2012 12/09

Rachel’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

Forn de Sant Jaume

Forn de Sant Jaume – photo © La Florinata

“My perfect day in Barcelona is a walking and eating day.

It starts on a sunny summer day at about 7:30 am with a run down the center of Rambla Catalunya, through La Rambla, down to the pier and over to the W Hotel. This is a great time to be out, as there are not a lot of cars and almost no pedestrians on La Rambla, and it’s a great running route if you’re staying in Rambla Catalunya.

As I head back, I stop a ½ block from my apartment at Forn de Sant Jaume (Rambla de Catalunya, 50) bakery and pick up a post workout snack – the best chocolate croissant I’ve found in Barcelona. It has to be the one with the powered sugar on top, not the chocolate covering the outside. It is perfectly buttery, yet like and flakey. If you get them early enough after they come out of the oven, the chocolate is still oozy. Yummmm.

El Quim de la Boqueria

Rachel & Quim at El Quim de la Boqueria

After a shower, I head back down La Rambla to El Quim de la Boqueria for breakfast at around 9:30-10 am. Quim makes the best potato tortilla (Spanish omelette) in town, but I’m torn as my favorite is actually the huevos con setas (eggs with wild mushrooms).  He uses olive oil for everything, so it’s 2 fried eggs in olive oil, topped with a mix of mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, all topped with a balsamic reduction. A glass of fresh squeezed o.j. and perhaps a plate of either razor clams or gambas con cava to round out breakfast and I’m set for at least 2 more hours. ;) 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 19/08

Festa Major de Gràcia 2012

Festa Major de Gràcia 2012

Festa Major de Gràcia 2012

The Festa Major de Gràcia started last Wednesday (Aug 15th) and is on until this Tuesday 21st August. It is one of my favourite events in Barcelona. So beautiful, so incredibly imaginative. 18 streets were decorated this year and they all looked fabulous. The winner for 2012 was Carrer de Verdi, always one of the better ones.

Take a look at the pictures below for a taste of the festival and the street decorations. And if you haven’t been already I encourage you to take a stroll before it closes on Tuesday.

You can check out the festival website at www.festamajordegracia.cat for a list of the streets taking part and a map highlighting them. Read the rest of this article…

2012 04/08

Doodling & Sketching in Barcelona

A fab article from illustrator, Kat Cameron, on the delights of sketching in Barcelona (including some of her even fabber illustrations).

Barcelona landscape illustration

Barcelona Landscape – © Kat Cameron

A mosaic of green, blue, and red emerges in my mind when I visualise Barcelona. A city of flat terracotta roofs, encircled with the olive-green forests of the Collserola rolling down to the aqua Mediterranean. From first touching down in the glass airport to a wander through the textured gothic alleyways or a glance at the modernista architecture, you know you have landed in a city of art. Miro, Gaudí, Dalí and Picasso all spent time here, and as you meet the locals you discover that Barcelona is filled with architects, designers, graphic artists and illustrators, so really it is the perfect city to go for a stroll with your sketch pad and pencils, find a spot and record your surroundings. Read the rest of this article…

2012 29/06

Rosie’s Perfect Day in Barcelona

photo of Bar Mendizábal

Bar Mendizábal, Raval (Oh-Barcelona.com)

“My perfect day is inspired by a First World problem, if ever there was one. I apologise in advance if I sound ungrateful, (and I’m really not) but Barcelona sometimes just has a little bit too much going on. For instance, I’d love to try more of the tapas bars, drinking dens and restaurants, old and new, that I hear about, but I don’t want to end up looking like Jabba the Hut on the beach every weekend. When I’m on the beach, nibbling on some watermelon, I still feel guilty – because I’m lying in the sun and not, say, checking out an exhibition that I know is about to finish. I’m not really tugging on any heart-strings, I know, but if we’re talking about a perfect day, and since those rarely happen, then I’d fill mine with low-key indulgence and guilty pleasures.

photo of Santa María del Mar

Santa María del Mar

For maximum clarity of conscience, this day would take place in October, when my bikini has been safely packed away for another year. It would fall just after payday, and would be enjoyed with a like-minded, undemanding visitor, such as my sister.

We’d start off with a bit of late breakfast and a look through the paper at the most unpretentious café in the world – Bar Mendizábal, across the street from me (c/ Junta de Comerç, 2) – then would wander over to the Gótico to begin our assault on the off-high street shops. We’d coo over the lovely accessories and separates at Le Fortune on Avinyó, then swoop onto El Born, the richest hunting ground of all. We might get little a taste of the spine-tingling Gothic interior of Santa Maria del Mar, and remind ourselves of what we can enjoy on a day with a more cerebral bent. (And we can try to spot the FC Barcelona logo in one of its stained windows, too.) Read the rest of this article…

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