Graffiti above the Asamblea de Madrid-Entrevías train station
Whenever I first mentioned that my new school was located in the area of Vallecas, a bike-aficionado friend digested this news for a moment before reflecting, “You’re so close to the center of Madrid that you could cycle there! Although, your bike would be stolen as soon as you chained it up…”
San Blas and now Vallecas? Am I destined to make the rounds of all of the barrios chungos (“bad” neighborhoods) in the Spanish capital?
But things aren’t so bad. Working-class neighborhoods exist in every city, and there are a few silver linings. For example, the price of that occasional café con leche is only about a Euro compared to 1.50 in central Madrid. Another perk? More green, open spaces. Take a look, here are some other typical images of the area:
A grassy avenue I cross on my way to work each morning
Music notes dot the path to the station
As those music notes suggest, the neighborhood has its quirky side. One thing I’ve noticed is the abundance of whimsical street names, often with literary leanings. On the way to the Tío Pío Park, for example, you’ll stumble across one of the most giggle-inducing street names in Madrid, Calle del Payaso Fofó; how can you not grin while walking down a street named after a beloved TV clown?
What about some other cool street names in Vallecas, you ask?
– Calle de Cleopatra
– Calle de Pablo Neruda
– Calle de Fantasía (Fantasy Street)
– Calle de Buendía (Good Day Street)
– Calle de la Reina de África (Queen of Africa Street)
Below are more favorite finds when it comes to street names:
Calle de la Cenicienta (Cinderella Street)
Calle de Romeo y Julieta (I assume the Capulets own that balcony)
Calle de Historias de la Radio (Radio Stories Street)
Calle de Volver a Empezar (Start Again Street)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short walk through my weekday neighborhood. What are some of the creative street names where you live?