Yesterday, the people of Madrid make their thoughts crystal clear: don’t evict Baobab! So far, this emotive Instagram post has been shared by 2,793 people in their stories, and viewed by 32,557. To put things in perspective, that’s about 10 times more people than my average Madrid No Frills Instagram posts.
In the shadow of Madrid’s extravagant lights display, the spirit of no-frills Christmas lives on. You just have to look a bit closer.
In my eighth volume of 10 no-frills finds, I bring you a last survivor, a no-frills chocolate con churros place, royal ruins and missing pieces of Berlin and Galicia. I also take you back in time with traces of Madrid’s bygone high-streets, and I encourage you to look up because a worm’s-eye view is highly underrated.
It’s 3 o’clock in the morning on Christmas day and the church, draped from roof to floor in fairy lights, is packed. A young girl with hennaed arms passes me a tiny cup of chai, her bangles clinking off the pew in front, and then her brother – his nails painted glittery red – hands me an onion bhaji.
Iván, es un heredero de este movimiento contra-cultural, que se desarrolló en gran parte en Malasaña.
This summer, children living in Sector 6 of the Cañada Real (Europe’s largest shanty town, just a 15-minute drive from Madrid) were given disposable cameras by photographer Carlos Gutiérrez, who asked them to take pictures of their day-to-day lives.
For more than half a century, residents have been arriving and building makeshift homes along this ancient north-south cattle trail, which curves southbound around the outskirts of the city – now parallel to the M-50 motorway.
Where I’m from, little buildings like this that look very different from those around them tell us where a bomb fell during WW2. Many pubs were destroyed during the war but new pubs were quickly erected (priorities) and they look a lot like Casa 42.
You’ve found one of my trapdoors… a door considerably smaller than other doors, found on metro platforms across Madrid. This trapdoor will take you to a tiny Spanish border town, with the highest concentration of bodegas in Spain!
Earlier this year, I discovered that I had a long-lost twin in Buenos Aires: Bar de Viejes. This is an Instagram account that was born out of a desire of one person to document the beautiful old Buenos Aires bars, especially those that are under-appreciated and disappearing.