We already know the great bookstores in the Reina Sofia and the Mapfre Foundation, but this new store in Callao aims to make book-buying a complete experience.
In its more than 1200m2 and 4 storeys, you can enjoy in-situ reading in small and cozy rooms equipped for the occasion, buy unique writing and stationary goods, or have a drink while browsing your recent purchase in the downstairs bistro-café.
This 100 year-old building has been lovingly restored and retains many of its original architectural elements (the wooden stairs, brick walls, some paneling, tiles, etc.). Added vintage pieces and industrial touches (lamps, chairs, etc.) have ended up creating a very pleasant atmosphere.
For now, the influx of people is a bit overwhelming and the experience is not as pleasant as intended. Still, it’s a wonderful place to get a book or just hang out.
On Madrid’s musical map, El Cuervo Music is THE store. It’s only been around for a short time (since the summer of 2010) but it’s good musical taste, decoration, and the whole scenesurrounding it seems to be attracting the music loving madrileños, not to mention the whole “concept store” idea they have going on. As the music industry currently stands, it’s nice to see that you can, in fact, really accomplish things.
We’ll break it down for you: Cuervo Music is an agency that manages national bands (like Angelus Apatrida from La Mancha) and distributes their music. They work with international bands as well (for example, the Swedish Backyard Barbies). After awhile, they realized it made sense to open up a storefront to help integrate their business in the community and sell albums from their groups, as well as others. That’s how El Cuervo Store came to be. It also represents another one of the concept stores populating Malasaña. In this case, it’s dedicated to music (rock, stoner and metal for the most part) but has clothes and books to offer. On their website you can see some of the brands they distribute: clothing, Cheap Monday, books and magazines, Vice, etc.
They have the best leather couch in the world and, from time to time, they organize expositions. To keep up to date, take a look at their Facebook page.
When I say “look mom, it only cost three Euros at a vintage shop”, my mom looks at me like practically any Spanish mother would, with the look of disgust. The thing is, we don’t like the idea of buying used or vintage clothing here. I guess it’s a cultural issue. While flea markets or neighborhood markets where neighbors sell their leftovers triumph across other European capitals, here our families look down upon it as dirty and old clothing.
This is changing little by little. If you take a stroll down Valverde Street you’ll see that, in barely twenty meters, there are four used and vintage clothing stores. After doing an arduous comparative study, vintage only makes sense when the quality-originality price is greater than that of H&M. My favorite store out of all of these is Magpie. It has decent prices for delightfully chosen and cared-for garments from quality and known brands and with pretty designs. The place is big. It’s heavily decorated and has mens’ and womens’ clothing, plus shoes and accessories.
The best part? The throwback dresses. They're classic, elegant and distinguished. They cost about 25-30 euros, on average (the shirts/blouses are usually between 10 and 15). Vintage in the good sense of the word.