So today started normal. I woke up, I cleaned up my little piso and then headed out to the Cafe Faborit on Calle Alcala to get my fruit smoothie x croissant fix, check on some Parlour stuff and then figure out what shops/sights I want to hit up before my SO (that is ‘significant other’ in PRLR land) gets home from school. As I was reaching into my Marc Jacobs bag to grab my laptop, it hit me—Marc just opened up a shop in Madrid not to long ago! After a Google search, I had already mapped out my walking route via Google Maps on my iPhone and an hour later I was off. Turns out the the store is in the trendy Salamanca neighborhood, which is akin to Greenwich/Meatpacking District in NYC or Union Square in San Francsico. It was a good walk and I was able to name check some other shops to visit tomorrow. Soon, I was at my destination. I saw the store, it saw me, and my wallet magically rose to the top of my bag…this was going to be a great afternoon….or so I thought.
No sooner than I had rolled up on the store, it closed. Did they see me coming? Was my huge MJ canvas bag a dead givewaway that I was a NYC MJ-stan? Did I smell? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??? I was completely dumbfounded. The lights were off, the door was closed and I was left with my nose pressed against the window, starring through the giant peace sign on the other end, struggling to be seen. Did I mention that it is also 90 degrees here? I was truly giving a new meaning to the term “hot & bothered.” Not to be deterred, I walked from one side of the store to the other, no I wasn’t trying to break in, but maybe there was a chance that I was just trying to go in through the wrong door? No dice – still closed. Slowly, reason set in—I was not getting into this store.
A little voice from the more sensible side of my brain told me to look and see if they had their hours on the doors. Sure enough, they were closed…until 4? Seems that I had been hit in the head with a legendary Spanish tradition – la Siesta! The siesta, or mid-day nap, is a spanish tradition that coincided with lunch, and here the lunches are huge…and what do you want to do after a mid-day mean? Sleep. This tradition also has translated itself to businesses as well, with many shops closing for a mid-day siesta around 2 and reopening close to 3 or 4pm. Not every shop, especially those in the touristy districts have adopted this practice, but you should definitely keep this in mind when planning a trip here. If you catch yourself in the middle of a shopping fix, just duck into a cerveceria and grab a beer and some tapas and chill out. Seeing how most Madrilenos don’t even partake in dinner until about 10pm, it kinda makes sense. Who wouldn’t love a 2-hour lunch?
So Marc is gonna have to wait until tomorrow. I just ate, the SO is home and it is time for a nap, lol!
originally posted on ParlourMagazine.com in July, 2009