Euro 2008 final Sunday!

I watched the Euro 2008 semifinal football match between Germany and Turkey on Wednesday at Sláinte, a pub on the Bowery between Houston and 1st St; the crowd seemed to be about evenly divided in rooting interest, which surprised me.

The only problem with Germany vs. Spain is . . . within New York City, they’re mostly anonymous. Germany was a strong presence once, but they’ve faded into the fabric by now, except for a bunch of people you’ll see prancing about in yellow on Sunday. And I’m unaware of any community of immigrants from Spain at any time.

These days, Spain is focusing on their own influx of foreigners; Ecuadorians make up the largest immigrant group there, according to the Pacific News Service, outnumbering Moroccans now. And the New York Times says Spain has conducted more legalization programs for undocumented workers than any other European country. They also provide free health insurance to all. Emigrating to Spain looks like a great idea, actually! OK, they’re not completely free of xenophobia. But who is?

But back to New York. Does anyone know of a history of U.S. Americans with roots in Spain, outside of renowned individuals such as Plácido Domingo? Maybe it’s time to pay a visit to Instituto Cervantes.

Flags courtesy of Applied Language Solutions.

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