Tuesday, December 1, 2009


My readership (hi Mom!) has requested more pictures so I'll try to figure out how to post a slideshow. In the meantime, I'll dedicate this entry to our neighborhood and apartment. I'll start by saying that finding an apartment (piso) in Madrid was painful and laborious. Madrid is made up of tons of little neighborhoods each with its own personality so first we had to figure out which neighborhood best suited our needs. After a lot of research and conversations with Spaniards, we settled on Chamberi. Chamberi is just north of the city center and according to Fodor's is one of the most "typically madrileno" barrios in Madrid. Because it's truly residential (there are no sights) you don't see many if any tourists, only families going about their business. Our street, Trafalgar, dead ends into a plaza called Olavide. Olavide is a round plaza with little residential streets coming off it like wheel spokes and consists of three little parks, a huge fountain in the center and lots of benches. Surrounding it are little cervezerias where you can get a coffee, beer, and all kinds of light fare. We've already identified which to go to for the best this or that and are on friendly terms with the proprietors. Additionally, we have a market just down the street where we buy meat, fruit, vegetables, bread and other staples. We've only had to go to a supermercado a few times to buy cleaning supplies. I really enjoy going to the market once a day for a little shop instead of once a week for the mass shop - half of it always went to waste it seems. There is no shortage of good restaurants in the area either. Kyle and I found the most amazing Thai restaurant (Ginger Boy) just across the plaza. Austinites will appreciate this: it's what Thai Fresh SHOULD be. I love the Thai Fresh concept, but only like the food. This place is just as fresh and authentic, but the food is truly delicious - some of the best I've had. On top of that it's beautifully designed and sparkly clean - everything's white! While our immediate area feels very quiet and residential we're only a 5 minute walk to one of the busiest shopping streets in Madrid - Fuencarral. On this street alone there is a ZARA, Benneton, Mossimo Duti, Sephora, Starbucks (this topic deserves its own post), two huge bookstores, two cinemas, multiple pharmacies and two supermercados. Baby eating paper - gotta run!

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