Barcelona Photoblog: May 2013

May 28, 2013

The Real Estate Business in Barcelona

The real estate business in Barcelona, has had its ups and downs since these years of crisis started back early this century. Our economy, that seemed to be so prosperous relied solely on the fast money coming from the building sector. Construction companies, protected by the government, went on a high escalate of selling houses and apartments at an incredibly expensive price, three or four times over the real value or at least the standard amount paid during the late 90s. This period was called the 'real estate bubble'. People suddenly got into mortgages that last 30 years in order to pay for a blatantly overpriced product. With time, there came the crash and severe austerity measures had to be taken. Now prices are lower and such trend is expected to keep steady in coming years but people are already indebted and unemployed, and brand new buildings are still waiting to be sold or let as they are controlled by banks and not the government. Wouldn't it be easier that the government stop speculation and take away those buildings from the banks to sell them at a reasonable price to young families? Why are government hands so 'tied up'? Who rules the country, the government or the banks? I don't know how international real estate status is in other countries right now, places like Portugal, Italy or Turkey just to mention some, but it is evident that this is a world crisis and that no one is safe. If only we had not based our economy on bricks maybe we would not be talking about being one of the last economies in Europe.

May 17, 2013

Gin and Tonic at Casa Fuster, Barcelona

Gin and tonic at Cafe Vienes, Hotel Casa Fuster Barcelona

Gin and tonics have been with us since 1858. I have missed millions of them since then but the way things are going I will be catching up soon. Now that you know one of my favorite hobbies...taking pictures of spirited beverages while enjoying them, I think you'll agree with me that a place may be the extra additive that makes all the difference. Casa Fuster, a historical building restored into a five star hotel, is a great place to try your favorite gin while admiring the incredible modernist architecture and the colorful furniture of its Café Vienés.

May 11, 2013

Kids Don't Care, Barri de Gracia, Barcelona

Kids playing at Plaza de la Vila, Gracia, Barcelona

Here is a scene older than history, repeated over and over again in every place on earth. Who hasn't be an actor in this play? 

Look at these children, everybody is having fun in their own crazy way and yet it all seems as if there was some kind of plan. I am sure, there was a first call, a starting idea: hey, wanna play? Yep, it always began just like that, with a simple, unbiased act of human communication later hidden under hundreds of layers of social 'learning'. 

The place: Plaça Rius i Taulet, one of those wonderful squares worth visiting in the bohemian Barri de Gracia, in Barcelona. There is a big tower with a clock in the middle so no way you can miss the square. Those giants (Cat. gegants) out there at the back, have names, they are called, Pau and Llibertat and they are about to give those kids yet another happy day before they grow up.
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