Still Breathing, 2.0: A Mid-Year Recap…

Surpriiiiiiiise–I’m actually still alive!!…But, I actually have a good excuse for being M.I.A.: Between weeks of suffering with no Wi-Fi in my house, over 2 weeks of Christmas vacation, and just living life in general, I haven’t really paid much thought into updating this thing…But, don’t worry–I’ll try to fill you in on what’s been going on in my life these past several months…

Turning 23 In Style

On November 21, I went to a party that celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Las Morenas De España, the lifestyle/travel blog dedicated to black women living, working, and/or traveling in Spain (and for which I wrote a few articles)…Coincidentally, when the clock stuck midnight, I officially marked 23 years of life on this Earth–and, even though the party was not held in my honor, it was really sweet having all the other girls singing Stevie Wonder’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” to me…Not to mention, we SLAYED with that all-white theme (#BlackGirlMagic)!!…

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Betty Is A[n Indie] Punk Rocker: Sala Potemkim…

So last night, I had what’ll probably go down as the BEST night I’ve had in Salamanca–and all because I went to this place:

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Sala Potemkin!!!!…

But what makes Potemkin so special???…It’s a nice little dive bar where there’s live performances of alternative music–punk, indie, folk, blues rock, metal, you name it…I found out about it a few weeks before coming to Salamanca when I read a description of it in Lonely Planet: Spain–and for a weird indie girl like me who LOVES alt. music and subcultures, this sounded like the dopest place in townt!!…Plus, I’d never been to an intimate live show in a club before, and I’d always wanted to–therefore, I was determined to go to this place!!… Continue reading

Glorious Granada (Part 1)…

The third major city in our viaje is Granada, a very bustling (and touristy) city filled with sights and sounds…

In the 11th century, Granada was the capital of the reino zirí, one of the independent Islamic kingdoms that formed when the Califato (Caliphate) of Córdoba started to disintigrate…From the 13th-15th century, it was the capital of the reino nazarí, the time in which the Alhambra (which I’ll talk about in a bit) was built–and, the last reino of Al-Andalus…

Emirato de Córdoba

…Al-Andalus at its peak (when Córdoba was its capital)…

Grandada

…Grandada, the last kingdom standing…

In 1492, after many years of resistance of resistance, Granada was finally overcome by the Christian forces…Thankfully, as was the case with the Mezquita, the Alhambra was not destroyed after the city was conquered, given its artistic merit…

The Alhambra is a sort of city-palace–that’s to say, it’s a conjunction of various palaces, patios, and neighborhoods where the royal court resided…It’s name derives from the Arabic Al Qalá al-hambra, which means “red fortress”–a reference to the color of the the stone it was constructed with…

As you can see from these photos, the Alhambra has two key characteristics of Islamic architecture: a mixture of nature and architecture (e.g. the many luscious plants, the fountains with water directly from the Sierra Nevada [a nearby mountain]) and intricate decoration using simple elements (plaster and ceramic)…

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