Madrid Street Art Old And New

Madrid, street art, Madrid street art
Madrid is filled with art. From world-famous museums to cutting-edge indie galleries, this city has it all.

You don’t have to go to a museum or gallery to see art, though. The streets are filled with it. This photo shows a mural at the intersection of Calle de San Andrés and Calle de Espiritu Santo, just south of the popular Plaza Dos de Mayo. The mural stretches across an entire building and is slowly being defaced by taggers. That charming sentiment about the police wasn’t part of the original design.

There seems to be a war going on between the muralists and the taggers. This mural replaced an earlier one that graced the building for several years until some idiot spray-painted a blue line across its entire length. The muralists haven’t given up, though, and their work can be found on buildings and the shutters of shops. They’re often paid by shop owners to put something on the shutters to attract attention to their business even when it’s closed.

Madrid has a long tradition of decorated shops. Some of the older businesses in town have painted tiles, either in abstract designs inspired by Arab art or showing pictures related to the business. These, too, are being defaced by taggers. Unlike the murals, the older decorations are generally not being replaced.

Not all Spanish taggers deface other people’s art. Some respect an existing work and find another place to put their tags. Not surprisingly, their tags tend to be more artistic and show creativity and thought.

Check out the gallery for some Madrid street art spanning from a century ago and last month. For more images, check out the excellent blog Madrid Street Art.

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Nio – using the power of Bluetooth to protect your belongings

On a weekly basis I probably read about 100 new product announcements, but every now and then I run into something that grabs my attention. Nio is such a product.

Nio is a Bluetooth enabled, motion sensing alarm tag.

The device attaches to your belongings, and when combined with the included software, can trigger an alarm if it moves outside a predetermined radius (up to 20 meters).

The Nio tag has an internal rechargeable battery capable of powering the device for several weeks.

To use the tag, you simply install the Nio software on your mobile device, versions are available for most Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices as well as most phones that can run Java applications.

Once installed, your phone will be in constant contact with the tag, and an audible alert will sound on your phone and on the tag if it moves out of range.

The software is pretty smart – you can setup specific times of day you want to enable (or disable) the alarm, which is perfect if you only want protection during your commute. In addition to this, the software can keep track of multiple tags, and can activate a “find me” function on the tag – which is a heck of a lot more advanced than those old “whistle to find” key tags.

Nio should start shipping in April, no price has been released yet but I’ll be sure to bring you a full review of the product as soon as it become available.

Travelchic.com brings you some chic and some ridiculous accessories

Orange Synthetic Leather Luggage Tag and Reversible Orange Faux Fur/Orange Synthetic Leather Handle Wrap with Travel Chic Airplane Keychain Set, $26.99Travelchic.com makes unusual luggage tags, handle wraps, tassels, and key chains, all desgined to make your luggage stand out on the carousel and to show your unique style and flair.

My verdict? Hit or miss. Some of these items are totally hot, and some of them are absolutely ridiculous. If I were chatting you up on the airplane and then saw you claim a bag with a giant furry handle-wrap on it? I would judge you. I’m just that shallow.

The Orange Synthetic Leather Luggage Tag and Reversible Orange Faux Fur/Orange Synthetic Leather Handle Wrap with Travel Chic Airplane Keychain Set for $26.99 (at right) is reasonably priced insanity. ‘A’ for effort, ‘F’ for execution.

Affort Fexecution.

The kids’ collection is cute, though I wonder how long those puppy and monkey faces last with the wear and tear of travel, and of course, the sticky hands of the little ones.

I don’t mean to be mean. Below, witness the gallery of five totally awesome items from Travelchic.com. They really do make some nice stuff at great prices!
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