Muscles, Mulligans, & Ava Gardner / Musculos, Mulligans, y Ava Gardner

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I went to Torremolinos yesterday to meet up with Karen and Peter. A glorious day and great afternoon — scarf weather for locals. I took the train to the station nearest the hotel and had a 16-minute walk. Going home I wanted different views, so I caught the train in the center of Torremolinos, a 35-minute walk. The interesting and unusual sights began as I left the hotel and passed a superhero.

Most businesses weren’t open after siesta or were closed for the winter season. Mulligans Irish Bar caught my eye. I don’t know how toucans connect with Mulligans Irish but they were everywhere outside. I thought maybe Mulligans was Irish for “toucan” (no, I really didn’t). I googled it. Toucan is Irish for toucan. Fascinating. NOTE: Karen sent me this link, click here. It’s the Guinness toucan!

I passed two clubs called “Swingers.” Sadly (but not for me) they didn’t open until 10 p.m. Then there was the Hotel Princesa Solar (Sun Princess). A mural of Ava Gardner covered an entire wall. Maybe she slept there. When I got home I researched it and learned she had nothing to do with the hotel (or the site). The art was simply part of a 2021 initiative called the Route of Artistic Murals. This one is by urban artist Guillermo Paz who goes by the name Nesui.

The final photo is a wall I passed when I was closer to the train station. DIVERSIDAD. DIVERSITY. In 1962, Toni’s Bar, the first gay bar in Spain, was founded. In 1968, the first Lesbian club, Porquoi Pas?, opened its doors. The unusual freedom of expression didn’t last long. In 1971, the oppressive Franco regime carried out violent police raids (with machine guns), closing down any establishments they felt offended their moralistic sensibilities. People were arrested, some freed for a large fee the next morning. Tourists were deported. Torremolinos went into decline. After Franco’s death Torremolinos became known as the Andalusian capital of sexual diversity. We’ve debated living there but, for a variety of reasons, including the fact that locals here in Fuengirola do not treat us like “something different” and we don’t have the desperate need to be surrounded by a safety net of others like us. Still, it’s always nice to see the rainbow flags and diversity.

I’m glad I went yesterday. Heavy rain, thunder, and lightning arrived overnight. Today has been stormy.


Fui a Torremolinos ayer para reunirme con Karen y Peter. Un día glorioso y una gran tarde: clima cálido para los lugareños. Tomé el tren hasta la estación más cercana al hotel y tuve una caminata de 16 minutos. De vuelta a casa quería unas vistas diferentes, así que cogí el tren en el centro de Torremolinos, a 35 minutos andando. Las vistas interesantes e inusuales comenzaron cuando salí del hotel y pasé junto a un superhéroe.

La mayoría de los negocios no abrían después de la siesta o estaban cerrados durante la temporada de invierno. Mulligans Irish Bar me llamó la atención. No sé cómo se conectan los tucanes con Mulligans Irish, pero estaban por todas partes afuera. Pensé que tal vez Mulligans era irlandés para “tucán” (no, realmente no lo hice). Lo busqué en Google. Tucan es irlandés para tucán. Fascinante. NOTE: Karen me envió este enlace, haz clic aquí. ¡Es el tucán Guinness!

Pasé dos clubes llamados “Swingers. Lamentablemente (pero no para mí) no abrieron hasta las 10 p.m. Luego estaba el Hotel Princesa Solar (Sun Princess). Un mural de Ava Gardner cubría una pared entera. Tal vez durmió allí. Cuando llegué a casa, investigué y descubrí que ella no tenía nada que ver con el hotel (o el sitio). El arte era simplemente parte de una iniciativa de 2021 llamada Ruta de Murales Artísticos. Este es del artista urbano Guillermo Paz que se hace llamar Nesui.

La foto final es una pared que pasé cuando estaba más cerca de la estación de tren. DIVERSIDAD. En 1962 se funda Toni’s Bar, el primer bar gay de España. En 1968 abrió sus puertas el primer club lésbico, Porquoi Pas?. La inusual libertad de expresión no duró mucho. En 1971, el régimen opresivo de Franco llevó a cabo violentas redadas policiales (con ametralladoras), cerrando todos los establecimientos que consideraban ofendidos a su sensibilidad moralista. Las personas fueron arrestadas, algunas liberadas por una gran tarifa a la mañana siguiente. Los turistas fueron deportados. Torremolinos entró en decadencia. Tras la muerte de Franco, Torremolinos pasó a ser conocida como la capital andaluza de la diversidad sexual. Hemos debatido vivir allí pero, por una variedad de razones, incluido el hecho de que los lugareños aquí en Fuengirola no nos tratan como “algo diferente” y no tenemos la necesidad desesperada de estar rodeados por una red de seguridad de otros como a nosotros. Aún así, siempre es agradable ver las banderas del arcoíris y la diversidad.

Me alegro de haber ido ayer. Lluvia fuerte, truenos y relámpagos llegaron durante la noche. Hoy ha sido tormentoso.

• I’m not quite sure what that is behind her head.
• No estoy muy seguro de qué es eso detrás de su cabeza.

“Deep down, I’m very superficial.”
“En el fondo, soy muy superficial”.

Ava Gardner
• “VER” means “to see.”

Click the thumbnails to enlarge.
Haz clic en las miniaturas para ampliar.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Muscles, Mulligans, & Ava Gardner / Musculos, Mulligans, y Ava Gardner”

  1. Franco and his ilk make me cross-eyed furious.
    Love your photos; thank you for taking us on your walk.

    1. Chrissoup:
      I agree with you about Franco and his ilk. To me, worse than these fascist leaders is the fact that they still have supporters.

      Thanks for coming on the walk with me.

  2. Hola, thank you for coming for an English afternoon tea. We left the grey clouds and rain of Malaga and arrived back to cold 3 degrees, sun and blue skies. You really do have an eye for seeing things. Thank you for the history lessons of your area. The toucan is an advertising symbol for Guinness.

    1. Karen:
      I loved reading the history of the Guinness toucan. Thanks for that. It’s still raining without stop.

  3. Gosh, I’m slow today. Took me awhile to figure out who the “superhero” was. Yes, he does have that “Dorito” shoulders-to-waistline proportions of a Chris Evans. The ass cheeks too.

    1. Debra:
      I passed that guy as I was leaving the hotel. I did a double-take because I thought he was wearing football (American) shoulder pads.

  4. Come to think of it… I saw somewhere else recently about the toucan being the Guinness mascot. Of course I’d forgotten about it until you reminded me. Ava Gardner is beautiful.

    1. Kelly:
      It’s a fun story of the toucan and Guinness. I don’t know why I didn’t think to type those two words together in my search. Ava Gardner was very beautiful. I’m now interested in reading her autobiography and biography.

      1. Raybeard:
        Nope. Not bearded. Sorry to disappoint you. But I suppose you can still pretend.

    1. Steve:
      Thanks for that link. So the artist did a painting of a photo with a painting in the background. No wonder the flowers look odd. I searched and searched and never found the original. You’re amazing.

  5. What’s with Muscles McGee???!!!! His upper body is huge!!! Grab me baby!!!

    And the Ava Gardner mural is stunning. There must be some significance to her with the building, otherwise seems very random.

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      When I first saw him, I thought he was wearing football shoulder pads under his shirt. From the front they were even more pronounced. As for Ava Gardner, there’s no connection other than a few large walls were chosen for the public art. For me, Ava Gardner was a confusing choice for a hotel wall and incorporated with the hotel name. I think something less literal would have worked better there.

      1. Well if it’s any consolation, I did hear that in Hollywood, Ava Gardner was very fond of hotel rooms, and quite a frequent visitor to several of them

  6. Francisco Franco is still dead.

    That superhero doesn’t even need tights!

    That Ava Gardner mural is great! Now you just need to more buildings, one next to it with a Lana Turner mural, then another with Frank Sinatra looking warily at the first two buildings.

    1. Kirk:
      Sad that Franco still has his fans. I think the Ava Gardner mural would work better with those other two murals you suggest.

  7. I’ve always found that particular stretch of the main road between Montemar/Carihuela/Torremolinos particularly depressing [it’s our bus/taxi route between Benalmadena and La Nogalera in Torremolinos, so we know it well] – all that dereliction, “Swingers Clubs” and 1960s/70s brutalist architecture is such a contrast to the often lovely sea views along the front. Surprised you took that route, tbh. [Thanks for the information on the Ava Gardner mural, btw – we often wondered if it was actually meant to be Ava or some Spanish diva like Sara Montiel. It always seems so incongruous where it is, adjacent to giant bingo halls, sleaze, motorcycle repair shops and the crumbling ruin that is the former Lloyds Hotel].

    Speaking of meandering, did you perhaps take a walk along the paseo at Benalmadena that day? We were sat in our usual spot in Palm 5 at Las Gaviotas when I spotted someone who bore more than a passing resemblance to yourself [he had two shoulder bags criss-crossed across the body, and was with a taller blond(ish) man] but was too afraid to call out in case it was merely a lookey-likey… Jx

    PS I do like a nice rump steak, and that one looks particularly edible 😜

    1. Jon:
      Nope, that wasn’t me on the Paseo in Benalmádena.

      I walked a tiny stretch in Torremolinos at the end just before the port of Benalmádena. I decided to take the main road back to the station because it was the most direct and most of it was new for me. You’re so right about it being kind of depressing.

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