The economic crisis and nightlife, rivals of the Raval de Sant Pere de Reus
Pink tiles with floral motifs and hexagonal shapes, buildings with iron balconies and Noucentista decorations, neutral colours, empty premises and many dwellings, good asphalt and zone 30. Undoubtedly, everything points to the suburbs of Reus. The asymmetric alternation of the trees and the automatic traffic light at the crossroads with Eugeni Mata street confirm that it is the Raval de Sant Pere.
To your left the city center “vibrates”, while to your right the constant traffic of vehicles continues. It is evident that it has changed enormously since its name in the 16th-17th centuries and, from its history, modernist emblems such as the Homdedeu house, the Magatzems del Llopis or Ca l'Anguera are preserved. In addition to small architectural details of Reus masonry.
However, that of San Pedro also "survives" the drawbacks of the Tomb of Ravals.
The "dilemma" of the suburbs
What were once the walls that protected the medieval town today suffer from a disconnection from the city center that results in little activity and little social movement. As Roger Figueres points out, Cap of the Agrupament Escolta La Mulassa, "the suburbs produce that limiting effect and consequently people do not go further".
With this, citizens only go to the Raval if they need to buy something specific. “They have to come expressly and I guess that makes it less attractive to walk around this area,” he says.
"The passage of cars makes it not a very passable street," adds Xavier Pàmies, also a member of the entity. In fact, they point out that traffic noise is quite annoying, especially during peak hours, but they believe that pedestrianizing Raval de Sant Pere would be a double-edged sword because it would harm those businesses that benefit from vehicles being able to access their store and, in turn, it would allow the revitalization of places that are now empty with greater pedestrian traffic.
They show that if it were a more commercial environment, there would be more social movement. Nor does the owner of Bar Miami, Joan Díaz, believe that pedestrianizing the street was the solution because municipal initiatives work, but "the current situation of uncertainty is not accompanying, starting a business from scratch now is very risky."
In turn, Díaz criticizes that "the whole movement is centered on the Plaza del Mercadal, Peixateries Velles, Plaza del Castell..." and that especially in the afternoon/night the suburbs remain empty.
Also in the AE La Mulassa they lament the consequences that nightlife has had for their environment. Anna Toral, another of the capspoints out that "the Cau was very good when the Plaza de las Peixateries was empty of terraces, since now nothing can be done there". In the end, in addition to its own building, the entity "lives" by doing activities and games with children who require open spaces.
Socialize Reus style
Thus, instead of "taking advantage" of the street in its entirety, the AE La Mulassa distributes its activity between its headquarters in Raval de Sant Pere and squares such as Baluard or Teatre. On the other hand, Bar Miami remains open because of its history and its link with Reus, thanks to the efforts of customers who continue to consume daily and weigh the economic balance every morning.
The entity and the bar are two very different examples of socializing in the city. Both, yes, remember how they have "lost" the family and correlative atmosphere that characterized Cau, on the one hand, and part of the lifelong clientele, which the restaurateur remembers from the 1960s. "In the first ten years, the bar did not close a single day," contrasts the owner of Bar Miami.
The Fiesta Mayor, Ràdio Reus, Los Nanos, the traditional breakfasts... Numerous aspects also unite them with several generations of people from Reus, but with a difficult environment, only the social mass will bring life back and the suburb will recover what a day was.