Testimonials

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!


Friday, October 25, 2013

What Isn't There

It's just an ordinary facade with ornate iron patios BUT for those of you who have visited el Portal de l'Angel I can guarantee that you've been in this building for food or other excuses.

DSC_2513_cr ps1


But, alas, McDonald's is no longer there!

What marketing genius was responsible for this grave error?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

She pleases me

It's been a long time since I heard this style of jazz in Barcelona and in particular a distinct musical voice.

I scurried quickly for I had to see if it was THEM ... the New Orleans Ragamuffins.

She pleases me

I wrote a post about the group in 2006. Here's the link:

barcalunacy.blogspot.com/2006/10/barcelonas-own-ragtime-b...

But, alas, they were not THEM.

The fella on the right facing you is or was a member of that band and it's his unusual voice with a distinct megaphone nasality that I remember.

I don't know anything of this group other than they played well.

So well, in fact,

As I was taking a photo a girl passed smiling, dancing, swaying and walking all the while on a mobile phone.

She pleased me.

Please Help Me

There's been a significant increase in the last 2 1/2 years of young women begging money for food in Barcelona.

I feel conflict when I see them. I have an innate desire to help anyone but the skeptic inside of me stops me from doing so. I guess maybe it's because many of them, men as well as women, just don't seem that 'needy'. Of course, appearances can be deceiving and I can be wrong.

DSC_2534_ps


This photo reminds me of another story.

About 3 years ago, while taking our evening walk, we can upon an elderly woman of 76 years old, preparing her bed on the sidewalk adjacent to a bank. It was a winters night and cold like ice.

Anyway, we stopped to speak. Her face reminded me of an older Mary Pickford, so sweet and delicate.

She lost her home and belongings a few days before we met. She had no idea about her tomorrows but for that night she was trying to find a warm place, a safe place, a quiet place.

Unfortunately for her, we had no money on us but the next night with food in our hands we went back to her spot, searched everywhere ... well, we never saw her again.

And to this day, we look and think of her.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Left to Their Own Devices

No one speaks to a human anymore.

Untitled

I remember as a child, born in Manhattan, people who talked to themselves alone on the streets were considered NUTS! Hey. It's New York. We're all nuts some say.

And, today. No one is crazy, or at least you can't tell.

If you're not listening to your ipod, or speaking on your iphone, you're not COOL or HIP ... or whatever. <--- see, I'm down with the lingo.

Left to their own devices, human contact is at an all time low.

And, thank goodness I didn't fall into that trap.

Enough of this. I'm gonna tweak my camera settings.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Indifference

Indifference

Does anyone care?

Is this union going to last?

The only interested person is ME!

And, the only thing I'm concerned with is the LIGHT that was escaping me faster than I could write this post.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Parc Güell's Changes Will Affect You

 If you're a tourist, be sure to add the Parc Güell on your expense list, because as of October 1, 2013, you will be charged to enter. The cost will not effect Barcelona's residents.

DSC_2811_3

Seems harsh to me, but hey, when you factor about 9 million tourists per year visiting the park at 8 euros per head, the numbers speak for themselves.

However, some argue Parc Güell is a municipal park and should not charge as it is not a museum nor cathedral.

Also, there will be a limit of about 800 persons who can enter daily.

Ah, I sometimes hate change.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tilt 'n Shift

 And, shot from the hip ... mine of course.

Untitled

I liked everything about her, especially the way she moved,

So confident.

Anyway, the photo sort of reminds me of a great street photographer, Juan Colom, who shot many of his photos from a low angle and to the side of his hip.

He captured Barcelona's nightlife during the reign of Spain's dictator, Franco.

Friday, October 11, 2013

His Helping Hand

Untitled

No trust problems on her part!

Will she still find his hand in that affectionate way 40 years from now?

What say you?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Las Niñas Flamencas

Las Niñas Flamencas

Give a girl a fan, polka dot bow, dress and more importantly high heeled shoes and what have you got?

Three happy little sisters who call themselves la Flamenco Chicas.

Shop any souvenir shop in the heart of Barcelona's las Ramblas and make little girls dance with joy.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

La Festa de la Mercè

 DSC_2642

 La Festa de la Mercè is an annual festival hosted by the city of Barcelona.

There are various activities throughout the city over a four day period and my guess is that the Merce is the close of summer.

Today, we find ourselves on carrer Ferran and up ahead is la Plaça de Sant Jaume where tall human like figures will parade around the square and,

A sea of people strolling to the plaça will enjoy.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

This day showed almost no promise of seeing unique and interesting genders,

Until,

I saw the double THEM, walking briskly by me, much to my delight.

Well, I liked the way they walked with confident, long strides

And, completely oblivious to the stares and gawks of the passers-by.

Well, maybe not so completely oblivious and,

A delight, nevertheless.

Monday, September 16, 2013

CIRIS


CIRIS

You ever try getting a Coca-Cola out of a CIRIS vending machine?

Ain't going to happen.

Not until hell freezes over.

And, certainly not before you can get water out of a stone can you quench your thirst with a candle.

Photo was taken at a church along las Ramblas.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rainbow

 Rainbow

A rainbow seen at the corner of la Avenida Diagonal y la Passeig de Gràcia.

A moment that was cleverly not staged by me.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tasty Manicure

DSC_1064_3

 Chess can certainly be a nail-biting experience.

I know. I've played, and in some circles I'm considered a master of dynamic proportions with a score of 700!

Ok. Ok. Seven hundred is not a great number; not even mediocre. I think that 700 is a number you are given when you first start out and for some of us, it's downhill after the initial game.

Monday, September 09, 2013

el mercado de Puigmartí

El mercado de Puigmartí is a wonderful market, great vendors, marvelous food and a touch of the past.




IMG_2625_3


Puigmartí is located in el Barrio de Gràcia here in Barcelona.

I suggest you get there as soon as possible, before, if ever, this market is modernized.

Friday, September 06, 2013

He gave me A finger!

 A friendly gesture that says, Hi! How you doin'?

He gave me A finger!

I love workers such as those in the photo. 

More often than not, I get a smile, a pose and a wave.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Four My Eyes Only

Well, it finally happened.

DSC_2204 3z
 
Toys like computers, ipads, iphones, ipods, and fancy cameras have reeked havoc on my eyes.

I thought I had a clear defined photo of a dapper young man.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Love Knot!

Ah, young love! 

Love Knot!

Two kids, resting on a church step, oblivious to their surroundings in twisted perfection.

If I was lucky to be in their position today, I'd unfortunately need help straightening up.