Lisbon was a weird one. This beautiful, crumbling city definitely has a vibe. It’s hot and faded, dreamy and hazy. Out of breath and sweating, you marvel at yet another view atop one of Lisbon’s many vertical ascents. Trolley cars announce themselves with loud rings and screeching metal, reminding you that this is where old meets new.
Lisboa has a voice. The people speak through its cracked walls, sharing political and social discomfort, whilst at the same time spreading love and unity through street art and creative expression. Art is a major focus here. Take a visit to the LX Factory near the shore and you’ll see the manifestation of repurposing the old into the new. A repurposed warehouse space in and of itself, the LX Factory features small boutiques, stores, galleries and cafes all with a fresh purpose and creative mission within a space designed to encourage creative expression and growth. In Lisbon, the old is not torn down but rather celebrated and used again. The people breathe life into this dry and cracked metropolis, and in a way, I feel like I’ve been to Lisbon before, I’ve felt this vibe before. It’s the energy of creativity spawning from a youth disallusioned with the world around them and it’s a powerful energy that I resonate with.
Head to Lisbon’s Praça de Comércio and see kids showing off their skills on skate boards, roller blades, manifesting their creativity into physical maneuvers, bringing the grassroots to the center of centuries of history held in the ornate buildings that surround them. In no place in Lisbon is youth more prominent than the neighborhood of Barrio Alto. The life we have when we’re young has taken over these narrow streets. Every other building is a bar, bringing in different cultures and atmospheres from sultry Latin dives to strobed house infused arenas. If you’re looking to stay in Lisbon, the noise from the street is worth it to be a part of Barrio Alto’s intense energy. We were lucky enough to find an airbnb a mere 30 seconds from a myriad of bars, all infused with their own unique style.The juxtaposition of old and new is everywhere, the city has seen so much and yet it retains its youthful nature.
Major cities are often described as a melting pot of different cultures and whilst Lisbon does indeed conform to this, it more prominently represents a melting pot of ideas. Lisbon is where art meets cobblestone streets, where rainbow colored paint drips down into sun bleached concrete. Every day, new ideas are sprayed upon old ones, covering them, moulding them and adapting them to an ever evolving world. The story in Lisbon keeps on changing, the energy keeps on flowing.