Ok, ok. So these photos weren’t actually taken the first day. But as I explored further and further in my temporary neighborhood, I realized that it was far bigger than I realized, and just how much I missed the first (six) times around.
I think I missed these because until my last day, the doors were open. It’s so sad, but my first thought was “I wish I had eyelashes like that giraffe.”
This website is for Sfirart. For some reason, I can’t make the link work, but if you type that word into your address bar, you’ll be taken to his website. This guy is contracted to paint murals throughout the city, though I didn’t see his signature on anything else on my walks. I might have missed it, because I think I was in a giant stupor for most of this trip, trying to absorb as much as possible in a city that requires at least a few months to really take everything in and appreciate it fully.
Dazed and Confused, case and point: these murals were down an alleyway that was off Calle Mira el Sol – I walked by them on that side of the street, every day, several times per day, and didn’t notice till the end of my trip. The space inside was a super awesome half-used-bookstore, half-mega-artsy-studio, and when I walked in, there were old vinyl records, tapes, CD’s, books in Spanish (I had to talk myself out of purchasing a Spanish copy of Don Quixote because I could barely get through that book in English)…There was low light, funky music playing, and I spent a good deal of time in that place just browsing. The artists sort of just let me do my own thing, and went about being creative as if I were just another book brought in for sale.
It very much impresses me, how street artists can take a blank wall, or garage door, or some concrete that wouldn’t even normally have artwork, and they create something so beautiful and amazing, you can’t imagine the space without it.
While I’m skipping the restaurant stuff for now, it was insane how many Indian places there were in Madrid – especially along the lower part of Calle de Embajadores. For some reason, I chose to walk a billion miles instead of eat a billion different things, so I didn’t get a chance to try it, but there’s always next time 🙂
It was also interesting to me how some of the art seemed downright….not Spanish. I saw this on the side of the road, advertising a veterinary clinic, and thought, “That is SO Japanese!”
In what I think was a convenient, fun public service announcement, the street art also gives hints as to what the place is: A music store, a restaurant, an 80’s bar… I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how in the world I missed this place. A bar that has Guitar Hero and is ’80’s themed. I was kicking myself that I didn’t find this till the last day.
I think sometimes, street art with sayings and quotes can be pretentious and/or obnoxious, but somehow, in Spanish, it wasn’t. I found my favorite piece of wall art, coincidentally, on my last walk before I went to the train station to leave Madrid. Simple, poignant, and beautiful – I took it as a sign to revamp how I look at my day-to-day activities, and really enjoy each thing I do.