Barcelona Photoblog: February 2011

February 28, 2011

Ambient Essential Oil

Ambient Essence Oil

Ambient essential oils used in aromatherapy for uplifting the spirit and the mind vary in scents and colors, extracted as they are from different parts of a plant be it leaf, seed, wood, root, flower or resin among others. They have been part of alternative medicine and folk wisdom since time immemorial. That is why, it is not rare to find scented oil stands in medieval fairs around Catalonia, like this one in Vic, Osona (Barcelona Province).

February 24, 2011

Opposite Ways, Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona

Crosswalk at Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona [enlarge]

People come and go, establishing strange symmetries sometimes, like atoms in a formula, apparently chaotic and yet so harmonious and linked. People have lives of their own, walking in opposite ways, in opposite directions and yet they are part of the same project, human existence. Here is a good example at a pedestrian crossing in Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona.

February 21, 2011

Faculty of Medicine, Carrer Casanova, Barcelona, Spain

Faculty of Medicine, Carrer Casanova, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Although the Faculty of Medicine is located at present in carrer Casanova and has been there since 1906, the original premises were originally (1843) at carrer Carmen where the Royal Academy of Medicine is now. The 1906 building by architect Josep Domenech i Estapa, is a good example of eclectic classicism. This is a detail of the frieze that gives the building this magnificent look from every possible angle along Casanova street. Worth mentioning is the beautiful cloister inside. Notice the rhomboid figure with a hand inside to the right on the frieze: these are masonic symbols. You can check other pictures of the faculty in this album at Universitat de Barcelona official site

February 19, 2011

Coats, Mother and Daughter, Mercat del Ninot, Barcelona

Coats, Mother and Daughter, Mercat del Ninot, Barcelona [enlarge]

Mother and daughter perhaps, wearing identical coats at one of the outside stands in Ninot market. This market is still in its temporary location at carrer Casanova while the old one is being restored one block away from there. A common Barcelona scene captured at random for you. I hope you like the coats.

February 18, 2011

Rabat Jewelry and Watch Shop, Passeig de Gracia 99, Barcelona

Rabat Jewelry and Watch Shop, Passeig de Gracia 99, Barcelona [enlarge]

Rabat is a jewelry and watch shop in Barcelona. In fact, they have several stores in the city and more in Valencia and Madrid. This one in particular is at Passeig de Gracia 99. But the purpose of this post is not to promote their company. I am more interested in the perspective of those giant garden jars, the colors of last Christmas adornments on them and the particular Barcelona street scene depicted in the picture. As with many street photographs you may interpret whatever you like here and imagine your own story. To me maybe it will make sense after some years. I enjoy watching old images cause I think that like wine they get better with time.

February 16, 2011

Medicinal Herbs and Other Alternative Remedies

Medicinal Herbs, Medieval Fair, Vic [enlarge]

The miracle cure, the panacea so much sought after in the history of mankind and yet so unattainable and utopic. I always wonder who was the first one to put a particular plant on a kettle to make an infusion or prepared a cataplasm to apply on wounds or simply decided to chew up some leaves after watching animals react (well, it happened with coffee berries anyway!) How many anonymous individuals probably dropped dead after doing that and exclaimed in the last moments of agony - wrong leaf, forget about this one! Here are some samples of medicinal herbs at a local medieval fair in Vic. I don't know the name but it is indicated in the treatment of a swollen liver or hepatitis (fetge means liver in Catalan). A good example of old remedies for liver illnesses would be Anemone hepatica or hepatica nobilis.

February 13, 2011

Cupcakes (Magdalenas) at Local Market Stall

Cupcakes (Magdalenas) at Local Market Stall [enlarge]

I am not fond of cupcakes (magdalenas in Spanish) because I find the dough too dry to swallow. But there is a huge difference between those industrial magdalenas packed in plastic at the supermarket and homemade Spanish cupcakes right out of the oven. In Catalan towns it is common to find these local fairs where you can buy all sort of homemade products so rare in big cities like Barcelona and cupcakes are one of them. Today's picture was taken in Vic. Here is an easy Spanish cupcake recipe

February 10, 2011

Italian Food in Barcelona: Calzone Pizza

Calzone Pizza at La Tagliatella, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Nothing like well presented food to welcome guests into a restaurant. Besides growing your appetite, it creates a mood. Who is not thrilled by Italian food and the pleasures of Mediterranean recipes? The sight of this calzone pizza at the entrance of La Tagliatella (Mallorca, 266) couldn't be more appealing. The fact this is a franchise does not mean you can't have a good meal sometimes. I have used a strong vignette to give it a sort of old silent movie effect. Here is an interesting Calzone recipe: Meat Feast Calzone via BBC

February 07, 2011

Romantic Gardens: Horta Labyrinth Park in Barcelona

Horta Labyrinth Park in Barcelona or Parc del Laberint d'Horta [enlarge]

Horta Labyrinth Park in Barcelona or Parc del Laberint d'Horta as it is known in Catalan is one of those places you should not miss and yet generally overlooked due to its location in the upper limits of the city near Collserola mountains. This combination of neoclassical and romantic garden has been featured in Barcelona Photoblog before: Parc del Laberint, the Romantic Maze at Horta District so I am not going to talk about history. This time I want to remind you that Saint Valentine is just a week away and what better than a Romantic garden and the privacy of a young couple to welcome such beautiful celebration. Have you made up your mind on your St. Valentine gifts?

February 05, 2011

Barber Shop at Carrer Casanova 96, Barcelona

Don't ask me why but pictures of barber shops have a certain something. Maybe because both client and barber look so concentrated, the client telling him the story of his life in a sort of confessional with no curtains or lattice partition. The barber doing his job with an eye on the haircut and his mind on his client's speech or at least that's what it seems since they never lose track. Everybody knows that barbers are a blend of priest with psychologist. My God, the things you get to confess to your barber. This barbershop in particular you will find at carrer Casanova, 96 in Barcelona. 

Update 11/09/2021: I see the picture got to be popular at the owner's website snippet on Google. That's the best that can happen to a photograph, to be useful and provide a message. Now after some years I still love this one. Generally I hate most of my pictures after some time! Here's  Lucena's Barbers link in case you wanna know the place and confess a little!

February 02, 2011

Man Napping

Man Napping, Barcelona [enlarge]

Resuming my topic on not so touristic issues here is another shot showing people that in one way or the other are neglected by our society or live their particular personal drama which indirectly leads them into a similar status. I am not sure this is a homeless man, judging by the leather jacket, but obviously the nap is not that you have after a copious meal. Whatever the situation is, I thought the picture could help bringing up the idea of precariousness and other social hardships in Barcelona. The place, a park in carrer Aragó at the intersection with Enric Granados.
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