2012 07/09

The National Day of Catalonia (La Diada Nacional de Catalunya)

National Day of Catalonia

La Diada Nacional de Catalunya (Source)

The National Day of Catalonia or La Diada Nacional de Catalunya on 11th September each year was first celebrated in 1886. The 11th September is a historic date in the Catalan calendar. The day, simple known as La Diada, commemorates the 14 month Siege of Barcelona, and when on the 11th September 1714, Catalan troops were forced to surrender to the Castilian forces of France and Philip V of Spain towards the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. It was unfortunately all pretty much downhill from there for the next 250 years. All institutions of Catalonia were destroyed and they became part of the Spanish kingdom.

Many Catalans have been battling this repression ever since. Most recently from the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco. The National Day of Catalonia was reinstated after 94 years in 1980, five years after Franco’s death in 1975. Catalonia today is at least an autonomous community. Though this is still far from acceptable for many. Read the rest of this article…

2012 03/09

Midnight in Barcelona

Midnight in Barcelona

Midnight in Barcelona

Katrine shares her love of Barcelona at midnight.

When I first moved to Barcelona, I was living in a flat in the center of the city. After a year, I moved to Gràcia.

I am not the biggest fan of the night bus, always preferring to walk home, to let my mind wander and gaze at the city in the cool night air. I became fascinated with the nighttime colors and shadows, tumbling over cobblestone, through doorways and windows.

Many things catch the eye when meandering through a city, depending on the angle and the time of day, the light and the shadows do many dances, draping over various shapes and leaning towards opposite directions in increasing and decreasing lengths.

Midnight in Barcelona

Midnight in Barcelona

What is it about line and shadow when it hits that late time at night?

I am caught gazing at beautiful balconies, wires that play between windows, shadows tumbling over cobblestone streets, in and out of doorways with a perfect glow of warmth. The light turns to a warm hue and shadows draw your attention to cracked walls leaning long across the street.There is a quiet and a beauty that I absolutely treasure meandering through the streets at midnight in Barcelona.

Katrine is a freelance graphic designer, currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder of and writer for Urban Artcade, a site containing interviews with international and local artists. Currently, she is curating an exhibit called Las Calles Hablan which focuses on the politics and story of street art in Barcelona. The exhibit will be showing at Mutuo Centro de Arte on 25th October 2012.

Urban Artcade: www.urbanartcade.com
Mapping Barcelona Public Art: www.mbpa.es
Kickstarter – Las Calles Hablanhttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1857535961/barcelona-street-art-exhibit-las-calles-hablan

2012 31/08

Wild and Wonderful in BCN

Wild and Wonderful in BCN

Wonderful people doing wild things, (or wild people doing wonderful things) in Barcelona

I’ve been keeping an eye on this video documentary project for a few weeks now. The first episode launches online at midnight tonight, so Saturday September 1st 2012.

From the website…

Wild and Wonderful is a series of short films celebrating the eccentricity of an eclectic mix of residents in Barcelona and all the wonderful things they do. The series will produce a monthly 5 minute short film about artistic and eccentric activities from an eclectic bunch of people all around Barcelona.

Sounds interesting right? Read the rest of this article…

2012 21/08

Barcelona Street Art Exhibition: Las Calles Hablan

Barcelona street art by SM172

Barcelona street art by SM172

I like the street art in Barcelona. It adds vibrancy to the city and some of the building pieces are truly amazing. And when the shutters are down I much prefer seeing an amusing piece than a boring metal shutter. I take photos whenever I can and post them to my Barcelona street art Pinterest board.

Katrine Knauer likes the street art in Barcelona too. She runs a group on Facebook and a website called Mapping Barcelona Public Art, ‘an ongoing project to promote the understanding and protect the freedom of expression on the streets of Barcelona’. But now she has launched a project on the fundraising website, Kickstarter, to hold the first exhibition, Las Calles Hablan at the Mutuo Centro de Arte, involving local artists Debens, Kenor, Kafre, Tom14, Btoy, OGOCH and SM172. The exhibition is scheduled for 25th October 2012. Read the rest of this article…

2012 18/07

Barcelona Facebook Pages

Barcelona Facebook PagesFacebook Pages are a great way to keep up to date with what’s happening at your favourite places without going to their website all the time. Events, offers, photos. Just ‘like’ the page and their latest news appears in your news feed. If they keep their pages up to date that is!

Below is a list of Facebook Pages (and a few Groups) relating to Barcelona. I realise there are hundreds out there. But these are the ones I’ve come across during my time here (and some friends pages). I hope you find something of interest.

Guides

  • Barcelona Metropolitan – The mummy and daddy of Barcelona Guides. It has articles on all sorts of topics. Great restaurant posts from the annoying (only because she has such a fab job) Tara Stevens.
  • Barcelona Miniguide – The slightly wayward child of Barcelona Guides. So therefore my preferred guide.
  • Hidden Treasures BCN – A Facebook only endeavour. It’s all in the title.
  • Le Cool Barcelona – Want to know what’s really going on in Barcelona? Le Cool has the low-down on some of the quirkier events.
  • Me Encanta Barcelona – I love Barcelona too!
  • Videos from Barcelona – A video only city guide. The 80 or more videos are hosted by the irrepressible Gina Tost.

Check out more Facebook Pages for the arts, music, bars, food and… a butifarra private members club?!… Read the rest of this article…

2012 27/04

Kitchen Shops in Barcelona

Last Updated: 28th February 2019 – I intend to keep this post updated as people seem to find it useful and places keep moving or closing down. Any questions please leave a comment below.

Darna Home

Kitchen Shops in Barcelona

I realise kitchenware is not the most riveting of subjects for some but personally I do love a kitchen gadget. I like most gadgets, but as I’ve gotten older the kitchen gadget is my want. If I had a garden then I’m positive I’d like garden gadgets, but I have a 3m square terrace so the kitchen is my gadget domain.

Kitchen Shops in Barcelona: I’m not talking about shops selling fridges or dishwashers or whole kitchens. These are shops for people looking for that cool item that does a certain cooking task the perfect way. Or the perfect gift for a foodie friend. As well as of course great knives and cookware.

This started when I wanted to buy a Lékué Steam Case, one of those silicone jobs that can withstand the oven, the freezer, the dishwasher, and cats it seems. I thought I’d go on a little trawl of all the kitchen shops I knew and see what I could find. Read the rest of this article…

2012 24/01

Learn Catalan in Barcelona

An article from the wonderful Claire Gledhill about why it’s useful to learn a bit of Catalan if you’re staying in Barcelona. And it’s free!

What language do they speak in Barcelona?

For anyone landing in Barcelona ready to start a few months study, experience the city or look to making a new life here, learning Catalan is probably not high on their to-do list. In fact many visitors or new arrivals may be blissfully unaware that they have indeed set foot in one of Spain’s autonomous regions which has its own distinctly different language, cuisine and cultural heritage.

Where do they speak Catalan apart from Catalonia?

Catalan may be viewed as a minority language, and at least geographically it is, only being spoken in Catalonia, some regions of southern France, and dialectal versions in the Valencia region, Balearic Islands and a small section of northern Sardinia. However, with over 9 million speakers, which ranks it alongside Danish, it is certainly not a dying language yet is not recognised by the European Union. And just to be clear, Catalan is NOT a dialect of Spanish, nor a mix of Spanish and French, but an individual Romance language, although of course as any student of a Latin rooted language will know there are similarities between them all.

Now let’s be clear, I am no fluent or even proficient user of Catalan, yet 100 hours of free Catalan classes (more about that later) has given me a base which I believe has opened up another side of Barcelona that I would miss out on without this knowledge. Read the rest of this article…

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