Lavapies > Madrid

Lavapiés – just south west of the heart of Madrid, 10mins by metro – is one of the city’s oldest barrios [A.K.A. suburbs or districts] + the true heart of multicultural Madrid. I choose to live in Northbridge, Perth, which is my small city’s multicultural suburb – hence I’m keen to hit up the so-called multicultural districts in other cities, to suss out what their version us like… that + the gay districts for the colour, life, vibe + open-minded, tolerant people. Lavapies is where i would live if i was in Madrid. Or maybe Malasana.

Love the old lady who looks like her bulldog + the animated old man outside the fruit shop [i ran out of the cafe to snap him, not quite sure what he was doing]. And how’s that creepy guy [top middle] that looks like scary Bob from Twin peaks, LOL, + the group of dentists with that second guy from the left being far from impressed – re-shoot!

So Lavapies didn’t disappoint – i could feel + see the lives, heritage + history of a number of immigrant cultures from Chinese, Indian + a bit of Arab + African cultures. There were heaps of ‘Lavapies resiste’ signs handmade with sheets – i get the feeling it was a tight knit + proud place trying not to be gentrified. I’ve seen the same thing in Berlin, with its neighbourhoods slowly getting fixed up + cleaned up as middle class peeps move to the places that are OK enough to live in but the rent’s cheap. Keep resisting Lavapies, ’cause you’re wonderful! Malasana + Cheuca are examples of Madrid’s previously gritty suburbs [tho still cool to me]. i think there have been identification sweeps of immigrants by the po-po, which has caused unrest.

There were so many murals around, way more than anywhere in Madrid that i went to, and it kinda made me feel like i was at home as Perth in Western Australia thinks that adding a mural is ‘vibrancing’ the neighbourhood sufficently… even if they are all by the same [established!!! uggghhh] five or so artists painting the same shit everywhere. * end rant *

I love Madrid – had some superb coke there back in 2007, so always been fond of this amazing city, LOL. Lavapies was a great wander, i hate feeling like a tourist + i definitely did not feel like one here. Love getting filthy looks when people see my camera + also got plenty of those here. It was gritty, with life finding its way out of the streets + alleys + into your face. It felt like life lived here + it wasn’t trying to be fancy or non-fancy, or anything but itself. It just was.

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