Warmth at Ziryab: The Fifth String of Autumn


Autumn has fallen hard, fervent, magnanimous and grey over the city of Barcelona. The warm summer wind has lost it’s strength, falling amongst the cobblestones in cool puddles of rain. The dogs bark differently this time of year.
The warm light of the restaurant becomes a part of this autumn landscape. A golden light like warmest bread. The red of the wine deepens with passion as it fills the glass. The very wood in the walls competes with the timeless history of the room itself.

Suddenly a bang. The light from the “correfocs” washes over the streets. “Are those fireworks?” The people run outside to see. The stairwell is deserted, and from the empty loft of the restaurant, life feels like a celebration. Do you really think it matters that no one else seems to be listening?

The rockets fade away, leaving behind a trail of smoke that slowly lifts as time begins again, revealing smiling faces. It’s time to eat. Some have a bite, others have more than a bite. Everything is fresh, the aromas sit nicely alongside the candles. Take a look inside. Take your time. Everyone seems content. A cold wind rattles against the door, and no one notices. Silence.

What happened here one hundred years ago? This place would make a fabulous apartment. Why do I like it here so much?

The charm. There’s no other way to explain it. Maybe that’s why they call it that in the first place, because a magical charm has been placed upon us, and all those who lived inside these walls, and wandered through the autumn nights, and heard the silent lute of Ziryab.

Come and see.

(poem based on the musician Ziryab, who legend has it – among other things – invented the 5th string of the lute)

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