De Madrid al cielo y un agujerito para verlo.
Tapapiés defines itself as a Ruta Multicultural de la Tapa y la Música en Lavapiés (en). Tapa is, of course, the Spanish gastronomic insight into the science of appetizers: a small, free of charge (that's important) aperitif from the local cuisine to accompany, in fact, literally, to cover your drink (it's easier to chase a fly sitting on food than one struggling in the liquid). Lavapiès is a popular neighbourhood of Madrid, formerly the Jewish quarter, where, so goes the hypothesis, people were washing their feet before entering the synagogue (lava piès means wash feet). Madrid has always been very dirty and was reputedly so even in a time where all cities were open rubbish bins. To this day, Lavapiès remained a cosmopolitan, modest if not outcast, but more than anything else, culturally bustling area. It's the place where to unleash street artists in Madrid.
Les fenêtres musardent
Quand elles sont mansardes
Et abritent les hardes
D'un poète oublié
As the year is ending, with it the Christmas lights will gradually switch off and be removed from the streets, leaving only the cold as the main clue of winter in a city where it doesn't snow. We have been taking some pictures the whole month, and as the last day is imminent, it is time for their showcase.
Madrid by the nights of December, which you'd imagine are crowded and noisy, are actually desolated and chary. The Christmas light dies early. The singing people do similarly. The cold night is abandoned to derelicts as the only memories that it once was joyful in the most festive city in the world.
The services of the train company in Spain, the Renfe, are deteriorating quickly at the same time as their fares keep defying common sense and decency. I already wrote on their hideous practice of blocking doors in hours of affluence causing dangerous jamming of people. Lately, it becomes usual to having to wait quarter of an hour in time of affluence. Tonight it even became impossible to go back to Madrid (we have Tizón with us and can't take the bus).
While we are expecting our own nativity scene for less than in a month's time—maybe even for Christmas—the traditional representation of the birth of Jesus arrived to the Plaza Mayor. This year, due to the works on the Casa de la Carnicería where it is usually situated, it got a much better privileged position: at center of the square. These are some pictures and the starting-up of one of our own tradition to go with it.
We invited them to make a gig in Mayorcita, which they accepted. Live music on the roofs of the Plaza Mayor is a once in a lifetime experience. To top it all, they performed an original work, "Moneda". The video clip will take some time to emerge (update: you can now see it here), but we can show you some photos of this outstanding event.
We visited the Real Jardín Botánico, which, in Autumn, is not much of an attraction. Therefore, we also went to see what the Palacio de Comunicaciones is up to, as we knew it assumed a different role than its former postal function. It is indeed now known as the Palacio de Cibeles and hosts the centrocentro cultural complex.