Back to the Past

Reaching a certain age has both its pros and cons. One gains experience but at the same time becomes more conscious of the many changes the city one lives in has gone through. I am of the opinion that any city has its soul, present along its streets, inside its shops and homes. The soul of a city is still alive in the experiences that one has lived in those places, and when those places are no longer there, that piece of us disappears with them. I have seen bars that reflected the passing by of the years, bars that were icons of an entire generation disappear in a glimpse of an eye to become clothes stores or tasteless and cloned franchises. This truly saddens me. Globalization moves us towards standardization, making us equal and consequently leaving little space for surprise. And yes, our beloved city of Palma has suffered this process. The legendary Bar Moka in calle San Miguel with its Almodovar style waiters, the Blanquejada bar where jazz was played by its old rusty piano, Tejidos Ribas-a legendary fabric store-Ca´n Frasquet or the unforgettable dream chocolaterie, the “always there” old man that used to mend suitcases at plaza des Pes de sa Palla, the London Tailors shop…. all of these have disappeared and have been replaced by what sellers believe now to be more modern, minimal, chill, urban….. I basically don´t believe that tourists seek modern bars where concepts of bigger cities are copied. In fact, I believe travellers are drawn to Mallorca because of its essence and its authenticity, which is what actually differs it from their cities of origin. It´s already late now because many places have definitely closed down. However, we are still in time to conserve what is left and preserve the legacy of the past, not meaning by this that life in the city should not be drived and energized by new businesses, but in doing so, respecting our traditions as well as what makes us different, respect to the spirit that seems to have blurred with the changing fashions and passing years. I wish the Townhall had thought about this before demolishing entire neighbourhoods allowing soulless buildings to be erected. And the same should happen with the property construction market: if a house is reformed and the original materials can be preserved, so much the better. I feel I need to clarify this is not a feeling of melancholy, nor an attachment to the past but a call to respect the origins, to what we once were. Just as an example, in this recently reformed property-see link below- you can observe how the original floor tiling has been copied and combined with other more modern materials adapting it to our actual living standards.