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Five Questions with Alejandro Delgado

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Hailing from Madrid, Spain, our new staff editor Alejandro Delgado fell in love with Manhattan the minute he stepped foot on the island. But like the millions of citizens and immigrants who have come here from abroad, home beckons now and again. Luckily, New York City is the next best thing to home no matter where you’re from, with its many ethnic and cultural pockets. We sat down with Alejandro to talk about his favorite relics of Madrid and the places in the City that take him close to home.

You’re homesick in Manhattan, where do you eat? 

There are many places in the city to enjoy Spanish food.  I go to La Nacional on 14th St. when I want Pulpo a la Gallega or some Bravas. It’s like having beers and tapas with my friends in Madrid there. La Nacional is also a Spanish Society that has been promoting Spanish culture since 1868. Right now the restaurant is under renovation. I am looking forward to the re-opening!

What Spanish film best captures the spirit of Madrid as a city?

Many of the Almodovar movies have Madrid as a main character in the stories. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, What Have I Done to Deserve This, and All About My Mother all depict different moments, economic-sides and people that I recognize immediately. Thesis, directed by Alejandro Amenabar, features the university where I studied film, which is also an important place in my background.

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What is Spain’s best U.S. export? And what’s the biggest misconception about your home country that you experience stateside?

The long and dark legend of the Siesta. It is the biggest misconception about Spain. It doesn’t happen anymore in the Spanish cities. I can not remember last time I took one.

The best export: Iberico ham. Nothing beats it. A plate of Iberico ham and a glass of red wine is the best meal in the world. Period.

Barcelona - 1676

For Hooligan’s sake, pick a La Liga team: Barcelona or Real Madrid?

I am a diehard Real Madrid fan. Incidentally, the first famous person I ever spotted in New York was Spike Lee in Central Park. I had a short conversation with him about the rivalries of Madrid vs. Barcelona, and Yankees vs. Redsox. He was wearing Knicks colors, so I guess I cannot ask for more! I was impressed when Do the Right Thing came out. The storytelling and the plot were totally new for me. Rayo Vallecano is also one of my favorite teams. They are playing in 2nd division this year. It’s the team of Vallecas, a working-class neighborhood in Madrid. They’ll never win anything, but they play hard for their people and their neighborhood.

What brands are putting out the best U.S. Hispanic market ads right now? Or name some the best ones you’ve seen.

Conill is doing great work for Toyota. The level of every project in Alma is always very high (the McDonald’s account is hard, and they shoot great pieces every year). LatinWorks, The Community (Modelo campaigns), and We Believers ­have all done interesting things this last year.