classics like Francisco Goya’s The Duchess of Elba, which is the first thing you see upon entering, and don’t miss Joaquin Sorolla’s Visin de Espaa. The recently restored collection of 14 canvases depicts life-size figures in scenes from nine regions in Spain.

Public art abounds in Barcelona and New York City, but now the two traditions collide: Valencian sculptor Manolo Valds has installed 16 of his monumental bronze sculptures along Broadway, from Columbus Circle to 166th Street (they’ll be here through January 23, 2011). The 68-year-old artist’s work is characterized by abstract, humanoid forms that reference historical works by the masters. Pass the 72nd Street subway station to see Valdes’s 2006 masterpiece, Odalisca, whose plump shape is a nod to Matisse and Picasso, or catch the eight-foot-tall, 2,000-pound giant heads of Reina Mariana, inspired by Velzquez’s depictions of the queen of Spain.

Inside info

The Galician word for nostalgia, or homesickness, is morria.

Experience Spanish culture | Get Spanish style | Eat like the Spanish

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