Explanada de España

By: Alexa Baer

If you’re standing at the steps to Mercado Central and start walking down hill you’ll pass many quite a few bars, a Taco Bell, a Dunkin and a taxi stop. As you pass all these places you’ll get closer to the beach but in between you and this beach is what I call the board walk.

This place is not actually a board walk but I don’t know what else to call it, other than a huge side walk. On one side there are several restaurants and cafes. On the other side is the ocean. And in between the ocean and the restaurants the place is lined with sellers. If you go all the way down to the public beach you’ll see a stand selling magazines. Next to it is a stand selling umbrellas and scarfs. Across that stand is an ice cream store that’s closed until 4. Beyond that is a beautiful carousel.

If you turn and walk in the other direction you’ll pass stands selling souvenirs. You can find purses and wallets, necklaces, lighters and even shot glasses.

However, my favorite place is the old man who has a table outside the McDonalds. Unlike some of the other sellers he is only there during the day and he’s there every day except Tuesday. He is an old man with gray hair and he speaks no English. He sits at a desk next to his table and that’s where he hand paints every single one of the pieces he sells. He paints cats and dogs, as well as the scenery. His pictures of flamenco dancers are gorgeous. He paints fridge magnets, paper weights, and pictures inside picture frames.

His artwork is simply amazing. I wish I spoke more Spanish because he seems like the kind of person that has many stories to tell. I have so many questions for him that I will most likely never ask. And it’s strange because I will most likely remember this man for a while and he might’ve already forgotten about the American girl that bought the beagle magnet and a painting.

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