Twenty-seven years ago today I drove down from Salamanca with a friend and with all my worldly belongings in the back of his car, along with some precious cargo – my two cats Lua and her son Sunny. We arrived in Sevilla at 8 pm, as previously arranged (to meet landlord and pick up keys), and miraculously found parking almost in front of my new home in calle Mateos Gago. But there was no landlord. And as this was 1993 there were no cell phones, so we just waited. And waited. Finally we asked the bar we were parked in front of if we could get something to eat and drink, but we didn’t really want to leave the car because of the cats and all. And bless them, the people at Bar Campanario actually brought food and drink out to our car, like we were at a drive in, and it was lovely. The landlord finally showed up at 11pm full of apologies, but we were fine (though the cats were happy to see a litter box!). Bar Campanario ended up becoming my local, heck even my living room (my studio apt across the street was tiny), and the owners became fast friends.
Barrio Santa Cruz was my neighbourhood for 18 years, and during that time I made friends with the various bar and shop owners. I also watched my barrio go from a cosy place where locals lived to a tourist attraction. In 2011 I moved to the Alfalfa, unfortunately not realising my new street was a hell-zone for all night bars, then in 2017 I found my present home and I couldn’t be happier.
I didn’t have any big plans for today, other than to go to Casa Román and welcome them back (they just reopened yesterday) and have some tapitas and cava. But then my friend Reyes texted that she had just finished with a meeting, asked where I was, and said she was on her way.
Reyes owns one of the oldest bars in Sevilla, Casa Morales, founded in 1850 by her great grandfather. She is good friends with the present owner of Casa Román (founded 1930) and is friendly with the family that has run Las Teresas since 1870. So you could say she is a bit connected. And well, it’s just lovely to know her and it was a real treat that she made time to come and celebrate with me today. Because we hadn’t seen each other for six months (!!!) and have just been keeping in touch by whatsapp. So we spent a couple of hours drinking wine, having tapitas, chatting and catching up.
Afterwards we walked through the barrio to meet up with her husband Juan Carlos, who was waiting to pick Reyes up. And I went home just feeling so happy, because it had been a perfect afternoon. Later on I got into some netflixing with the cats and had some popcorn for dinner. Seriously? I don’t think I’ve had popcorn for well over a year. For me it’s such an addictive substance that I don’t usually have it in the house. But today it was perfect.
So hey Sevilla. Twenty seven years yo! Love you so much! ❤
jamón Ibérico de bellota
presa Ibérica and fab chips
TEAM CASA ROMÁN!!!
Juan Carlos & Reyes