Cafe Libertad 8 in Madrid – go there. It’s in Chueca, which is definitely worth a wander.
A bit of a history lesson:
The cafe is over 100 years old, and served as a clandestine meeting place during the years Franco was in power. People would gather to share their anti-dictatorship sentiments and just general distaste for the asshole. So cool.
In the 70’s, it developed into THE cafe for the intelligentsia to meet, and the most renowned journalists and writers of that time would come in order to have their pass at the stage and try to appear smarter than their colleagues.
My sweet Spanish friends Alan and Victoria invited me to come see a cuentacuentos: a story teller. For adults. Sold! I imagined all of us gathered around at the story teller’s feet, eyes unblinking and mouths agape as she weaved tales of unicorns and witches and vampires and how love really does conquer all. The only differentiating factor from my childhood would be a cocktail waitress keeping my wine glass full.
It wasn’t quite like that. But there were tricks! Like magic tricks. Which never would have been allowed in my Christian upbringing for fear of the devil taking over my soul. As an adult I don’t have to worry about that. He and I worked out a deal ages ago.
Storytelling for adults is a brilliant idea, and I’m not really sure why the idea hasn’t navigated its way over the ol’ US of A. She made things disappear, fly, and A LIVE FISH APPEARED OUT OF NOWHERE! I still don’t know how she did that. But a good magician never reveals their illusions, Michael.
She was also a talented accordion player, which always makes me feel like I’m in France.