El Rasto/Lavaplatos

13 09 2010

Em and I took it easy during Noche en Blanco so we could wake up in time to take full advantage of El Rastro, Madrid’s own open-air flea market, happening each and every Sunday in a barrio near you (in this case, La Latina). We’ve been daydreaming about picking up some house goodies – rugs, storage devices, a clock for my room – and el Rastro seems like it might be the place to find it all, akin to Chatuchak in Bangkok.

Our piso is in Arganzuela, just south of Atocha station, and, checking the map, we estimate the walk at 10-15 minutes. We easily find our way – mapless! – to la Ronda de Embajadores, and then shoot north on Calle de Embajadores towards center city. We talk of beautiful days, small dogs, and getting our city legs.

After about the third time I attempt to convince myself that I see it in the distance (“Is that a stall?! … damn, another Tabacos”), it is apparent that we have manage to arrive at an entirely different zone of the city. A map-check and a metro stop declare that we are in Legazpi, very much south of our destination. Ah. The city legs thing, she’s a long-term process. We sheepishly hop on the metro and zip up to La Latina.

The hustle! The bustle! Everything leather you could possibly dream up is here en masse, plus cheap tchotchkes of all variety. Piles of dusty old books, pirated DVDs, antiques galore, paintings and rusty frames, hippie clothing, tacky keyrings, and an owl wallet that I absolutely need, right this second.

We sink our way through the crowd back to Embajadores, but haven’t quite had our fill, so metro it back to Tirso de Molina.

A couple icy-sweet zumos later, we are recharged, in charge, and charging forth. Tirso de Molina Plaza is has a decidedly alterna-vibe to it; most of the booths here offer anarchist/resistance materials. One plays Spanish punk.

This street trio is totally excellent, and the accordionist’s handlebar ‘stache is befittingly bitchin’.

The stalls peter out before too long, but near the end of our explorations a ticking antiques booth catches our fancy. Clocks galore! We haggle for a bargain involving a silver analog beauty with oversize numbers plus the most adorable teacup set you ever did see.

A good deal leaves smiles in its wake, and we make tracks homeward on the metro.

On our way, we spy a massive line curling out of an intriguing takeaway Spanish restaurant, which does intrigue – but not enough tear our tastebuds away from the promise of chilaquiles awaiting back in casa. After cooking one final lunch on questionable kitchenware, it is finally time: we wash every single plate, cup, pan, utensil, and miniature-metal-spatula in the place. The kitchen is wanting for clean towels, so we use the striped beast I recently purchased from El Corte Inglés (it was a bargain dammit).

Emily is totally pro at plates. We tucker out afterward, however, and guiltlessly snooze the late afternoon away.


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15 12 2010
País Vasco/La Rioja: Nibbling the North « con tomates

[…] along with your caña or vino. In Madrid, this is not all that common a practice, although post-Rastro Sundays in La Latina are certainly worth a jaunt or two; Granada to the south and León to the […]

8 10 2011
Sunday Night in La Latina: El Tempranillo Tapas « con tomates

[…] barrio of La Latina is the oldest area of the city, and it bustles most furiously on Sundays. El Rastro flea market during the day brings in scores of secondhand seekers, and the night brims over with […]

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