Yes, that’s probably dreadful Spanish and grammatically incorrect, but the sentiment remains. Barcelona: I love you.
I’ve been lucky enough to go there fairly regularly for the past four years or so to play at the Guilty Pleasures residency at Razzmatazz. It’s not a bad life is it?
Each time I try to extend the trip by a day or so, in order to go and see things and generally gorge on the ACENESS of the place. There’s so much to do, to see, to eat, it really is lo mejor. That was some more Spanish for you. Just throwing it in there. Bi-lingual me you know…
Anyway, here are some of my favourite things about Barcelona (aside from the oft reported top hotspots such as The Sagrada Familia and the Gaudi architecture bonkers-fest, the beach, Miro sculptures and artwork EVERYWHERE, the Gothic quarter, Picasso and that, hot Spanish boys with curly hair etc) accompanied by pictures to make it more aesthetically pleasing than a load of my scrawl.
The reason why I get to go there so often and why I want to keep going back. It’s a five-roomed, meta-brilliant club run by just the best bunch of people and attended by a top crowd who dance lots and look ACE. I play in the Pop Bar, which is the top left hand room on this photo fact fans. Set times are at crackers o’clock, such is the Spanish way, starting at 3am. 3AM! That’s when most clubs are shutting in the UK. In Spain they’ve only just finished having their tea.
No, not the euro pop act (well not today anyway) but the splendid fountain in the Parc Ciutdella. First came across it on my second trip there on a beautifully bright sunny day and was somewhat dazzled by it’s MASSIVENESS and gold bits on the top. Do like a touch of gold upon a structure. That same day of discovery, I fell over on stage at Razz and broke my elbow mid-set (I carried on for 20 minutes! I SHALL NOT BE STOPPED) but the association isn’t tainted in anyway. Plus I’ve never fallen over since. Ok, I have, many times but not in an arm-in-sling mega-drama outcome anyway.
It’s a whacking great big mountain in Barcelona and atop of it sits a park, Joan Miro institute / Gallery, arenas from the 1992 Olympics and the above building which is the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Or National Art Museum of Catalunya if you prefer. The latter is HUGE and contains all manner of visual delights going through gothic, romantic to modern periods in Catalan art. On the ground floor there’s one room (I say room, it’s the size of a football pitch) where they’ve installed the interiors of derelict churches from villages in Catalunya that the MNAC acquired and painfully reconstructed within the museum’s walls. ‘Tis truly remarkable and a lovely thing to do as otherwise they would have been knocked down, or left to ruin whilst loads of rats run amoc doing wees on the frescos. Instead they can be marvelled forever amen.
Oh and at the bottom of the hill (on the Plaça d’Espanya side) there’s the Font Magica which is a great big run of fountains. At night throughout the summer there is a show set to music by Abba and Jean Michel Jarre. I have never seen it and writing that down makes me wonder why the HELL not. Fountains dancing to Oxygene? Why haven’t I witnessed such a spectacle? AMAZING.
Making the ordinary lovely. Look at them. If our paving stones were as pretty as this, we’d never ruin them with chewing gum, fags and vomit would we? Would we? Oh we would. Oh well.
The name of a Catalan sauce made of almonds and tomatoes amongst other stuff, but also an ace cafe in El Raval just off Las Ramblas. It’s by no means glam; the waiters sort of bark at you, there’s strip lighting, but the food is just the best. They get most of their produce from the famous Mercat de la Boqueria which is just up the road and the menu is a no-frills but delicious fare of tapas, salads, meats and more. The sardines are the freshest and best I’ve ever tasted and cost about €3 for LOADS. Go there and eat them and DEFY MY SARDINE THEORY.
Whilst we’re on food, there’s also this:
Escalivada – skinned and roasted peppers, onions and auberguine in loadsa olive oil. FIT
Ensalada Xató – or anything involving Bacalao, the Catalan salt cod treat. DOUBLE FIT.
Crema Catalana – the Spanish (superior) version of crème brûlée. MEGA FIT. Always try to have at least one. Have been known to have two. They’re usually served in bigger, shallower dishes than what you get en France, which is ace if you’re greedy like me. Best one to be found at Mar de la Ribera in Born in my cakey opion.
These are some of the reasons why I love the Catalan capital. There are more, but to be honest I’ve rambled on enough and after all this food talk, I’m jeffing starving.