In search of a third place

When I started this blog two years ago, I had a list of possible topics that I intended to write about on a weekly basis. But…let’s just say that life happened and I left off after publishing just one entry. In the mean time, I got married, had a baby, and have been busy with my little one since then. Now, I’m finally getting back to this blog and I would really like to make it a weekly activity if possible. I think when I started this blog I was a little intimidated to publish something online and thought it had to be perfect. But, really, when I think about it I can’t imagine anyone actually reading this anyway. It’s really just a place for me to record and explore topics that interest me in the context of my life and experiences as an urban planner, mother, and expat in Madrid.

At the moment my husband is feeding our baby his ‘cerienda’—a combination of an afternoon snack (merienda) and dinner (cena). I’ve escaped to the local library branch, which for right now is my chosen third place—not home, not work, but a public place where I can have some quiet time to work. I would love it if it had a more of a café vibe, but the local bakery café near our home doesn’t have wifi or really much seating aside from the outside seating on the terraza that can be a little cold and filled with cigarette smoke.

Looking back at the last entry, I mentioned that we were lucky that we have a trastero where we can store our bicycles. Though I still feel fortunate to have that space available, on my way walking here I was wishing that our apartment complex actually had some secure outdoor bike parking. Just the matter of going down to the trastero and carrying my bicycle up the stairs is enough extra effort for me that I opt to walk places instead of bothering with the bicycle. For that matter, I wish the streets on the way to the library—that pass by the local school—had bike lanes. I really LOVE the feeling of riding a bicycle so much more than the slow pace of walking. If we end up staying here in Madrid, I wonder if its Plan Director de Movilidad Ciclista will ever get implemented so that my son can experience the joys of riding around his city on two wheels and we can have the peace of mind to let him explore the world on his own. I hope so…

Well, it’s time to head back home to put the ‘lil one to bed. I’ll try to post something next week when I return to the library—next time I have to remember to bring my wallet with my library card—I’m bummed I can’t check out the video “Chico y Rita” that I’ve been wanting to see for some time. ¡vaya!