Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 29: Don Limpio (Mr Clean)

It´s Superman! No, it´s Spiderman! No, wait, it´s... Don Limpio!

I´ve been watching all month, hoping to see someone rappelling down the side of a building, and finally on the third-last day, one caught my eye.

According to Spanish E-How, "the job of a window washer can be very exciting and well paid. From the 50th floor of a building, the window washer likely works with a partner and they share amazing views. However, working on scaffolding and with other elevation tools, it is one of the most dangerous jobs out there. If you decide to pursue a career in window washing, prepare to face regularly all types of weather and dangerous conditions."

Wow. It really does sound like a job for a super hero. Enter, Don Limpio, what the Spanish call Mr Clean. 

Lower floor windows are usually washed by "regular" cleaning assistants. They clean everything, including windows, both inside and out. Hourly, they can´t charge as much as a dedicated window cleaner, especially if he or she has completed certification with the International Window Cleaning Association. I had no idea that was a thing! Smart idea - you wouldn´t want to get all the way up to floor 112 only to realize you didn´t know how to make your washing cart go back down... Also, the higher the floors, the higher the charge, up to 25 euro an hour. 

This is a job that doesn´t get thought about unless you actually see someone doing it, or it hasn´t been done. Who goes around noticing streak-free windows? Dirty ones, yes, they get a comment or two. For businesses, it´s about good showcasing. Who would window shop through streaky windows? For homes, it´s about good housekeeping and the satisfaction of having the sun filter in without reminding you of a task you´ve left undone.
This window washer was checking the sealing along this glass encased elevator at El Corte Inglés on Serrano in Madrid. Note rooftop café. There is also an indoor space on the floor below, where, when the weather is not the best, you can enjoy some pretty sweet city views through streak-free windows.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 28: Don´t make me come up there and get you!

What parent, teacher or caregiver has ever said that to a kid and followed through? As if we´re going to climb up the tree, fence or streetlight the child has decided to perch on. 
on the far left. if you didn´t know they were there, you´d miss them.
Anyway, check out these four, perched precariously on the Puerta de Alcalá. We go by this monument at least weekly on the way to Super Guy´s play group (so far he hasn´t tried to climb up anything, but it´s only a matter of time before the monkey business begins).
Sobre la Puerta de Alcalá se alzan cuatro esculturas infantiles
i love the vain one on the far right. "check me out!"
The statues represent Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Strength. Prudence is the one with the mirror.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 27: And it´s over nearly before it began

Another iconic building in Madrid is this one on Calle Alcalá. The back has been demolished, and the idea is to build office space and a luxury hotel while maintaining the historic facade. I love the dome on this one, and I love looking at these types of demo projects. How did they get everything except the facade and dome to fall down?? Crazy.

Unfortunately, the project is currently stopped because part of the historic interior, which was supposed to be protected, was destroyed. Oops. 
i love this view- cranes, domes, statues, the facade...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 26: Word

I just had to share the sky scraper of words we saw today at CentroCentro. I love it! We went to see the Kandinsky exhibition (worth it on a Monday, when it´s 5 euro, but I would skip the 11 euro entry fee unless you really, really love Kandinsky. A lot.). There´s always more than one thing going on in CentroCentro, and until November 1 it´s architecture.

It´s called La Torre de Igualdad, the Tower of Equality, by Angel Baltasar. The artist gathered words and phrases from marginalized people trying to fit into society. A fitting installation not only for Architecture Week, but also for Madrid and Spain as a whole as they prepare to accept thousands of refugees, for the immigrants who are here, as the nationalisation process has recently been changed, and a reminder that we could all work to be more inclusive.
a close up of some of the words

Sunday, October 25, 2015