Not as hot as the bulletin board, but still fun and interesting tips about Madrid – scroll down for how to donate to food bank
LOCAL / FARMERS’ MARKETS! Buy local: get Madrid agricultural products directly from the producers (yes, Madrid has countryside, too!). Depending on the market and the time of year you can get veges, fruit, cheese, sausage, bread, pastries, chocolate, honey, fresh meat, olive oil, wine, beer and a lot more. Some organic or ecologic products. Samples often available so you know which cheese to get, the Camara Agraria does a mini wine tasting thing. Fun to interact with the producers, most are really friendly. Fun to people-watch, and most of these are near Things To See or Things To Do, so grocery shopping could hve a fun add-on. Take shopping bags!
— Cámara Agraria, usually first Saturday in the month, 10AM- 3PM on the south edge of the Casa de Campo, Paseo Puerta del Angel 4, next to restaurant Balcon de Griñon. Metros: Puerta del Angel and Lago, big parking lot next to market. More info (including how to get there) at http://www.camaraagraria.org/ Awesome cheesmakers and chocolate; one vege stand usually has kale, hard to find in Madrid. Suggestion: check date on website before going – they switch to avoid long weekends or special events in the city.
— Mercado Productores, used to be last weekend of the month (Saturday and Sunday, now they mix it up a bit more but usually third weekend of the month. Main square of Matadero Cultural Center, south end of Madrid Rio park, our riverside walking / biking / skating park. Metro Legazpi. More info at http://mercadoproductores.es New in September 2014, good, though fewer fruit and vege places than the Cámara market, some non-food products and some people from outside Madrid and more wineries. None of that an issue (no whining about wine!), just an FYI. Suggestion: check date on website before going – they switch to avoid long weekends or special events in the city.
— Mercado Agroecológico: Two mini-markets to fill in the missing weekends. These markets are smaller, but from what I’ve seen you can usually find cheese, meat, bread & baked goods, wine, beer, veges, and often oil and honey. Where and when: Puerta de Toledo, in square by old Puerta de Toledo fish market (now Carlos III University), metro Puerta de Toledo. Every second Saturday. // Plaza Isabel II (Opera), metro Opera and Sol. Every third Saturday. Both open 10AM – 2PM.
— Mercado Agroecológico Malasaña, every Saturday at empty lot Antonio Grilo 8, very near metros Noviciado, Santo Domingo and Plaza de España, 11am – 2.30pm. More info at https://www.facebook.com/solaragroeco/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel This one is right downtown, smaller than the others but supposedly very good; a friend who lives nearby says the tomatoes are amazing, and disappear very quickly.
Other events held on regular basis
Mercado de las Ranas / Frogs Market: Food, fashion, things for the home, books, art, antiques. Sort of quirky, trendy, unconventional but not Chueca-ish. Where and when: Letras neighborhood, approximate borders: Santa Ana square, calle Atocha, Paseo del Prado, Carrera San Jeronimo. First Saturdays of the month, except August. A bit more info, after a scroll down: http://www.barrioletras.com/
Santa Ana Street Market: La Latina is going trendy! Fashion, things for the home, antiques, art, churros in the morning if you are lucky. Where and when: Santa Ana street, just off Toledo street between La Latina and Puerta de Toledo metros. First Saturdasy of the month. https://www.santaanastreetmarket.com/
Madrid Crea / Madrid Creates. Monthy craft markets, first Saturday in Santa Ana square, second Saturday in Opera square. Metros Anton Martin, Sevilla or Sol for first, Opera or Sol for second. This seems to be new, have only seen the Opera market. Small but varied and nice things.
Molly Market. Crafts of all kinds, some food. Where and when: COAM (interesting venue!) at Hortaleza 63, near metros Chueca and Alonso Martinez, several times a year, for sure before Christmas, and maybe middle of the year. More info: http://www.mollymarket.es/
Adelita Market. Secondhand market, all kinds of products: clothes, books, shoes, furniture. The philosophy is ecology, sustainability and frugality (for ourselves and the planet): in many situations it’s as good or better to re-use instead of buying new. Sort of a Rastro. Where and when: calle Espiritu Santo 23 (metro Tribunal or Noviciado). This market happens every third Saturday of the month: Months October – April 11am – 8pm, months May – September 12 noon – 9pm. More info at http://adelitamadrid.blogspot.com.es/p/adelita-market.html
Madrid Eat: Imagine an outdoor food court and you get the basic idea of Madrid Eat. This is not so much about buying (like Eating Madrid and some other market-fairs) as about eating right there. Variety of food stands. Where and when: ON HOLD WHILE THEY LOOK FOR A NEW VENUE. More info at http://www.madreat.org/
Nomada Market. Fun market with fashion (including accessories), gastronomy, home decoration….. AND they let you take your doggie! Activities for kids, too. Where and when: Attic of Chamartin train station (stairs up from main lobby of station). Held in Madrid several times a year, also in other cities in Spain. Get more info at http://www.nomadamarket.com/
Drive-in movies, anyone? New early in 2017: drive-in movies in Madrid. If you are from the USA and not-too-young, you might remember when there was one in your town. Maybe you even kissed your first sweetheart (or more than kissing?) at a drive in. If you’re in that category, here’s a chance to drive down memory lane. If you’re younger or not from the USA, find out what theis is all about. More info http://www.autocinesmadrid.es/
Recyle / disposal old things: We all know that we should reduce, reuse and recyle, correct? Last step only after making conscious choices for first two steps. For recycling, we all know about the bins in the street for glass, paper and other containers – replacing the neighborhood rag and junkmen who disappeared in the 1980’s or thereabouts when city recycling took off and those guys were reaching (mostly) retirement age. Not to be confused with today’s roving junkman who you must pay to cart off you old stuff: until day before yesterday their preferred mode of transportation was a donkey-drawn cart. So what are your alternatives for getting rid of stuff that shouldn’t really go into the garbage for pollution issues, or stuff that might have a second life after its time with you? Here are some tips: Medicine: most pharmacies have a small bin for out-of-date medicine or for those last few unused pills from a doctor’s prescription. Don’t throw them in the garbage and even less down the toilet! Batteries: many bus stops in Madrid city have a battery-bin on one side of the structure, separating different kinds of batteries by size of the hole (check description). Old clothes: some churches or NGO’s do clothing drives for the needy OR you can look for one of the permanent bins for Humana and put your old things there – shoes and clothes in closed bags. They sort everything and sell the best at used clothes shops around the city – this is usually not classy vintage stuff but I have found nice sweaters and jeans at these shops, so they’re worth checking out. Other clothes go to programs for the needy, here or in Africa, and what isn’t really useable is recycled. Info to find your nearest bin with this link, move up a few steps to find their stores: http://www.humana-spain.org/que-puedes-hacer-tu/donar-ropa/?lang=es Other stuff: old x-rays, florescent light tubes, paint cans, dead small and large appliances, old computer stuff and more: head for the Punto Limpio nearest you. This is city-run so you don’t have to pay to cart it away (like the junkman). Most neighborhoods have a weekly roving unit (Punto Limpio Movil) that can only take smallish stuff within a certain time frame on certain days, and the larger Punto Limpio Fijo setup that can take just about anything you’d want to dump. Both are only for personal / family units (not industry) have limits on amount – you can’t take two refrigerators, for example. The times I’ve gone the people have been very helpful in telling me where to dump my stuff and even friendly. Find Punto Limpio closest to you: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zDfAwD-CuMsM.kLMSAAyTrOZ4&hl=en_US Info on what they take (Spanish only, scroll down) http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1142329753599&pagename=PortalJoven/Page/JUVE_contenidoFinalMenuIzquierdo&rootpageid=1142329741915
Luggage Lockers downtown: In the city for just one day? stash the luggage, near Sol or near the Plaza Mayor, just like in the train stations. Ummm. I would probably not leave anything really valuable in the lockers (laptop, tablet, etc) but I’m a wimp. Some of these may have in-locker charging stations for your gadgets. Dropit is on calle Jardines (near Sol), www.dropit.es and Lock and Be Free is on Jardines (near Sol) and calle Toledo (near Plaza Mayor), www.lockandbefree.com (website was cranky when I looked though both locales are open). Double check the schedule, but I think it is 9am – 9pm.
Not-Spanish books (variety of languages) at:
Booksellers, two stores in Madrid. Good section for language teachers & learners. www.booksellers.es
Pasajes. Good section of history books in English http://www.pasajeslibros.com/
Desperate Literature. Small but friendly, very nice selection of new, used and rare books. Organizes activities, too. Madrid lifers: This is at Petra’s Bookstore location, new owners. http://desperateliterature.com/
J&J Books and Coffee. Lots of secondhand books in the basement, coffeeshop up top. Organizes activities, too. http://www.jandjbooksandcoffee.es/