Ways in which differences and inequalities are made and remade on the street

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The Hague, October 2009

Ways in which differences and inequalities are made and remade on a street that you know.

The street I’m going to describe is Jerónima Llorente Street, in Madrid, wheremy grandmother lives and where my mother was born.

Jerónima Llorente is a little, narrow street close to Madrid centre, dominated by the middle class, with many restaurants, bars, shops and banks.This street has had a number of changes along the years. For example, in the 1950’s and 60’s it wasn’t asphalted and cars passed by very rarely, while today it wouldn’t be very hard possible toimagine this street without cars.

Today it’s hard to find a place to park in this street, which creates many disconnections. The city council decided to make the parking places in the street payable, sothat the neighbors would find it easier to park. This was a controversial decision, as some people thought they paid many taxes, and there won’t be more parking spaces. In case the council needed tocharge more taxes, some people said, these should depend on each person’s income income.

People have changed much during the years. From a low-middle class street where main nationality was Spanish,to middle class, with multiple nationalities. The real estate boom in the 1990’s and early 2000’s and the high affluenceincrease of immigration immigration have changed the identities of this street.Besides the old, typical Spanish bars and restaurants and local stores, many of the restaurants and stores are now focused on giving foreigners some services they need, such as food (a minimarketwith food from South America), bars and restaurants (Cuban, Moroccan), stores with cheaper rates for money transfers and international conferences, a store with cheap Chinese articles and an esotericshop run by an Ecuadorian woman (where there used to be a men’s hairdresser). All this has created a totally different atmosphere, as well as different discussions. Some people in the street think that...
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