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Basques in the Americas 
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:15 PM   Post #11
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I think it's also forgotten just how successful Basques were also in urban settings, not only rural. The following quote illustrates an outstanding example :

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José Francisco Navarro Arzac, born in Donostia-San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, in 1823, emigrated first to Cuba and then to New York where he became a renowned engineer, inventor, and businessman. He first studied at the Spanish Royal Naval Academy, and in 1838 departed for Cuba with his uncle Basilio Navarro, and later entered the United States for further engineering education at the Jesuit school at Saint Mary's. Navarro conducted long distance education courses with the eminent engineer Stephen Van Rensselaer, founder of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. At twenty years old, he returned to Cuba in 1843 and worked in engineering. In 1855, Navarro reestablished himself in the United States and created the Bank of Mora Navarro & Company in New York, and two years later married Helen Drykers. He was responsible for the construction of the first iron steam ship in the United States, the Matanzas, and also for New York City's Sixth Avenue elevated train, the world's first elevated train. He created the Commercial Warehouse Company in 1858, and he also owned a fleet of ships known as the United States and Brazil Steamship Company which traveled a New York-Río de Janeiro route. In 1881, Navarro returned to his engineering interests and began the construction of what would be the first "sky scraper" apartment houses of New York City. A chain of apartment blocks known as the Central Park Apartments and also known as the Navarro Apartment Houses, covered the block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and Fifty-eighth and Fifty-ninth Streets in the center of Manhattan. There were eight large buildings, each with eight floors of apartments housing thirteen separate families per building. This was the first block of apartment homes ever built in New York and was copied widely thereafter. Navarro amplified his entrepreneurship and established the Atlas Portland Cement Company, which would serve as the main supplier of cement for the Panama Canal project and for improvements to the New York Erie Canal. He later founded the insurance company Equitable Life Assurance, also known as The Equitable. He was a collaborator with Thomas Edison and one of the founders of Edison Electric Light Company in 1870, and later the Ingersoll Rock Drill Company. A century later, there still were Basques, such as Joseph Martinez from Mundaka, Bizkaia, working for the Con-Edison that Navarro helped create.

In 1882, Navarro was listed as one of the top twenty wealthiest people in the United States - his family was a neighbor to the Vanderbilts - and the Navarro family fortune was estimated at five million dollars. Navarro also experienced hardship when several of his other business ventures and inventions collapsed, but he continued on investigating and discovering new engineering concepts. He made numerous contributions to charitable societies and was a major donor to the construction of St. Patrick's Cathedral. At the age of 81, he published his financial memoirs, Sixty-six years business record. Navarro never became a United States citizen, and during the Spanish-American War in 1898, he even staunchly and publicly favored Spain. He served as President of the Spanish Patriotic Board of New York and encouraged support of the Spanish Armada. Because of his genius, wealth, philanthropy, and charitable works, when Navarro died in New York in 1909, his obituary was carried in the newspapers across the United States, the Basque Country, Spain, and many countries of South America. Amazingly, almost none of today's Basques in New York had ever heard of him.
68-69
The Basques of New York: a cosmopolitan experience
Gloria Pilar Totoricaguena, Emilia Sarriugarte Doyaga, Anna M. Renteria Aguirre
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:52 PM   Post #12
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When Spain Reigned on Central Park South



Castles in the Air : José Francisco de Navarro began his apartment complex on Central Park South in 1882. The eight buildings were named the Madrid, the Cordova, the Granada, the Valencia, the Lisbon, the Barcelona, the Saragossa and the Tolosa. [“King’s Photographic Views of New York” by Moses King (self-published, 1895)]

THERE was only one developer who could give Edward Clark, the builder of the Dakota apartment house, a run for his money. That was José Francisco de Navarro, the Spanish-born entrepreneur of wide accomplishments and appetites, including real estate.



His gigantic eight-building Navarro Flats complex, built on Central Park South in the 1880s, is long gone, but it was just as famous in its time as the Dakota — if for all the wrong reasons.

Born in Spain in 1823, Mr. de Navarro graduated from the Spanish Royal Naval Academy and came to the United States to teach at a Jesuit college in Maryland. After a few years, teaching gave way to railroad investments, then insurance, and by the 1870s he had a number of successful enterprises, like providing $283,000 worth of water meters to the Tweed ring, as well as collaborating on a public market with Boss Tweed himself.

In the early 1880s, the advent of co-op apartments attracted a new kind of builder. Previously, developers had either built and held for investment, or built for sale to a new owner, being paid after the fact. With the new co-ops, the developer began collecting money upfront from future tenant-shareholders, who provided a new source of investment funds.

In 1882, Mr. de Navarro began a project twice the size of the Dakota, which was then in midconstruction. His was not one apartment house but eight in a mammoth complex facing Central Park. They took up the westerly end of the block bounded by 58th and 59th Streets, and Sixth and Seventh Avenues, a site that was 425 feet long and 201 feet deep.

Although first called the Central Park Apartments, they soon became known as the Navarro Flats or, sometimes, the Spanish Flats.

The buildings, each 13 stories tall, were named the Madrid, the Cordova, the Granada, the Valencia, the Lisbon, the Barcelona, the Saragossa and the Tolosa.

The sales brochure for the apartments, most of them seven-bedroom duplexes, listed them at $20,000 for corner units and $15,000 for those with only one exposure. Maintenance was $100 to $200 a month.

The architect, Hubert & Pirsson, staggered the floors so that the principal rooms, facing the street, had extra-high ceilings. It’s a comment on the times that the apartments had only two bathrooms each.

There were some particularly large apartments, about 7,000 square feet, with a library measuring 19 feet by 22 feet, a drawing room 17 by 39, a billiard room 18 by 24, and a dining room 16 by 31. “Not 10 houses in New York” have such a scale of entertaining rooms, said The Real Estate Record & Guide.

Unlike the cool beige brick and stone of the Dakota, the Navarro Flats buildings were hot-red brick set off against a wild cliff of stone-trimmed arches, turrets, gables and other features — an arrangement that Scientific American called “most unsatisfactory” in 1884. There were some Moorish details, but the buildings were also described as both Gothic and Queen Anne in style.

The construction chronology is hazy, but it appears that the westernmost two buildings were completed in early 1884, the next two in 1885 and the last four several years after that.

Mr. de Navarro was regularly reported to be involved in lawsuits and troubled business affairs, but in 1884 he filed plans for apartment complexes at 86th Street and Madison Avenue, and at 81st Street and Central Park West. That year, The Record & Guide said that the Navarro Flats “must have proved very profitable.”

By 1885, however, the publication reported that there had been few sales and that there was “little doubt that the venture will prove to be the reverse of profitable.”

The project required a second mortgage — and a third, which Mr. de Navarro could not get. The scent of failure was death to further sales or credit, and the mortgage holders were suing by 1886.

In November 1888, The New York Daily Tribune reported the cost of each building as $2 million, and the complex was sold at auction, with at least two of the buildings still incomplete. The original shareholders lost their equity — or, as The Tribune put it, they had bought only “castles in the air.”

The spectacular failure of the Navarro Flats put a damper on the nascent co-op movement, which suffered from its failure for years.

Not that any stigma attached itself to living at the Navarro Flats. In 1890 the writer and reformer Carl Schurz lived in the Lisbon; Mary Mapes Dodge, the author of “Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates,” lived in the Cordova; and Percy Chubb, the insurance executive, lived in the Valencia.

Court battles relating to the project followed Mr. de Navarro at least to 1902, when disappointed stockholders won a suit against him for $950,000. That suggests he still had enough money to pay, and indeed in the mid-1880s he had organized a successful cement company, which seems to have occupied much of his time until his death in 1909.

Beginning in 1926, Mr. de Navarro’s towering vision was sold off piecemeal, and the apartment buildings were replaced by the New York Athletic Club, the Essex House and the Hampshire House, leaving not a trace of those castles in the air.

E-mail: streetscapes@nytimes.com

http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/06/17...te/17scap.html
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:44 AM   Post #13
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Idaho’s Basque Tables : A distinct Old World culture brought culinary treasures to the Gem State.
Patti Murphy


A Basque community picnic at the Boise Municipal Park, Boise, 1950.

Sixty-two delicate coffee cups hang in neat rows from small metal hooks above the beer taps at a small bar in downtown Boise. There are no television sets, and yet it’s difficult to hear over the merry chatter. In many respects, this is a typical pub in a small American city. But a closer look reveals something distinct and even rare. This humble corner pub is rich with ethnic culture and tradition.

The menu reveals some of the story. There is lamb, pork and pimientos, then solomo, chorizo, paella and Spanish-style egg tortillas. The back of the menu announces “Beef Tongue Saturdays.” You have arrived. This is Bar Gernika.

There is a Basque saying, “Jan, edan euskalduna Izan.” Translated, it means, “Eat, drink, be Basque.” Anyone who has been to a Basque restaurant, attended a Basque festival or enjoyed a glass of wine in a Basque pub knows there is truth in those four simple words. Ask any Basque and they will likely tell you that preparing and sharing a good meal is at the heart of Basqueness.

“In the Basque Country a meal is more than a twenty- or thirty-minute event, and it’s about more than just fueling the body,” said Dan Ansotegui, the founding owner of Bar Gernika. “It’s an occasion to sit down with friends, and it takes some time, both to prepare and to eat. The social aspect of the meal is as important as the meal itself.”

A Second Religion

Nestled at foot of the Pyrenees and straddling the French and Spanish borders on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, the Basque Country measures just 100 miles from end to end. The fertile geography supports tens of thousands of working farms and an unlimited ocean harvest. This real estate, paired with a passion for good food, leads many to hail the San Sebastian area of northern Spain as the “culinary capital of Europe.”

“Eating is the second, if not the first, religion of Basques,” said Alberto Santana Ezkerra, professor of Basque Studies at Boise State University.


LEFT Epi and David Inchausti with children Dorothy (on lap), Rose (standing) and Epi’s brother, Jose Lamiquis (standing in rear). ABOVE Epi and David Inchausti, taken around the time of their wedding, in 1925, in Ybarenguela, in the Spanish Basque Country. The couple honeymooned in Barcelona.

The first Basques immigrated to the American West to work as sheep herders in the late 1800s. Today, southern Idaho and northern Nevada’s Basque communities are some of the largest outside of Europe, and in and around Boise, the influence of Idaho’s estimated 15,000 Basques is strikingly apparent.

The Basque block on downtown’s Grove Street is the epicenter of this heritage. The pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and streets are home to the only Basque museum in the United States, Basque cultural and community centers, a specialty food market and the always-lively Bar Gernika. The city also boasts the nationally-touring Oinkari Dancers, the Ikastola Basque-language preschool and a Basque choir.

The downtown museum and cultural center are strong preservationist forces on the Basque block, but food and drink are the culture’s most enduring elements. If the museum is the Basque peoples’ Idaho office, restaurants and pubs are its dining and living rooms, the places where tradition and heritage are lived, not remembered.

Basques are familiar with the story of how their homeland’s cuisine made it to America, flourishing and evolving with every recipe passed down from generation to generation. Food and its preparation are as much a part of the Basque identity as music, dance and pala, a uniquely Basque paddle sport.

Chris Ansotegui, Dan Ansotegui’s sister, is owner of Epi’s Basque Restaurant in Meridian. She said that growing up in Boise, food was at the center of family life. “Basques love to eat,” she said. “At all our gatherings we cooked and ate, and then we’d talk about what we were going to cook and eat at our next meal.”

The early Basque immigrants were mostly young, single men with no cooking experience. According to Ezkerra, they developed skills as they tended sheep in the desolate Idaho mountains. The result was Basque cooking with a twist of the American West.

“What Americans know about Basque cuisine today is not necessarily traditional in the Basque Country,” Ezkerra said through a thick Basque accent. “It is a new form of Basque cooking, one that was adapted out of necessity and evolved in America after the Basques arrived.”

Because most Idaho immigrants came from the Spanish coastal province of Biscay (Bizkaia in the Basque language), they were accustomed to a diet of fresh fish and vegetables. Since codfish and many traditional Basque ingredients were not readily available in the mountains of Idaho, the men adapted and developed recipes that relied instead on lamb and potatoes.

“Dutch-oven cooking was popular with the pioneers, so that is how the Basque herders learned to cook,” Ezkerra said. “They learned to modify the ingredients that were available, and a whole new technique of cooking was adapted from American traditions.”

As more young men settled the West, Basque-only boardinghouses sprung up to accommodate them during winter when sheepherding work was sparse. With cozy sleeping quarters and big dining tables, the boardinghouses were homes away from home for the men with common heritage. Their native language—dating to 7000 B.C. and one of the planet’s oldest documented languages—was spoken freely, and familiar fare was served.

Basque women cooked the boarding meals with as many traditional ingredients as they could gather. Lentils, garbanzo beans and pinto beans figured prominently. They often killed their pigs for chorizos and sheep for blood sausage—ram’s blood and a mixture of onions, leeks or grains boiled down and stuffed into casings—and dried their own peppers. “This cooking was closer to the Old Country,” Ezkerra said. “They tried to replicate the traditional Basque cooking from home.”

Because boardinghouse meals were prepared for large numbers, it was easier to serve them “family style” around large tables. “This group dining style came to be considered a Basque tradition,” Ezkerra said. “It really evolved in response to American conditions and is not customary in Europe.”

It’s a Family Affair

A black-and-white photograph hanging on a red brick wall in the back of Bar Gernika shows an elderly man tending a busy bar in Hailey, Idaho. The man is David Inchausti, Dan and Chris Ansotegui’s grandfather. The man’s wife, Epifania Inchausti, is rightly considered the matriarch of Basque cooking in Idaho.


The Inchausti family’s Gem Bar, in Hailey, was a Valley institution. Revelers line the bar while David Inchausti keeps things in order, 1951.

Epifania and David Inchausti opened the Gem Bar and Boarding House in Hailey in 1936, the same year that Sun Valley Resort opened. The establishment was housed downtown in a former Chinese laundry on Bullion Street, and it came to be one of the best known Basque boardinghouses in Idaho.

Epi, as Epifania Inchausti was known, at first served mainly Basque lodgers, but her cooking skills soon earned a reputation. She opened her dining room, and busloads of diners flocked to the little Hailey house. Early patrons included Sun Valley’s golden-era celebrities like Janet Leigh, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Ernest Hemingway, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable and Bing Crosby.

Epi’s legacy in the Wood River Valley continues today through an annual lamb dinner and fundraiser for Hailey’s St. Charles Catholic Church, an event that Epi and other Basque women helped originally organize in the 1940s. In the Boise area, her spirit lives even larger at her granddaughter’s popular restaurant in Meridian, Epi’s Basque Restaurant.

The culinary passion that Epifania Inchausti brought to Hailey has flourished with her progeny. Chris Ansotegui and her mother still laugh about the day Chris needed an emergency appendectomy, at the expense of what was cooking on the stove.

“Mom took me to the hospital but didn’t realize I would need an operation,” Chris recalled. “She told me, ‘I gotta go home and cook dinner for your dad. I’ll call you later.’ And, I’m a seventh grader, and I’m crying and the hospital staff later got my mom on the phone and she said to me, ‘Honey, I’m making pork chops with pimiento (red peppers) for the family. I’ll be there later.’”

In 1999, Chris opened Epi’s in a small bungalow-style house in Meridian. Epi’s menu is filled with traditional Basque delicacies—inkfish in sauce, beef tongue, lamb stew, halibut and red bean soup. The cooking is simple but precise. “Basque cooking uses very few seasonings,” she said. “Garlic, salt, parsley, paprika, saffron, pimiento. We take good food and make it taste better. We see things that we can incorporate and still stay authentic. We try to stay true to our ancestors and the taste of the Basque region.”

Ansotegui imports choricero, or red pepper seeds, from the Basque Country and has them locally planted and grown. Her chief cook, Alberto Bereziartua, frequently returns to the Basque Country to collect important ingredients like the ink sauce used in preparing squid.

Dan Ansotegui, Chri’s brother, opened Bar Gernika in 1991 and patterned it after the Basque pubs he had “fallen in love with” during his travels to the Basque Country. “Basque pubs are all about family and friends, where people just go to meet with others. They bring their kids, and food is very important. I wanted Bar Gernika to be about that.”

Gernika serves casual meals of lamb sandwiches, chorizo, solomo (pork), and its famous croquetas, a deep-fried-bread-crumb-coated ball of butter, onion and chicken that first crunches, then melts in a hungry mouth. Another Gernika specialty is beef tongue in red sauce, which is only served on Saturdays and usually runs out in less than two hours.

In addition to the menu, those delicate coffee cups that hang above the bar are indication of the pub’s cultural focus. “Basque coffee was always in the bars,” he said. “Lots of the bars had their logos on the coffee cups.” Ansotegui said he brought the first cups back from the Old Country, and patrons have continued to bring them back from their travels and contribute to the collection. Ansotegui sold Gernika in 2008 to Jeff May, a former employee who has kept the original menu, atmosphere and vision.

The newcomer in Boise is Leku Ona Basque Restaurant and Hotel, founded in 2005 by Jose Artiach, a Basque immigrant who arrived in Boise in 1967 to herd sheep. Leku Ona, Basque for “good place,” occupies a historic brick building—formerly a boardinghouse—on the Basque block. The menu offers native-language tongue twisters—Txangurro Kroketak, Makailao Bilbainera, Txarri Txuletak—and authentic recipes passed through the Artiach family and prepared by a chef whose family operated a restaurant in the Basque Country.

“The Basques here have a strong will to preserve our culture,” Artiach said. “This is especially true for many people who came from oppression in the Basque Country.” He said that both his grandmothers had been jailed by Spain for speaking their native Basque language during Francisco Franco’s regime in Spain.

Celebrate Life


From the Bay of Biscay to the Idaho mountains, the Basque culture has continued to evolve and adapt, but one thing it has never lost is its traditional meaning.

“What I think of with the Basque culture is the old-fashioned, sitting-down sharing what happened to you that day—visiting and not hurrying,” said Chris Ansotegui at Epi’s in Meridian. “It’s about the friendship and love that centers around meals. It’s not a time to talk business. It’s a precious time to set aside. What we eat and the way we eat is part of the Basque identity.

Ezkerra put it this way: “We have a saying, ‘It’s not a real meal if you can see each other’s legs,’ meaning there must be a table in between us, and we must be sitting and enjoying the meal together.” He continued, “The Basque culture has survived well in Idaho, really, through our leisure activities. Food, drink, dance, sport. It’s not a political identity. It is about the joys of life.”

If the vitality of Basque culture in Idaho is any indication, those joys are alive and well.

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:02 PM   Post #14
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Basques in Chile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_Chilean

Basque descendents in the country: 1,600,000 - 4,500,000
10% to 27% of Chile's Population

Perhaps the most famous Basque descendent: Salvador Allende

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:30 PM   Post #15
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The Return of Jai Alai

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Jai alai originated as a handball game in the Basque area of Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains over four centuries ago. Games were played on Sundays and holidays in small villages at the local church, hence the name jai alai which means “merry festival” in Basque. Players would use the open-air church courtyard and the walls of the church as the fronton or arena. The tie between the church and the sport even earned the game a patron saint-Saint Ignatius Loyola, who took part in the sport when he wasn’t busy founding the Jesuit order.

The players started to put leather on their hands to protect them from the hard ball that they used in the games and moved to indoor frontons near the end of the 18th century. Around the late 1800’s a Basque farmer got the idea that if they put a cesta, or basket, on their hands, they could hurl the ball a lot faster and a lot harder.
Much more here.

There's also a place in Miami, I think south of the Hialeah area, with the name Jai Alai.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:12 PM   Post #16
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Lope de Aguirre



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I am the Wrath of God,
the Prince of Freedom,
Lord of Tierra Firme and the Provinces of Chile
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:28 PM   Post #17
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Lope de Aguirre? El Loco? The craziest of all conquerors?

I bet you are confussing him with Francisco de Aguirre, who participated in the conquest of Chile. They are two different individuals.

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Old 07-18-2010, 06:34 PM   Post #18
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Originally Posted by pinguin View Post
Basques in Chile.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_Chilean

Basque descendents in the country: 1,600,000 - 4,500,000
10% to 27% of Chile's Population

Perhaps the most famous Basque descendent: Salvador Allende

As far as I know, even though Allende indeed is a Basque surname, its distribution in Spain makes it rather unlikely that Allende's ancestors could be Basque without doubt. His genealogy doesn't allow us to know from where his ancestors originated.

http://www.ine.es/fapel/FAPEL.INICIO

Allende's ancestry
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:02 PM   Post #19
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Lope de Aguirre? El Loco? The craziest of all conquerors?

I bet you are confussing him with Francisco de Aguirre, who participated in the conquest of Chile. They are two different individuals.
No, these words are really ascribed to him.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:36 PM   Post #20
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El Loco was never in Chile. Francisco was.
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