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Street Life in Spain

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Seems like our time on the streets in Barcelona and Madrid centered around Vermut (of the local variety) and Aperol Spritz (of the industrial variety).  Here are some random shots.

We might have found some gorgeous jewelry in Madrid.  Maybe.  Happy today day!

These handmade shoes were beautiful and very much local.

We found the barrel in Barcelona.

 

While waiting for fingernails.

Ayn Rand or Romey?

Dinner in Barcelona.

Flowers in Barcelona

The out take.

Walking with the hoards.

Beautiful dresses which may be too small?

A picture of the designer.

Random door.

Rubber ducky, you’re the one…  (memories of playing the bathroom song with Matt in Italy…LOL).

And now it is time to go home

Palacio de Cristal Madrid: El Retiro

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Crystal Palace they said.  Worth a quick visit.  But wear your sneakers.  We were dressed up for dinner on our last night out.

Wrong shoes and bad art aside, we were glad to walk through the Madrid equivalent of Central Park.

The art inside the palace was awful.  We think it was made by the box head guy below.

Spare no expense!  Use the GOOD duct tape.

Anyway, there were turtles and ducks.

Gaudi in Barcelona

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The locals didn’t like it much at first, probably because they were jealous.  They still call it “the quarry” (or la pedrera) because it was so dusty and noisy when it was being constructed.  But Gaudi had a vision.  And now all of Barcelona shares it.

This is not it!

Casa Milà is just up the street from Casa Batlló, which just so happens to be where our perfume shop is located.

We were told to do the night tour at Casa Milà, so we did.  Good advice.  The light and sound show on the roof is cheesy, but moving in a Disney small world kind of way.  But the views of night time Barcelona are worth the walk up with no shenanigans required.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though.  Lets go back to the beginning.

We walked one block from our hotel (the Alma) and arrived too early to be let in by ten minutes.  Though the cafe in the building was officially closed, we convinced them into selling us an Aperol spritz or two.

After gulping down our drinks, we wandered into the courtyard to await the guide.

This view reminded Romey of the new building in NY (still closed due to suicide risk).

Color and light for the first floor and the primary residents.

The public clamored to get in.

The servants’ quarters reminded me of the servants’ facilities at Falling Water.

Eventually we climbed the six floors to the attic.

Where we encountered the model of the building we were in (with tiny little us’es taking videos or an even smaller model, and so on).

All squares were run to the right.

Then the roof just after sunset.

With breathtaking views of Barcelona like this, we’re not sure why the light and sound show seemed necessary.  People.

And soon we were back on the ground enjoying a glass of cava.

On the Arts, Queens, and Democracy: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

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There is lots of politics pervading the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía which if you think about it is somewhat ironic. I mean, the place itself is named after a queen. And lots of anti-imperial politics pervades (including some well-deserved anti-Americanism). But a queen? What kind of democracy has a monarch? Or still reveres a monarch? Seriously. Those days need to be behind us as a species.

Anyway, the ill-begotten gains of monarchy are at least being spent on art and not on oppression. Or is art just an opiate slightly stronger than religion? These are difficult issues to plumb.

And are they old fashioned or what? No pictures of some of the pictures? Trapped in the past they are. The guernica room is a shrine that should be full of life, not a mausoleum. Spain still seems to have a Franco hangover.

But still, go.  The sound and the fury be damned.

 

The light is excellent.

Shadowplay.

 

 

 

 

Take a green break.

 

 

Watch mute.

 

 

And then coffee.