Since I was made an Honorary Member of the New York City Club Taurino in September 2006, when I made a bullfighting presentation at the Alger Mansion in New York, I regularly receive e-mails announcing its monthly programs and providing information related to the club. The programs for the meetings often includes the regular activities of the same type all the clubs have, such as business meetings, recounting what some members have experienced in some taurine ferias. These meetings also give the members the chance to socialize with other aficionados and to share taurine experiences while enjoying some tapas and drinks. Nevertheless, since I started receiving these programs I have been amazed by how often Spanish bullfighting professionals, especially invited for the occasion, have comes to New York to be principal guests of the NYCCT meetings.
To illustrate how often these meetings are highlighted by the presence of Spanish taurinos I will mention the names of persons who made presentations at the club this year. Often the presentations take place at the the Manhattan Penthouse or the Alger Mansion , owned by club President Lore Monnig and her husband. Usually the presentation is preceded by a reception and followed by a dinner where the members and their guests have the chance to meet and interact with the presenters:
-May 15. The journalist and poet Juan Belmonte, grandson of the famous old matador of the same name, presented “Pregón Taurino of New York”;
-October 23. Juan Carlos Navas, President of the Plaza de Toros of Avila, Spain, gave a conference on Encastes del Toro de Lidia” (Different Breeds of Brave Bulls);
-October 30. Reception with the famous matador de toros “El Fandi”, who was in New York presenting and promoting the documentary MATADOR;
-November 13. An evening with taurine journalist José Enrique Moreno, from Seville, who gave a conference entitled El Toro, la Clave (The Bull, the Key).
Furthermore, in previous years, as I recall, matadors Vicente Barrera and Luis Francisco Espla, the critics Jose Ignacio Cossío, José Antonio del Moral and José Enrique Moreno were in New York City to participate in NYCCT programs. It seems that the trend of inviting toreros and other taurinos to come to New York to promote bullfighting will continue next year, since the dynastic novillero Alejandro Esplá is already scheduled to appear at the club on January 6, 2009.
The NYCCT is to be commended because, by bringing bullfighting professionals to participates in its activities, it enables its members to learn about the fiesta brava from people who really know the subject. Furthermore, the visitors, after becoming aware of the enthusiasm of the American aficion, they spread the word of the existence of this good aficion in Spain, at the some time that the Spanish press reports the activities of these taurinos in New York.