Saturday, March 31

Peeling Calçots, Masia Can Palau, Vilanova del Valles

Peeling Calçots [enlarge]

In Catalonia, there is this part of the year when going out to have calçots at any of the many masias spread around the country becomes almost a matter of state. Most well-known places to have them are in the southern province of Tarragona, in a region called Valls but around Barcelona it is not strange to find a good spot in a idyllic environment. The place I will mention today is just an example and of course you are free to choose. It is called Masia Can Palau and it is located in Vilanova del Valles some kilometers away from the city of Barcelona. We had a 30 eur menu that included Calçots with Romescu sauce, grilled meat (a mixture of chicken, sausage, lamb and rabbit with fries) and dessert. We had two generous rounds of calçots per person, they came wrapped in aluminum foil and very hot. We soaked tender and juicy stems of the plant, that you have to peel first, in an exquisite romescu sauce which is made with almond, garlic, red pepper, hazelnut, tomato, olive oil, vinegar, crumbs of fried bread, salt and pepper. If you want to know how they cook calçots and what they are, check my previous posts: Catalan Traditions - Calçotada: A Close Look and Grilled Leaks...Check the sauce in next post.

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Monday, March 26

Tattoo Shop, Barri Gotic, Barcelona

Tattoo Shop, Barri Gotic, Barcelona [enlarge]

Becoming an intruder into somebody else's moment, sneaking into that magic instant that is no more and freezing it for posterity is one of the most thrilling experiences at least for me and I guess for anyone that enjoys photography. Walking down the narrow alleys of Barri Gotic, in a street whose name I can't recall, there was this small tattoo shop. The reflection of the man on the mirror and that green pouring out of the blinds really grabbed my attention. I had serious doubts as to whether to use black and white here and I can tell you it looks great but if color made me capture the scene in color it will go.

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Tuesday, March 20

Estacion de Francia, Barcelona: Lamp and Beer Pump

Beer Pump and Lamp, Estacion de Francia, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Upon entering Estació de França in Barcelona and if you turn right and get into the bar you will find out that the place has been restored recently with great taste by the way. Worth mentioning are the big lamps hanging from the ceiling but today I would like to show you the ones on the counter (see image) next to the beer pump. A sweet mixture of tree, anemone and candlestick. I hope you enjoy the design and/or the beer.

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Saturday, March 17

Woman Waiting, Estació de França, Barcelona

Estacion de Francia, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

A woman searches in her bag while her thoughts are somewhere far away. The quietude at the train station hall is the perfect environment to meditate before that long ride to who knows where. The pendulums hanging from the ceiling contribute to the idea of time passing by while the ticking of the clock on the distant wall, almost audible, is only interrupted by the steps of the guard walking his beat. Such is the impressive atmosphere at this famous train station in Barcelona. Find out more about this place in my previous post: Estació de França and Dome Detail.

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Sunday, March 11

Boquerones en Vinagre (Anchovies in Vinegar), Mediterranean Delight

Anchovies in Vinegar [enlarge]

Having a tapa of raw fish macerated in vinegar is surely not quite luring for some stomachs. Mediterranean anchovies are not just gutted fish salted in brine, matured and canned or bottled in oil or salt as those you find in the market. They are also served fresh and marinated in vinegar as the ones in the picture. This exquisite tapa is called Boquerones en vinagre. By now you probably have guessed that not all anchovies prepared this way taste the same and that both the freshness of the fish and the quality of the vinegar really make the difference. Yesterday, we enjoyed these superb boquerones en vinagre dressed with garlic, parsley and some olives at Rincon de la Ciudadela, exactly at the corner of carrer Princesa and carrer Comerç in El Born, Barcelona. The restaurant is not modern, chic and trendy like many others in the area, but you know, good food, is not always in the coolest place.

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Monday, March 5

Gallery on Building by Enric Sagnier, Gran Via 654, Barcelona

Gallery, Enric Sagnier, Gran Via 654, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Eclectic building influenced by Catalan Art Nouveau but rich in baroque ornaments built by Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia back in 1904. Notice the beautiful undulated shapes of the stone gallery and the impressive ironwork of the balconies. You can find this building at Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 654 exactly between Carrer Roger de Lluria and Carrer de Pau Claris.

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