Monday, June 30, 2008

Dry Spell

For the benefit of those not living here, Barcelona is experiencing a water shortage.

And,

They have sub-contracted a neighboring province to ship water here. Can you imagine that?

Fountains, everywhere, are eerily quiet.

Across the street from la Sagrada Familia, this photo shows a barren, dry space, where


Dry Spell

Barcelona, 2008

Only 2 weeks prior, it was filled with water.

You can view the post, A Placid Laze, to compare the differences.

In the grocery stores, shelves are half-empty of bottled water and I now pay double for what is there.

Oh, well.

Thank goodness for coca-cola.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ruis y Taulet Castellers

Originally posted 05/27/06

DID YOU KNOW that once you play a movie in Quicktime, the first download is a little slow but then the rest of the Quicktime barcalunacy movies played from the web page will run much faster. Try it !

Rius y Taulet Castellers

Rius y Taulet Castellers,
Barcelona, 2006

Try building a tower with humans and you get the famous Castellers. See how each person climbs to reach heights unimagined. In this video movie I happened to luckily stumble upon the Castellers doing what they do best.

CLIMB!!

They are truly awesome!

Click HERE for Quicktime.

Click HERE for Real Player.

ENJOY!

 Barcelona’s Street Artists View more of the Castellers and the other performers in barcalunacy's Barcelona’s Street Artists FLCKR photoset.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sitting Pretty

I was 8 years old and I had 2 close girlfriends that I shared my days in play.

I also had a younger brother by 4 years who came with us everywhere we went.

You see, my brother never said a word, not a syllable or a sentence and for his silence my friends didn't mind his presence at all.

One summer day, we were all walking and talking, going nowhere as children do, when from the corner of my eye, I noticed my brother was lagging behind.

Sitting Pretty

Barcelona, 2008

He was at the curb, bending down, looking fascinated.

Of course, as his big sister, I had to make sure that he was okay.

Lo and behold, eureka!

There were these shiny metals that he was putting frantically into his pocket.

After some nudging, he let us see a bonanza he had found in the street; coins worth almost 75 cents.

What to do? Do you know how much candy one could buy for 75 cents in the olden days?

Somehow I managed in my gentle way to pry the money from him and attempted to convince him that I should hold the money.

He repeatedly nodded his head in refusal. "That's my money!” he shouted.

We were stunned. He never spoke before until this moment and he chose this time to speak his peace.

He began walking to the neighborhood deli shop and this time we were following him. He bought us some treats.

I knew, just like the bird, if we sat pretty, good fortune would come to us.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Achieved Opportunity

We missed where to catch bus 92, and had to leg it for 3 blocks where I found a woman sitting on a stanchion with no feet or legs to be seen.

Oh my!

Could this be true? We know the camera doesn't lie, or does it?

Achieved Opportunity

Barcelona, 2008

Were those her feet to the left of her?

My imagination ran riot. There was someone and I was taking notice.

I was swept off my feet and for a moment they felt like clay.

Would she move? Would she notice me?

I kept my feet firmly on the ground and took the shot.

Ah, Joan Colom would be proud.

Disclaimer: The woman was fine. She happened to sit in that angled way that made me smile.

And,

If the shoe was on the other foot, you would have taken a picture, too.

P. S. This photo was not manipulated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Eusebi

He's a special guy whom I've been getting to know just a bit lately.

Because of Eusebi's unassuming, quiet demeanor and child-like innocence, the young waitresses, at a café I frequent, lavishly nurtured him, much to his delight.

Eusebi

Eusebi
Barcelona, 2008

He sings American tunes "out of tune" but he's got charm and grace.

His weapons of choice are a crayon and pen.

For pocket change he will do a portrait of you and yours.

Here's mine.


Eusebi's Drawing of Luna
Barcelona, 2008

Envious?

Support your local street artists!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Curved Liasons

I've been spending the better part of the weekend and today tweaking this blog, so this post is not going to be so creative.

Anyway, the photo was taken at the Maremagnum, a place that I enjoy a lot.

Curved Liasons

It was a wonderful spring and like clock work, just right after June 15th, the weather has turned warm and humid.

So ... I am sitting here posting, uploading, adjusting, readjusting the blog and dripping in a torrential way with sweat.

Pretty soon I am going to get a glass of cold, refreshing water sin gas.

Am I complaining?

No way. After the disasters in the United States, the floods, fires and all, the earthquakes in China and Greece and the political upheaval in Zimbabwe I figure that life is pretty good.

Bye for now.







Sunday, June 22, 2008

Elephant English Books Shop

Originally posted on June 11, 2005


Barcelona, 2005
"A Warm Welcome"

Need audio or books in English? Then the Elephant English Book Shop is the place to go! What is very nice about the store is that it is opened 7 days a week, has thousands of used and new paperback books, and you are greeted with a warm smile.

I discovered the Elephant Book Shop about 3 years ago, just a few months after it opened. The shop is located in a great part of Barcelona called Poble Sec and is a wonderful place to meet ex-pats from all over the world, as well as the locals.


Barcelona,2005
"A Work in Progress!"

The book shop is a "work in progress", constantly evolving with hundreds of used books arriving daily. They plan to provide computer services and books on CD. WOW!!


Barcelona, 2005
"Just Like Home"

You can relax at a table, where pop, tea, homemade cookies and other goodies are sold to help you feel right at home. You can even kibitz with other patrons who have a wealth of knowledge of Barcelona to share with you especially if you plan to live here.


Barcelona, 2005
"A Friendly Smile"

But most importantly you will be met, greeted and welcomed by Frank, one of the Elephant's owners. Frank is kind, courteous, helpful, and the REAL reason to visit the store.


Barcelona, 2005
"The Busy Bee"

Frank is here somewhere LOOKING just for YOU!!!

Disclaimer: I am just a patron, love the store and its friendliness, but if you're interested in any further details than you can call Frank at:

934 430 594 and or

email him: fsirett@goodbooks.grupouni2.com

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

Friday, June 20, 2008

Incognito

Some people delight in working the crowds; others feel more comfortable networking behind the scenes.

Like this lady glugging coca cola. It’s a miracle there’s enough room for a straw because a gnat wouldn’t stand a chance.

Incognito

Barcelona, 2008

On a personal note, I used to prefer Pepsi over coke so much so that I named my present computer PEPSI.

But, gosh darn it; the taste of Pepsi to me doesn’t taste the same like when I was a kid so I’ve switched over to Coke.

Nevertheless, I am a private person but when it comes to the cola my eyes are wide open.

And, if you understand what I just said, write and let me know ‘cause I don’t know what the heck I wrote.

Enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Polished!

When I was a kid, I read somewhere that a person could tell someone's social status by their hands.

That long, polished finger nails on a women was a sign that she did not do manual labor,thus, they might be in a higher social class.

Carmen de Mairena,
Barcelona, 2008

Do you agree?

The person in the photo might just answer "of course" or "por supuesto", for HIS name is Carmen de Mairena.

After I took the photo someone had told me s(he) was a well known transvestite from Catalunya, incarcerated 10 times for , during Franco's dictatorship.

But there's more to him/her than what I've written so be sure to Google.




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

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The CARRITO!

Living in Barcelona, I am so close to the modern supermarkets, the old market and small, specialty stores that to have an auto just wouldn’t make sense.

But have you ever gone shopping for one item and inevitably find yourself with a boatload of groceries?

If you don’t have an extra pair of hands, what do you do?

You get yourself a CARRITO, better translated as a shopping cart, and something I wanted to avoid buying for the longest time.

Barcelona, 2008

Why? Now this is dumb thinking, but who said I was smart. I always associated the carrito or the shopping cart with old people who were too weak to carry their groceries.

And so for the longest time, I hand carried big bottles of water, coca cola, oil, and blah, blah, blah, dropping the groceries one by one until I got to the piso.

Along the way, I would pass at the SILLY old timers with their carrito, coolly walking with not a trail of corn flakes behind them.

And so, SILLY me now has a green carrito, just like the one you see.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hello, Miss Kitty!

Her stride was confident, hard not to notice.

She headed for and sat on a park bench, embosomed by shadows and light and encircled in a sea of green leaves.

Barcelona, 2008

She had her purse on her lap and from it she quickly pulled out a Miss Kitty notepad, jotting down, calmly, what ever child girls jot down.

She had the makings of a full grown-up … self-confidence, poised and a mature face.

As a matter of fact,

She made LIFE look easy,

And,

She appeared to be better prepared for this world than me,

And,

I’ve been in it a far, FAR longer than she.

Hmph!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sliding Straight to Fun

When in Barcelona, let me give you a tip. Take bus 92 from my origin point (if you like) at plaça de Gal.la Placidia.

The bus takes about an hour and 15 minutes from beginning to end and a bargain cost of a US dollar.

playa Bogatell, Barcelona, 2008

Along the route you will see these wonderful pockets of Catalan living, more colorful graffiti then you’ve ever imagined,

And,

You can hop off to see Gaudi’s Parque Quell or the Yelmo theater on carre Icaria, where movies are shown in their original version.

If you don’t want to get off or you need a sunny rest after a busy day of sightseeing and movie watching, be sure to bring your bathing suit, sun glasses and sun blocker for bus 92’ s final destination is playa bogatell.

There’s room on this bench or the world’s longest slide, depending if you are a mature child or juvenile grown-up.

Oh! What the hey!

Be both.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

War Story

How many of us remember with delight the child hood stories of our parents.

My mom told me of the time during WWII, that, as a student in a private high school, she and the other girls were required to wear stockings.

However, the only stockings that were available were made of silk, and silk was hard to get.

You see, it was a rationed commodity during the war.

Barcelona, 2008

One day, as mom was waiting on line, a teacher called her name.

“Ruth! Straighten out the seam on your stocking!” commanded the teacher.

“I’ll take care of it between classes”, mom said.

But, after 10 minutes, mom, of course, lost the tête-à-tête.

What to do?

What would YOU do?

As the story goes, mom bent down, licked her fingers, wiped the line (she had meticulously drawn with an eyebrow pencil) going south to north and painted, this time, a straight line on her calf again.

Imagine that!

Now how does that story relate to this photo?

It doesn’t.

You make your own story up.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Static Artist

When I was a little girl, I met a man for a brief evening who taught me the basics of cartoon drawing.

For many weeks thereafter, I drew Porky Pig and mastered him to perfection.

But alas, canvas, paper and charcoal pencils were too expensive for my parents and I abandoned my short term passion of drawing towards academics.

Now, I am even lucky if I can tell a hue from a tone or a tint from shade.

But, it is never very late to take up the skills you left behind as seen by this young man in the photo.

La Sedeta
Barcelona, 2008

I found him and about a dozen other mature folks of about 80 and younger enjoying a beautiful, sunny, serene day painting, under the tutelage of an instructor, in the courtyard of La Sedeta, a government run program for people of all ages doing all sorts of fun things.

So, I guess, if you are trying to figure out what to do when you grow up, maybe look into what made you happy when you were in kindergarten and somehow resurrect the inner child that is within of all of us.

Hmmm … I should take my own advice...

Someday.




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

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Art_A_Fact

Many people, including yours truly, have been thrilled and gotten chills at seeing New York's Statue of Liberty, Chicago's skyline, Rome's St. Peter's Cathedral, and as a child riding the only ride over and Over and OVER I was ever interested ... Coney Island's Thunderbolt roller coaster .

I still get the same excitement, the same goose pimple feelings when I see this building with its winged arches, numerous construction cranes dancing over the building's roof and its Las Vegas, Gaudi like flamboyance.

I can't give you a better hint than what I wrote and if you guessed la Sagrada Familia give yourself a 6 pointed gold star.

Sagrada Familia
Barcelona, 2008

The picture here was taken from the opposite side of the pond from where I took another photo in a post called A Placid Laze.

I haven't seen any pictures taken from this location but, that is not to say there have been none.

I hope you see its beauty, feel what I feel and experience a breath-taking appreciation of true art.

Alas, just my humble opinion.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Restaurante Can Culleretes

The Guinness Book of Records says that the Can Culleretes is the oldest restaurant in Barcelona and the second oldest in Spain.

The oldest eatery being Botin in Madrid which was founded in 1725.

The Can Culleretes was established in 1786, just a mere 10 years after the American Revolutionary War.

Imagine that!

Restaurante Can Culleretes
Barcelona, 2008

This was the first place I dined when I came to Barcelona and the first time I tasted espinacas a la catalana.

What a wonderful blend of flavors. I never thought spinach could taste so GREAT!

Try their prawns with garlic flavor. You won't be disappointed.

Hmmph! I can't end this post without telling you about a desert to die for. It was trufa with wonderful chocolate melted over it. Even now I can taste it.

But there's a downside too. The restaurant hits and misses on their cooking from time to time. If you find this to be true, go back. Maybe someone had a bad night.

Also, the price is a little hefty for my taste to make the Culleretes my favorite hot spot on a consistent basis.

Here's a direct link to their own site translated into English, Catala and Castellano.

If you go there, let me know what you think!

Monday, June 09, 2008

A shadow of the man he is

Bright, sunny days are a dream for taking pictures.

Shadows and light add depth, drama and intrigue to a photo.

In the photo, a qwurky man demonstrates to a group of one the shadows sharp edges and the luscious elongation of his digit.

Barcelona, 2008

For just a moment, he seems to be containing his shadow; protecting it from the brightness of the sun.

While doing so, he shortens the distance between man and the wall by connecting himself to both sides of his shadow.

Enough of the lesson.

No matter!

The bottom line is: you can have all sorts of fun with natural elementals.

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

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Placid Laze

Two weeks ago, the Democratic candidates for the United States presidency found themselves in Puerto Rico soliciting the islander's votes.

Ah! Yes!

Beautiful Puerto Rico.

The land where the blue water is actually blue and where sea horses and star fish are in abundance.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were the envy of many of those on the mainland who suffered a brutal winter in many parts of the United States.

But in Barcelona, across the street from la Sagrada Familia, behind the many stalls set up for your buying pleasure, there were trees, and an opening wide enough to peak my curiosity.

Barcelona, 2008

I looked and captured this peaceful, serene scene.

Puerto Rico it was not.

But ... not a bad spot either.




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

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Wetting his whistle!

A man at the beach with all the conveniences of home,

Like,

A pristine table, semi-comfortable chairs, a view of the curvy girlies many men in the Northern Hemisphere would die for, and most importantly a generous size bottle of beer that would make any football fan proud.

playa Bogatell
Barcelona, 2008

He most certainly chose a wise platform to set his belongings ... right between 2 showerheads that were functioning all the last years, but this time.

I reckon,

Since Barcelona has been experiencing a shortage of water and importing water from neighboring counties, the shower heads were not turned on this time.

Lucky him!




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