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  • Tuesday, March 30

    Lonely?

    Lonely, Gran Via de les Corts, Barcelona [enlarge]

    I don't have much to say on this one, to be honest with you. As with many photographs you can always interpret and think of a story of your own according to your experiences, your creativeness and imagination. The way I see it, maybe we are talking about loneliness here although I prefer to look at it as yet another street photograph, a glimpse of Barcelona just as witness and not as judge.

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    Friday, March 26

    Zoological Museum of Barcelona: Modernist Tower Detail

    Zoological Museum of Barcelona: Modernist Tower Detail [enlarge]

    The Zoological Museum of Barcelona which is part of what is known as Museu de Ciencies Naturals  is located in Parc de la Ciutadella. I won't give too much detail, as I just wanted to show the picture and invite you to visit this modernist building. This is a detail of the tower of Moorish reminiscence against the sky. In fact, this is part of the Natural Science Museum which is a group including the Geology Museum (1882) by Antoni Rovira i Trias inaugurated first, the Botanical Garden in Montjuic mountain and this Art Nouveau jewel by Lluís Domènech i Montaner conceived as a cafe for the 1888 World Exhibition, later abandoned and reconditioned as history museum till 1920 when it finally held the Zoological Museum. Usually, it is known as The Three Dragons Castle. By the way, in between the Geology and Zoology museums there is also the Hivernacle, a gorgeous greenhouse. Both museums exhibit some interesting collections donated by Francesc Martorell i Peña, archeologist and naturalist plus later additions. The Zoology Museum is above all a place to remember those times in which natural science was a passion in Catalonia, a historic building with a charm of its own and not a top notch interactive institution. Come to think of it, that's the good thing about these premises, rickety furniture, dusty shelves, musty smell, spiderwebs, last century trophies and fascinating animals looking at you mysteriously. Maybe I am exaggerating here but you get the idea.

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    Tuesday, March 23

    Sun Clock at Can Palau Restaurant, Vilanova del Valles, Barcelona

    Sun Clock at Can Palau Restaurant, Vilanova del Valles, Barcelona [enlarge]

    Recently I went to this restaurant in Vilanova del Vallès near Barcelona city to have famous calçots. It was quite a pleasant day after the dull days of winter. There are plenty of restaurants like Can Palau all around Catalonia so I wasn't surprised at all but I have to say the service was good and the place is comfortable specially if you have kids as it is an old masia (sort of rural house related to Roman villas in origin and part of a farm) very common in Catalonia, with terrace and playground in this case. Calçots were succulent and meat, tender and juicy. On a full stomach, I went out to the garden to stretch my legs and found this marvelous sun clock on a decayed wall invaded by a huge withered climbing plant. Just the perfect shot for a perfect lunch on the perfect day.

    Can Palau restaurant
    Granollers-el Masnou KM 10
    08410 Vilanova del Vallès (Barcelona)
    Tel.:+34 938456145

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    Friday, March 19

    Casa Macari Golferichs by Joan Rubio i Bellver - Eixample Civic Center, Barcelona

    Casa Macari Golferichs by Joan Rubio i Bellver [enlarge]

    Another good example of modernista houses in Barcelona is located in Gran Via de les Corts 491, next to Viladomat street. Casa Macari Golferichs maybe is not that relevant if compared to other renown houses in the city but it is certainly interesting and worth the visit. It dates back to 1901 and was built by Joan Rubio i Bellver, the same architect, assistant to Gaudí for 12 years, that created House Roviralta (1903), the Escola Industrial (1912) or participated in the reconstruction of famous Casa dels Canonges. Beyond the pure architectural attraction of this house in L'Eixample Esquerra (left side of the 'Ensanche' quarter) we must say that at present its premises include a civic center, a library and a cultural area devoted to photography (Espai Català Roca) although to be exact the main building holds the Carles Pi i Sunyer Foundation. It was great to capture this beauty and I was specially captivated by this blend of Art Nouveau, Gothic and Neo Medieval elements.

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    Tuesday, March 16

    Traditional Shops in Barcelona: Costumes by Menkes

    Menkes Costumes Shop in Barcelona [enlarge]

    The other day while walking along Gran Via de les Corts and near Passeig de Gracia I spotted this well decorated showcase. At first, I was just interested in the colorful display but then noticed the sign specifying the shop had been founded 60 years ago and decided to google the name. It happens that the company has stores all over Spain and also in Paris or New York and not only deals with costumes but also distributes and manufactures flamenco items or tailors for the theater, etc. As I think some shops well deserve the free ad I give you the link and leave it up to you whether to spend your precious time following it or not: Menkes. And now that we are at it, I wonder what your opinion is about indirectly promoting brands, companies or products when writing an article due to the very nature of the content or the photograph in this case.

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    Monday, March 15

    Bollywood Dance in Barcelona

    Bollywood Dance in Barcelona [enlarge]

    To resume the dancers series from previous posts here are these young ladies doing the Bollywood dance. This is a topic I am not good at so I will let you watch the photograph and maybe leave a link here to a Bollywood dance video. As the flamenco or the hip-hop images this one took place at an audition in La Masia cultural center in Nou Barris. Enjoy the new week.

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    Thursday, March 11

    Astray Tourists: Directions in Barcelona

    Tourists: Directions in Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

    Finding directions can be tough, specially when you are not good at spacial orientation like me, you know. I am one of those that can't find the car in the parking lot or wouldn't tell right from left after turning myself around. So I understand that in spite of how well designed streets are in a given city, people get lost. Besides there's an extra difficulty, we get clumsy when we are taken out of context. It seems that besides our capacity to know where we are and to follow signs properly, besides our ability to interpret a map, we need a general view of the whole map in our minds. And that's when geography might help. There are cities in the middle of a prairie that if it weren't for the Sun or the stars do make it difficult to reach your destination. Should you get lost in Barcelona, something impossible in the Eixample quarter by the way, always remember that you have mountains around, streets have a certain slope and the sea is right there going down every road. Once you spot those, then think you have two rivers in the other axis. So, when you face the mountain side you've got Besós river to the right and Llobregat to the left (towards the airport). Of course, relevant buildings or streets also help particularly when no slope is visible as in the old part of town (that means you are near the sea!). In general, if you bear in mind that bird's eye view perspective you'll be on the right track. It's funny but this is the second photograph I take of several people around a map and both look like Japanese tourists to me. Is it a matter of idiosyncrasy?. Maybe Western people are more like: "Hey, I carry the map cause I'm good at it". I don't know. How is it in your city? Is it difficult to find directions?

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    Tuesday, March 9

    Snow Covered Scene in Barcelona

     [enlarge]

    To many this would be a rather obvious image of any odd park in any odd country. But this was Barcelona yesterday and to witness a similar scene  we have to check our archives and go back to 1962 for example when another heavy snowfall took place. There was a certain light at dusk that gave the view a sort of Christmas mood or should I say Easter in this case?.

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    Monday, March 8

    Snowing in Barcelona

    Snowing in Barcelona [enlarge]

    As many of you already know or will find out in today news, Barcelona has experienced a rather infrequent phenomenon in this city, a snow storm. At the beginning, it seemed to be the "usual" thing, some flakes that turn to rain drops before touching the ground but the situation got worse and worse along the day till the point that train and bus services were stopped, cars were advised to stay at home, classes were interrupted for 142,000 students at 476 public schools, all came to a halt except for the subway, that will run non-stop all night long, something that only happens on weekends. Commuters were not that lucky and had to remain wandering in hope the service was restored. There were no trains going North, many flights were canceled or delayed, 200.000 people lost their electric power supply mostly in Girona. Tomorrow who knows what the situation will be. At the moment, the snow storm seems to be over and slowly we recover from this one-day nightmare in a city that is not prepared at all for such inclement weather. Here's a small video I captured with my cell phone

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    Thirsty

    Thirsty kids at fountain in Plaza Tetuan, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

    Some kids drinking and playing with water at a fountain located at the base of the Dr.Robert monument in Tetuan square, Barcelona. There is not much to say here but I liked their innocent game. Check previous post to learn about the monument: Dr. Bartomeu Robert Monument.

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    Friday, March 5

    Barcelona Garbagemen: Somebody's Got To Do the Dirty Job

    Barcelona Garbagemen [enlarge]

    Garbage men, garbage collectors or trash men as you prefer to call them are people we take for granted. I mean, they are there but they pass you by and you pretend they are part of the urban furniture. That's how we thank people that clean our crap. These people should be paid more respect. In fact all those that wake up very early in the morning to do their job, "lousy" jobs no one's willing to do, deserve some respect. Dirty jobs that somebody's got to do.

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    Tuesday, March 2

    Stop Bullfighting Sign at Plaza de Toros La Monumental, Barcelona, Spain

    Stop Bullfighting Sign at Plaza de Toros La Monumental, Barcelona, Spain  [enlarge]

    This is a detail of the box office window at La Monumental bullring in Barcelona, a place that is becoming rather obsolete these days in this part of the peninsula. The slogan is a whole declaration of principles: Neither Art Nor Culture, This is Torture, a polemic topic that as usual has defenders and detractors. I don't have nothing against traditions but all living things are to be respected and we don't have the right to kill them just for fun. It is too high a price to pay.

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