Springtime in Madrid is a wonderful thing. It seems that the place Madrid becomes in the dark, cold winter resembles little of what the city really is. For one to understand Madrid, there needs to be hours upon hours of sunlight, gentle breezes, just-green trees and people and music on every street.
At last the Madrid I know and love is back, and it is beautiful. I've spent the past few days walking everywhere, soaking up the sun and the atmosphere. There is nothing better than strolling around the city, looking in shop windows, smelling the fresh produce, browsing the stalls of artisan crafts and wares, and stopping to enjoy a book and a beverage in the sun. On my best days, this is all I do.
Beyond my aimless ambling around these ancient calles, I've been exploring another of my favorite things: vegan food. This past weekend I ate lunch with some friends at brand new restaurant called Crucina. It is the first 100% raw restaurant not just in Madrid, or Spain, but in all of Europe. The food was delicious and the owner was friendly and enthusiastic about the restaurant and the raw food movement. I even had a chance to tell him that I used to eat at raw food restaurants in NYC and when I referenced Pure Food and Wine he became very excited. It was a nice moment, one that made me miss the copious amounts of vegan-friendly establishments in NYC. But, Madrid is catching up! The menu at Crucina, says the owner-man, is changing all the time - so I definitely plan on returning in the near future.
What else have I been doing in this sunshine? I've shopped a bit here and there (see photo of my recent plunder) and made it a point to go to places haven't been to (like the Atocha metro station which is basically a green house) or that I don't frequent enough (like the Museo Reina Sophia). The bookstore at this museum has quite a collection of books in English, so its a nice place to spend some time casually reading. And of course, I've been cooking in this lovely weather. The springtime produce is so beautiful its hard not to want to buy everything! The other day I made a salad from a recipe I found in a magazine, Cocina Vegetariana, and tonight I steamed some baby artichokes and enjoyed them with some vegan mayonnaise (I realize this probably doesn't sound too appetizing, but don't knock it 'til you try it). But by far my favorite creation this week was Avocado Vichyssoise - a cold soup of vegetable broth, avocado, potato, lemon and seasonings. It was delicious! (I have even have witnesses!) I meant to take a photo of a bowl of it, but alas, I finished the whole batch before I managed a photo. No worries, imaginary readers, I plan on making it again and next time I will remember to document the event.
I suppose that is enough information on my springtime activities.. enjoy the weather everyone! It will be sweaty summer before you know it..