Logroño, España: Community Spaces
The first thing I did when I got to Logroo after dropping off my stuff at the hotel was get dinner with a friend I was traveling with. Since my friend has been to Logroo before, he led me to a town plaza with multiple restaurants and a big church in the center.
As I sat there waiting and later eating dinner, something felt very different. A culture shock, I suppose. There was a guy making bubbles with one of those fun strings while kids ran around and tried popping the bubbles. There were old people sitting there, watching and talking.
Over the next few days in Logroo, I noticed similar scenes all over the place. There were so many public community spaces all over the city! And there were children and old people there too!
I realized that the strange thing was not the scene, but me. You see, in San Francisco, I barely see any children or old people. When they do make an appearance, it's very alien and weird - people stay away and keep looking at their phones. Yet there, in Logroo, children and old people were just a normal part of life, as they should be.
This reminded me of a very interesting episode of 99% Invisible I heard about malls in America being initially envisioned as a type of community space that Europe has, which of course became the symbol for consumerism instead.
Anyway, I haven't seen that type of scene in a very long time. It reminded me of my humanity - it was so natural and beautiful. I'm actually starting to be excited about leaving San Francisco in that respect - it's going to be cool to get out of the bubble I've been living in for the past 5 years and experience how the rest of the world lives, really lives.