Dec 29 2013 | Comments
BARCELONA – NOT THE LOWER EAST SIDE
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…
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.”
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.
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.
This is pretty much what I got.
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?
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.
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.
You see the proportions in comparison to Glenn.
I just go nuts taking photos in Churches.
I love candles too. Sometimes I light them.
Close up of candles.
Lunch in a hipster place.
Another excavation mall.
This one has a hunk of the original city of Catalonia in it. Two blocks away is Dolce Gabbana!
Back streets of El Born.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With a flash.
A little detail.
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.