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Friday, February 29
Spanish Toy Soldiers Et Al
I don't know if these soldiers are made of lead but I suppose so. At least I am sure they are toy soldiers, men of arms, Spanish crusaders, conquerors. There's one figure that specially called my attention, and that is the one representing Don Quixote, with spear and cavalry book in hand as if looking towards the mills that he mistook for giants although in some way it maybe interpreted as some religious man reading the sacred words to some newly conquered or invaded people in the name of the Spanish crown and the Holy church, if not, why is it that he's surrounded by crusaders? The picture was taken at a small store in Ferran street.
Orange is not my favorite color, at least not if compared to blue or purple but in photography it really makes a difference. I have seen extraordinary pictures that include such color, here are some: VFXY: Orange My orange flowers today, I believe, are roses and they are only a modest contribution.
Some months later, the same corner, the same guy, the same situation, the same precarity and poverty, no matter what government is ruling, no matter the price of the oil barrel, no matter how high or low Dow Jones index is, no matter who ranks first in the Forbes list, no matter how rich the Vatican is or how many skyscrapers are built in Dubai or how many jewelry stores are in New York's Diamond District or how well Chinese economy is.
Dwarf Rabbit in Pet Stall at Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain
Like some sort of scared Pikachu, this dwarf rabbit finds the most faraway corner to escape the tip of my lens stuck as they were on the cage's bars. The rabbit is part of the bizarre blend of exotic species in animal stalls along Las Ramblas, Barcelona.
Upon entering Las Ramblas from Plaça Catalunya you meet rows of benches that resemble chairs occupied by elderly people reading like this man or simply spying on passerbies. In Catalonia 16,39% of the population (6.115.759 in 1991) was over 65 years old in 2006. I won't give you all the figures since you may consult them at The Official Statistics Website of Catalonia
Walking along the fence of Mossen Costa i Llobera Cacti Gardens which happened to be closed on Sunday, I don't know why, I found this beautiful orange flowers that look like pods or long bells. I am unable to determine the name but I do like the bright colors against the green of cacti in the background.
Biker and Skeleton in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain
A familiar human statue in Las Ramblas de Barcelona, the man with the skeleton, pedaling both at the same time. I was used to watching him or them dressed in other colors, check it here: Human Statue in Las Ramblas - Biker. He had no problem posing for the camera after the coin hit the bottom of the can.
To finish this hotel series for now, I leave you with a view of Colon Hotel right in front of Barcelona Cathedral in Barri Gotic. I know the picture is no big deal but if you look it up on a Barcelona map you'll find out how well located this renown hotel is. With time Barcelona Photoblog pretends to be a little helpful guide to visitors so the more information the better. I have often wondered why so many travel guides offer those tiny pictures that may ruin your logical enthusiasm prior to the discovery of a new city. They are like a very small window, you want to look inside and capture as many details as possible, full of illusion as you are, and there's no way to stick your head inside to take a look around. So whenever possible I will try to show you some hotels, museums, etc that may not be of photographic interest but will surely let you lean on the window and take a glimpse at Barcelona.
Miramar-Barcelona Hotel in particular being on Montjuic mountain, on Miramar road to be more precise, is a little out of the way. It is not inaccesible, but it is a mountain after all. Of course you have the best views of Barcelona port, Maremagnum and some other areas of the city from up there. There is a beautiful park nearby and an important botanical garden devoted exclusively to cacti thanks to the special microclimate along the wall of the mountain. This is a luxury hotel designed by Oscar Tusquet. Miró Foundation Museum is very near and MNAC National Art Museum not so near as they suggest but you won't get a heart attack before you reach the place. Of course the 15 minutes walk to get to Las Ramblas is feasible although that means you have to descend towards the city. Hey, if you have money for luxury hotels don't complain about transportation anyways.
NH Podium Hotel is the second on my list, but remember this is a random selection. You are free to choose any hotel from the huge amount available in Barcelona. I just liked the entrance you see. It was sunny and the flowers really looked attractive. I visited the site and at least the pictures in the gallery are quite convincing. But of course I would show you my best suite to make you book a room. If I were you I would think of budget first, then which part of the city the hotel is and finally I would read some reviews on the web. By the way, NH Podium is located at Bailen street, 4-6, very near Arc de Triomph and Ciutadella Park.
Barcelona hotels are really scarce in Barcelona Photoblog, simply because it is difficult for me to take good pictures of some buildings that are normally boring, at least from the outside. Nevertheless, considering that spring and Easter holidays are around the corner I have decided to show some well known hotels that might give visitors a hint or at least serve as an appetizer before booking a room in our city. The fact that I pick up these hotels does not mean I emphasize on any of them. They all caught my attention in a certain way and are 4 star hotels after all so they might be good choices for you. In any case I will insert a link to their site if available. Here goes the first one: Condes de Barcelona Hotel. What is special about this hotel? The location of course, Passeig de Gracia 73-75. It is a beautiful modernist building facing La Pedrera or Casa Mila by Gaudi. The rest you can read by yourselves on their site above. Considering the area I am sure the price must be something to take into account but hey, who knows?.
As I promised yesterday here is the backseat of a Yamaha motorcycle, probably a Road Star, with a detail of a skull ornament. Not that my blog had suddenly settled for the motor business but it is not the first time I notice groups of bikers riding along Barcelona showing off their state of the art equipment, so I thought you might like to see some. Here is a list with all Yamaha models from 1970 on.
Chrome Eagle Front Fender Ornament on Yamaha Motorbike
For Yamaha motorcycle fans or any other brand follower and why not, for motor illiterates like me I would like to showcase this detail of a chrome eagle front fender ornament on a Yamaha motorbike I spotted at Montjuic mountain, right in front of Miramar hotel. I thought it was a Harley, ignorant me! Tomorrow, the back seat.
Human Statue's Boot Detail in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain
This is just a pair of boots but boots can be interesting sometimes, especially those some of the human statues in Las Ramblas wear. An old pistol and a good coat of silver polish can give the character the final touch. Sometimes you can't tell whether they are impersonating a pirate, a hunter, a cowboy, a soldier or any other sort of scoundrel but believe me, it is fun to watch them perform. No need to say that bootlickers should avoid this area, there is a high risk of indigestion.
The Mirador on Miramar Road at Montjuic, Barcelona
You could be one of these lucky people. This is no luxury resort, this is just the Mirador on Miramar road in the mountain of Montjuic, Barcelona. You too can enjoy such wonderful view while having a snack before taking a little walk in the nearby gardens or visiting Montjuic castle. You too could be watching the red cable car going towards Jaume I tower in the background or admiring the impressive architecture of Barcelona World Trade Center. Come and share with us this privileged view of the Mediterranean Sea.
Lennon, John - Killing The Dove of Peace - Papier Mache Figure
How did you feel the day they shot Lennon? How many times have you felt that sad for someone you didn't know personally? That was one of the few moments in my life when I shed a tear for a "total stranger". With this figure of John Lennon in papier mache I want to honor his memory. If you want to remember him for only five minutes watch the video or read the lyrics of the song below. I leave you with a final question: Why did Mark David Chapman had to kill the dove of peace?
Were playing those mind games together
Pushing the barriers, planting seeds
Playing the mind guerrilla
Chanting the mantra, peace on earth
We all been playing those mind games forever
Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil
Doing the mind guerrilla
Some call it magic, the search for the grail
Love is the answer and you know that for sure
Love is a flower, you got to let it, you got to let it grow
So keep on playing those mind games together
Faith in the future, outta the now
You just cant beat on those mind guerrillas
Absolute elsewhere in the stones of your mind
Yeah we're playing those mind games forever
Projecting our images in space and in time
Yes is the answer and you know that for sure
Yes is surrender, you got to let it, you got to let it go
So keep on playing those mind games together
Doing the ritual dance in the sun
Millions of mind guerrillas
Putting their soul power to the karmic wheel
Keep on playing those mind games forever
Raising the spirit of peace and love
(I want you to make love, not war, I know youve heard it before)
Don Corleone, The Godfather in Papier Mache at Barcelona Store
Papier mache figure of Marlon Brando in the Godfather. Another example of how a character may acquire a life of his own and make the audience forget about the actor in a certain way. In this case this is Mr. Marlon Brando and it is impossible to forget the man behind the character but sometimes we tend to think that they are both different people, that Don Corleone was really there, making polite offers you couldn't refuse. Like the figure in my previous post, this one is also on sale at the same Barri Gotic souvenir shop. I have to say that Hugh Laurie's post has been a total success but in a negative sense. Lots of fans have come to see Dr. House in papier mache and most of them say they wouldn't place such a horrible adornment around the house mainly because the star has not been precisely favored in this artwork.
Dr. House or Hugh Laurie in Papier Mache at Barcelona Store
Dr. Gregory House the main character in House M.D television series has been immortalized in this papier mache figure on sale at a popular store in Barcelona's Gothic quarter near Sant Jaume square. There was a previous post with celebrities like Keith Richards and Woody Allen and in the next two there will be more famous people. Hugh Laurie will have difficulties to get rid of Dr. House, something that has happened to too many actors for the good or for the bad. Will Dr. House obliterate a totally different character like this?: Hugh Laurie in "Black Adder".
Blowing Up The Color Scale: The Seduction of Red Roses in Barcelona
Oversaturating an image is a risky thing in photography but if not abused it can really draw your visitor's attention. I am trying to get deeper in my "theory" that bright, vivid photographs, especially on the thumbnail level are more probable to bring visitors to your blog. Of course not everything is valid here, if after you zoom in you get terribly disappointed. I accept that reds are too strong in these roses I captured at Rambla dels Flors although I tried not to get that sloppy. I guess there is a long way to master the right balance and I try my best since I am just an amateur in this stuff. I am having a lot of fun in the meantime.
Small Colorful Bouquets of Paper Flowers in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain
In trying to keep the colorful posts cause I think most of all like bright colors, at least that's my impression, I chose a bunch of small paper flower bouquets on sale at the stalls along Rambla dels Flors. I am not happy with the level of detail, that is, upon taking a very close look at the flowers but it was almost dark, I had to fire my flash, ask for permission to shoot, watch not to be shoved onto the flowers by passerbies, hold one cigar in my left hand which the stall owner asked me to keep an eye on and last but not least finish fast so my wife and daughter didn't get too tired of waiting.
Roman, Greek, Persian or whatever the warrior's armor is (I recommend you visit this place for more information: Helenic Art - Armors) I am sure you won't remain indifferent in front of this human statue I photographed at sunset just in front of the Liceu concert hall in Las Ramblas, Barcelona. All previous artists I caught in full daylight so I guess my first night shot is somewhat different and mysterious. Any lead concerning history and armor origin would be appreciated.
Pink Flowers Fantasy in Rambla dels Flors, Barcelona
And as one is never enough here goes my second post on flower stalls along Rambla dels Flors. Another bouquet, this time a pink bouquet or is it magenta? Well who cares! The thing is it must be nice to see this on the front page along with the previous post. Call me weird but I sometimes like to combine pictures according to colors in my blog, I find it interesting. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Have a nice day my friends.
Purple Flowers Fantasy in La Rambla de las Flores, Barcelona
A close look on a bouquet of purple flowers in a stall at Rambla dels Flors. As you know Las Ramblas de Barcelona is divided into different sections which I won't recall here not to repeat myself. One of them though is La Rambla de las Flores, a group of flower stalls set along the way which help to create a special mood in this famous part of town.
Save the Earth: Portrait of Human Statue in Las Ramblas, Barcelona
Again we rescue an old character from the archives in an unpublished shot. This time is Mother Nature's turn or at least that's his name the way I see it. It's some sort of tree holding a transparent sphere almost hidden in this picture but totally visible in my original post: Street Artists in Las Ramblas - Human Statue
PS: Remember these pictures look much better if enlarged.
Seasoned Human Statue II in Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain
This is another shot of a street artist, a human statue that appeared in Barcelona Photoblog a long time ago: Seasoned Human Statue Sitting in Las Ramblas. Seasoned because of that weather beaten look he has. His previous photography didn't show the suit too much so I thought you would also like to see this one.
Marble Living Statue With Lady In Las Ramblas, Barcelona
As today's post will deal with awards and friendship, what better than a human statue, a living statue, one of those anonymous Barcelona street artists shaking hands with a tourist, a lovely lady wearing a smile, proud and happy like a child posing for a photograph with her "hero" at Las Ramblas. This funny guy pretending to be a marble statue was featured some months ago in my blog: A Marvel of Marble Statue
I have been granted an award byBeautiful Places. A wonderful site you should visit often. Thanks so much. It is wonderful that you chose me. That really means a lot to me.
A big thank for always being so supportive and friendly. It is a real pleasure to know them and I do recommend their creative work and their human quality.
Please don't worry if you break the chain, I won't consider it to be rude since I am not an enthusiast myself. Most of all I like that someone thinks of me, that is really flattering so I took my time to really think of people I care like you. Here are the rules I have been given:
1.Write a post with links to 5 blogs that you like. 2.Acknowledge the post of the award giver. 3.Display the You Make My Day logo (in this case I put it on my sidebar) 4.Tell the award winner that they have won by commenting on their blogs or emailing them the news.
Colored Flowers Bouquet Detail in La Rambla dels Flors, Barcelona
Due the success the larger picture of flower bouquets in La Rambla dels Flors had, I have decided to perform a little cropping to show you a small detail of the image in my old post. I was wondering how the saturated colors of these artificial flowers would look against the black and white picture I posted yesterday. I want to thank Strangetastes from St. Louis Daily Photoblog for the kind suggestions about other members of the City Daily Photo group who are really good at taking black and white pictures.
Black and white pictures are scarce in Barcelona Photoblog as many of you know. There are a few exceptions though. Take the case of this flute player, this flutist girl I captured during last Tres Tombs parade at Sant Andreu quarter. I loved the original image but sometimes I get so carried away by the light that I end up choosing the bw option. I know I am not good at black and white photography but you never know if you don't explore other fields. Not that there's anything special in the action or the subject but I do like the way she spots the camera as she walks and gives me this wary look.
Barcelona pictures there are many, commented Barcelona photos there are few. I intend to provide not just images but information about the daily life of the city and aspects of artistic expression such as Barcelona sculpture, Barcelona architecture, Barcelona street art, Art Nouveau...
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Carlos Lorenzo is a photographer from Barcelona, Spain. He publishes articles and pictures of Barcelona since February, 2006. He has a degree in English philology and currently works as data manager and database programmer in clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry. He is also a social media enthusiast and you usually find him at http://www.barcelonaphotoblog.com