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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Marilyn itching to greet you!


How disconcerting it was to hear purring as we leisurely walked down la Rambla.

I looked here and there but no where could I find the source of the sound.

Sometimes it pays to look up, rather than make discoveries the ceremonious right or left.

So, I was surprised to see "Marilyn"  on the balcony waving, smiling, itching to greet you and enticing many of us to the Museu de l'Eròtica de Barcelona.

You game?!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Center Stage

This photo is almost perfect ... the lighting that is.


Oh, ok ... the bicyclists aren't bad either.

This photo was taken at the entry way of la Plaça Sant Felip Neri.

If you can, please take time to read about the bombings by the Italian Air Force that took place during the Spanish Civil War.

The area was shelled and about 43 persons were killed, mostly children attending nursery school.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

La yaya!!


A great model!

She sits in the window, practically everyday. She appears shy and needless to say, she hasn't spoken a word to me in many years and probably never will.

For holidays, she gussies up, like she did here for Christmas.

She's Grandma ... (la yaya),  a seamstress and she mends clothing. That's what it says on the pink handkerchief.  I love the sound of the words "la yaya".

No!! I've not gone looney although some might suspect I am already bonkers.

I've used Arreglo for my sewing needs as mending is not a specialty of mine. A little expensive for me but in a pinch they do a real good job.

If you know anyone who is good at mending, alterations and resides in the barrio of Gràcia, and reasonably priced, please let me know.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fargas



Fargas is the best place to buy the best chocolate in Barcelona.

I know first hand because I've tasted a few samples. My favorite are the chocolate clusters ... yum-yum.

But! My heart still favors anything Hershey.






Sunday, February 15, 2015

Michael Fryer's 'I saw a man-he danced with his wife'

Six weeks ago I heard the fan to the laptop make funny noises be sluggish. I have an HP envy dv6 and from what I've read this model is notorious for overheating.

Then, one day, I opened the laptop, the laptop was quiet and an error message appeared on the display warning me that over use of a non functioning fan might lead to many problems. I shut it down and for 6 weeks the computer has been absent from life.


Michael Fryer-Navy Pier, summer 1989
I saw a man-he danced with his wife

Yes ... I called the HP parts department and they sent me something or other that had nothing to do with the fan, even though I was informed they were correct. Eventually, my problem was handed over to a creative case worker who assured me that the recommended part recommended would work with my model.

You see, I had the laptop custom made from top to bottom and paid a handsome sum to get ALL the features I required for photo processing.

Now ... what makes my problem really REALLY bad is that my laptop is American born and I'm now in Spain and this particular part was not available here. Hewlett-Packard mailed the package to a United States address and then a family member sent the part to Spain.

 

 Chicago Tribune Magazine, August 27, 1997

Another dilemma. For the past 3 years, packages sent to Spain have been getting stuck in Madrid's customs department and many have waited from 6 months to a year to get their parcels released. So, this time I made certain there was an accurate description of the package written in both English and Spanish.

Meanwhile, I scouted around and got someone in Barcelona to replace the fan. On Friday the 13th of February, within 3 hours of the drop off, my fan was home, snoring ever so quietly.

Whew! I was and still am elated and NOT griping against HP.

But. I plea to YOU!!

While I waited and waited to get my computer resolved, I had access to an outdated computer with a Spanish keyboard.  I took the opportunity to sift through old print, scanned and dslr photos.

What I show you here is a photo from the August 27, 1997 edition of the Chicago Tribune Magazine taken at Navy Pier in Chicago by Michael Fryer in 1989. I've googled Michael Fryer, wrote someone named Michael Fryer and received no response.

You see, the magazine photo is worn, the colors have faded and the paper fragile.

I saved this magazine, because for me, the picture made me happy (still does) and Fryer's photographic style has influenced me a whole lot.

And, I would love to know who couple is and where are they now.

If anyone out there knows Michael Fryer, can you please let him know of this post.

I would be ever so grateful.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Beware of street photography!!


Years of taking photos has obviously taken a toll on this man.

Or, is what he viewing a painful sight?

P.S. I used an old 35-105mm AF zoom nikkor lens and I couldn't be more pleased. The shot was not posed and this was the only photo I was able to take.



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

No Guns Allowed


It's a sad commentary that stores in a United States major city and its suburbs are now posting NO HANDGUN signs in their entry doors.

You see, a particular state allows for the carrying of a concealed weapon for those over 21 years of age who have passed a 16 hour training course.

Anyhow, are there reasons you should own firearms? Read this one and laugh:  Simply About Guns posts 5 points about why you should own and carry a firearm.The points are self-defense, protect others, protect your country, have fun, bond with your family. Wow! I laughed so hard at this one, I almost shot my wad!

I've been inspired! Imagine this great slogan ... not great but THE BEST I EVER HEARD OR COULD EVER EVEN IMAGINE! Family fun is with a gun!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ambiguous Punctuation


Does she say to him or does he write to say to her:

"I think we're just gonna have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that, Ritchie."

A shy comma makes all the difference.






Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm Caught in Crosshairs of Light


I get the impression that just about everywhere I go, each time I turn around there's a flash of light hitting my face.

At first I thought the flash could be my imagination, but a picture tells a story and this photo confirmed my suspicions ... I'm being flashed and it's not an impression!




Friday, December 26, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

An Argentine Feliz Navidad from Barcelona!!



Today, I share with you holiday greetings from Toti Spinelli, an Argentine cartoonist of humor.

His cartoons can be found throughout the web in facebook, blogspot, google+ and more.

Toti has sent me holiday cards for the past 6 or 7 years and every year I look forward to see what his creative mind sees.

I was going to link my previous posts of Toti but for some reason I've noticed broken links of my photos on old posts.

Please be sure to look Toti up, view his cartoons, his words and maybe send him a message.

From me, Happy Hanukkah ( I know, 1 day belated and I apologize) and a Merry Christmas.




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last Kid Picture with Pigeons --- Maybe


I used to think the birds fed by tourists was great to see and photo-opportunistic. Who doesn't ooohh and ahhh when a child screams with delight as the birds land on parts of their body, pecking and poking at the food?

La plaça de Catalunya is never short of birds, children, and kiosks selling bird feed.

And then I got to thinking this fine, sunny and warm day. (Some people say thinking is dangerous to me)

Birds and more birds seem to never, ever leave. As a matter of fact, I suspect multi-generational family of birds making the plaça their home going back 800 hundred years! Why should or would they ever fly-away if food and water where provided all day long?

Heck! I'd stay, too.

I even had this passing thought. How selfish are these birds? Do they let the other birds in the surrounding barrios know how great a life style they have?

Are they ever curious about the visitors that delight in their presence?

I strongly suspect this is my penultimate kid picture with pigeons until they (the pigeons) can demonstrate any other talent than flying, landing, pecking and eating.

Now don't take this too seriously but in Bill O'Reilly's words, "What say you?"










Monday, December 22, 2014

The fruit of my labors and the fruit of theirs

I went searching for images and entered the cavern of Puig Marti market, with its high ceiling reminiscent of an immense cave or echoey cathedral huge marker.




I discovered Macu, the blonde, who smiles the prettiest. Salva, is the one who peels back his natural charm as he works on the humble garlic and other wondrously redolent stuff they had at their stand.


Who are they?  The friendliest, finest, and most generous fruit sellers I’ve ever known -- and, before you say that I’ve probably only known 3 in my whole life, let me tell you that, although my favorite fruits are chocolate and spaghetti, I do love the more traditional ones such as apples, lemons, pears, pineapples -- and the rest.

OK, so they are two very attractive personalities, and I liked them a lot and also what they were selling.

But: could such fine people inspire me to renounce my total favorite fruits I mentioned above?  Not too likely:  once you’re hooked on spaghetti and chocolate, the urge for them never disappears!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bones Festes


Happy Holidays or Bones Festes in Catalan.

There are so many streets dressed with lights that it was very difficult for me to select what to upload.

I chose for today a street in the barrio (neighborhood) de Gràcia called the travessera de Gràcia. The street (travessera) is the main drag to get to the barrio.

The street and the side walks are not wide. You take your life into your hands when walking especially around 5:00 pm.

Sometimes, I picture the area teeming with burrows, carts, people and domesticated animals. Life was probably tough then but maybe less complicated. I'm a dreamer.

This night -- it's peaceful.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Personal areas thrive on proper ventilation

I

I took a few photos of this girl because I liked her relaxed position, the sunlight and surroundings.

But, lo and behold, she switched to the position you see from a normal sitting posture.

Me, being a "mature and proper girl" immediately thought of the advice my gynecologist gave me -- and hence the title.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Metro Siesta


The woman sleeping in the photo reminded me of a TRUE story I want to share with you.

When I was young, I worked for an insurance agency in a large metropolitan city of the United States.

The Christmas holidays were coming and I asked the president of the company if I should make plans for a Christmas party. He told me that Christmas functions ended when his father ran the agency.

His story goes like this: Father had hosted Christmas Eve event at a well-known hotel. Food and drinks were served until midnight.

At 8:00 am Christmas morning, Father received a phone call from Bill's wife. He never made it home. 

The police were notified but they couldn't do anything before 48 hours of a disappearance.

My parents and the top brass called the agency’s 75 employees and a few of them said Bill walked with them to the train station. Ah .... yes, Bill was a bit tipsy but who wasn't they said.

At noon on Christmas Day, Bill called to say he would be coming home in 8 hours. You see, Bill not only fell asleep in the train cab but he was in Philadelphia. 

Bill lived in Chicago.



Monday, December 15, 2014

David -- A True Mensch


You ever meet a person with honor, integrity, fortitude and sense of purpose? I introduce you to David, one of the best non-goyim you'd ever meet.

He's a teacher with knowledge of the classics in music, literature and experience in photography. He's a former ad-man and a refugee from Cleavland Heights.

I especially enjoy his true wit. He can turn an ordinary sentence into a beautiful idiom, twist it in an exciting, special and delightful way that leaves you with a smile and scratching your head.

Nomadic in nature, he has lived in many places in Europe and now makes Barcelona his home.

I am honored to know him.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Even the homeless have soles


For lots of us, weekends are a delight; it's a time to be with family and  friends, to  do chores or simply enjoy ourselves.

For me, you and the person in the photo, it's a time to catch up on much-needed sleep from the week's stress. For the girl in the photo, her bed is a stone step, her apartment is the box.

She's boxed in a corner, trying to get warm after roaming the streets the full day doing whatever she needs to do to be OK with life and welcome the next day.

I can't imagine being her. She has to wake up and leave her space before most businesses open up. She folds her box into the corner of a wall. She's bedded in this space for 2 years,  and for 10 years before that, on  a park bench that's hard as her life.

She's young. I saw her when she seemed/looked much younger, 12 years ago. At that time,  I considered her pretty, with a face as smooth as a child's.

But now, her teeth are worn, cracked and stained. The lines around her mouth are deep and the wrinkles circling her eyes do not dance to a sad song we cannot actually hear.

I'm happy that the office building lets her sleep partly sheltered by its wall. I'm pleased to see that  people give  her handouts of food from time to time. I'm pleased that now, after these years, she smiles and nods as we pass each other.

She's not yours to see. I have her face tucked away in my head and in photos I've stored on external drives.

For you, her left foot must tell the story.












Thursday, December 11, 2014

Unshakeable confidence


Unshakeably inspiring.

For those who don't know the history I tell you that the street art seen in the photo is based on the famous USA "Rosie the Riveter" ad campaign from World War 11 where women were encouraged to work in the munitions factory because of a shortage of men who had been sent to war.

I also like the slogan associated with the ad: WE CAN DO IT!

I love this street art and it's one of my all time favorites in Barcelona. The older I get the more nostalgic I seem to be.

A photo is only as good as it subjects and I thought the pedestrian walking past the persiana typified the confidence and inspiration the ad suggested.






Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Antoni Llena's homenatge als castellers


I don't know about you but sometimes I have a hard time making any sense of a sculptor's thematic scheme of their work and this metal piece was no different.

See if you can make sense of it.

Anyway, this piece by Antoni Llena is called "Homage to the Castellers". The castellers are a group of men, women and children who form human towers by climbing one on top of another and they go up very high ... sometimes to 20 feet.

This type of event doesn't go without some kind of casualty. Last year I was at a festa where the castellers performed and one person was injured and another died.

I love watching their performances and appreciate their art.




Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Two Together Apart (Juntos somos dos separados)


I've often wondered why two people are two together apart.

Have YOU ever wondered?

Maybe somebody put the green arrow to keep them apart.

If I erased the green arrow would a different story unfold?

Any thoughts? .



Thursday, December 04, 2014

No Smoking in the Subway


Funny how laws are passed to safeguard humankind from cigarette inhalation by another human smoking.

Funny how the train stirred dust in the subway and there was nothing to protect humans from train exhalation.

Monday, December 01, 2014

This Way to the Jabberwocky!


I tried writing a poem in the style of Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky but unfortunately for me and probably to your relief, the battery in my laptop ran out of juice and my word-processor failed to recover the document.

Pah_Shaw!! I won't be collecting my Nobel Prize for Literature nor be selected as Poet Laureate at the next Presidential inauguration and I certainly won't be attempting to write any  time too soon.

PS ... I wrote this article a few days ago, and ya know, I'm thinking of trying to write my masterpiece anyway. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Investing in a Gesture


If world leaders had someone to wipe away the tear lovingly from their cheek, the rest of us would benefit.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cervesa de Nadal --- not Rafael Nadal!


Holiday beer may be common in Barcelona, Spain and the rest of the world, but I've never seen holiday beer on the other side of the pond. And, the best part is that the beer pictured and promoted here is Voll-Damm.

I like Voll-Damm a whole lot.

No:  it's true!

It's a robust beer with a savory flavor like filet mignon sauteed with soy sauce and ginger. Yum-Yum!!

Voll-Damm helps me relax, and the best part, my head feels great. Many wines and beers leave me with a headache and I would have my customary maybe 1 or 2 drinks a year.

So: put away the Xanax, celebrate your holiday and enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ancient Communication Device



The rare telephone booth brought to my eyes a warm feeling of nostalgia like meeting a dear old friend. I wondered if I could I be seeing the last of the public phone booths here in Barcelona.

I can imagine a 15 year old of today might say, "I sort of remember that machine" and a child 10 and under might ask, "What is that"? They might also wonder and ask about the typewriter, letters received through the post, and even sit in awe of a home cooked meal rather than squirm in the back seat of a car while driving through a drive-in.

I know life is ever evolving, changing and I suspect for the better. But, I like to get my mail delivered by a human, I like the melodic and even sound of the typewriter and I enjoy making a good meal.

You know! I think I'm feeling a bit of a wake up call and I'm going to modify my life from a slither to a crawl and pretend I'm kid again.



Friday, November 21, 2014

The Longest Catalonian Flag on the Block


On November 09th, 2014 Catalans went to the voting polls and the results showed more than 80% of the voters had general discontent for Madrid's central government and voiced their desire to be liberated from Spain.

I have no idea what or when the next step will be but, you can be sure of excitement, work, passion and frustration from both camps.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Indecisive Moment


To uncover the Big Answers to life's problems, you sometimes have to pull out the stops and engage in a truly in-depth search, and follow every lead unflaggingly, courageously and unstoppably until you unearth the truth you truly need! Remember all you learned from reading The Prophet.

This principle also applies when you lose your camera in your purse.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Mass Tourism Kills the Neighborhood


What happens when you sell real estate to an investor with no personal ties to the community?

What happens when the investor rents apartments to young tourists who party like the wholesome frat boys of "Animal House"?

What happens when the young party animals socialize like there is no tomorrow on a daily basis and disrupt the peaceful nature of a community?

What happens is a sign like in the photo.




Friday, November 14, 2014

Ellusive Garbo in Barcelona


She caught my eye and I caught my breath; was it SHE? Was I really in Central Park, New York and not Barcelona, Spain?  Was I dreaming?

The woman who was maybe SHE had the captivating swagger of assurance, positiveness and -- hauntingly -- the loneliness of THE LOOK.

But SHE was and is Garbo, long dead now, swagger, assurance and loneliness long gone.  Maybe, after all, I wasn't dreaming, but was, nevertheless in a dream -- hers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Crappy Tuesdays


Good morning San Francisco!!

It's been a rainy, cold, 54 degree afternoon this crappy Tuesday in Barcelona.

Sunny Spain is a myth on a day like today and many more days for Barcelona's winter has begun.

Shucks! I'm not asking for pity,

For I know it's not the Windy City.

But I let you know,

While it's not snow,

It still feels pretty shitty.




Sunday, November 09, 2014

Ara és l'hora


Ara és l'hora
The HOUR IS NOW

 Today, Catalonia is voting on a referendum that will let Madrid, the central government of Spain, know that Catalonia wishes wants to be treated fairly.

About a month ago, Scotland was given the opportunity to vote whether it should leave the United Kingdom or not. Scotland chose to stay.

Scotland's action lit a fire under the average Catalanian. Madrid let Catalonia know that to VOTE to secede from Spain would be unlawful. In other words, NO VOTING on secession or for anything else is allowed.

Here's the rub: So, right now, Catalonia is VOTING on a referendum that will let Madrid, the central government of Spain, know that Catalonia wishes wants to be treated fairly. Today, they just want a VOTE.

Disclaimer: I am not from here. I'm an expat who admires the passion the Catalans have for their culture and language. I'm not certain that I understand the political maneuvers of Catalonia and/or Madrid. I'm just an average Jane, trying to make sense out of the nonsense I see.









Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Charlie


Charlie is a kiosk owner, blessed with great teeth, an infectious smile, and the body of a running back.

And, of course, I'm to high minded to notice.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Step Sisters

Step Sisters


(A half embrace times a half embrace) + a step up ='s closeness.

Practicing my math skills and honing my low and less than carefree style of writing.









Thursday, October 31, 2013

PIMP

  Here's a chance to PIMP up your wardrobe with "second hand & underground wear".

DSC_1130_crps

Now, if someone can explain "underground wear" maybe my wardrobe style will improve.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spanish Geisha

Okay ... I'm going to make a big BIG admission.

This photo was photoshopped. Yes. Truly.


Spanish Geisha

It was taken outdoors. She jumped, I shot it.

I then extracted the image from the background and used a gradient, lens flare and lighting effects.

I'm learning to feather better but overall I'm pleased.

Once in awhile my inner child surfaces and I get a burst of creativity.

Believe me, if I can do it, YOU can too!