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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Mi Barrio de Ruzafa (Russafa in Valenciano)



I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend here in Razafa. The idea of an art walk isn't new and you see them in cities around the world. I had no idea that there were so many artist studios and galleries (over 80!) and it was fun to be able to snoop around inside of them.

I have lived in this neighborhood almost since I moved here to Spain. I’ve always thought that it was a great place to live but the old neighborhood has changed drastically for the better over the last few years. When I first moved here it was a little seedy in places with several streets serving as open drug markets and some pretty dodgy bars. When the crisis struck in 2008 the city decided to put some people to work and a major rehabilitation project began. The sidewalks were broadened, the streets narrowed, bike paths were built, and street parking was limited. A lot of residents with cars have screamed about the impossible parking situation but it was simply intolerable before when cars were parked end-to-end on every street creating impenetrable walls for pedestrians. Ruzafa has now recaptured the feel of a small town within the city of Valencia.

There has been an explosion of new bars and restaurants here as Ruzafa has become the prime destination of locals out for a night on the town. It seems that every time that I walk around this small section of town I see a new place that looks inviting. Even someone who goes out as much as I has a difficult time keeping up. I guess that I’ll just have to try to work harder.

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