This year’s choice for Shirleyfest ends up being easy and starts out hard. I always have a running list in my head of next Shirleyfest cities. In consideration for 2023 are Tel Aviv, Auckland, Singapore, Vancouver, Hanoi and a few others. I am running down the pros and cons of each of them when a friend tosses out Toulouse. Highly intrigued, I investigate neighborhoods and apartments and surprisingly I couldn’t get any thoughtful responses. It’s a sign I say. I turned to Tel Aviv where lines in the water reveal a number of people willing to help me. Apartments seem plentiful and owners are responsive. Then several local people mention the number of holidays occurring during my month there and how that could be an impediment to a free wheeling Shirleyfest. Hmmmm.
As fate would have it, I have dinner with a friend visiting San Francisco and he tells me of the wonderful time he recently had in Madrid. Madrid! I haven’t been to Madrid for years and then it was only for a week. I start to investigate. World renowned art museums, a vibrant food scene, a transportation rail hub, enviable nightlife, ancient history……and then I come across Heminway’s love of Madrid.
Hemingway was a huge Madrid fan. The American writer spent a lot of time in Madrid. He was known to love Paris and he lived in Cuba, but Madrid was the center of his world. He adored bullfights, the nightlife in Madrid and loved spending time in Madrid’s countless cafés. He was a regular in Madrid’s oldest restaurant Sobrino de Botín(which also happens to be the oldest restaurant in the world) and in Madrid’s famous sherry bar La Venencia. He is quoted as saying, “I have never been to a city where there are fewer reasons to go to bed and if I did go to bed, to sleep.”
Ok that does it..Madrid it is. I’ll start building my own Shirleyfest book about Madrid and finding the perfect apartment, but please feel free to pass along any ideas you have for me. And of course I’ll be putting lines in the water to meet people so don’t hesitate to connect me with people you know in Madrid.
Sent from my iPhone