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Sunday, August 31, 2008

placeta Sant Miguel

For the past 5 years, placeta Sant Miguel has not ceased to amaze me.

They keep getting better and better, decorating their street with warm and inviting colors.

Someone likes flowers for their display 2 years ago had an assortment of them.

DSC_4111_3

placeta Sant Miguel, 2008

But the real star this year at la festa de Gràcia was the mariposa, or butterfly with the sun strobing the mariposa's shadows on the street, on the displays and the many people.

Placeta Sant Miguel received 13th place honorable mention out of 15 who participated.

Congratulations placeta Sant Miguel!

 la festa Gràcia, 2008View barcalunacy's la festa Gràcia, 2008 FLCKR photoset.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ice-Cycle

Chocolate!

Chocolate cake, chocolate candy and better yet chocolate ice cream, I like a whole lot.

The best I’ve tasted is at a place called Tomo II, here in Barcelona, where I wrote a post previously.

However, a blogger pal, Toti Spinelli of Argentina challenges my fact finding find of the best chocolate ice cream saying that I must come to Argentina for they have the best.

DSC_4538_4

Barcelona, 2008

Well, maybe, perhaps, and perchance I will get to South America, and see for myself.

What restaurant, café or fast food place can you go into and not gain weight?

None!

What restaurant, café or fast food place can you go into and weigh less?

The Caruba in Rius y Taulet.

Their café descafenado (decaf coffee) con leche aparte (with milk on the side) and pan tomaquet (tomato bread) are delicious, scrumptious and guaranteed to bring you back to the Caruba.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Footprints

Today was a good day and it isn’t even over yet.

I look forward to a walk to my favorite plaça, a light evening meal and the awaited 22:00 movie which lately makes me feel sorry to possess a television set.

Oh what worries I don’t have and if I did I probably have none compared to the person who owns this pair of feet.

For those who follow my posts, I go crazy for portraits of hands and I don’t do enough of them. I will make a memo to shoot hand portraits more often.

As I look at this elderly person (hmmm … I think the youth of today might consider me elderly! No, it's true) he is distinctive in posture and dress and that alone makes him a commanding subject.

Footprints

Barcelona, 2008

But as I look further down, I see the wear and tear of time having passed.

I noticed his one curled toe that curled my hair with questions. Would he sit at his favorite plaça and delight in a mouth-watering evening meal?

Would he watch a television movie that made him wonder why he was watching at all?

Today was a good day for me.

hmmm

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

Monday, August 25, 2008

carrer Berga

Carrer Berga is a small side street by the Mercat de Llibertat, the furthest away from all the streets that participated in la festa and might easily be forgotten.

But if you missed this street, you should kick yourself and plan on bringing the kids next year,

carrer Berga

carrer Berga, 2008

Oh, and stay YOURSELF, because on the last night there is a wonderful GROWN-UP band that plays soothing music and

Oh, get your hips in shape for swaying and gyrating.

carrer Berga

carrer Berga, 2008

This year’s theme at Carre Berga was about the Environment, the different ways to recycle and what not to waste.

Berga received 12th place honorable mention out of 15 who participated and a special category award for Reutilization.

Berga, I liked your display and creativity. Sorry I missed hearing more of your music but

I will definitely have a ring side seat next year.

 la festa Gràcia, 2008View barcalunacy's la festa Gràcia, 2008 FLCKR photoset.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

carrer Bruniquer

I couldn't make it to all the streets that participated in la festa major de Gràcia, like I would have liked.

However, I wouldn't have missed carrer Bruniquer for 2 years ago they had a simple display but vibrant colors.

I was using my wide angle zoom lens and I desperately wanted a human for depth.

So here comes Mark, the grandson of Luis and the brother of Aina, who accommodated my pathetic need to shoot a good photo.

carrer Bruniquer

carrer Bruniquer, 2008

By the time these photos were taken, the prizes had been awarded and carrer Bruniquer received 9th place honorable mention out of 15 who participated and a special category award for Innovation.

Their theme was Glacat, meaning frost or ice. Their displays were creative, fun and the street was inviting.

carrer Bruniquer

carrer Bruniquer, 2008

I would like to mention that Luis is the president of the block for la festa and a terrific warm man.

I was ecstatic, elated and exhilarated to meet you Luis, Aina and Mark

And,

Congratulations on your awards. Well done!

 la festa Gràcia, 2008View barcalunacy's la festa Gràcia, 2008 FLCKR photoset.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cool Calcium Consumption

Calcium is an important vitamin that everyone needs especially women, my doctors have said.

So, for me, it was nice to see that this young girl had taken her doctor's advice.

DSC_4161_4

Barcelona, 2008

With every slurpy, slippery lick, I felt Vitamins A, all the B's, C, D surge through her body.

It was time for me to take my medicine, too.

So, I galloped like a graceful hippo, to Tomo II, a local ice cream joint, and I had my creamy, swirly, cool chocolate amargo (bitter).

Tomo II

Tomo II, 2008

I felt so much better.

Hey, if you happen to visit Barcelona, I recommend this ice cream place. It's at the plaça Sant Miguel.

Now I will enjoy a break from la festa major de Gràcia, 2008, and eat a healthful scoop of refreshing medicine and be healthy, just like she is.

 la festa Gràcia, 2008View barcalunacy's la festa Gràcia, 2008 FLCKR photoset.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chaotic Frenzy

La festa de Gràcia, 2008 has officially opened and the barrio of Gràcia is full of life for the next seven days!

On Friday, about 8 am, cannon like sounds were heard throughout my neighborhood announcing the Feast of the Assumption, a Catholic, HOLYDAY of obligation, the festa of Gràcia AND

A HOLIDAY, meaning a day off for the majority of the people.

We headed for placa Rius y Taulet and didn't expect the crowds that had already gathered there.

plaça Rius y Taulet

plaça Rius y Taulet, 2008

Of course, we were about 2 hours behind everyone else and I suspect some fun stuff had already happened.

When we got there, we followed the sounds of pulsating drums and saw people rhythmically moving and swaying.

I excused my way through the crowds, and I could see the TALL PEOPLE dancing in the middle of the placa.

Devils danced and the crouching dragon I mentioned in a previous post was there including Gaudi's lizard.

These 2 animals charged the toreador who then pierced its skin. This is the closest I will probably get to a bullfight, even though I think all there knew they were not really real bulls.

Next, other devils, I think, dressed in yellow pants and blue capes dancing in a circle told us to move further away.

I hesitated just enough to see the entire sky lit with fire and the sparks landing on my body, singing my skin in places it shouldn’t have been.

A burning feeling told me shouldn't be there.

plaça Rius y Taulet

plaça Rius y Taulet, 2008

People were scattering everywhere.

I got some photos of people running and you can see the black devils shooting the fire crackers and smoke is everywhere.

I felt like Robert Capa (the famous war photographer) but really, I don't have deadlines to meet, ( no, it's true), I don't get paid ( yes, even truer) and this blog is purely for fun (that's a fact).

I've got to prioritize my free time better, I think.

When all calmed down, again some folks made a circle and shot what I think were muskets. For them to shoot again, they had to fill the barrel of the rifle with gun powder.

Anyway, the photos on flickr represent about 2 hours of my day at Rius y Taulet.

It took another 2 days for my body to recover, to sift through the photos and to decide what to show for this post.

Wow … another 4 days to go.

P. S. Rius y Taulet creative theme seems to be the Smurfs. In my opinion, they are a contender for first place.

 la festa Gràcia, 2008View barcalunacy's la festa Gràcia, 2008 FLCKR photoset.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Winning Combination

I've been doing a lot of walking to take some photos of pre activity of la Festa before opening day, Friday the 15th, Feast of the Assumption.

plaça de Sant Miquel

plaça de Sant Miquel, 2008

So, I provide for now, a few photos and

I am on my way OUT!!

Click on the link below.

 la festa Gràcia, 2008View barcalunacy's la festa Gràcia, 2008 FLCKR photoset.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Head Rush

Those who practice yoga say that standing upside down, or inversions, help to stimulate the flow of blood, bringing oxygen to your brain.

You can chose to use gravity boots, a yoga sling, inversion tables or a plain wall.

But, I found a young boy, who took inversion to another limit, blending his mind, body and spirit'

And the funny thing, he was having FUN!

Head Rush

Barcelona, 2008

La Festa, Gràcia! 2008 has informally begun.

At the Jardinets, on Gran de Gràcia, the carnival has arrived.

And what a treat to see the kids on rides and parents enjoying cotton candy.

Friday, the 15th begins the official festa and I will write more about its history.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sit and Park

On the perimeter of the street, out side Placa Cataluna, I've been curious about a statue. I like the way it's tucked neatly inside the wall. Almost as if it's playing "hide and seek".

Sit and Park

I've been playing a game, too ... trying to guess the sculptor's name to a piece of their art.

But as I entered the park, I see this fellow.

Good grief! Wasn't he taking "making a wish" to the extreme?

Tossing coins would have been a lot easier.

You can't take a horse to water, but how about to a suitcase?

Some people just never learn.

And a footnote: whatever happened to the days of matched luggage? Gone with the white gloves, I guess.

P.S. Thank goodness this article is not being graded.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Barcelona at its Finest

I share with you a post called "Tranquility".

These pictures were taken with a Dimage Z1 and I've saturated a few of the photos.

Original post: 06/27/06

Here’s Barcelona at its finest.

What better way then to spend a day in bed at the park.

plaça de Gal.la Placidia, 2006

Or eat a meal in peace.

plaça de Gal.la Placidia, 2006

Or to hide behind the flowers, away from ME?

plaça de Gal.la Placidia, 2006

Wondering what the day will bring.


plaça de Gal.la Placidia, 2006

The envy of all women, to be adorned by a sea of beauty.

plaça de Gal.la Placidia, 2006

Even the city revels in its own reflection.


plaça de Gal.la Placidia, 2006

But as for me, I walk in the shadows of light, looking for YOU!



plaça de Gal.la Placidia, 2006



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

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Camouflaged, Shrouded and Sealed

The adjuntament of Catalunya has provided for participants of la Festa, Gràcia, 2008, hidden places where they can make in peace and house with no fear of vandalism their goons, goblins, aliens and who knows what else.

Sh! Don’t tell a soul. I found ONE!

DSC_3022_festa

plaça Rius y Taulet, 2008

Yes! They caught me coming around the corner with my trigger finger ready to take aim and shoot.

They were to fast for me.

They began putting a clear plastic wrap around the monster.

I could almost guess what it was but they stealthily and frantically began to hermetically seal the fiend, as you can clearly see in the picture.

Yep. They were fast, but they couldn't fool me.

I know a crouching tiger when I see one.

P.S. The festa will be held on August 15th to the 21st in the vila de Gràcia.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Grandma! I miss you

A long time ago, I met a step uncle, now dead, whose hobby was photography.

I wish now I had paid attention when he explained the f-stop and such, but then photography for me was an expensive hobby and I couldn’t put into action what he taught me, then. How depressing.

Grandma! I miss you

Barcelona, 2008

He went to many places in the world, shooting role after role, as if he had a memory card. Gosh, he would go nuts, today!

One day he gave me a gift, a photo, framed that is still hung in my home.

It was a picture of a simple Mexican woman, squatting on a cold, stone floor, cooking.

In that 1/30 of a second, he captured her thin frame, chiseled face and multi-colored dress

But,

The tanned, veined hands caught my eyes.

Something felt familiar and my throat lumped.

I missed grandma.

P.S. The photo is of an 88 year old woman I saw sitting in a plaza I will not name. There were pigeons and I mean a googolplex amount of pigeons on and around her.

She let me get this close, so out of consideration, I will not show her face.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sala de las cien columnas

Can you imagine setting up a grocery store in the Louvre museum?

Do you think the room with the Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Mona Lisa could be a hairdresser shop?

At the Parque Güell there is an area called the Sala de las cien columnas or Space of 100 columns that has over 80 pillars resembling giant stalagmites found in a cave.

Sala de las cien columnas

Sala de las cien columnas
Barcelona, 2008

When you look at the ceiling, there are four circular rosettes representing the four seasons.

Around each rosette are four smaller ones representing the lunar cycle.

Hard to believe that this enclosed space was once a market for the local residents in the area.

Antoni Gaudi designed the Parque Güell and the Gaudi style is everywhere. For the ceiling, he collaborated with Josep Maria Jujol.

They did the hard part … I just sat on the floor and pulled the trigger.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Belle is Wringing

It has been sub-Sahara hot here in Barcelona lately with each day simmering, smoldering and stir-frying your skin, if you like that sort of thing.

Now, I could sit here and complain but I’ve decided to take a positive view of my situation.

What are some things I can enjoy in hot weather?

DSC_2082_5_Belle

The Belle is Wringing
Barcelona, 2008

I could hang my clothes on a rope and enjoy the aromas of Barcelona wherever I go.

I could drink ice-cold gazpacho and have sugary lemonade.

I could delight in water balloon fights and be a victim of modern warfare.

This is what happened to the little girl in the green dress. Some lads sprayed not only her but also any child that passed by with the Banzai Turbo X Spin Blaster, commonly known as the Luger of squirt guns.

When she had enough, she left them and went to the side of the plaza,

Wrung out her dress,

And returned for more.

Smart, spunky and my kind of girl.

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

Monday, August 04, 2008

Crapper Unscripted!

Where is the one place where if you want to be alone, read, write, cry and do whatever?

Like you, maybe, I would choose the bathroom.

It is a more confined, cloistered, comfortable and PRIVATE place.

Not like the damaged, defective, dusty and dry toilets, you see here.

Crapper Unscripted!

Crapper Unscripted
Barcelona, 2008

More importantly what do I write that would please you and me and make this photo worthwhile?

I could speak about the sublime beauty of the purity of line bringing within the realm of discourse the substructure of critical thinking.

Or, about the internal dynamic of the biomorphic forms verging on codifying the exploration of montage elements.

No. I won't bore you with technical terms of minilism.

Why did I eventually shoot this photo?

Simple. Because I turned the corner.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

27°C/82°F

While the temperature might not be high, the humidity is and my clothes, face and hair can certainly attest to that.

Anyway, I am again posting The Unhot Dog, reminiscent of the "old" days when the soothing sounds of the fountains were heard, and where birds (and plenty of them) were quenching their thirst.

Original post: 07/03/2006

The UNHOT Dog3


Click HERE to view the video in Quicktime.

I returned back to the plaça hoping to get more shots of Diego of Brazil. My main objectives were to get a better handle of the wide angle lens, lighting and motion, but, alas, Diego was no where to be seen.

My backup plan, if Diego was a no show, was to practice shooting photos of a running fountain and capture in midstream that ONE drop of water I’ve seen in books and magazines.

But, instead, I had an unexpected visitor … a beautiful POOCH sitting in the fountain’s water. I got a few stills of him and then he left. He had enough.

I had a gut feeling he might return.

So ... I set my camera, like a true photographer I am, ahem, to video mode and luckily for me, he came back.

Smart dog!

Lucky me!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

la Festa, Gràcia! 2008

From August 15th to the 21st, the barrio de Gràcia will host a festa where various neighborhoods will compete with one another for first prize ... Creativity.

la Festa, Gràcia 2008

la Festa, Gràcia! 2008

In 2006, carre Verdi was the WINNER. I wasn't here for the 2007 Festa, and I missed being here like a dog denied a ham bone.

To get a peek of what I am writing, read further and be sure to click on the VIDEO.

It's really, REALLY worth seeing.

Who knows. You might plan your vacation to enjoy the festa next year.

Original post: 09/01/2006

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.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Setting the Record Straight

Everyone almost knows that the best place to meet-up with your family and friends whom you have conveniently strayed from is la plaça Catalunya.

But wait!! Today I spare you the traditional blah-blah-blah.

Yes! It's a place where couples of all genders and ages snuggle, almost aping the white statue.

Yes! It’s adjacent to la Rambla and just a 15 minute walk down to the Mediterranean Sea.

Yes! It's surrounded by the Hard Rock Cafe, Burger King and department stores.

Setting the Record Straight

plaça Catalunya, 2007

But, the white statue of a woman in the photo is called "la Deessa" by Josep Clarà.

The heavy-duty structure to the right in the photo is the monument to Francesc Macià (first president of Catalunya) by Josep Maria Subirachs.

I mention this because some bloggers and flickrites have credited Josep Llimona as the sculptor.

Today I set the record straight.