Tracey Jackson

Dec 29 2013 | 6 Comments

BARCELONA – NOT THE LOWER EAST SIDE

Rose WIndow at end of Church.

As big cities transform and modernize they seem to take a lot of their cues from New York. I’m not saying this because I hold such great civic pride – it’s just true.  They compare old neighborhoods that have been gentrified to parts of New York and often The Marais in Paris.

Yesterday we spent the entire day in El Born.  El Born dates back to Medieval times. Apparently for hundreds of years  it was a working class, rather ignored part of town, now there is a Dolce Gabbana and endless hipster bars. Need I say more?  Locals compare it to The Meatpacking in New York or the Lower East Side, soon Brooklyn will be thrown in. But it has its own distinct vibe. The last time I looked, Hester Street did not have 13th Century excavation sights mixed in with Momfuku and United Nude.

And El Born unlike the Lower East Side has one of the great Gothic Churches in Europe and a lot of things to separate it from New York’s trendoid neighborhoods.

We met up with our friend Adriana and walked over around noon. We're not there yet...

We met up with our friend Adriana and walked over around noon. We’re not there yet…

 

The Mother Ship. Zara started in Spain. This is a big one. It's the one place Lucy really wants to go.

The Mother Ship. Zara started in Spain. This is a big one. It’s the one place Lucy really wants to go.

Please daddy, please can we go to Zara.  I will do anything."

Please daddy, please can we go to Zara. I will do anything.”

This city forces you to look closely at details, architecture and buildings.  I love the mixture of old building and modern, whimsical flourishes.

This city forces you to look closely at details, architecture and buildings. I love the mixture of old building and modern, whimsical flourishes.

Another building with the eyeball effect.

Another building with the eyeball effect.

 

Every city now seems to have the rent-a-bike. They have been here for five years.

Every city now seems to have the rent-a-bike. They have been here for five years.

 

Palau De La Musica Catalana. Concert Hall built in 1908.  We could not go in as a concert was going on. We went in one little part of lobby.

Palau De La Musica Catalana. Concert Hall built in 1908. We could not go in as a concert was going on. We went in one little part of lobby.

This is pretty much what I got.

This is pretty much what I got.

 

This market is in El Born. It is huge and modern and packed with fantastic things.

This market is in El Born. It is huge and modern and packed with fantastic things.

And then right outside the food part, in the same building are the remnants for a 13th Century convent.  When was the last time you saw that at Trader Joes?

And then right outside the food part, in the same building are the remnants for a 13th Century convent. When was the last time you saw that at Trader Joes?

 

This is how the building actually looks where you enter the market.

This is how the building actually looks where you enter the market.

Further on into El Born is this square that commemorates the defeat of the Catalans by the Bourbons in 1714 and the conclusion of the War of  Succession.

Further on into El Born is this square that commemorates the defeat of the Catalans by the Bourbons in 1714 and the conclusion of the War of Succession.

Plaque.

Plaque.

 

And right in front of that is the Gothic Church Santa Maria Del Mar.

And right in front of that is the Gothic Church Santa Maria Del Mar.

This Church is special because it was built in only 55 years, where most took over 100. So, it is very pure, no other styles slipped in.

This Church is special because it was built in only 55 years, where most took over 100. So, it is very pure, no other styles slipped in.

 

You see the proportions in comparison to Glenn.

You see the proportions in comparison to Glenn.

I just go nuts taking photos in Churches.

I just go nuts taking photos in Churches.

 

I love candles too. Sometimes I light them.

I love candles too. Sometimes I light them.

More columns.

More columns.

 

Close up of candles.

Close up of candles.

L1070337 featured image

Lunch in a hipster place.

Lunch in a hipster place.

Another excavation mall.

Another excavation mall.

 

This one has a hunk of the original city of Catalonia in it.  Two blocks away is Dolce Gabbana!

This one has a hunk of the original city of Catalonia in it. Two blocks away is Dolce Gabbana!

Back streets of El Born.

Back streets of El Born.

More backstreets or main streets as the case may be.

More backstreets or main streets as the case may be.

I totally forget what this was. It is very old. It now has flamenco at night and is a bar.

I totally forget what this was. It is very old. It now has flamenco at night and is a bar.

The kids left us around five and we walked back. We sort of got lost but that was fine. I just liked the way this looked.

The kids left us around five and we walked back. We sort of got lost but that was fine. I just liked the way this looked.

We also liked this old bakery.

We also liked this old bakery.

How many times have you thought if I just had a boar cake to round off this meal all would be swell?

How many times have you thought if I just had a boar cake to round off this meal all would be swell?

 

We saw this wedding couple on the steps of the Historical Museum, I think.

We saw this wedding couple on the steps of the Historical Museum, I think.

 

Glenn thought it would be funny if he too was in the photo.

Glenn thought it would be funny if he too was in the photo.

 

We headed back to near our hotel and walked around there.  This is Gaudi's Casa Milia. It is used as a concert space, it has stores and a restaurant. It was closed when we got there. This is without a flash at night.

We headed back to near our hotel and walked around there. This is Gaudi’s Casa Milia. It is used as a concert space, it has stores and a restaurant. It was closed when we got there. This is without a flash at night.

With a flash.

With a flash.

A little detail.

A little detail.

 

We ended the day with a drink on the rooftop of our hotel. Glenn had a cigar. I took this shot.

We ended the day with a drink on the rooftop of our hotel. Glenn had a cigar. I took this shot.

Around ten thirty we went out for tapas. We found a place called La Bodegueta. It was old. It was in a basement. It was the kind of tapas they have been eating here forever, no sushi, nothing like you would find on the Lower East Side.

Around ten thirty we went out for tapas. We found a place called La Bodegueta. It was old. It was in a basement. It was the kind of tapas they have been eating here forever, no sushi, nothing like you would find on the Lower East Side.

 

  • Larry

    Beautiful pictorial tour. No doubt Glenn added the Catalan facts. Enjoy.

  • Larry

    Great pictorial tour. No doubt Glenn added the Catalan facts.

  • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

    No. Actually Larry, I read and study as well. I wrote the blog on my own while Glenn was sleeping.

  • Larry

    Impressive, Tracey.

  • Karen Nedler Quinn

    Thanks again Tracey. Your blog will guide me when I go to Barcelona next summer!

  • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

    You will have a great time. I’m compiling a list of some places we really like. I will give to you. Happy New Year, my friend.