The Museu do Azulejo in Lisbon has an amazing panorama (video) of the city painted shortly before the historic earthquake of 1755 (image, here are some sections). Azulejo is a traditional form of Portuguese painted tiles -- the "azul" does NOT come from the blue color, a fairly recent development, but from the much older Arabic word "zellige" meaning "polished stones". This panorama comes from an age before photography and provides a look at the old city in a characteristic Portuguese art form, providing a fascinating glimpse into the old city before it was virtually destroyed. [more inside]
Twenty-five years ago, in the pre-dawn of August 25, 1988, a fire started in downtown Lisbon's Carmo Street and quickly spread to Garrett Street and others, destroying a total of 18 buildings of the Chiado. Two people were killed, and 73 were injured (60 of them firemen). Between 200 and 300 people lost their homes. Several of the historical shops were lost. In terms of the extent of the city affected and number of destroyed buildings, the Chiado fire is considered the worst disaster to strike the city since the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. A rebuilding project directed by Portuguese architect Siza Vieira has, to a great extent, returned the area to its former glory. The exterior look of the buildings were restored, while the interiors have been completely renovated. [more inside]
Protests spread to Portugal. As of posting, two hundred to three hundred thousand people are currently protesting the current government in Lisbon. The majority of the complaints come from the "desperate generation", 20 to 30 year olds who, although educated, cannot find a job, while facing increasing austerity measures, amidst rumors of an Ireland style bailout. The spark that set off the protests was a youtube video of a song by the popular band Deolinda (Portugese) (myspace). [more inside]
The Digital Version Of The Nativity Story, told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon and more. [more inside]
There was a time when it seemed that groups like Frederic Galliano presents Kuduro Sound System and Buraka Som Sistema would do for kuduro what groups like Diplo and Bonde do Role did for Funk Carioca: make it popular with hipsters in the United States. But it hasn't happened yet. Why?
Feeling Wistful, Lovelorn And Sort Of Somewhere Else Where You Shouldn't Be? Be Damned And Listen To A Few Fados
You Are Cordially Invited To A Night Of Fados. It's Saturday night; you're hidden deep down in one of Lisbon's fado houses; so pour yourself another glass of thick, blood-red wine; cast your mind back to loves lost and the memory of joys that will never return; take out your most tear-absorbent handkerchief and prepare to indulge in the most melancholy, poetical and maudlin of all urban songs: Lisbon's Fado... [More inside.]