Esteban Navarro knows what it means to love a country.
A taste of "Yo Soy Español"
I'm off to Spain today, with my whole family. It's a somewhat regular trip for us, now that my in-laws have moved to Sevilla. We fly in and out through Madrid — an underrated European city, if you ask me — and leave plenty of time for bouncing through its museums and neighborhoods.
The last time we got there, we dragged ourselves into the first restaurant that looked all right. In the plaza outside, people in full costume were re-enacting the Inquisition or something. Our son, Nathaniel, was five and scared by it all. The Casa Alberto opened its arms, receiving us with sardines and olives and red wine you could use to patch a shoe.
It turns out Casa Alberto is about as Spanish as you can get. Cervantes lived upstairs while he wrote Don Quixote. And on that particular night, in strolled a musician named Esteban Navarro, who played a song called "Yo Soy Español." I'm not. We're not. But we bought his CD. Think of us tomorrow, midday Stateside. Gods willing, we'll be sliding into the corner table at Casa Alberto and hoping Esteban Navarro comes strumming around.
Bonus: The story of Casa Alberto, as translated by Babel Fish