The eyes cannot see if the mind is blind. I saw that quote Sharpied onto a bathroom door the other day and it really struck a chord with me. I realized that the ability to build rich experiences presents itself everyday if we only open our minds to appreciate our surroundings.
I’ve been back in Madrid for a few weeks and have decided to take a breather from the travels. And now that I’ve started the apartment search and Madrid is starting to feel really real, I realize things are different now. I glaze over the sights I once thought were jaw-dropping. Sometimes, I bury my face in my phone when I walk. Other times, I eat my jamon as though there’s a never-ending supply of it. Even though living in Europe has been a lifelong dream, I still take things for granted.
But, there are other moments when something snaps, and you realize yet again that no matter where you go, even if it’s a few steps outside of your front door, there’s a world which has yet to be discovered and appreciated.
My latest awakening? Mannequin hands. Bird cages. Ventilators. Louis Vittons. I know, what you’re thinking. But it’s possible that these are all somehow associated.
But there is. And, artist Alfredo Velasco is his name. Appearance: Spanish, scruffy, serious. Attitude: sarcastic, silly, stimulating.
This artist recently opened one of the neatest vintage boutiques in Madrid, in the hipster-chic neighborhood of La Latina. If you’re in Madrid and enjoy customized handmade elements like nothing you’ve seen before, you have to come here.
And if I had to begin to describe the accessories this master crafts, I’d start with kooky decorations and end with eclectic bags. Each of these items is completely extra-ordinary, however what they have in common is that every single piece is symbolistic. Of what? That’s up to you. Each purse stands out from the rest with it’s trinkets and salvaged pieces which are carefully screwed, precisely glued, and attentively stitched.
Warning – these are only for the bold and the beautiful.
A visit to this quirky hole-in-the-wall hit my reset button. It made me realize that you get comfortable no matter where you go, and all it takes is the desire to try something new to change that.