Thursday, April 29

Catalan Sausages: Botifarra d'Ou

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A close look on one of the most delicious sausages in Catalonia: Botifarra d'Ou (literally, although I don't think there's an equivalent in English, Egg Sausage). As the name suggests it is made of eggs and meat. It is served in slices and has a more delicate texture and taste than other sausages. According to Catalan traditions Botifarra d'Ou is served the first day of Carnival aka dijous gras or dijous llarder (Fat Thursday)

If you missed other posts dealing with Catalan sausages please check: Botifarra Negra, Botifarra de Pagés or the whole story: sausage. This picture was taken at Mercat de l’Abaceria Central in Gracia quarter.

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Monday, April 26

Modernist Building at Plaza del Sol, Gracia Quarter, Barcelona

Modernist Building at Plaza del Sol, Gracia Quarter, Barcelona [enlarge]

At Plaça del Sol square in Gracia quarter there's a modernist building that really stands out due to its wonderful preservation. I have seen it in hundreds of pictures but I wanted to show my own version. Remember that you can always enlarge the image to see the shot in all its splendor. These are the real colors so imagine what a feast it was for my eyes to be able to contemplate this beauty from a terrace table across the square in the company of friends and chatting over some beers.

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Sunday, April 25

Old Lady at Mercat de l'Abaceria Central de Gràcia

Old Lady at Mercat de l'Abaceria Central de Gràcia [enlarge]

Patiently waiting for her turn this sweet old lady seemed to have stopped time in Mercat de l’Abaceria Central at Travessera de Gràcia, 186 one of the almost 45 markets there are in Barcelona city. The image of elderly people carrying a shopping trolley bag is quite familiar over here as it is relatively easy to buy food just across the street and important markets are just a few bus or subway stops away. Gracia quarter is one of those neighborhoods with a little bit of everything, shops, bars, terraces, architecture, art galleries, pedestrian-friendly streets, trees, beautiful squares and a bohemian atmosphere. Curiously this quarter I haven't covered much in Barcelona Photoblog in the past. I hope I change that soon.

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Wednesday, April 21

Belly Dancer in Barcelona

Belly Dancer in Barcelona [enlarge]

As I don't want to be accused by adepts and opponents alike because of my ignorance in this matter I prefer to leave you the link to the Wikipedia article explaining what belly dance is, the Western and the Eastern approach as well its different variants. Dancing is beyond the purpose of Barcelona Photoblog although many of the different belly dancing schools in the city well deserve some promotion. Come to think of it, I don't have any particular preference so why don't you check all there is to it at World Belly Dance or on Belly Dance Superstars. The only thing I can tell you is that watching it from a short distance is fascinating and hypnotic.

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Monday, April 19

Innocent Happiness

Kid smiling [enlarge]

It all started one day when you were cast onto the stage of life without permission, from nothingness. You showed under the limelights with an impeccable brand new soul, a pure heart and a neat innocent smile. You just wanted to know and you asked for nothing in return. Magic ruled in the small kingdom of your playroom and worries were not part of your vocabulary. And then they taught you manners and gave you some tuition so you behaved like them. It took a lot of work but finally they managed. You became one of them but you lost something along the way, your innocent happiness. Where did it go?

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Friday, April 16

Liquorice Sticks and Garden Cutters

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This picture is not about tools but these cutters on top of a bunch of Liquorice sticks do look nicer and add up to the idea of gathering roots, the roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra. This I found in a market in a town near Barcelona which is irrelevant now. I am sure you know Liquorice and maybe you like the flavor. I prefer it this way, as is, in its natural form, something which is common in Spain. I certainly don't like the taste of liquorice candies. It has medicinal properties but I think you better read all the information following the link above. By the way, we call it regaliz.

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Tuesday, April 13

Boqueria Fish: Fresh Gallo

Boqueria Fish: Fresh Gallo [enlarge]

As with all species mentioned here in the past, there is a certain percent of error in the classification I give since many times I forget to write down names when I take pictures. This one looks like a John Dory or Zeus Faber (Gallo, Ceo, Zeo or Pez de San Pedro in Spanish). The name Gallo (rooster) is also given to other species of fish in Spanish that are different in appearance and have different scientific names such as Lepidorhombus wiffiagonis aka Megrim. This is not an ichthyology treaty so just concentrate on the fresh appearance and the fact you can buy some at La Boqueria market in Barcelona or maybe other fish posted in Barcelona Photoblog recently.

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Monday, April 12

Ramblas Angel

Angel human statue in Las Ramblas de Barcelona [enlarge]

This angel was mentioned before in Barcelona Photoblog: Angel or Devil, a popular living statue in Las Ramblas. That time I thought to emphasize the face and not the wings but I owed you the full size human statue. The rest, the pop art background blurred with radial effect on CS4 maybe is too daring but I had fun doing it. Good week everyone!

(Barcelona Photoblog has been kindly listed among the 50 Most Amazing Architectural Photography Blogs by Photography Colleges, a good guide to find online photography tuition. I wanted to thank them and show you my Architecture and Sculpture in Barcelona set on Flickr, a collection of pictures you can find in my blog archives as well)

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Friday, April 9

Under the Sea

Submarine View by Maremagnum Pier in Barcelona [enlarge]

Strolling along Maremagnum pier and in spite of pollution I found this paradise lost. The picture is rather bizarre but I like to see how life grows in its own mysterious ways. Have a nice weekend!

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Thursday, April 8

So Close and Yet So Far

So Close and Yet So Far [enlarge]

I had my doubts about the title this time. The picture could have been called Bad Companies, Dubious Shelter, Not So Safe, Sour Sweet Dreams or whatever. I finally decided for how something that is so close to this person like Bank Santander in this case can give him so little and yet ironically offer improvised shelter. Framing is awful, sorry about that. Red I kept to stress the logo of one of the most prosperous banks in Spain. The rest is obvious.

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Tuesday, April 6

Jogger in Gran Via de les Corts, Barcelona

Jogger in Gran Via de les Corts, Barcelona [enlarge]

Good weather is around the corner. The time will come when we will have to take those T-shirts out of the drawer and let them gently wrap around our bellies not always fitting the way we expect. While watching this jogger running along Gran Via de les Corts in Barcelona and noticing that well known slogan on his Nike sweat shirt - Just do it -, I can't help laughing to myself: Just do it? Come on! During these Easter holidays I got into my sports clothes, took a deep breath to wake up early and jog around the neighborhood. I can swear I tried my guts to just do it but suddenly my legs ceased to exist, disappeared, gone, kaput as if by chance I had trodden on wet cement. My brains were somewhere else, betraying me in connivance with my feet, stubbornly advising to halt. If at least I had brought a couple of beers with me I could have carried them easily on top of my belly and go sipping happily along the sidewalk. Just do it? I wonder who the heck came up with that slogan. Maybe it's only about will. Or they are telling you, just go and buy those fabulous running sneakers. You'll be as fatter as can be but it will be fun and you'll look so smart that you won't even care about your shape! 

Note: The above story is only fictional. The author is in shape and has nothing to do with or against multinationals.

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Monday, April 5

Easter in Barcelona: La Mona de Pascua

Easter in Barcelona: La Mona de Pascua [enlarge]

Today we celebrated the end of Easter our own way. Easter Monday is a holiday in Catalonia and in other parts of Spain while in Madrid for example it is a normal working day. For this special celebration it is customary that the Godfather or Godmother brings La Mona de Pascua to kids in the family. Monas may adopt many different shapes and are built on top of a cake or look like tortell de reis (a sort of roll making a circle) although lately the design is so sophisticated that the base is less important and it ends up being an haute cuisine work of art made of dark chocolate and nothing else. Of course it can simply consist of a chocolate egg or animals like those in today's picture but most of them resemble toys either representing famous characters or elaborate houses, ships and a long etc. Small chicks and colored feathers are very common as decoration. There are slight variations in traditions, ingredients and shapes depending on the region so I have sticked to the case of Catalonia. By the way, the word mona comes from Arabic munna meaning provision to the mouth. I hope you have enjoyed these Easter holidays.

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Sunday, April 4

Barcelona Metro: The Underground Man

Barcelona subway [enlarge]

Barcelona subway according to my opinion offers a rather good service and it is quite modern if compared to other cities. But I am not here to praise our underground system or to talk about finding directions either. Everything is well indicated as you can see. I just want to show the silhouette of this man under the spotlight and let you make up your own story. Happy Easter!

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Thursday, April 1

Swing Kid

Kid standing on swing, Barcelona [enlarge]

Anonymous kid standing on a swing under the last rays of the sun in a lonely cold winter afternoon at the park across the street as taken by my daughter, Sara, from our bedroom window. Happy Easter everyone!

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