Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More from El Raval

This time a little more indoors and a little more architectural, not so much street art:

A couple of different buildings, the first is owned by the Diputació, a branch of gov't I am still unclear about, but which is near the CCCB and contains the mystery church I've never found.  It used to be an orphanage and poor house.


This is a linotype press, made in the US.  I was told that the orphanage had a number of workshops designed to teach the children a trade, and that the printing house and the papers and magazines it produced was the last to close, I suspect that this may have been the last remnant of that work.

Fancy stairs, no?

There's a cafe in the courtyard, haven't gone yet, but it may be worth a visit sometime

You've seen this guy before,

in the last post.

Do you see how he looks like he is holding something in his mouth?  It's a downspout.

See those gaps between the stones?  They're there on purpose.

See that?  With the holes in it?  That's all quite deliberate too.

You see, the entire underside of this courtyard is a cistern, and the roofs and balconies all feed into it with downspouts pouring into the courtyard.

Which, if you look closely, is sloped towards the edges, and there are drains going to the four corners, where that filter with the five holes sits.

The spaces between the stones are just visible in this photo as well at the edge of the central courtyard, so that the water from the roofs and downspouts can flow into the cistern more rapidly.

another downspout

this was the grill over the central well.  I thought this was insanely well designed and I am simply amazed that it was, and is, not common practice.  I mean really, it is beautiful and highly functional!

I debated whether these were street art or architectural art, they made it in over here, even though you can see it from the street.  Amazing, no?

In a courtyard, it's from 1629, and as you might imagine there is a story behind it, but we couldn't remember it.

The library of Catalunya, from the entrance way upstairs

A view of another courtyard.

A central space in a hotel in el Raval, sadly it kind of smelled like drains, but was nonetheless lovely.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Went walking again in BCN yesterday

with a friend, and we described chaotic circles around the Raval district, which in the past was quite seedy - ie frankly dangerous - and is now, for the most part, just a little rough around the edges. 

It is, however, fabulous if you like street art....


OK, the first one isn't street art, it's a view on my way into BCN.... and a nice one!

Now some genuine street art.....

there were a lot more posters this time around, not sure why.....

and I think tagging is dumb.

this is very old street art....

this one I've seen all over the place and my ignorance is showing, I have a feeling that with a smart phone there is something you can do with th

This is an abandoned church, and a lovely one too.  Sad what's happened to it.

See the old floor beams?  Enormous!!!!

There were quite a lot of these as well, in a range of sizes, I didn't get a chance to look too closely....

The CCCB, if you read those windows carefully is one of the very coolest museums here in BCN

After Keith Haring, they were painting some words, along the lines of, 'together we can stop AIDS' which fits in as much of his work was heavily influenced by his AIDS diagnosis, and went to assist groups in fighting AIDS.

this mural is on public display as well, by Eduard Chillida, one of Spains most important sculptors.  He was Basque.

OK, this is a bit of a cheat, cause I had to go into the lobby of MACBA, and I don't even love Tàpies' work that much, but it was there, and it counts, kinda.

Very pretty for street art, kinda surprised it hasn't been tagged.

Old street art, I've actually been past her many times and this was the first time I saw her, my friend pointed her out!

Old construction and new


Love this, you can paint my van (if I had one) any time!

Kinda sorta a cheat, cause I was in a courtyard that is sometimes closed, and he wasn't visible from the street, nonetheless, it's outside and free....


Frieda-Madonna with a pistol!

More from the walk soon

Have I ever mentioned that I adore this city?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

How did you get in here???

Chuck was sitting peacefully beside me on the floor, doing a good imitation of a peaceful obedient loyal dog, when he suddenly got up and ran over to the base of the stairs, ears up...


and backed away, looking at me.

I got up pretty fast too, and there was a pretty small toad in the house!?!?!????


Photos came out kinda grainy.  He didn't object to his photo being taken, I think he was enjoying the warmth of my hands.

He's now out back, a friend for the big fellow out there.

Still doesn't answer the question of where they are coming from.

Oh, and Chuck?  He went and hid in his box once I picked the toad up.  You'll notice I didn't include brave in the description at the top of this post.

What's with this???

 I've just looked through the draft posts that never got published on the blog, like a history lesson that.  I'm putting some of them up over the next while...why waste a bit of history?

I know why this one lingered in drafts...I am hesitant to do any marketing for giant companies.....but this is too weird...did this go on outside of Spain?



TOOOO weird!

You can also get mama-cola, papa-cola, maria-cola, and any one of another wide range of common names, I suppose you're supposed to buy them for your friends or collect them or something, but really.  Meh.

On another note, it's beautiful and warm and sunny here, especially in the middle of the day.  The asparagus is coming up and life is pretty darned lovely that way.

OH, and the Olympics are great, even if we do watch it with a weird direct feed.

Monday, February 17, 2014

New e-reader

Just finished reading my first full book on the ereader, that one that starts with a 'k'.

Fine!  Youngest and I split the cost, and it is the most basic model, no internal light or whatever other bells and whistles they've dreamed up....just a basic ereader.

It was fine, I sometimes found myself accidentally turning pages, but got used to it fast.  There is still the disadvantage of worrying about the book and a certain reluctance to take it with me lest it get damaged, but the actual reading experience, after the first little bit was fine.

Now Youngest is onto it, let's see what she thinks.

I will have to have a back-up book for when Youngest is reading, still that same problem that only one person at a time can read.

Also, the other night, it ran out of juice and turned off.  An another annoying habit that books don't have.  It's normally only me that runs out of juice and the end of the day and turns off.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Barcelona half-marathon

Went out to cheer on the BCN half-marathon, that was really cool!

Watching a marathon or half marathon is not something I'd want to do all the time, but it is really interesting!  This was the first guy out of the blocks:

Followed by these three, cruising along:

Then the flood started, there were 15,000 registered!!!

this is about 7K in, further back in the pack.  Much calmer.

It was interesting at the finish, there were people at the point of collapse, or collapsing, I cannot imagine pushing myself THAT hard, where I am literally weaving down the road or collapsing in the street.  Honestly, what is that about?

They were also hauling folks out who hadn't paid...some of them a little too enthusiastically.  Kinda weird.  Pissed off a fair number of folks too.

Though in the organizer's defence, you are supposed to wear your number on your front, not your back, or in your hand, or in your pocket, and if you are running a race like this, without paying, if they signal that you need to leave the course, do it with good grace.