Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Yes, Luna ... There is an IKEA

Hidden and far away, tucked in the belly of Barcelona, is a store called IKEA in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat.

Bus and train are the way I get around Barcelona and the L95 was one way to reach IKEA. According to the internet, the L95's route begins at Barcelona's center, which I believe is la plaça de Catalunya.

But which streets from the plaça? Can you imagine how many streets have access to the plaça? Many! Why couldn't directions be explained so that a 4 year old and mature people (like me) could understand?

I was on a mission and I was NOT going to give up. I put the idea of finding IKEA aside for awhile, for confusion reigned for a long long time. (I'm too embarrassed to say how long).

I went about my simple but eventful life meeting locals, pesky tourists and discovering new places, like Casanova Foto.

And, finding the L95 bus!

Indeed! The L95 bus is almost in front of the Casanova Foto shop. Crazy, eh?

We went to IKEA that day and a few more times since then.


PS:  Casanova Foto and origin of the L95 bus
     Ronda de la Universitat, 35, 08007 Barcelona
     933 02 73 63

Pass it on!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Los Caracoles

New restaurant in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona:  just opened.  Barely 190 years ago.

Usually, tourists swarm around the front of  "Los Caracoles" like army ants intent on wrecking my chances of getting a sweet shot of the place. 

Today was different:  Take a look at the proof!.

Three humans mark the points of the imaginary triangle. They appeared as if they'd conspired with me to come up with a shot that would impress you!

Any time you're looking for a fine place to eat with a friendly photographer-lady waiting outside, you know where to go.  I'm waiting!

Monday, April 06, 2015

I only have eyes for me!

At the top of the La Rambla de Catalunya and Via Diagonal, is the Coquettish Giraffe sculpted by Josep Granyer i Giralt. Everyone and anyone, even maybe you have met someone and somebody lingering and meandering.

Yes. It is a whimsical piece and on this Semana Santa (Easter Sunday) he has primped him or herself  for you.

Everything about him for me screams guy.

Could it be the mirror that does so?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mindless Game

If he had only written a list, he wouldn't have forgotten the most important "to-do" item.

Oh, the games we play as we get older, to master memory.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Room Where it Always Rains (Una habitación donde siempre llueve)

I was shocked. Somehow, someway, I missed this area of the city. It's called la Barceloneta. In the Barceloneta is an area called la plaça del Mar. At del Mar you will see the sculptor called "A Room Where it Always Rains" by Juan Muñoz.

 The figurines are tall ... close to 5 feet. The statue's faces are haunting. 

The statues are in a "room" where the "walls" are slats of iron.

FYI, behind me was the playa de port vell. If you like sun, fun, water, great food and affordable convenient stores, then be sure to consider this area.

I will!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

No Title

I love this photo and yet I'm at a loss to know what to title.

Originally, I had "Is that all there is", but the phrase kept replaying in my head like a golden oldie.

So, I surrender. If any of you can help me with naming the photo, I'd be so happy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Too much of a stretch, even for a ballerina

What's the ballerina doing here?!

Is she the odd man out?

A ballerina helps a hip-hop group perform warm-up exercises.

The crowd is delighted. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A real puzzler

When I first saw him, I was puzzled and wondered why he was sitting on the steps of the Maremagnum.

After all, he's in Barcelona, and when in Barcelona you walk, eat, shop, rest, and then start again until you drop from exhaustion.

But he was alone, and I liked his ruggedness, quiet demeanor, intense concentration and I wanted to take a photo for its perspective and composition.

For a few minutes, look before zooming in on the photo. Can you figure out what he's working on?

Did you guess Sudoku?! I would have never guessed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A name so nice, they used it twice

TapaTapa is nestled at the very opposite end of the Maremagnum entrance.

After a busy day of walking, talking and shopping,  I suggest you take a break for a tapa at the TapaTapa -- a name so nice, they used it twice.

Honestly, you can't go wrong with just about any restaurant in Barcelona, for their taste will delight you with sinful pleasure.

And look: TapaTapa is located right by the water;  if you got any closer, you'd be in the Mediterranean Sea! How's that for a view?

You'll experience real life. Way better than watching TV.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Yo soy la jefa (I am the boss)

When I first saw the poster sponsored by Toulose Business School, I felt pleased that this woman looked in control of her business future and empowered. I thought the poster to be strong.

But then I began to question the words.

The poster reads: Durante los proximos 3 anos, y so la jefa.

Translation: During the next 3 years ... I am the boss.

And then what?

I feel it should have read: AFTER the next 3 years, (for the rest of my working life),  I will be the boss.

How would you have written words?

Or is it ok the way it is?

Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Marato Barcelona - 2015

Runners participating in the Zurich Barcelona Marathon.

The run is 42.195 km or 26.2188 miles. 

Well, when you can't get a taxi, great running shoes and good insurance (sponsored by Zurich) are a must.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Her face doesn't matter.

I had not seen her face but she surely caught my eye for her stance was confident and while unassuming was assuming.

Very rarely does a woman attract my attention but I've learned through the eyes of the camera and more an awareness of my  immortality to appreciate ALL that is around me.

She was alone with long auburn hair spiraling down her shoulders and back.

Her legs looked like a never ending tube of toothpaste squirted into stiletto heels so pointy that hopefully she had the very ever high heels registered as a dangerous weapon.

I clicked a few photos of her more to see how the new adjustments I made on my camera appealed to my taste. A bit saturated and something I would have to fix at a later time. I didn't want to lose her.

She walked past me and slowly began turning. I realized she was taking selfies of herself, pouting her voluptuous lips in that way I see actresses do after a new round of collagen injections. Interesting, I thought, but not exceptionally exciting or different to post or even care. I realized her face just didn't matter.

And then I knew what I liked about her.

Can you guess?

It was the curvature of her body, truly shaped like an hour glass. I really liked the way she moved her body and she did too.

She is a woman and proud. And I like that.

Friday, March 06, 2015

A kiss on each cheek

While I do enjoy the works of Salvadore Dali, the men on the balcony interest me the most. They have sat or stood there, come rain or shine, for the last 12 years, sometimes without moving a muscle and they have been my interest.

They look in my direction, but not at the same time. I have waved and waved but they seem not to notice how foolish I look. How can that be? Everyone else notices.

They ogle the crowd below them or stare, fixated, at the statue of Christopher Columbus across the street from their position.

This day, they both looked in my direction. Success.

Good things come in small steps. I can wait another 12 years for them to smile.

But, I don't think I'll wait anothor 12 years beyond the smile to meet them.

Next time, we shall say "hola" and greet each other the Spanish way, a kiss on each cheek.

Thursday, March 05, 2015


Sometimes, there is a photo, where the subject needs no explanation.

Can you guess the main interest of the picture I took?

I usually would say hasta luego (because I'm in Spain) but today I say, too-da-loo. (Sounds very Cheecago, eh?)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Passing Bye

I admire Henri Cartier Bresson. Who doesn't?

I've looked at his photos, (probably not as often as I should), and tried on occasion to emulate his simple yet complex style.

However, let's face it. If you have lots and lots of time, good lighting, an obscure place to linger while not accused of loitering and confident that you won't need a latrine break, you, too, can be a Bresson.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

A clean shot of a domestic posing 2 stories high

I couldn't believe my eyes.

At first, her back faced me and she stood at the very top of the ladder, making sure the window was cleaned from corner to corner. I was sure she was going to fall. I took the shot.

She then turned around, continued cleaning and of a crowd of about 25 people she spotted ME (I couldn't believe it) ... and I took this shot.

She was as bewildered by me taking her photo as I was shocked by her fearlessness.

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 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 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? .