I am very grateful to all the people who have written for this blog. They, more than I, have made it what it is. But I’m very proud to have the French illustrator, Lapin, take the time to write something. His wonderfully reprinted old accounting books full of illustrations are beautiful objects. I have the Barcelona one. If you appreciate his style, I urge you to get your hands on one via the link below – but first…
The view from Lapin’s apartment – © Lapin
I woke up around 7:30am, that’s the price of being a father ;). I still felt a little bit sleepy. I made myself a cortado and stepped out onto my terrace. There I had all of Poblenou lying beneath and fulfilling me with its energy. The weather was usual for Barcelona. That’s one of the crucial reasons I fell for this city.
One of my favourite buildings on C/ Pere IV, 63-67 – © Lapin
I had to go to Mercat dels Encants to look for some second-hand accounting books to use for drawing and it’s a perfect day to wander and do some doodling of course!
I took Bicing. Strangely I found one right away! Sometimes it really drives me nuts finding empty Bicing stations or not finding any proper working bicycles. Arrghh! Anyway I still like it and it was my lucky day! I passed all the graffiti of Poblenou and one of my favourite buildings on Carrer de Pere IV, 63-67. Read the rest of this article…
A fab article from illustrator, Kat Cameron, on the delights of sketching in Barcelona (including some of her even fabber illustrations).
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…
Rainy streets in Barcelona’s old town
“Blessed with a generally bright and sunny disposition, Barcelona is cursed with an excess of fair-weather friends with no appreciation for precipitation. Read: the doom and gloom of backlit cumulonimbus are not welcome here. While no one enjoys a drought (heaven forbid someone can’t fill their swimming pool), grousing about even mildly inclement weather is par for the course, said inclement weather including an overcast sky, and even the lightest of rains. Guiris and Catalans alike seem to prefer ultraviolet heat and sand in uncomfortable places to a spot of rain. But after seven years here, I can claim my perfect day in Barcelona as “pasado por lluvias”. Read the rest of this article…
Or, ‘How Julie hopscotches the brief altogether and rambles off on a total tangent’
A panoramic view of Barcelona from Tibidabo
“First off, I have to make a confession. Rob invited me to write my version of a perfect Barcelona day many moons ago, and it’s taken me an oddly long time to get my finger out and actually produce it. Yet I love writing, and I love writing about Barcelona, so why the dilatory tactics?
Well, apart from the plangent bawl of “it’s such a perfect day…” (god I hate that song) resounding in my thalamus, I think it’s that I’m struggling with the whole concept of perfection. It’s a concept kindred with fluency. Mention its name out loud and you’ve broken something sacrosanct.
Or maybe I’m over-thinking this. Hmmm. Bear with me here.
I tend to see the best of Barcelona, I’ve noticed, when I’m with other people. When I look back over the last year, highlights always involve some kind of shared experience. It could be workmates down the pub on a Friday night, a party on the beach till 5am or just those fleeting instants that end up shifting all sorts of dubious paradigms. Then, I imagine myself standing up on Tibidabo looking down over the city, viewing the cityscape through a kaleidoscope. Read the rest of this article…
Posts were a bit thin on the ground last week. In fact they were non-existent. I had my family here. Six of them. Three adults and three children. All in my flat. And I invited them. I know!
So writing a blog post was pretty low down on the list whilst organising showering times was pretty high up. But all joking aside, it was great to have them here.
But what to do with them?
With ages ranging from 8 to 80 it can prove tricky finding something that they all can enjoy. My mum likes a church – Santa Maria del Mar, the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, the Sagrada Família and Santa Anna (a tucked away church I will tell you more about another time). We trod them all. And the kids? Well they would spend a whole morning in Happy Pills if they had their way.
But for anyone with a similar dilemma I highly recommend you go to the CosmoCaixa Barcelona near Tibidabo. Read the rest of this article…