Testimonials

Monday, September 18, 2006

The quiet before the storm

For the past few years, Spain has been experiencing severe periods of drought and change of weather not unlike many other part of the world.

So it was with welcome relief, that a few days ago it rained like I’ve not seen it rain before in the four years I’ve been here.

I just had to take the following pictures because I haven’t seen cloud formations like these nor such gray skies in my time here.


Barcelona, 2006

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Barcelona, 2006

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What intrigued was that the clouds appeared to harmonize, with great precision, this newly erected building.

The weather reminded me of the Midwest in the states famous for its tornados.

Anyway, on the same day I took these photos, a tornado DID hit Galicia, Spain. Galicia is about 90 miles up the coast from Barcelona.

To appreciate the beauty of nature, why don't resize the photo.

Sorry to disillusion you of sunny Spain sunny.


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Sunday, September 17, 2006

When you're feelin’ blue

It was the weekend of the Diada and much ado in the barrios.

While many folks were getting ready to enjoy the ceremonies, speeches and music, others were working.

To bad for them, but great for us, for that weekend was the weekend we met Officer Jorge.

He was working this day, guiding the traffic and making certain that nuisances like us would not step on the newly-paved and painted parts of the street.

Aha! But we tricked him. We weren’t interested in crossing the street. No! Our attention was placed on the street pavers' movements, and the colors of yellow and white against the asphalt.

Got my camera and began clicking, and clicking. I was stooping, standing and what not. From the corner of my eye, I saw someone smiling. I took a chance and asked if the man in blue wouldn’t mind me borrowing his leg for a shot. Much to my surprise, he acquiesced and voila! The following photo was taken.


Officer Jorge, Barcelona, 2006

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Amazing, eh?

We chatted for a bit and I figured Officer Jorge might think us those crazy Americans. So, I asked the question. Would he mind if he were in the photos? And the next thing I knew, there was Officer Jorge, posing and smiling. What a treat that was for me!


Officer Jorge, Barcelona, 2006

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Officer Jorge, Barcelona, 2006

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Let me tell you a little of what I know about this fine officer. He will soon be in Australia but, for what else, BOWLING!! Jorge belongs to the policemans' bowling league and they travel, competing with officers from other countries.

He has an average of @ 220, ah yawn, no, just kidding and he has invited us to meet with him and his friends to play a friendly game. Should they be shaking with fear? I don’t think so.

Officer Jorge has a kind face and a ready smile.

He’s a man to know and a friend to hopefully have.

Enjoy!!


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Saturday, September 16, 2006

La Plaça NARCIS OLLER

A Place You Might Like to Know!

It’s a day, any day and you feel like reading and relaxing. I hate telling YOU and everyone else about Plaça NARCIS OLLER, one of my many hide-a-ways.

This plaça was named after “Narcís Oller (Valls, 1846 - Barcelona, 1930) who was the first great Catalan novelist of the modern cultural renaissance …”). To read more, click HERE. It's just a paragraph and might be interesting.

Just off Via Augusta and between the Traveserra de Gràcia and the Diagonal, this small plaça with its warmth and charm, is a little secluded from the bustle of the city. I like that!

I mustn’t forget to tell you that this wonderful fountain actually works, soothes the nerves and horror of horrors, OH, NO!, you begin to feel serene.


Plaça NARCIS OLLER, Barcelona, 2006

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You got a glimpse of it in my post “The UNHOT Dog”, where the main entertainer knew just how to relax. Click HERE to view video.

Oh, Oh, I should tell you this. There’s a bar/café called The City Arms. I believe an English tavern. Anyway, I have never eaten there but, for those who stumble upon this blog and you decide to visit this plaça and maybe take a bite, click HERE for a review of the café.

Enjoy!!


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Friday, September 15, 2006

War brings Peace

Farmácia Guerra is certainly a head turner, not for what it is, a pharmacy of course, but its name.

Guerra means war and the farmácia sells medicines to bring customers peace.

Ironic.


Gran de Gràcia, Barcelona, 2006

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Enough said.


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Tourist’s Trap

It was any Sunday and we were doing our usual, talking, walking and taking photos.

After shooting some pics I decided to lay my weary bones on a park bench.

I sat where three sat. We greeted one another.

Anyway, before I knew it we were taking photos and videos of each other, chatting, laughing and joking around.


Plaça de la Virreina, Barcelona, 2006

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They are from Chile visiting their son who has been here for many, many years.

Yes, drat, I was entrapped by Orlando, Silvia and Guillermo’s friendliness, warmth and interest.

I hope we meet again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Warm encounters over a cold drink

Somewhere on a corner in the barrio San Gervasi and carrer Balmes, is a cozy, corner café.

The café is very small where the stools hug the bar and there’s just enough room for only YOU to pass by.

I shot this photo at night, without thought and very fast before anyone could ask me what and why I was taking pictures. You can see a customer’s bewilderment.


Barcelona, 2006
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The quality of the photo is not very good but I like its lighting, the small space and how cozy and inviting the café appears to look.

It seems to me that the customers have no choice but to be close, sociable and, Oh NO, meet new friends.

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Me, watching THEM, watching YOU!

Ever feel like your being watched?

Well, sometimes, it isn’t me.

IT’S THEM!!

Who? You might ask.

Those pesky tourists, that’s who.

Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona, 2006
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These vacationers are taking a time out after being watched. Now they're doing the watching!

But I say this to the locals.

Don’t worry, I’ll bewachen* them, for ya!!

*bewachen … german word for: to watch.

I don’t speak German but I thought it would be fun to use this word.

Enjoy!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Diada Nacional de Catalunya, 2006

Catalunya is the only place I know that celebrates its own defeat: on September 11, 1714, Barcelona surrendered to Spain in the nine- year- long War of Succession.

Today, Catalunya commemorates this with memorials, speeches and gatherings. Click HERE for Barcelona’s official website describing the events for this occasion.

You truly feel the pride of the Catalonian and their wish to be independent from Spain, even today. This pride is shown by displaying the flag everywhere, and I mean everywhere.
carrer Verdi, Barcelona, 2006
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The flag of Catalunya is called the senyera, meaning sign and is treasured by many Catalans.

I have been told the senyera’s stripes represent four bloodied fingers smeared on a shield. In my research for this blog I found inconsistencies in how the flag’s design originated. Click HERE to read one of its colorful stories.

Anyway, while taking a walk we found ourselves at the Plaça de la Revolució, in the barrio Gràcia, where there was a wonderful crowd mostly of young persons, listening to Catalan music.
Plaça de la Revolució, Barcelona, 2006
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I shot a video where you will hear the music, a speech in Catalan, (even if you don’t understand it, hearing the language is a treat), see a little of the plaça and the attentive crowd.

So click HERE for the QuickTime video.
Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tooting My Own Horn

On August 29, 2006, there were two pages devoted to blogs on Barcelona and the bloggers personal viewpoints of this great city. Barçalunacy was mentioned.

The article is written in Castellan and below is a photo that appeared on La Vanguardia’s subscription online service as well as their printed media.


Barçalunacy, LaVanguardia Online Article, 8/29/2006

Toca AQUI para leerlo bien.

Bloginmedia, an online weblog providing information on blogs, also mentioned the LaVanguardia article and provides an English translation.



Barçalunacy, Blogin Media Online Article, August 31, 2006

Click HERE to resize for better viewing.

Blogin Media is no longer alive. To bad.

I congratulate all who were mentioned.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wrapture

Barcelona is an old city, appreciative of its architecture, and so, it is quite common to see many old buildings either getting a face-lift on the outside or fixed-up in the inside.

While the renovation is being done, it is not unusual to see entire buildings covered with a huge poster made in decorative and loud designs on material made of cloth.

As I turned a corner heading towards Plaça Sant Jaume this one late afternoon, I saw such a renovated building appearing like a majestic queen dressed to the nines.


Plaça Sant Jaume, Barcelona, 2006

The cloth wasn’t loud or flashy but certainly made such an impression I had to take a photo.

Even simplicity gets noticed.

Sort of reminds me of a curved “flat iron building” that is well known in New York City but curviers.

What do you think?

Enjoy!!

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Souly Alone

She lives inside herself.

Barcelona, 2006


She sits beside herself.


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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Minimal Acoustic Band

In my travels through cities, I think the best part is its street artists.

Downtown Barcelona is where we found Minimal Acoustic Band that drew quite a crowd.



Barcelona, 2006

Click HERE to view in Quicktime.

I had a dickens of a time trying to get close to this group and was lucky enough to get a video and shoot some photos.

Later I had a chance to speak with Artur, a Catalan, who was kind enough to give me their web site address.

I was sort of disappointed that their site didn’t have more information on the musicians. Hopefully they will update their page with more stuff.

For anyone interested here it is:

http://mab.com.es/

Sometimes, the crowd is more entertaining than the entertainer.


Barcelona, 2006

What do you think?

Enjoy!!


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Night at the Movies

Holy Cow!!

Looking for a movie you can enjoy in the language of your choice and in their original versions?

Look no further.

Cines Verdi might just be that place for YOU! It is for ME ... a small and comfortable theatre, located in the barrio Gràcia.


So, go buy that popcorn, pop the pop, sit back and enjoy a movie at the Cines Verdi.

If you want more information click HERE and there will be more theatres with movies in their original version including ENGLISH.

After writing this post, I realized it sounds like a 2 minute commercial spot.

Oh well. Enjoy!!


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Monday, September 04, 2006

Fabricating Aluminum Ashtrays

Wow!!

Never thought that I would write about aluminum can ashtrays again, but, these two in the photo were serious about their business as you can see.

Barcelona, 2006

They were busy as little beavers, cutting, shaping and selling their wares.

But, they were not Isabel. Isabel was affable, amiable, and agreeable to me and to the others surrounding her.

Barcelona, 2005

See what I mean and click HERE to view Isabel in QuickTime.

And this is her finished product that I bought!

Barcelona, 2005

Note: I am so proud that over 300 others have seen this video.

Tips for vendors in general: a little smile goes a long, long way.

Enjoy!!


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Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Piercing Sound of Hope

Spain is, according to people I have spoken to, the loudest country in the Europe.

When one this vehicle passes by me, the sound it emits pierces right through me.


Barcelona, 2006

Click HERE to view Quicktime video.


It is then I have sympathy for anyone or anything with sensitivity to high pitch sounds.

Since the barçalunacy blog is about my experiences and everyday living of Barcelona I thought this short video would be interesting.

To hear what I mean, be sure to “up” the volume!

Enjoy!!


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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Finalizing the Middle East Situation or ...

Are they discussing when those pesky tourists might be going home?

Plaça de Santa Maria, Barcelona, 2006

Many times during my walks in Barcelona, I see little worlds of people deep in conversation who are serious when they speak and who are serious when they listen.


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Friday, September 01, 2006

Catalunya’s carrer de Verdi y Robí, 2006

THE WINNER!!!!

Verdi Rocks!

Last in a series of the Festa Major de Gràcia, 2006!!

Placed 1st in the Best Decorated Street entry category and 1st for Creativity and Best Decorated Ceiling at the Festa Major de Gràcia, 2006.

What a night it was the night I went to see the displays at carrer de Verdi/Robí.



The night before the very last night, my camera, my partner and I barreled over to Verdi: How exhilarating, invigorating, enlivening, exciting and electrifying the evening was! It was also a turn-on.

So different was this street when the neighbors (vecinos) were setting everything up for the festa. Click HERE to see them slaving away on their displays and putting together the ghooly Star-Trekky-type-space-aliens.

There were jillions of folks of all ages, sizes, shapes and genders holding hands, dancing, and singing.

You could feel the music, thunderous, pulsating, fresh-from-the-jungle music that made it a veritable moral obligation to shimmy, sway and swing.

If you don’t believe me, think I’ve gone berserk with my verbs, check out my video proof.



Click HERE!

Did I forget to mention the gigantic hullabaloos of balloons, gargantuan portions of eats and oceans of drink everywhere the eye could hear, the ears to sing to?

If I don’t mention the lights, you’ll send a firing squad up before me. And what would happen then?? Lights lit up the Aliens, (definitely not of this or any other world), breathtaking lights that made these Un-humans appear to be aflame with fun and fun-loving.

Ah … check out the video, click HERE for the cine.

I invite you to click the link below for additional photos on FLICKR.

 Catalunya’s carre de Verdi y Robi, 2006View barcalunacy's Catalunya’s carre de Verdi y Robi, 2006 FLCKR photoset.



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