Sunday, January 28, 2007

Streety graffiti

Have you ever dreamt of hitting a high note like Mariah Carey, writing great works like Franz Kafka, composing sonnets that endure a lifetime as Shakespeare has written, or sculpting like Michelangelo? I know I can go on and on but why bother. I have those dreams and maybe you do too.

But simply said, I would just like to draw a straight line without a ruler. Oh, how I marvel and sometimes envy the painter who sees colors, and dimensions that simply escape me.

Yes, I even envy the unheralded graffiti artist who I never get to see but of whom I am a big fan. I think the street artist ought to be hired by governments as they better operate covertly than the professionals used now. An interesting idea, no?


Barcelona, 2006

Now, by all means, I am not condoning this type of art (for in some places it is ILLEGAL and I abide by the laws as you do) but some graffiti artists do express in brilliant and dazzling colors the plight of a neighborhood or even the world situation, inspiring thought and provoking action.

The photo I took does not convey any message of deep thought but certainly did make me smile. I was charmed by how an ordinary fountain was transformed enough to catch my camera’s eye.

Good thing I thought once and shot this picture because two days later the wall was painted an ordinary, unexciting, blah color.

Enjoy!


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Befuddled huddle

When I lived in the states, my favorite Sunday pastime was football (not the football called soccer in Europe).

I especially liked the moment the players huddled, supposedly strategizing against the enemy. Actually, they were talking about their next social event.

But, for women everywhere, it was REALLY a tush check-out.

However, I digress, for the main reason for this post is to talk about the “huddle” itself.

A huddle (that is for me, a group of 3 or more) raises my curiosity. Do you get curious, too?

So what a surprise it was for me to see this young boy, surrounded closely by 3 pretty, young girls. Probably any guys dream, eh?


marcat de Llibertat
Barcelona, 2006

I was befuddled by the huddle of them sitting there and was afraid to miss the shot for I liked the composition and the mysterious quality of the scene.

So, I clicked twice.

And

We strolled further into the market, when out of no where we were surrounded by our “new” youthful, friends, yelling and shouting at us saying that we had no right to take their photos.

A vendor passing by whom we knew explained to the teen-agers that they were in a public place. We offered to call the police to help with what they said was a problem but they refused, wanting us only to delete the photos from our chips.

After about 20 minutes immersed in this chaotic scene, we left hearing them talk amongst themselves.

What was the ruckus all about? I will never know. I’ve blown up the picture as much as I can. I think that the young man was having his brow pierced, for I see string and hands around his brow.

Anyway, I look forward to real huddles for barçalunacy will be in CHICAGO for the Super Bowl.

DA Bears!!

P.S. Before and after this incident, I have not experienced any turmoil.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

An invention for ALL conditions and ALL situations

How he fell into our lap or what impish forces brought him to us I can never thank them enough.

I met him as you see him.

I asked:

Was he protecting himself from the sun?

Did he wish to be alone in a crowd and he didn’t know how to convey his need in a kindly way?

Had he been attempting to be as inconspicuous as possible?


Rodrigo
Barcelona, 2006

Was it a new diet device?

Was he protecting himself from picking his nose or from putting his elbow into his ear?

Was he protection man-kind from some fatal disease?

Was this a prototype of a new design he was testing to qualify for an entry level position for covert operations for the FBI, CIA or some parochial school?

You be the judge!

He is Rodrigo, a jewelry designer of amazing talent. We met him and his friend, Raquel, on carrer de las Carolinas and we liked him WAY before we saw him.


Rodrigo and Raquel
Barcelona, 2006

People are GREAT and Rodrigo was no exception.

I thank the powers to be for letting us meet each other’s acquaintance.

 People of My Own Interest View Sergi, Laya and others in barcalunacy's People of My Own Interest FLCKR photoset.


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Thursday, January 25, 2007

And life goes on

The moment I took this photo I knew luck was on my side.

I was taking photos of young skateboarders at the plaça de Rius y Taulet in the summer of 2006. Once they realized I was photographing them the more they became unsuccessfully acrobatic.

But, my Minolta was totally uncooperative. (Or maybe it was the photographer overly-over ADJUSTING).

Then, in my viewer, above the skateboarders, I saw dilapidated, dull, green French doors slowly opening

And then,



A young, curvy, sultry girl appeared, as if Juliet looking for her Romeo.

But I saw more.

Did Juliet know what I knew then and now?

The distance separating these two women was not measured in feet but in years.

Our “Juliet” has no idea what life has before her. For now, her memories are few, and thoughts of her future maybe be frustrating, uncertain and scary.



But the older woman below may have a sack of memories to draw from, unending dreams to keep dreaming and remembrances of sweet experiences, real or imagined.

And life goes on.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

el edifici Mercuri_Rising

Barcelona’s building renovation is an on-going process that will last many life-times and the edifici Mercuri building in the barrio san Gervasi did not escape it.

The building’s new look was a great-big secret, hidden under cloth, and much to my delight, when it was unveiled, two thirds of what appeared to be amber colored glass was placed over the existing clear panes.

You can see the blue of the blue sky on the clear panes and an old, not-so-pretty building’s reflection that is right across the street on Via Augusta.

But, you’d never know how dilapidated the old building is by the look of the photo.


el edifici Mercuri
Barcelona, 2006

I find beauty in the old building’s reflection and that pleases me.

The edifici Mercuri building still fascinates me to this day. I’ve taken hundreds of photos in every kind of light and angle the past 2 years.

Mercuri might not be in official guide books. No matter, it’s on MY top 100 list of interesting buildings.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

When I was a child, my mother used to say that the uglier an object was “leave it up to you to like and buy it”.

You see, then I was very much into African art, before it became fashionable to own, and so I would buy a piece here and there with what little money I had. Needless to say, my selections did not fit the conservative lifestyle of my family.

But, today, I am glad to say my tastes have changed. They have gone from the unusual, outlandish, and flamboyant to peacockish, gaudy and outrageous, enough to make my mother go from wincing to vomiting.

Memo: So, I guess my mom was right and mothers are ALWAYS right you know.

Then, you can imagine how delighted I was to see the “ART” on the roof of this building. The first time I saw the sculptor it was really a shock.



The building is called Fundació Antoni Tàpies and more can be read by clicking HERE.

Through the magic of imagination, I pictured the twisted wire as looking like Edward Scissorhand’s hair or Eduardo Manos Tijeras as he is known in Barcelona.



I must be the only person who likes what is on the roof and it makes me smile. I’ve talked with many people who think it’s the ugliest thing they ever seen.



Beauty, indeed, is in the eye of the beholder.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Reflections of a Topsy-turvy Day

Sometimes life itself is hard enough. But, did you ever wonder if reflections had feelings, what would they be?

Like you, your reflection might get tired, frustrated and confused.

Now, take these four couples, 8 people if we were to do the math or are they 2 couples and 4 people or are they 7 if you count the one figure in half as one.

If you’re confused, what must your reflection feel like? A little topsy-turvy I would wonder.

Now, if you think I am supposed to make sense of what I wrote or you worry that you don’t understand anything of what you’ve read, have no fear.

But, if I take the ONE and ONLY original photo I took you might get an idea of what I am saying and why this photo was taken.

Original Photo
Vincons, Gran de Gràcia
Barcelona, 2006


Horizontal Photo
Vincons, Gran de Gràcia
Barcelona, 2006


Vertical Photo
Vincons, Gran de Gràcia
Barcelona, 2006

You see, I saw no matter how I turned the photo, each photo was similar to one another.

Now, how I could translate what I observed into my regular life, I thought.

Well, one thing that came to my mind, was no matter how we changed the outside, even slightly, “we are who and what we are” in the inside and the earlier some of us understood this, especially women, the better we might feel about ourselves. No?

If what I’ve said applies to YOU, don’t worry, maybe I write this as a memo to myself, too.

I know what I’ve said might be a wild, interpretive leap but how do I learn to ask questions if I don’t look?

Will YOU be looking?


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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Karate Mom: Part 0

Laya was a sharp, young, timid and shy woman, with an ambition to please her man.

Each day, Sergi had Laya practiced for almost 23 hours these fancy karate moves with the idea to compete against her son in a tournament.

You see, their child held the RAINBOW BELT for 5 year olds in his age group. He was quite smug about his achievement and taunted his mother about her lack of co-ordination.

Laya was doing extremely well, progressing each day, much to their son’s dismay.

Sergi was to teach her the final technique of all karate moves: the Crane Technique stance.

But Laya just couldn’t get the hang of this specialty move.

She was totally uncoordinated as her child had said, like a little kid learning how to hop, skip and jump for the first time.

Then something not nice happened to Laya that could have turned out bad for her, Sergi and their son.


Sergi and Laya
market de llibertat, barrio de Gràcia, 2007

She had a motorcycle accident but thank goodness she came out of it okay with just a broken leg.

The doctor’s were kind enough to cast her leg in a way that would help her with the Crane Technique stance. You can see what a wonderful job the medical team did.

I am happy to say that both Sergi and Laya are themselves happy with her karate improvement as the photo so shows.

And what about their son, you might ask. Well, he’s shaking in HIS boots as little kids should be doing anyway.

Disclaimer: The characters are real. The story is ALL 99% fiction and the rest is false.

P.S. I had fun writing this piece of doo-doo. I hope you have fun reading it.

 People of Interest View Sergi, Laya and others in barcalunacy's People of Interest FLCKR photoset.


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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Power siesta taken to the next level

He was resting there so peaceful, like a child you might say, that I decided to leave him be and go visit one of my favorite places, the Mare Magnum.

Seven hours later, coming back from the Magnum, he was still there, snoring away.


Powered, power siesta
Mare Magnum Pier, Barcelona, 2006

So what you do? I couldn’t resist.

I took only 4 shots to the dismay of some pesky tourists who felt I was invading this man’s privacy.

Privacy! I was invading his space as much as they were except I was carrying a camera and using it.

Public places are not PRIVATE!

Anyway, the MAN didn’t care and how rude of me it would’ve been to awaken him from a power siesta that would have made any Spaniard proud.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Clothes make the MANnequin

In the States during the 1990’s, it was fashionable for young teen-age girls to wear wild and crazy colored boxer shorts over their Levi’s.

So, it was with sheer delight when I saw a storefront window, in the town de Sabadell, displaying men’s underwear on curvy female mannequins.



I wondered if the display signified a new way of dress this coming season.

I can hear the guys of Barcelona, MOAN, OH, NO!!


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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Restaurante "El Mos" is the Most

Today, barçalunacy went to a town outside of Barcelona called Sabadell.

My first impression of Sabadell was positive. I don’t know what I quite imagined but the neighborhood’s buildings have wonderful architectural features, many shops (if you’re into that sort of thing) and the people, warm and friendly.

What do you do when you are in a new area? You walk, talk, and meet people and shoot photos, no?

And then there comes the time when you get HUNGARY, no?

So, who best to ask then a department store worker who might go somewhere where they don’t spend their weeks wages in a fancy restaurant; in other words, CHEAP! (Yes, I try to watch my pennies and euros like the rest of you.)

And led us she did where we found ourselves eating here.


El Mos,
Sabadell, 2007

We had fresh fruit juice, a huge chicken Caesar salad, a fish called “rap”, large basket of bread (unusual for here), beer, coke and a wonderful desert. All for 8.95 euros per person, which I felt was pretty good deal.

But the best parts were two things: service was outstanding and the food was out of this world.

To get to the restaurant area we went down these stairs.


El Mos
Sabadell, 2007

Nothing to speak for here.

But to get to these stairs, we had to enter here.

El Mos
Sabadell, 2007

Just a plain, old, corner building, in a secluded area, on a non-descript street.

You hope for a surprise but it’s not expected.

P. S. You’re probably itching to know the name of the place so here goes:

El Mos
Riera Villariet, 5
93 723 93 98
Sabadell

Honestly, you would be foolish if you don’t go.

So. Don't be a FOOL!


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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Boy settles into astrolabi statue possibly for an impossibly-long stay

He was the picture of contentment, peace and well-being in the first-class-only cocoon.

He’d clearly won the right (maybe after the fervid jawboning and negotiation boys tend to indulge in) to snuggle into the statue known as the “astrolabi” on la Plaça del Sol, in the barrio de Gràcia of Barcelona.

I watched the young boy climb up onto and finally settle down into his selected spot.


la Plaça del Sol
Barcelona, 2006

I saw a scoop of ice cream fall off his ice cream cone.

I saw him, in the style of little boys; stuff the lost, plopped-on-the-ground bit straight into his mouth.

I saw him stare with bewildered shock, indignation and intensity as some melty ice cream dripped and dribbled unstoppably down his arm.

Boy, what a boy!

I don’t think the young lad knew the significance of the monument he was sitting on; it was designed by Joaquim Camps and represents a sun dial with the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Now, I wanted to give you a link that would have told you better about the design. But, unfortunately, the link I liked is currently unavailable so I will tell you one thing I remember reading.

All the zodiac signs but three are the same size. One of the remaining three symbols is the largest of all, representing the designer’s own sign.

There, in a nutshell, you have it!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Neighbors give new residents the green light

On my way home, passing the plaça de Sant Miguel, I saw these odd pigeons of green, pecking, eating and drinking with the local pigeons.

They were mellow, interacting quite well with one another and the local residents. Ah, made me think for a moment how wonderful if humans could learn to do the same. But, I digress.


plaça de Sant Miguel
Barcelona, 2006

Now, I am not an expert on birds, pigeons or any other flying rat. I take the avian flu quite seriously, you know.

But upon closer inspection, it seemed to me that my little, green subjects were either parrots or a giant-sized canaries.

Now, if you’re interested and want to let me know what they are, don’t hurry to inform me.

I just liked their bright color in a gray neighborhood.


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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

At his post

It was a clear Barcelona day in sunny Spain, when I came upon a man sitting on a post that was not all too comfortable.

Now, sitting on a post in itself is not extraordinary except for the fact that I noticed he had sat and sat for about a half-hour without looking up, all the while making small circular motions with his fingers on the left side of his scalp above his eye.



If it wasn’t for this action, since he made no other, I would have certainly called an ambulance.

How long had he been sitting on the post before I came? I will never know. But he reminded me of someone or something.

A few yards from him, at the Monumento de Colón, I heard the sound of laughter and went to see. There were tourists climbing on the lion statues waiting for us to take their pictures. And for an hour or so, we took photos of people taking photos.

From the corner of my eye, my man on the post was still there. And suddenly I realized why he intrigued me. I had before me my very own Rodin statue.


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Monday, January 08, 2007

A Tunnel that begins with the Light

Today I had the opportunity to visit the barrio of Sarrià.

Walking through the town’s center toward la avenida de Diagonal, I saw a winding path that led to maybe something wonderful. I could only guess.


A tunnel, a curve and a fantasy
barrio de Sarrià, Barcelona, 2007

Sometimes you feel everything is coming to an end but when I looked at this situation I was startled to find there was absolutely no handwriting on the wall.

To me the path seemed like a magnetic mystery. I wanted to walk to the end but I felt the power of my fantasy holding me back.

Meanwhile, I lingered awhile waiting for some people to walk by to give the photo dimension and scale.

However, after looking at my photos, I felt that even one person overwhelmed the beauty of the path, its light and curve.


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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Planning a Picture Perfect Photo

A pleasure of posting and taking photos for the blog has been the many people I’ve met over the past few years.

While at the Museu Frederic Mares a few weeks ago, I came across a handsome man taking a photo of a very, pretty woman.


Janesca and Corby
Museu Frederic Mares, Barcelona, 2006

Now, seeing people take pictures is a common, ordinary thing people do when they have a camera. No?

However, what struck me about this moment was the exactness, the preciseness, the careful way the photographer made sure that the picture would be picture perfect.

I saw myself in him!

Anyway, I took some photos, and we got to talking. He was curious of the pictures I took and he seemed to genuinely like some of them.

They come from the island of Curacaou and their name is Janesca and Corby.

They were kind enough to let you hear them say what they think and feel about Barcelona in castellano.

So click HERE for the QuickTime audio.

A note to Janesca and Corby: I promised you photos in an email. If you take a look at my post, Grant Me a Wish, you will read the reason why I am unable to send YOU an email of what I promised.

If you see this, and I hope you do, please drop me a note at barçalunacy@yahoo.com.

Enjoy!

 People of Interest View Janesca, Corby and others in barcalunacy's People of Interest FLCKR photoset.


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