Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I spent the last week traveling in Spain, so there'll be regular updates through the next month and beyond. Kicked things off in Bilbao covering a friend's speaking engagement, sponsored by the Colegio de Opticos-Optometristas.
It's an understatement to call the modern city of Bilbao a feat of civic engineering: only fifteen or twenty years ago it was a small shipping metropolis, but the entirety of its industry has been relocated north toward the harbor, and the city center has been revitalized with hotels, restaurants, parks, and, of course, Frank Gehry's masterpiece: the Guggenheim-Bilbao. I only had time to view Richard Serra's epic iron installation, The Matter of Time, but what a pleasure it was. Next time I'll be bringing the camera into the gallery to shoot portraits. The Basque Country itself is a real pleasure: All the art, friendliness and good living of general Spanish character, but with an industriousness that rivals Germany. And, of course, the food: I was introduced to a style of steak, de piedra, that's served thick-cut and rare on an overheated stone; you carve small slices off and grill them lightly on the stone before dining. We must bring this to America immediately.