Although not many people know it (not even many people from Madrid), the Community of Madrid has what is perhaps one of the least patriotic hymns in the world. Written at the beginning of the 1980s by the grammarian, poet and playwright Agustín García Calvo commissioned by Joaquín Leguina, at that time a socialist, the idea shines through, expressed with not a little sarcasm by the brilliant author, that, being of recent creation, Madrid is really anyone’s: “And I am everyone and nobody, /political dream./ And that is my desire, /that for a reason it is said: /’from Madrid to heaven’”.
Thus, in the eyes of García Calvo, more than Spain within Spain, Madrid is something like a world within a city, a place in which to get lost regardless of whether you have much or little money. 40 years have passed since then and the capital has changed a lot since then. Even so, if you search with enough patience, it is possible to find plans that allow you to visit its hotels, shops and theaters without having to break the domestic economy. In this way, as a gesture of indeterminate self-determination, here are three activities that demonstrate that, in everyone’s city, the only sin is not to be seduced by it. Remember the hymn: “Long live my owner, / that just for being something / I am from Madrid!”.
An exhibition on Madrid by adopted Madrid residents
The Hotel Emperador, at 53 Gran Vía street, has turned its lobby into an art gallery, where you can enjoy different temporary exhibitions throughout the year. This month it was the turn of The Madrilenera collective artistic project that aims to immortalize the lifestyle of Madrid, with the aim of bringing art closer to people, but above all to its city with images as common as the terrace, its parks and the cats that roam the roofs of the city.
The different prints on display in the lobby can be purchased: each costs about 50 euros and can be collected. “Each illustration tells a story of Madrid, its people and their lifestyle, and fits perfectly into a creative puzzle,” they explain from the organization.
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Each artist has been commissioned to present their vision of the city through the cover of an imaginary magazine: The Madrider. “The idea is to revive the imaginary of life as if it were an iconic cover of a magazine”, explains the press officer of the Emperador Hotel.
After viewing the lobby exhibit, the experience can be completed by enjoying the terrace of a hotel that has one of the best views of the Gran Vía, Gin and tonic in hand: one of the best plans for lovers of the Spanish capital. Each costs 12 euros, and the terrace is open to the public from Thursday to Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and on Sundays from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
An afternoon making your own lamps
In Madrid, to do, you can do almost anything. In the city of leisure, even buying a lamp can be a fun experience. in a store called Lucioléa few meters from the Alonso Martínez station, you can find the most cool and entertaining way to light up every room in the home. The place is lit with lights and lamps of all colors, and on each wall there are thousands of tools and options for each client to make their own lamp.
First you choose the screen: metallic, fabric or glass, and then you have to choose among the more than 70 colors of cables they have. Lastly, the support. The combinations are endless, and the price can also be stretched or shortened depending on what you want: you can buy a lamp for 10 euros or go for 200. “We have always tried to make our lamps accessible to everyone”, explains one of the owners of the place, Elena Somoza.
The experience is completely sensory. In the establishment, unlike what happens in all the decoration stores in the neighborhood, you can touch everything. Turning all types of lights on and off and touching all the materials until the client finds the perfect combination to assemble their lamp. “People can spend hours here. The lighting of a space can make the difference whether or not to enter a restaurant, for example”, affirms Somoza.
Somoza and his partner Jaime Legido opened the store seven years ago and have reinvented the way of selling lamps in Madrid. Now, thanks to social networks, many people are getting to know them not as a decoration store but as another experience to do in the city.
A dinner in an old Madrid theater
A few steps from Puerta del Sol, El Albéniz has been inaugurated at the UMusic Hotel, at number 11, Calle de la Paz. It is a restaurant that seeks to pay a gastronomic tribute to the historic theater located inside.
In its menu, you can find some modernized nods to Madrid dishes. The “Madrileña-style rolls” stand out, some tripe in a spring roll version served with spicy tomato sauce, and the wind fritters, the classic autumn dessert, but this time filled with cheesecake cream and fruit stew reds.
In charge of the kitchen is Alejandro Moreno, the executive chef of UMusic Hotel Madrid. Moreno studied at the Escuela Superior de Hotelería y Turismo de Madrid and learned in projects such as Platea, ME by Meliá and NKO.
The plan can be completed with a concert in a hotel that, for example, will host the cycle of 20 concerts celebrating the XX Anniversary of David Bisbal and a night in one of its rooms.
But not all music ends with the former contestant of Operación Triunfo. The business, jointly created by Universal Music Group and Dakia Entertainment Hospitality Group, seeks to create experiences based on music from around the world. His idea is that fans and artists can live together in a five-star hotel in a historic building in the center of Madrid.
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