Leanne Cole has chosen that “urban” be the theme for this week’s Monochrome Madness. To me, “urban” means lots of buildings and lots of people, as opposed to “rural” — not too many buildings, not too many people. And what can be more urban than a pedestrian mall lined with tall buildings and filled with eager shoppers? We visited many cities over the world in the past few years that have major streets turned into pedestrian walkways but I decided to choose one of the first cities in Europe to do so. The city is Madrid and the street is Calle Preciados.
We visited Madrid in the Spring of 2010 and I took this shot one balmy day in May. One way to get from our hotel on the Gran Via near Plaza del Callao to the Puerta del Sol is to walk down Calle Preciados, which is one of ten spokes that lead from Puerta del Sol, the symbolic center of Spain. You can also get on the Metro at Callao station (line 3) and exit at Sol one stop down the line. But it’s much more fun walking down Calle Preciados! They banned autos on this street way back in the 1970s.
The large building on the left of the photo with its billboard advertising that shopping is an art is El Corte Ingles, the largest department store chain in Spain and fourth largest in Europe. The woman’s clothing store on the right, Sfera, is owned by El Corte Ingles.
During the summer months a large canopy covers the street to protect the pedestrians from the murderous Madrid sun. Christmas decorations replace the canopy in the winter months. They are usually still there on New Year’s Eve when half the population of Madrid wander down either Calle Preciados or one of the other nine streets that lead to Puerta del Sol, the city’s largest plaza, where they welcome in the new year.
Calle Preciados is the 12th most expensive street in Europe. See here for my posting on the most expensive street which we visited in 2012.
I wonder what other photographers came up with for their Urban theme? Let’s hop on over to Leanne’s website and find out! Oops. Leanne published her posting a day early this week and only six photos are included in this week’s challenge. I guess I didn’t get my entry in on time.
Update: Just noticed that there are now 36 photos on Leanne’s website, including mine and Leanne’s. I guess I got my entry in on time after all. Yay!