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Walking Barcelona: OMG (Oh My Gaudi) Edition

Barcelona, of course, offers many archictecturial treasures. 

Starting with these ruins of a Roman temple, surrounded by an apartment building,

sandwiched into history. 

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To walk Barcelona is to walk through time.

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Hovering above all is the patron saint of Catalan modernist architecture, 

Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926).  

Gaudi integrated ceramics, stained glass, and wrought ironwork into his passion for nature and religion—redefining the architecture of modernism.

 

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This is Casa Batlló,  a home designed by Gaudi in 1904.  

At night its exterior takes on an other-worldly glow.

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A short stroll away is Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera (the stone quarry) because of its rough outer appearance.  

Built between 1906 and 1910, it is Gaudi’s modernist take on apartment house living.

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 Here, a courtyard is art.

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One apartment is kept for visitors—the same as it ever was.

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At night, La Pedrera’s rooftop appears,

out of some kind of George Lucas dream sequence.

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Which takes us to Gaudi’s masterwork in progress, la Sagrada Família.

 

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Started in 1882, this UNESCO World Heritage site is slated for completion in 2031.

Here it rises above Barcelona, as seen from the heights of Montjuic Hill.

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Up close, the facade of la Sagrada Famillia, offers scenes from

Gaudi’s own passion play of religion, art and architecture.

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Brought into soaring relief, inside Gaudi’s temple.

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Lifting spirits, no matter one’s belief.

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We’ll close with a view from the top.

Till next time Barcelona…

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Walking Barcelona: Street Art with Sole Edition

Every stroll through Barcelona is an art walk.  Centuries of creativity mix easily.

 Enter Sant Jordie, the Patron Saint of Catalonia.

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Another Barcelona dragon appears, perhaps auditioning for Mary Poppins. 

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Every turn, something special in sight.

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Art for contemplation…

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…and refreshment.

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A lesson in letting it all hang out.

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Above all, one can see art as fun.

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Walking Barcelona is experiencing art as life.

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Take a bow, Barcelona.

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Next Barcelona walk:  OMG (Oh my Gaudi!)

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Walking Barcelona: Window Dressing Edition

I recently spent 10 days in Barcelona and it was a revelation.

A joyous and fascinating walking experience, no matter what direction you chose.

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The city’s eye-grabbing style is evident from the moment you land.

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(Desigual’s model is Chantelle Winnie, who despite having the skin condition vitiligo, is an international “runway queen.”)

As someone who normally disdains window shopping–I discovered I enjoyed window stopping.

Look at a sample of the windows of Barcelona.

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This lady is, as the artist describes, “covered by hand by 30,000 red Swarovski crystels wearing a dress wove of silk and roses.”

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To paraphase that old song, how much is that ham hock in the window?

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And of course, Barcelona believes in desert.

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Where’s their flan, there’s chocolate (these edible sculptures are a tradition in Barcelona, where graduation moves parents to go sweet on their kids.)

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This struck me as a window into my wife’s dream.

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Maybe time to stop.

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Next Barcelona walk: Statues and Street Art

 

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Signs of End Times

As you walk or motor thru life, there’s the chance you’ll be seduced

by messages in the public space.  

Sometimes they entertain…sometimes they seek to entice.

Take this highway sign in Virginia.

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Is there life after Exit 320 in Crossville?

Might be best to sit and think this over.

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We’re all heading somewhere fast…

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…maybe too fast.

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But no matter the species, the ending is written in stone.

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Scouting the closing scenes in this small town cemetery–

it was clear that, in death, the road still beckoned.

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An epitaph is like

an eternal tweet.

And if I’m going to be grounded,

I’d pick a plot that’s bare bones.

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The Puppets take Victoria

The scene: Victoria in September.  

The cast: Puppeteers of America (gathering in a garden spot to showcase their art)

The plot:  A neighborhood awakes one Saturday to find itself awash in color and spectacle, delighting all who wade in, or watch the parade pass by.

 

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Children, of course, are transfixed

and transported.

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The parade passed by the Victoria Art Museum,

where a mural came to life.

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Quite a scene, this puppet

play day.

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Eye Sights

Take a walk around town, along the coast, or in the park.  Life is movement, that catches your eye, and stops you in your tracks.

So that you can see… 

The Long and the Short of It

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Sidewalk Serenade

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Down to Earth

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Jelly Roll  

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Goose Steppin’

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As Easy as 3, 2, 1

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 Ruffled Feathers

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Having a Ball

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Cat Flight

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Bird Tales

Beacon Hill Park in Victoria is normally a place of peace,

   offering a time…to take time.

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But one day the peace was broken,

   by a cacophony of sound.  

For this couple,

  there was trouble in paradise.

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It was out in the open,

   the push and pull of relationships…

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  the dance of distress.

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How was it resolved?

…in the end, the squawking you take,

is equal to the squawking you make.

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There’s another pair of Island birds that stick in my memory.

I first came upon this woman,

   eating lunch on the Dallas Beach path.

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And on a fence post directly across from her…

   perched a pair of Ravens.

This pair were clearly in sync, in silent supplication,

   and hungary for attention.

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Front Row Busking

Fun can be hard work, ask any entertainer–better yet, ask a busker.

At this year’s Busker’s Festival, I gained a front row appreciation for the sweat equity invested by these modern day vaudevillians.

When it comes to catching and holding a crowd, they’re playing with fire.

 

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I had seen this married pair perform before, but enjoyed this close-up so much more.

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The crowd was pumped…

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As is often the case–a call was made for audience participation, and a young girl responded.

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Fortified, our young volunteer made ready for the catch in the hat.

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Alas, not all attempts are successful, though she made an after-the-fact lunge.

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Despite the drop she was a happy camper, and got $20 for her performance.  

Meanwhile the leader of the next act was warming up by massaging the shoulder’s of an audience member .  

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Until the tourist turned the tables.

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These break dancers from the heart of the city, brought a bit of New York to Victoria’s island scene.

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And yes, they asked for audience participants.

Earlier, I had mistakenly responded to their question: “Anyone here from New York?”

“Born in Brooklyn,” I shouted.  

Minutes later, I found myself in front of my own camera, pulled up from my front row seat to “dance”.  Dare I say, I got a bit carried away.

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After I exited, to the high fives of 8, 10 and 12 year olds, the show climaxed with a successful leap over a bevy of new volunteers…

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Eye Sight

I am three and a half months into this most recent Victoria sojourn.

So, some impressions.

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     Due Vigilance

 

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Sky High

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Carrying a Spare

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Homeless Stick

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Heron Klatch

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Bounty

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When’s the Last Time You Saw an Edsel?

(Look it Up)

 

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Triple Play

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Frightfully Fun