Wall-eyed in Barcelona

This jaunty senorita graced an ancient door in an alleyway near our apartment in the L’Eixample district (pronounced “eshampla”) Photo by Heather Granahan

This jaunty senorita graced an ancient door in an alleyway near our apartment in the L’Eixample district (pronounced “eshampla”) Photo by Heather Granahan

Recently we ventured out of the local quirkzone and got an apartment in a Spanish city that made us feel so at home, we nearly emigrated: Barcelona. Barc is the heart of Catalunya (Catalonia),an autonomous community of Spain – officially a nationality and one famous for independent spirit. Catalunya holds the four provinces of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. As I write, Catalunya is roaring for financial independence from the rest of Spain. (Now, can’t we do that here in ‘topia?) Kind of made up of a lot of villages moshed together, Barc is constructed of art and stone, beaches and protests, cava (Spanish champagne, or what I fondly call Girl Beer) and cathedrals, Gaudi and gambas (grilled shrimp), Dali and dallying.

Arteries of scooters and motos pulse by metal café tables full of Manchego cheese-nibbling, Estrella beer-sipping locals.  We’ll share the trove as we dig through it.  Your first taste: a few treasures from the walls. And doors.

The bigger context. While doors are often embellished, walls rarely are. Photo by Heather Granahan

The bigger context. While doors are often embellished, walls rarely are. Photo by Heather Granahan

When they DO paint a wall, they don’t mess around. This squat in L’Exaimple is alive with art very reminiscent of the ofen-imitated animator Blu’s work. See the original: www.blublu.org . Photo by Heather Granahan

When they DO paint a wall, they don’t mess around. This squat in L’Exaimple is alive with art very reminiscent of the often-imitated animator Blu’s work. See the original: http://www.blublu.org .                            Photo by Heather Granahan

Door to her soul; deep in the Barrio Gotico neighborhood this noia (girl, in Catalan, the language of Barcelona) peers from a doorway. She’s in Barcelona's Placa de George Orwell, the Brit who wrote Homage to Catalonia. It’s also known as La Plaça Tripi – the acid “trippy”square – referring to its bohemian reputation. Photo by Heather Granahan

Door to her soul; deep in the Barrio Gotico neighborhood this noia (girl, in Catalan, the language of Barcelona) peers from a doorway. She’s in Barcelona’s Placa de George Orwell, the Brit who wrote ‘Homage to Catalonia’. It’s also known as La Plaça Tripi – the acid “trippy”square – referring to its bohemian reputation. Photo by Heather Granahan

Was this an ancient remodel nightmare (“My liege, you said not which window thou preferred – I ordered one of each!”) – or a recycled material project gone wild? A window sales center? In the middle of a maze of narrow mediaeval streets is this tower of mixed windows, flanking the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia. The church is active and the plaza full of book and craft fairs, children’s theater and the usual ring of café tables. Photo by Heather Granahan

Was this an ancient remodel nightmare (“My liege, you said not which window thou preferred – I ordered one of each!”) – or a recycled material project gone wild? A window sales center? In the middle of a maze of narrow medieval streets is this tower of mixed windows, flanking the active plaza around the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia . Photo by Heather Granahan

Bob is everywhere! A street Picasso indeed. A bus stop in L’Eixample. Photo by Heather Granahan

Bob is everywhere! A street Picasso indeed. A bus stop in L’Eixample. Photo by Heather Granahan

A wall that invites you to sit on it. Gaudi built Park Guell for Barc in 1900-14 and made good use of local tiles. The wall snakes around a bluff that looks out over the city of ancient, modern, and stuff like Gaudi’s; 100 yrs old and still fresh. Photo by Heather Granahan

A wall that invites you to sit on it. Gaudi built Park Guell for Barc in 1900-14 and made good use of local tiles.  Photo by Heather Granahan

Photo by Heather Granahan

The wall snakes around a bluff that looks out over the city of ancient, modern, and stuff like Gaudi’s; 100 yrs old and still fresh.                     Photo by Heather Granahan

Pretty...mysterious.A lovely old frieze, off by a lonely back door behind a cathedral. Photo by Heather Granahan

Pretty…mysterious. And no, I don’t want to know, I’d rather imagine a meaning. A lovely old frieze, off by a lonely back door behind a cathedral. Photo by Heather Granahan

On the wall near Universitat, honoring the ever-alive spirit of independence in Barcelona. Photo by Heather Granahan

Made us miss the Mission in San Francisco: On the wall near Universitat, honoring the ever-alive spirit of independence in Barcelona. Photo by Heather Granahan

Were the ancient Catalonians really tall? Are doors the windows to a house’s soul? This visitor reaches for the knob to no avail. Senorita, there’s a small door right in front of you.    Photo by Heather Granahan

Were the ancient Catalonians really tall? Are doors the windows to a house’s soul? This visitor reaches for the knob to no avail. Senorita, there’s a small door right in front of you. Photo by Heather Granahan

One of Dali's egg-doors to his garden patio,,we"ll be out back having some cava. Back with you in a while. Photo by Heather Granahan

One of Dali’s egg-doors to his garden patio,,we”ll be out back having some cava. Back with you in a while. Photo by Heather Granahan

 

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3 responses to “Wall-eyed in Barcelona

  1. Absolutely wonderfully fun. Thanks, Heather! Robin

  2. Glad you are enjoying, Robin. More to come on that journey…hugs to all the Beemans!

  3. Wow, Heather! Terrific pics and writing- you were born to it…

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