May 23, 2009
I hurried up the stairs from the metro after shopping for a gift in Sol. The steps were wet from the rain and the air was heavy with moisture. As I was walking briskly past Plaza Lavapiés, she caught my eye. A softly rotund señora in old blue jeans and a cheap printed blouse was dancing to a flamenco cante blaring from a ghettoblaster next to one of the benches that line the plaza. She was accompanied by a wobbly elderly señor in a baseball cap doing his drunken version of flamenco hand expressions. Their friends looked on in amusement while swigging their cans of beer. True to the gypsy spirit of Flamenco, this dance had broken out spontaneously because the music compelled them to dance after the rain. Stumbling upon scenes like this brings a smile to my face and reminds me why I love Lavapiés. You never know what you're going to find around the corner. And that's a wonderful and refreshing thing.