Archive for April, 2006

Coincidence or Something Else

My sister asked what my project “Lines” was all about. It’s about a collection of photographs that have strong linear imaging. For example, the following photograph of the U of T’s Grad house has stong lines in the image.

Grad House

Last night we went out with our Spanish class. This story is really freaky in the sense that it really shows how small this world is. In my class is this wonderful woman from Australia. She’s here visiting her daughter who lives here in Barcelona with her Catalan boyfriend. Last night they came out with us. It turns out that the Catalan boyfriend is a good friend of one of Alex’s friends from Toronto. Think about it. Alex met someone, through one of my friends who is an aquaintance of one of her friends. Really strange.

Before we went for tapas we walked through an area called Born in the old town and went into Santa Maria del Mar. Here are some photos but check out Alex’s blog as she goes into more detail and pics. She also talks about the tapas bar we went to.

Santa Maria del Mar

Catedral Santa Maria del Mar

April 28, 2006 at 9:06 am 2 comments

A good friend emailed me recently and wanted to know if I was still a tourist or settling into a routine and what was routine in Barcelona. She also asked how my projects were going and that forced me to consider them. I started to respond to her by email and realized that this was good subject matter to share, so, here it is.

I don't know if I'll ever stop being a tourist. Even in Toronto, the weekends were usually spent exploring different parts of the city. My guess is that it will be the same here. There are just too many interesting things to see in any big city.

I'm not fully up to speed on my new lifestyle and I don't even know what it will be. I always use big change to modify my lifestyle in some way. This time, I've dropped working out with weights and began swimming much more. It's grueling and I feel stiff and tired after a swim workout but those feelings are lessening each week. It's also awkward for me because I can't really communicate with people yet. It's improving each week and I'm sure that as I improve my lifestyle will take on a new edge.
We walk everywhere and take the bus when we're tired or in a hurry (which isn't very often). Barcelona has almost forced us into its time frame. We find we're eating a big lunch and our supper is around 8:00 or 8:30 at night. We seldom get to bed before midnight.

I am working on some new projects and continuing with old ones. The "Lines" project is continuing. I'm finding subject material is rare for this project but it is out there so it looks to be a long-term project. A new project I've started is called "Faces". The idea for this project began in Paris when I became aware of all the statues and figures around the city. Material for this project is a collection of facial photographs from any three-dimensional object I find interesting. This collection will be the source for a montage. My "Doors" project is also continuing and Barcelona is a great source of material. One of the projects I wanted to start were rubbings of interesting patterns, images, whatever. The result was supposed to be a collection of framed compositions. My initial attempt failed miserably as I didn't get the result I had envisioned. I've bought some different paper so we'll see where that goes.  I'm pretty sure that I will begin a few new projects before we leave this city.

As you can see we're still developing in Barcelona. It will be interesting to see where we are in a year.

April 27, 2006 at 9:50 am 1 comment

It’s another gorgeous day here in Barcelona. It’s 11:00 and the current temperature is 21 C. I tried to talk Alex into skipping class and going to the beach. Was I successful???? I’ll let you know after Spanish class.

We must be settling in here. Last night after supper, we went to a small cafe around the corner for a coffee. We sat outside and ran into some new friends. Joy and her roommates are master’s students here. They are studying architecture. Anyhow, they were on their way to rent a movie and asked us to join them. Our first spontaneous social event in Barcelona. Love it. We got home around 12:30 so needless to say, I did NOT get to the gym this morning. Oh well, they’re doing work in the weight room anyways. I’m thinking of dropping my weight routine because of the swimming. I find that swimming gives me all the exercise I need for upper body. I’ll keep some routines for biceps and arms but I think I’ll spend more time working on my aerobic fitness.

Well, got to go and finish my homework…………Here’s some more photos.

Guitar Staore in Gracia

Flowers in Barcelona

Down the street from our apartment

April 26, 2006 at 9:33 am 3 comments

Yesterday, we spent the day walking in the old city (Barri Gotic). This is the original site of Barcino, the town the Romans established on a small hill called Mons Taber. We started walking between the cathedral and Placa Sant Jaume where a round millstone is set into the pavement to mark the precise centre of Mons Taber.

The route we followed was the line of the walls of the ancient town. Most of the streets in Barcelona began as Roman roads so all kinds of roman remains poke out from the least expected places. We would be walking down a street that looked like it ended in a small square. Once in the square you’d find an exit point hidden in a corner. It truly is a maze with many surprises. We stopped to see a Roman burial ground that was actually outside the city at the time.You could see remains of the road that led to the entrance of the city.

In one of the main squares we saw the remains of the aqueduct and part of another tower that formed one corner of the wall.

Remains of Roman Aqueduct

Essentially, we walked the perimeter of the ancient town and saw the wall where it still exists.

More of the Roman Wall

The old city is very black and white with all the old stone masonary. There are moments when color stands out like this door did when we rounded a corner.

Color Swatch in the old town

There were also some interesting perspectives as you would peer down alleys.

 

Perspective in an Alley

All in all we had a terrific day but today, Sunday, was a special day here in Barcelona. It was the festival of Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalunya. To see the kind of day we had, go to Alex’s blog. There is a link on the sidebar.

Have a great day

April 23, 2006 at 6:36 pm 4 comments

New in Barcelona #2

Hola from my new blog space.

We’ve finally settled into a routine by starting our day with gym in the morning. On our way back, we visit our cafe for our morning coffee. The rest of the morning is quiet and we head off to Spanish class at around noon. Classes only start at 1:30 but we go to this cafe down the street from the school for coffee and a snack. They have gotten to know us so it’s a good place to practice my Spanish (or more precisely, to practice hand signals). We finish class at 3:30 and then head home, at least head off in the general direction of home. We don’t usually get home until 5:00. After supper we usually go out for a walk and then back to watch a bit of television before going to bed. Watching TV is Spanish is a real treat. I don’t know if my interpretation of the story is what is really happening but I am enjoying my versions.

Last night, we went to a pub (Ryan’s Irish Pub) in the old town. One of my classmates, Ken, he’s from Dublin, is bartender there so I organized an outing for my class to go visit. We left home about 5:30 and walked around the old city. We saw Roman walls and towers from the 1st century, the remains of an old Roman aqueduct, walls that were built in the 10th century and even stood in the square where Queen Isabella met with Christopher Columbus before his trip to North America. Inside the old cathedral were tombs of kings and nobles from the 13th century. Really amazing when you think of how old things are.

We hit the pub around 7:30 and Ken got us all settled in by letting us try different beers in shot glasses. I settled on Murphy’s. I’m not much of a beer drinker but this beer was ok. Dave showed up next and we ordered another round of beer. As you can see, the beer was flowing pretty freely. Dave and his wife moved here last October from Chester, England and plan on permanently staying here in Spain. They are thinking of moving a bit more south in a few months. Vanessa, a writer from New York, showed up next. She’s here for a few more months and is teaching yoga to supplement her income. She’s very health conscious and is quite spiritual about life. Jo-Anne, from London, is a student here and she plans on staying in Barcelona until the end of the summer. Leone and her daughter Naomi arrived next. Leone is from Australia and is visiting her daughter who lives here. We had a lot of laughs and a really good time. Ken introduced us to another friend of his who is also from Ireland who has lived in Barcelona for 4 years. The other bartender was a girl from Iceland. She speaks 5 languages, Icelandic, Swedish, Danish, Spanish and Portuguese. All the bartenders were sitting with us and chatting and laughing and generally having a great time. They are all super people and real adventurers. I admire each and every one of them for living the lifestyle that they choose to live. I feel as if I’m a bit of a fraud being with them as I am only here because of Alex’s sense of adventure. Anyhow, we left at 10:30 and caught the last bus home. We intend on organizing an outing for tapas next week.Tonight, we go out for supper.Sleep tight everyone

April 21, 2006 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to my new Blog. This is where I’ll continue to relay to all my friends what we (Alex and I) are up to in Barcelona, Spain.

See you soon, and

Please, Let me know you visited by leaving comments.

April 17, 2006 at 3:04 pm 2 comments


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