Elaine Gatt, a student reading for an MA in English and the Media at the University of Malta, writes about the transformation that East Street undergoes during the warmer months of the year. Read on to find out more…

East 1

These steps will soon come alive with the sounds of Jazz rhythms and people chatting

The wooden bridge joining either side of East Street is completely bare except for two stray grey fluffy tom cats which seem to be enjoying the almost hesitant sun’s rays of spring. The usually stealthy felines are now sedately sprawled on the warm faded wooden planks, each having a commanding view of the road below filled with silently parked cars. Having the wooden bridge all to themselves is a luxury that they can only enjoy seasonally. Indeed it has been quite a while now that the mellow laid-back rhythms of the jazzy grooves from the warm summer evenings were heard.

For the past months, East Street and its bridges have become noticeably silent and the only rhythms heard are the howling winds, the pattering rain and the occasional banter of passersby. This is not for long however. As the months roll on, the bridge and the street itself, which have undoubtedly witnessed many a story and adventure, will soon be overcome by a mellow buzz that will dominate the area, overshadowing memories of its more silent days. The low worn out stone steps leading down from St. Ursula Street will soon be concealed by colourful cushions of different shapes and sizes, red candles and a cheerful light-hearted crowd, welcoming the warm summer evenings.  With the change of season, the doors open and the tables and chairs start to camouflage the bridge turning it into a swinging jazzy venue. The rounded brassy rhythms come to life once again in the satiated yellow lighting and the flamboyant bougainvillea, cheerfully complementing the clinking of glasses and the soft chuckles which carry on until the fresh early hours.  Admittedly the atmosphere is vibrant and for a fervent Valletta worshipper like me, this is utterly one of the best parts of summer.