Untold Stories

Secrets of the streets: Madrid’s anti-homeless architecture

2 December 2018

Anti-homeless architecture is often disguised as useful features for pedestrians, but it secretly doubles up as defence against rough sleepers. Big money goes into making the most beautiful parts of Madrid hostile towards the homeless, and examples of these disturbing installations can be found everywhere you look. 

Bars

100 of Madrid’s no-frills bars

23 November 2018

I’ve forever found no-frills bars inspiring spaces. They’re gateways to Madrid’s working-class soul, and are unpretentiously beautiful, just like the city. They’re also where Madrid No Frills was born, propping up the bar with a caña and a tapa and listening to the owner’s story.

Lost & Found

10 no-frills finds (Vol. V)

15 November 2018

In this volume of no-frills finds, we reveal the location of two classic bodegas, one no-frills microbrewery, and a bustling seafoodie gem.  We also document two separate sightings of Madrid’s past, which had been lying dormant beneath our feet this whole time. It paid to go little off-grid too, leading us to a burnt-out train driver’s cabin and the quirkiest museum we’ve found yet.

ArtistsUntold Stories

Discover the dark messages hidden in Madrid’s street art

11 November 2018

Although street art is deeply connected with gentrification, its message is often precisely the opposite. The spray-painted murals adorning the walls of Madrid speak truths – truths that the passionate graffiti hunter Gerardo taught me how to read. In the secret messages left behind by graffiti writers, I saw not only themes of suffering and discrimination but also a growing backlash against them.

Untold Stories

Madrid’s hidden city slums

30 October 2018

Under the first beam of sunlight on 3 October, diggers began tearing through people’s bedroom walls. By mid afternoon, around 50 makeshift homes had been razed to the ground, and around 80 people had been moved on.

Artists

A miniature ode to Madrid’s disappearing antique facades

25 October 2018

Recent exhibition La Tienda de la Esquina (The Corner Shop) celebrates Madrid’s beautiful antique facades. But, given these old shops are an increasingly endangered species in the Madrid streetscape, you may find yourself cynically wondering if these sculptures are actually miniature death masks.

BarsLiving Museums

The ‘secret’ Lavapiés jazz club

8 October 2018

Those hermetic voile curtains are partly to preserve Café El Despertar’s clandestine atmosphere, they’re but mostly there to deter the naive walk-in customer. The steely elderly owner, with his enviable beard, is interested only in clientele who are specifically here for his jazz music, and most certainly not the police, who, for good reason, he constantly fears.

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