How a City Sings from November to November

Why should sight and not smell or taste always be used to study a city? The alfajor biscuits, the torta alajú dessert and the mantecado de Laujar cake say as much about Granada as the tiling or the Moorish arch; and the marzipan of Toledo with its monstrous garb of plums and pearls of anise, invented by a cook of Charles V, expresses the Germanism of the emperor more sharply than his red chin. While a cathedral remains imbedded in its time, its profile crumbling, eternal without being able to take a step to the next day, a song suddenly jumps from its time to ours, alive and trembling like a frog, with its recent joy or melancholy, verifying identical prodigy like the seed that blooms when leaving Pharaoh’s tomb. So, let us hear the city of Granada.

Granada has two rivers, eighty bell towers, four thousand irrigation channels, fifty fountains, a thousand and one pumps and one hundred thousand inhabitants. It has a factory for making guitars and mandolins, a store where they sell pianos and accordions and harmonicas and above all drums. It has two promenades to sing, the Salón and the Alhambra, and one to cry, the Alameda de los Tristes, a true apex of all European romanticism, and it has a legion of pyrotechnicians who build noise towers with an art similar to the Patio de los Leones (Lions’ Patio), which must irritate the square water of the ponds.