But first a quick thank you to many of you other expat bloggers who've helped to make the blogging about Spain feel like being part of a virtual
If I didn't mention you here, it's not because you aren't important. (Ah, the ugly underside of community: exclusion.) Many of you are now on my radar and are likely to be on my 'thank you' list next year. But the bloggers mentioned here above, through tweets or online comments, have been an integral part of my digital second self these last few months and have helped to show me what sociologists meant when they talk of the virtual "third spaces" that social networks and online tools can create for expat communities.
|Buñuelos de calabaza, Valencian blogger fuel|
The other change is only temporary. Starting next week and running up through March I'm going to be featuring Valencia. Over the long run I still intend this to be a blog about Spain, as a whole, and about rupturing the Hemingway paradigm. But let's face it, Valencia is _way underrated_, probably one of the principal victims of the Hemingway distortion effect in America. (I'm so tired of having to tell my American friends and family that Valencia is a city three hours south of Barcelona along the Mediterranean coast... and yet they always know where Pamplona is, or have visited Sevilla. Hemingway, Lorca, arggh!) What with Lonely Planet listing Valencia as a top ten destination for 2011, the cat is probably already out of the bag. But this city's moment has come and I want to do my part to make sure that Valencia matches the Barcelona miracle of the 1990s in its ascent to world renown.
|Valencia, a rising cosmopolitan city. (Seriously, few Americans visited Barcelona |
back in the 1980s, that is until the 1992 Olympics launched its profile internationally;
and Bilbao was just an industrial town until the Guggenheim conversion of the 1990s.)
But the actual motivation for the blog refocus, other than that Valencia is my home and my central point of local knowledge and authority, is that March 15th – 19th is Fallas, the biggest fiesta in
|Though outdated on a few recommendations, this website/blog continues to be |
a great first stop for information on Valencia's festivals, culture and street life.
To make this Valencia feature possible, I'll be leaning on my usual sources of local knowledge: my wife and my in-laws. But I also plan to draw from a wonderful, if momentarily dormant website created a while back by some friends of mine: Hola Valencia City Blog. While Mike and Jürgen have moved on to greener blogging pastures, it was their Hola Valencia blog that first got me interested in blogging, and is still to date, in my opinion, one of the best documentations of this city by an expat.
So with that final recommendation, I leave you with this Fallas season teaser, a video that Hola Valencia recorded of a New Year's mascletà last year...
This year's (2011) New Year mascletà was cancelled due to the crisis :-(
I encourage you to surf through the many videos posted by Hola Valencia here.