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  • Friday, July 30

    Portrait: Youth

    Portrait [enlarge]

    As I said in yesterday's post I would show you the same model when she's not impersonating terror characters. It is her in real life. Why do I call this portrait Youth? Well, she makes me think of innocence, of expectations, of life plans, of future. It is that face we used to have once that is now covered in multiple protective layers against external "perils" after so much "disappointment" with the rest of world. In fact she is spontaneously impersonating the joy of life, a mysterious asset we forget so often and ever present in our young ones. Let them all enjoy so much happiness before it's too late!

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    Thursday, July 29

    Portrait: Improvised Terror Makeup

    Terror Makeup Portrait [enlarge]

    Portraits are not my specialty, if I can be considered good at anything, so I try to practice now and then. It is strange that I decide to post portraits but my model decided to improvise a little and I could not resist. She prefers to stay anonymous so let's pretend this is just a professional session and I've never seen her before. As I think I wasn't favoring her too much I will show you the same model in the next post just to compensate.

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    Sunday, July 25

    On Goldfish Pond

    Goldfish Pond at Parc del Laberint d'Horta [enlarge]

    My recent posting has been as chaotic as this image. I apologize for that. I've been taking the camera with me less often than I would like to and on top of that I will be on holidays next August. We are visiting beautiful Scotland for two weeks and then part of Spain so please don't count me out cause I'll be back full of energy for new Barcelona pictures. Why so few pictures lately? We've been taking care of elder members in the family and there is not much time to go for a stroll on weekends. Nevertheless, I will find the time to keep posting for you, because you deserve it and why not, because I love taking photographs.

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    Wednesday, July 21

    Horta's Labyrinth from a Child's Perspective

    Horta's Labyrinth or Parc del Laberint d'Horta, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

    Absorbed in his own thoughts, subdued by the beauty of the cypress hedges tracing up the illusive path of the 18th century Neoclassical labyrinth at his feet, stands a boy, a sort of watchman that seems to be part of the decoration in the famous romantic garden. The guard at Parc del Laberint d'Horta had warned him that standing on the balustrade was not allowed but the view of the intricate design of the maze from above and the laughter of people getting lost in the wrong alley were so compelling that it is worth taking the risk of a second reprimand. In a way, I can understand the boy but this is surely a place to protect, a unique park in Barcelona with some history behind. A long, long time ago, works on the old estate of Joan Antoni Desvalls i d'Ardena Marquis of Llupià, Poal and Alfarràs, Catalan scientific and prosperous landowner, had been commissioned to Italian architect Domenico Bagutti. It was 1791. The marquis, who was a cultivated person and an artist himself, conceived the design of this romantic garden influenced by Greek mythology in close cooperation with the architect. Desvalls was vice president of the Barcelona Royal Academy of Arts and Natural Sciences for a long period of time and even wrote specialized scientific articles in the quiet of his well provided library. But turning back to the picture, the kid is looking at one of the three levels or terraces of the park, the first and lower level includes the labyrinth, behind his back the middle level features the temples with cupolas and Tuscan columns, and the upper level was meant to collect water for the garden (there's a superb pond with goldfish up there). Besides those levels which are covered with statues, busts, flower jars and fountains there are separate gardens with their own particular ambience. There's the Boxwood garden with topiary art, the Romantic with a faked cemetery, the Petit Laberint, the Domestic which is full of camellias and another devoted to moss plants called Jardi de les Molses. To complete the atmosphere of the place nothing like a small cascade away from the main path and a romantic channel leading to the Island of Love. Parc del Laberint d'Horta was opened to the public by the Town Hall in 1971 and later restored in 1994. If you want to visit the place, please check for more info here.

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    Thursday, July 15

    Goal Keepers: The Next Generation

    Young Goal Keeper in Barcelona [enlarge]

    Everybody is aware by now that Spanish soccer is marking the way, is taking the lead in merging the old school with modern efficiency, without rejecting the beautiful plays and the fresh inspiration of its stars, the magic touch. All together working for the team, by heart, with the heart and also with good tactics. There is no special trick to make the most out of the machinery, to obtain the best results. The secret of good soccer lies in investing time and money in teaching young generations from an early age, putting all necessary resources at their disposal. Maybe one day this young goal keeper becomes another Casillas, Reina or Valdes, who knows. Perhaps he makes it to FC Barcelona! Best of luck to you my friend.

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    Monday, July 12

    Estacion de Francia Dome

    Estació de França Dome [enlarge]

    This is how one of the three domes in Barcelona's Estació de França looks like as seen if you stand underneath the hanging metal sphere which is really some meters away from the concave ceiling. To have a better idea and learn about the railway station please visit this previous post: Estació de França - Barcelona's Most Charming Railway Station

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    Friday, July 9

    The Olive Tree, a Charismatic Mediterranean Storyteller

    Olive Tree in Barcelona [enlarge]

    We can say that there are anonymous trees and then there are trees with charisma. There are trees that would be the pawns in a chessboard and then there is the queen or the king. I mean, you can walk past a whole line of identical spruces and remain indifferent while stumbling upon an oak, a sequoia or a baobab makes you experience that certain something certifying that the thing is alive, that it has some history, a story to tell. Here in Europe, in the Mediterranean basin, one of the most emblematic story tellers and history witnesses is the olive tree. Olives from Greek Elaia give this healthy and tasty oil that has been present in the collective memory of Mediterranean peoples for ages. There are so many dishes, so many recipes, so many products associated with olive oil, so many victories associated with olive branches, so many years of fallowing, of harvesting, of successful crops, of prosperous trade with other countries...olive trees do have a lot to tell if only we knew how to understand them. I had a little conversation with this one at Parc del Laberint.

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    Wednesday, July 7

    Megrim (Gallo) at Market Stall in Barcelona

    Megrim (Gallo) at Market Stall in Barcelona [enlarge]

    This is what I think is a Megrim sole or Whiff (Lepidorhombus whiffiagonis) a species of flatfish. In Spanish we call it Gallo, the French call it Cardine and Italians, Rombo Giallo. It is also referred to as white sole or lantern flounder. I mentioned a totally different fish called Gallo before in Barcelona Photoblog. Well, what's in a name. The point is I am always attracted by the looks of market food, of dead animals displayed kind of artistically to lure customers. I hope this still life portrait serves taxonomists and food enthusiasts alike. Before I say goodbye today let me tell you that megrim is inexpensive and quite good for soup. Although it is not very tasty, it can be served filleted along with other ingredients. Try this recipe: Megrim with Prawns and Mushrooms.

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    Friday, July 2

    Passeig Picasso, Barcelona: Man Walking Dog

    Man Walking Dog at Passeig Picasso in Barcelona [enlarge]

    In a quiet morning, under the plane trees, along the archways of Passeig Picasso in Barcelona, there goes a man with a dog. The dog contemplating the entrance to Ciutadella Park at the end of the road longing for that daily walk, the man distracted by some shop window to his right. Probably the same scene could have taken place back in 1888 when the Parc de la Ciutadella and some buildings in the area were built for the World Exhibition. With a little touch of imagination of course.

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