Testimonials

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Neither here nor there

I first became aware of her about 3 years ago on a warm, sunny day in my favorite park. I sat on the park bench, two benches away from her, watching her twitch, pace, smoke and bop her head.

At first glance, I saw a simply dressed, pretty woman.

She was tall and bony but her face had a sculptured look artists go gaga for.

Since then, summers and winters have passed. I have seen her alone -- ALWAYS alone. That face, I thought so pretty, showed me at a moment’s glance, lifetimes of comings and goings I could not imagine.

Then one particular day, sometime last year, I took bus 92 on my way to somewhere.

From inside the bus, I saw her filling jugs with water in our “favorite” park. It was then that I decided to take her picture.


Time passed and I saw her no more. I often wondered about her and if she were okay.

One day, quite by accident, I found her home – a cardboard box. The entrance walls of a refurbished building provided her shelter from the cold and privacy from passers-by prying eyes.


A few weeks later, I saw the space she called home boarded.


The park bench was now her bed, accessible to the elements and open to prying eyes।


Nowadays, she spends her time in a prone position, smoking and listening to what seems to me to be an mp3 player or radio.


When she walks around and around, she twitches, bounces, paces and mumbles like the first time she caught my eye. Her face is older.


I have chosen to select pictures that do not show her face.

I am curious about her.

How is it that I or we are “here” and she is “there”?

Were we born into the “right” family? For us, was it spiritual or genetic luck or, in her case, bad karma?

To philosophical for a blog, I know.

I don’t expect to take any more photos of her. What I would really like to do is speak and get to know her better.

And maybe, just maybe,

I will.

P. S. I have written many posts, and with few exceptions, my stories tell the light side of Barcelona.

However, my adopted city has a heartbreaking side too. The unknown woman in my post is as important to me as the street-performers and the “pesky tourists” I lovingly have written about and you have read.

They are Barcelona to me and so is she.

 People of Interest View barcalunacy's A Candid View of Everyday People FLCKR photoset.


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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Big Sleep

Ever watch, marvel and envy infants, children, and adult babies who sleep in spite of the uproar of barking dogs, emergency vehicles and tornado sirens?

I am one of them.

Not to mention sitting on a step of a very busy corner near the St. Jaume train station, where pesky tourists, busy locals and where well-meaning, kind-hearted, and endearing photographers, like me, pass by, second by second.

Around this corner of the city, I have seen, each and every time, a man always, ALWAYS scrunched in an enticing and inviting squatting position. But, alas, he seems to be well aware of me even before I have turned the corner, and with luck I have not been able to capture him.


CLICK ON PICTURE FOR BETTER VIEW

But this day, next to him, sat a girl. At first, I thought she was terribly near-sighted and might be having difficulty writing, as there was a pen in her hand and paper on her lap.

But, as I got closer, I noticed her eyes closed and a wonderful, purring sound of a 12 wheeler semi-truck emanating from her.

Her tiny body had the appearance of a contemporary dancer just finishing an exhausting performance.

As I write this post, I wonder if she ever started let alone finish her task.

At the very most, she looked rested and

Now, I rest this post.

Enjoy!!

 People of Interest View barcalunacy's A Candid View of Everyday People FLCKR photoset.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I’ve got my baby to keep me warm


Barcelona
is famous for the “extraordinaries” -- places, like la Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, plus statues, fountains and humans.

A place I like a lot is la Puerta del Angel – the angel’s gate/door.

La Puerta del Angel’s a wide, open, welcoming area, without traffic, like a sort of like a cul de sac, and it’s “home” for well-known department stores like Corte Ingles, and a whole bunch of smaller, slick and chic boutiques.

la Puerta del Angel
Barcelona, 2007

For the wealthy, culinary aficionados, McDonalds and the like wait for you.

Around the perimeter of la Puerta del Angel are huge, comfortable, monstrous slabs of stone.

Here, you have a place to comfortably spread your maps, see the sites you missed along the way,

And, to calm your nerves, you can practice “pronouning” the name of exotic streets and neighborhoods you might never see.

So, once you know where you’ve not been, and in no hurry to get there,

Lie down and unwind.

The seats are big, BIG enough for YOU to relax and reconnect with a loved one.

Enjoy!!

 People of Interest View barcalunacy's A Candid View of Everyday People FLCKR photoset.


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Friday, June 15, 2007

All dressed up to go nowhere

Now, you might look at this photo and say “So what!”

And I grant you, that it’s just a photo, with maybe some nice colors, light and shadows.

And you might say “Nice!” but,

“So what?!”

So … I tell you.

The beauty of the building did catch my eye for its colors, light and shadows.

And a pair of tango dancers as described in the popular post, “Last Tango in Barcelona” did catch the attention of the café customers in a restaurant called La Cava Universal, at the bottom of Las Ramblas,

As well as the man leaning over the balcony,

La Cava Universal #1
Barcelona, 2006

Where just for fun and a reason to be 5 years old again, I’ve used a magnifying lens technique,

La Cava Universal #2
Barcelona, 2006

And the mannequins who appeared to be dressed and going nowhere.

The juxtaposition of the elements I’ve described was the selling point for me when I captured this scene.

Enjoy!!

 A Candid View of Everyday People View barcalunacy's A Candid View of Everyday People FLCKR photoset.


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guarded

How proud would you be to be the parent of this vehicle’s owner?

Not only was the two-wheeler free of valuables, but it was parked in a well-lit place where everyone could see it.


I was pretty certain that s(he) did not have the conventional insurance policy guarding against theft

But,

They certainly had a wonderful anti-theft device that would deter any common car criminal from stealing this precious gem if time was a factor.

Yes! I would be proud.

Enjoy!!

 plaça de Gal.la Placidia View barcalunacy's plaça de Gal.la Placidia FLCKR photoset.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Showcasing a little leg

There’s something magical about the bond women have with one another that is truly special.

For these two special ladies, that relationship may go back, easily, their lifetime.

As I took their photo, I wondered how long they had talked, shared and related their personal emotions to one another.

Showcasing a little leg
barrio de Gràcia, Barcelona, 2006

I also took notice that they were not that “pretty-little-thing” they once might have been.

For some women, the aging process can be quite a distressing proposition.

Women might measure themselves to the way they look and age.

She may wonder if she still has that “something” that can attract a member of the non-female gender.

Take a look at the lady on the left. She sat there proud, with her one leg extended, showing her knee.

But, her face had that warm, inviting and caring smile.

And she appeared to still have the spark of that young teen-age girl where the guys, one day a long time ago, might have said “WOW”.

To me she was as pretty as that pretty-little- thing I wrote of earlier.

Yeah! She taught me something that day, that from time to time I forget.

It’s not what you wear, or how pretty you look.

It’s your eyes, your mouth, and your glance, making the other person feel that you care and they taking notice that you feel and know they are important.

Maybe, just maybe, that’s true beauty.

Enjoy!!

 People of Interest View barcalunacy's A Candid View of Everyday People FLCKR photoset.


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Sunday, June 10, 2007

The one on the right is normal and the other one is tough sit.

Today I forgo the usual "poetry" I write with my pictures.

If you’ve been reading this blog, I won’t bore you any further with the details, but, for those who don’t know, just suffice it to say, INTERNET PROBLEMS.

And, I am a little pooped.

The photo was taken on la Rambla de Catalunya at a time when major construction was occurring.

Tough sit
Barcelona, 2007

And, my body, mind and soul feel and look like the bench on the left.

Although, the fallen bench appears to have more style and grace than I can muster and deserves a better write-up than what I am presently putting together.

The way I feel, being a “girl” and if I was granted a wish, I could use a mommy or a wife right now.

Sigh! Sigh!


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Wall to Walls

In yesterday’s post called “Giving a friend my best shot”, I mentioned a mysterious hole that these fellows were drilling in the ground, around the marcat de Llibertat.

The following pictures are the “fruit of their labor”,

Wall,



After wall,



After wall,



Entwining, weaving, and slithering like a snake.

The good old days are gone but a good thing will come to those of us who wait.

P. S. How long will it be before these clean walls are graffitified?

Enjoy!!

 Marcat de la Llibertat View the Marcat de la Llibertat FLCKR photoset.

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Mama said there would be days like this!

I've just noticed again that 2 stories I've posted don't show the pictures I uploaded.

Now ... I've re-done these 2 posts, once called "Wall to Walls" and "Giving a friend my best shot!", twice.

I am a l-i-t-l-l-e upset and will go out for a cup of coffee or whatever, return and do the 2 posts all over again.

Let's see what happens.

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Passing Gas

During the cold and bitter months in Barcelona, we use gas tanks called butanos to provide heat in the apartment.

In my post, “Orange alert”, I wrote about Javeed, our butano guy. He sells us the gas.

Javeed
Barcelona,2006

October of 2006, was the first time we met him coming up the street, or down the street, depending which way you were standing.

I took 2 photos. He stopped, smiled and waved.

Great opportunity I thought. Maybe he would let me take his video?

He gave the “go-ahead” nod.


Maybe you can see what I saw from the first time we met.

That is, his warm style and enchanting character.

Am I captivated by him?

You betcha.

Enjoy!!

 People of Interest View Javeed and others in barcalunacy's People of Interest FLCKR photoset.


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wall to Walls

In yesterday’s post called “Giving a friend my best shot”, I mentioned a mysterious hole that these fellows were drilling in the ground, around the marcat de Llibertat.

The following pictures are the “fruit of their labor”,

Wall,



After wall,



After wall,



Entwining, weaving, and slithering like a snake.

The good old days are gone but a good thing will come to those of us who wait.

P. S. How long will it be before these clean walls are graffitified?

Enjoy!!

 Marcat de la Llibertat View the Marcat de la Llibertat FLCKR photoset.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Giving a friend my best shot!

The market de la Llibertat has been going under renovation. I wrote a little blurb in a post called “Notice of a Rebirth” dated August 12, 2006.

Like the locals who have lived here a lifetime, we frequented the market for our daily fresh fish and vegetables all the while wondering when the last day for the old market would come.


And so, on April 18, 2007, about 8 months later, on a beautiful sunny day we heard the sound of jack hammers, drills and hammers.


Of course, curiosity got the best of me and I followed the sound.

Two men were working diligently and rhythmically like an old married couple.


I liked how the sun shined upon them.

What a picture perfect scene if you’re into construction shots as I am. I hope to post other pictures of different places soon.

Anyway, I positioned myself in a place and in such a way that would have made Sherlock Holmes proud.

I clicked and clicked all the while wondering what they were doing, because to me their actions were not all that evident.


They were making holes and I was bewitched, beguiled and bewildered.


But, more importantly, they were having fun.

A few weeks later, we got to see the fruit of their labor.

Come back tomorrow and take a look-see.

Enjoy!!

 Marcat de la Llibertat View the Marcat de la Llibertat FLCKR photoset.


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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

They can’t keep it in. They have to let it out.

They were standing, sitting, pacing and repeating the same actions in such an unusual and mysterious way, that they caught my eye and probably you would have noticed also.

There were posters hung on the back of a bench.


Were they campaign volunteers for a candidate in some upcoming local or national election?

But, they looked unhappy, solemn, and distraught. They were parents, looking for anyone to hear their story.

I will tell you in my BEST way what I learned.

Their daughter, Belén Téllez along with her friend, Jesica Almada, had been jailed for at least 5 months when we met them.

You see, Belén and her companion came from Argentina to Spain to work as models. I guess at some point their work was done.


They left for the airport and it was there that the Spanish authorities confiscated about 15 kilos of cocaine that was in their possession.

Belén’s parents claim, that their daughter and Jesica were deceived by the couple’s manager. How? I am not certain.

And now, their daughter has been held in jail all this while without formal charges.

Sort of sounds a little like Guantanamo Bay doesn’t it?

Anyway, I don’t know if they’re innocent or not.

But this I CAN tell you.

These parents were grieved stricken, sad, exhausted and almost to the point of tears.

They felt alone in the quagmire of the legal system.

I post this because I said I would.

They were eager to share their story. It was such a sad picture to see Mr. Tellez try to find the article in the newspaper for me to shoot.


Here’s a link to an English translation of the family’s blog.

Here’s a link for the Spanish translation for the same blog.

If you find their story interesting, just google Belén Téllez and be sure to use the Google translator.

 People of Interest View the Téllez family and others in barcalunacy's People of Interest FLCKR photoset.


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