There was much nostalgia on the way there, as I walked past an old English student's apartment (Pablo) and then near my very first apartment from 2009, just behind the Plaza de Toros. From there, I continued to pass many other spots I'd almost forgotten about.
The tiny plaza with water spurting out of the ground, where I withdrew my rent from Santander when the ATM closest to my apartment was out of order. The first doctor's office I ever went to here, when I had a bad cold and lost my voice for several days. The apartment where I had the quickest haircut of my life in 2012, no thanks to multiple gushing recommendations on the auxiliares FB page, and then disappointingly handed over 20 euros.
And then I ended up at the free outdoor public art museum—a new place now added to my Madrid repetoir.
If you're coming from c/ Juan Bravo, as you get closer to Paseo de la Castellana you'll want to look for these stairs and go down, underneath the overpass. That's where the sculptures and statues are.
The "museum" has 17 abstract sculptures made by Spanish artists, and its official inauguration was in 1979 (though it's been open to the public since 1972).
I sat and ate my lunch at a nearby bench where the sun was hitting—a nice afternoon in the mid-upper '50s for this Wisconsin gal. (Everyone walking around these days is bundled up in thick winter coats and scarves.)
Just around the corner, only two buildings away, is the ABC mall—which is worth a look if you're already at the Museo Arte Público.
I sat outside and sketched it in pencil (today I'll add color), and then I used the mall's bathrooms inside before heading down Castellana.
I passed a Hard Rock Café on my left, which I'm sure was the same Hard Rock Café where Asad, Becca, Sam, and I had eaten seven years earlier for Becca or Sam's goodbye dinner.
After passing the Plaza de Colón, I stopped into the Biblioteca National de España (National Library of Spain), another building I don't think I'd ever entered.
On the bottom floor (not up the stairs pictured above—enter on either side of the main staircase, ground level) there are exhibitions and a museum, all free to enter. So I really quickly walked through those to make it back out into the daylight for some more wander walking.
IF YOU GO...What: Museo Arte Público en Madrid
Where: Paseo de la Castellana, 40, 28046 Madrid
Hours: Any time, but you'll see better in the daylight ;)