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Multi-story residential buildings decorated with ornate balconies line the traditional, quiet, and pretty streets of Chamberí. Humble storefronts and neighborhood taverns are scattered across the lower levels down every block, and here and there, there's a cluster of tables on the sidewalk. It isn't ever crowded, but people are always out, poking into the tiny bakeries, hardware stores, and tobacco shops, or
ducking into a bright, unadorned cerveceria to have a coffee or beer by the bar, flip through the paper, and check the sports score. The round Plaza Olavide, where the fairly regular network of streets breaks form, is among the most green and lively spots. Restaurants line its circumference and sought-after outdoor tables fill the center of the plaza, where people relax to the sounds of kids playing and street musicians' tunes.