"There are many stories about the name of Lavapies: a place where a stream ran, other in
which the neighborhood has a foot shape ... but the one we will use this time is the one that a
fountain existed in the main square years ago, where its ancient residents cleaned up their limbs before going to the synagogue, hence the name of Lavapies."
The places call, and you were calling me for a while. I got on to a plane the last day of the year to leave many things behind and start well.
In 2015 I made an agenda under the phrase "good is yet to come" and although my forecast was not right, I felt that, that year would be one. I was excited, freezing, but excited. They thought I was afraid, but the least thing I felt was fear: I was curious, I wanted to experience, and most of all, I wanted to get out that Anahi that I always wanted to show; to whom? maybe to myself.
Camie, I met her at bus stop # 518 on the fourth day since I arrived. She carried her 6-month life in her suitcases. I trusted in me and in her.
Since she didn't have a place to stay I invited her to stay on my couch that day, and from that day on we could never separate from each other again. She taught me what is to be an inborn traveler and to open myself to things that the road brings me, even if they don´t go according to my initial plan.
It was you who were calling me? the place where the colors have no label and mix to form a unique color: Lavapies.
It was magical finding you, but at the same time was magical loving you. I found you by surprise, just as I found the one who would also live there with me.
We arrived on a rainy day and after looking for flats, we arrived at your subway. That peculiar
smell of curry, with a lot of wind and Africans waiting for something outside the subway, caught us right away.
What a night we had at the Cafe Barbieri! We said that destiny had put us there or how I call it: the place called us.
You endeavored to make us fall in love with its jazz music and we found a place to live just 4 blocks away from that cafe. The igloo, as we nicknamed our white flat, became the sanctuary we shared with two Spaniards, what a unique pair!
You also made sure that I could meet them, to teach me what is hard work, but also, to always, at the end of the day, enjoy a good beer with valuable people.
A place where just by sitting on the balcony, you could hear Arab prayers, Spaniards shouting,
couples arguing between them and of course, my neighbor, who was a musician.
How fast can a place become your home? I found you and I wasn't going to leave you without first finding out what you had to teach me.
Since February, I see his silhouette, but I'm afraid to walk in, what kind of clients does he has?
What kind of watches will he repair in Lavapies? "don´t go! Because he can do something to you” they say.
I realized that people or places will give you signals to discover them, but only if you are brave enough, you will discover their purpose.
After weeks of debate, I walked in to the watchmaker's workshop, why was I so scared?
When I walked in to his workshop, I discovered I wasn´t afraid of Vicente anymore and Josefina,
his Italian cat, had a penetrating look that seemed to tell me everything she had seen in your streets.
Vicente, rejected a lot of customers every day, because they asked him to do jobs for which in
the end of the day they would not return for it, because form the beginning the things they asked for were half done.
He repaired watches because they existed for a reason and they had a history. You get what you pay for, and it was true.
Soon I'll have to leave you my dear Lavapies, but I'll be back. I will return to finish my watchmaker story.
Why laying to him? if he was also part of you, how not to connect with someone who loves you for what you are, where you learned to be you.
I saw him next to your subway, he was nervous, and the light of the cell phone store illuminated
him, if I had had my camera I would have taken a photo, but, as I hadn't it, I prefer to show him what I felt in that place where I saw him.
I said goodbye to you with a smile and I know that, even there are many miles between us, you keep calling me.
I will return to you. Maybe to clean me up again like the ancient residents of Lavapies did, or maybe just to admire you, the place where I cleaned up what was important and discarded what was not.
See you in a while, Lavapies.
Project exposed in:
Saltillo, Coahuila, México - "Galeria el Lago" de Casa Alameda - 4 de Mayo al 20 de Mayo
Madrid, España - "Escuelas Pías" en Lavapiés - 16 de Junio al 14 de Julio
París, Francia - "Galerie 88" - 17 de Julio al 31 de julio
San Pedro Garza García, México - "Museo Centenario" - 16 de Agosto al 17 de Septiembre