Archive for December 2, 2006

Mercado de la Boqueria

Today turned out to be just the kind of day I love. Once we got the day rolling we headed up to the mercado in Gracia. This is the market we usually do all our meat, fruit, fish and vegetable shopping. It’s quite an amazing place and Saturday mornings, it’s really busy. Different stalls sell vegetables ………

meat ……………………….

fish ……………………….

We left Gracia and brought our stuff home. We had intended to go shopping for a jacket for Alex. When we got home Jackie called and asked if we could meet Sebastian at the chinese market and help him bring the stuff home. Off we went to the chinese market and walked back to Sebastian’s place with all the food. We dropped off the food and had to go to Mercado de la Boqueria. We had heard a lot about this place. It’s just off La Ramblas and is very famous. So off we go.

The first stall we pass by was filled with all kinds of mushrooms, and I mean all kinds. I’d never seen so many different kinds of mushrooms……..

Then we came across these Japanese Tomatoes, I think they’re called Tomates Kumato. They were almost black, really cool.

We ventured deeper into the market and Sebastian went to the stalls he always goes to. I saw a red cabbage that had been cut in half and it reminded me of the series that Edward Weston had done. He’s famous for his B&W study of a green pepper. The photos he took are stunning. Here is my attempt at the cabbage …….

Sebastian showed us how to tell fresh fish. The gills should be bright red and the eyes still bright. If the gills are fading then the fish is starting to age. They had lots of fish stalls there, some with massive tuna.

The fish monger will cut the fish any way you want it.

Note how they are already getting into the Christmas spirit. Alex and Sebastian trying to decide on what fruits to get.

On our way out Sebastian just had to show us the candy section. They had so many types of candy it would have been hard to choose. Check out Alex’s blog for a different perspective on our mercado tour.

We left the market and went to drop off our purchases, pick up Jackie and head over the Shalomar’s for lunch. Great meal, great friends, Great day. Tomorrow Alex goes to her first book club meeting at Jackie’s. Sebastian, Myself, Pau and Gerard will try to find something to amuse us. Shouldn’t be hard in Barcelona.

December 2, 2006 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment


Today we went to the Mercado de la Boqueria for the first time. We have been here for 8 months now and still hadn’t been. I knew it was amazing and I wanted to save it to a day when there wouldnt be so many tourists around. Today we went with Sebastian to shop for tomorrow’s book club chinese lunch (more on that later). All I can say is WOW. The place is amazing! The market of my dreams. They have e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. I love markets. I love the energy and vibrancy of popular markets and we try to go to the local one in Gracia at least once a week. But the Boqueria is something else… Since I shoot with a film camera, you’ll have to wait a few days for the pictures…

Here are some pictures from their internet site:

Vegetable stalls

Mushrooms anyone?

December 2, 2006 at 9:33 pm 3 comments

Dec 1st: World AIDS Day

The second date in the sixteen-day period that mark the campaign against gender violence is World AIDS Day.
In 2000, heads of states around the world promised to stop the epidemic by 2015.  Yet, 65 million people  around the world are infected with the HIV virus and according to health organizations around the world, this number keeps growing. Last year we heard Stephen Lewis deliver the final of the Massey Lectures, entitled Race Against Time, that deals precisely with the problem of the pandemic in Africa. I urge anybody who hasn’t read the lectures yet, to do so. They were collected and published in a book of the same name. The situation throughout the continent is desperate. A whole generation is being wiped out. In many places, there are only children and their grandparents left. Women are being infected in disproportionate numbers, often by their own husbands. Lewis mentions a visit he made to a village in Africa. After he gave his speech, teaching kids about prevention, one young girl raised her hand. She said the boys at her school were always on her case to have sex but she refused them. Her answer was simple: “I don’t want to die”.

That lecture was one of the few moments I felt proud of Brazil as state. Still back in the late 1980s Brazil made a serious commitment towards prevention and treatment. The prevention campaign is ubiquituous and intensify in periods of “risk” such as carnival. It involves education campaigns, distribution of free condoms to prostitutes, etc. Treatment includes full access to the drug cocktails free of charge. Obviously this means the program is super expensive and Brazil has played a leading role in pressuring American drug companies in lowering their prices for HIV drugs. Yet, it has worked. While the numbers keep growing across the world, they are starting to recede in Brazil.

For more about World AIDS Day and what you can do to help the world keep its promise, take a look at these:

Stephen Lewis Foundation

Give a Day of your work to help – a doctor in Ontari, Canada started a movement that initially involved 50 doctors but which now involves hospitals across the country. They each donate their income on World AIDS Day as doctors to an AIDS foundation. The idea is now to spread the concept over to different professions.

World AIDS Day site

UNAIDS – Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

December 2, 2006 at 1:56 am 1 comment

December 2006

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