¿Qué pasa en Cádiz? What’s happening in Cádiz?
There is so much that we have long loved about Cádiz but there have always been aspects missing. If only, “Ojalá”, there was this or that… it has often felt that Cádiz has been devoid of “actividades culturales”, cultural activities and that what was on offer was slightly old-fashioned and pretty far from the cutting edge of anything.
Suddenly, “de repente”, the wind has changed and there are events everywhere of all types, shapes and sizes, there are new progressive businesses and associations and there are some amazing food experiences to be had. The landscape seems to have shifted and Cádiz seems to have woken up from a long slumber. Some people think the recent change of the municipal government “el ayuntamiento” from the Partido Popular to the new political party Podemos has shifted attitudes and sensibilities or maybe it was coming anyway.
Music. In recent years there has been something for everyone; the jazz festival mixing the trad and the avant-garde, free concerts by the world famous Goran Bregovic and local groups in the Plaza de la Catedral, Cathedral Square, classical concerts organized by Asociación Qultura, the ska sounds of The Skatelites in El Baluarte, a series of concerts featuring local female vocalists outside the ECCO art gallery. I could go on and on. Cádiz has been swaying, moving and, dare I say it, grooving to a new beat.
Progressive thinking can be seen in the heart of influence these days as Plan C: A new plan for Cádiz is gaining attention and putting in place ideas around citizenship and collective action. There are social enterprises springing up throughout the city and the green shoots, “brotes verde” are beginning to emerge. Should we feel more positive about the economic climate? It depends who I speak to and it depends on the “gremio”, the sector, but things feel a little more positive.
And there’s art everywhere. Markets for local artists in Plaza Mina, sculptures of Henry Moore in Plaza San Juan de Dios. Galleries like the contemporary ECCO and the wonderful use of Castillos Santa Catalina and San Sebastian as venues for exhibitions has been inspired.
And food? This is proving to be something of a revelation; Cádiz has always had fabulous food but now there is a hitherto unheard of variety of influences and directions. Alongside “los de siempre, de todo la vida”, those restaurants that seem to have always been there, there are some which are emerging to claim their place as the best in town. There is UltramarYnos on the corner of the Plaza Mina, serving modern, cool tapas in a setting to match. Destino also offering eclectic, delicious food at extremely reasonable prices in the normally touristy Plaza San Juan de Dios. La Candela close to Plaza Candelaria also deserves a special mention for it open attitude and daring food combinations. However pride of place belongs, in my humble opinion to Codigo d’Barra, where the chef team are currently rocking with inspiration and matching innovative techniques to local favourites and creating a culinary experience not to be missed for the foodies in the area.
It’s just a delight to write an article about Cádiz using words like modern, progressive, avant-garde, innovative, etc, etc. It was the missing link. Qué pasa en Cádiz? ¡Mucho, pero muchísimo! What’s happening in Cádiz? There’s lots going on, absolutely loads!