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Barcelona’s Newest Elephant

  Barcelona’s over 100-year old, and amazingly compact (many would   argue too compact) zoo has a new elephant. Read about the oldest of Barcelona’s trio of elephants, Susi, at Time Magazine, here. After her long-time companion, Alicia died, experts and laymen alike became concerned with her welfare when she began rocking back and forth and eating her own waste. A second female elephant, Yoyo was eventually purchased to keep Susi company, but to no avail, as the two females appear to be incompatible, i.e., like so many females of the human persuasion, couldn’t get along. Now that the two females are finally starting to get along, Barcelona’s Zoo has added a third female elephant to the mix, Bully.  Whether or not that proves to be a good idea is yet to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Sites to See, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured

A Night at the Museum: Free of Charge

Tonight, May 18th,  from the stroke of 7pm until 1am, 52 Barcelona Museums will open to the public free of charge. Yeah, they’ll be a little crowded (especially Barcelona favorites like Gaudi’s La Pedrera, and the Picasso Museum), but the popular ones are crowded most of the time anyway (so you might as well go when you don’t have to pay). Our personal favorites include Barcelona’s Chocolate Museum, and the Catalan Museum of Modernism (oh, the art).  Not into art? No problem. There’s the Olympic and Sport Museum, for athletes and sports aficionados, and Barcelona Motorcycle Museum for bikers and cycle collectors.This yearly event is a rare treat for residents (free stuff in Barcelona!), and a lucky coincidence for this weekend’s tourists. So stroll among artifacts and masterworks by Miró and the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Museums, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

Soap: Circus, Cabaret, Comedy….and Bathubs

Through the 26th of May, Soap: The Show is on at Barcelona’s Teatre Poliorama on La Rambla (you know, that street with the living statues, the flower stands and the pick-pockets….La Boqueria Market is down that way, too). A mixture of acrobatics, drama, dance and the burlesque, set to modern music, SOAP is well worth the entry price. Tickets start at 25 euros, and it’s a small theater, so even the bad seats aren’t so bad. The stunning and often sexy acrobatics set to modern music (think Tool, Mika, Ben Harper and more) will not disappoint. Amazingly athletic dance and circus numbers are interpersed with comic relief by a very annoying clown, and songs by a talented opera singer. While the opera singer doesn’t do well when the show turns to her to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dance, Barcelona Events, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

Our Favorite Barcelona Language Tool….

TENS CATALÀ?? I LA LLET? Nosaltres la preferim amb cafè Fascinated by Barcelona’s multi-lingual society, but only able to scrape by with your English and some limited Spanish? Clueless about what words and street signs in Catalan mean or just interested in peppering your speech with some authentic Barcelona vocabulary? We recommend the free translation services at SoftCatalà.org. Using SoftCatalà’s online translator, you can translate text to and from Catalán and a multitude of languages including Spanish, English, French and Portugese *disclaimer, everything but Catalán-Spanish, Spanish-Catalán is in the testing stages*, but hey it’s free, and it’s a general idea or gist translation, which is way better than nothing, no clue, nada (in Catalan, res). If you’d rather spend some cash, and carry a dictionary with you, we recommend the following for … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Language, Barcelona Practical Stuff, Catalan, Featured, Uncategorized

DEPT. – Navegant pel món (Navigating the World)

YouTube – DEPT. – Navegant pel món. “”, is the first single from “”, the sixth cd by the Catalan band Dept. Fortunately for this group of of musicians from Manresa (about an hour away from Barcelona proper via train) the beautiful lyrics and catchy melody make their somewhat mediocre music video worth sitting through. We especially enjoy lyrics like the following: Vull conèixer tots els grans secrets que amaguen llocs i tanta gent, percebre les olors d’ambient i sentir el vent empènyer una mica més les ganes de seguir creixent, voltant, obrint la ment. Loose Translation (things are always lost in translation): I want to know all the great secrets that so many places and people hide perceive the scents of the environment and feel the wind Push a little more the desire to keep growing, getting closer, and opening the mind. Find … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Souvenirs, Featured

Reflecting On a “Curiós” Life…Catalan Group Gertrudis

  This quirky Catalan group from La Garriga (in Barcelona Province, a short train ride from the city proper) specializes in Rumba Catalana mixed with elements of world music like reggae and cumbia. After a brief moment of doubt about the gender of the lead singer at the beginning of the video for “Curiós”, he began to grow on us. In the end, despite his awful haircut, he’s strangely attractive in a geeky way and while it sounds silly (even to us, and we’re thinking it), when he lifts one eyebrow and looks directly into the camera, it’s surprisingly sensual.  After brief introductory shots of Gertrudis hanging out in what appears to be Plaza Catalunya, , the video segues into the group playing with a giant dice in an open field and  and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Concerts, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Souvenirs, Featured, Uncategorized

Carmen–A Spanish Classic by Way of France

So Flamenco isn’t a Barcelona thing, we know, and you should know, but if you live here, or just don’t have time to get to Andalusia during your Barcelona vacation, there are some options available. Currently playing at Barcelona’s Teatre Victoria, this classic story of the gypsy Carmen, and the mess she made of her life and that of those around her,  arrived in Spain by way of France. It was first published as a novel by Prosper Mérimée and later made into an opera by Georges Bizet. While the opera was a flop during Bizet’s lifetime, it later became a critical and commercial success. And it’s not surprising, really. Who can resist a the story of a loose, hot-tempered gypsy, a Spanish officer and a bull-fighter. Oh, and the music, did … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Dance, Barcelona Flamenco, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

And still more….Fútbol

If you’re in Barcelona tonight, May 28th, 2011, you may have heard the colossal ruckus beginning around 8.45pm and continuing now, even after the game (match if you’re British) is over. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock during your time here in Barcelona, you know that said ruckus has something to do with Barcelona’s professional soccer team, F.C. Barcelona’s battle to the death with English team Manchester United. Screaming and yelling “gol” and so on is par for the course whenever Barça plays in town, but for big games like tonight’s Champion final, in some neighborhoods streets are cut off and large television screens are set up in the streets for residents to watch. And since Barcelona beat Manchester U 3 to 1, that means that Barça rabble-rousers will … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Football, Barcelona Sports, Featured

Maybe BCN’s Best Gelato: La Cremeria Toscana

Now that Barcelona’s weather gauge is set to hot and sunny, it’s a good time to introduce you newbies and visitors out there to our favorite ice-cream joint in Barcelona. When in Barcelona it’s in your best interest to skip the pricey pre-packaged frozen treats that the street vendors hawk in favor of creamy Italian-style gelatos made on site in local ice-cream shops. And forget about large international chains like Häagen Dazs, Ben and Jerry, Dino, and Farggi. By far our favorite in Barcelona is La Cremería Toscana in Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood (Metro Hospital Clinic). The price tag is a little high (no higher than any of the pricey chains), but the wide variety of flavors that melt in your mouth (not in your hand) are worth it. There are … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Dessert, Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Food, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

Lost in Barcelona….

Last year there was a Spanish television program called “Perdidos en la tribú” produced by Spanish television channel 4 (canal cuatro) wherein families from across Spain (one family from Catalonia) were sent to live with tribes across the world. This year the program is back, but turned on its head in “Perdidos en la Ciudad” (Lost in the City). Members of hosting tribes from Africa and Indonesia are in Spain, trying to get used to city life with Spanish families in Madrid and Barcelona. From castells to calçotadas to La Sagrada Familia, the Carrión-Rodián family does a stand-up job of showing their friends from the African Himba tribe Barcelona. Alternating the ridiculous with the heart-breaking, the program pulls us in despite our reclacritance. Some moments are entertaining but perturbing, like when one … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Television, Featured, Uncategorized

Easy Barcelona Eats: Torrades Casolanes

Easy Barcelona Eats: Torrades Casolanes

If you’ve finally spent enough cash in local restuarants in bars that you’re willing to learn to prepare (it’s not really cooking the way we’ll describe it) some easy local dishes, “torrades” are a great option. Open-faced sandwiches on toasted pa de pagès, these simple dishes are surprisingly elegant and work as a quick snack or a meal in a pinch. Here we’re including idiot-proof traditional torrada instructions, and then a Barcelona for Idiot’s variation. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Food, Barcelona Recipes, Featured, Uncategorized

Monday Morning Music-Shakira-Loca

YouTube – Shakira Loca. Recently this well-known Columbian recording artist, formerly best-known for her undulating hips has become a fixture in the Barcelona soccer scene. Before Shakira and FC Barcelona’s Piqué made their canoodling official, Shakira was in and out of Barcelona fiming two music videos, “Gypsy” with Spain’s tennis champeon, Rafa Nadal and “Loca” or “Crazy.” We selected “Loca” from Youtube for your Monday morning (or anytime) viewing pleasure because it has great shots of Barcelona’s port, Barceloneta neighborhood and Arc de Triomf besides fun shots of Shakira dancing, rollerblading, swimming and riding a motorcycle with her long bottle-blond hair streaming out behind her in the wind (for the safety-obsessed, yes, she was fined for riding without a helmet by the local authorities). … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Football, Barcelona Music, Barcelona Sports, Featured

2 Free Things to Do in Barcelona on a Lazy Sunday

2 Free Things to Do in Barcelona on a Lazy Sunday

With the exception of a few “special” Sundays when certain big businesses are allowed to open (think IKEA, Corte Inglés and the like), most things are closed.  So strolling Passeig de Gracia or Borne, dodging in and out of the shop and accumulating shopping bags is not an option. Museums are generally open, and a few, like MNAC are free every first Sunday of the month, but now that the weather is looking up (at … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Parks, Barcelona Sites to See, Featured, Uncategorized

A Museum Junkie’s Saving Grace: The Barcelona Art Pass

A Museum Junkie’s Saving Grace: The Barcelona Art Pass

Whether you live in Barcelona, or are here for an art-filled visit, the BCN ArtTicket will save you and your Museum-junkie friends lots of cash. Art Ticket museums include the CCCB (Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture),  MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art),   MNAC ,(National Museum of Catalan Art) LA PEDRERA, (One of Gaudi’s famous structures, also known as Casa Milá), Fundació Antoni Tápies (A Museum dedicated to a very famous Catalan Artist, Antoni Tápies),  Museu Picasso (self-explanatory), and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Art, Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Museums, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

A Sugar-junkie’s Paradise: Cup&Cake Barcelona

Cup and Cake Barcelona. This post is for all the Barcelona sugar-junkies. This cute Barcelona Coffee Shop is located right below the corner of Enric Granados and Avinguda Diagonal, and specializes in…you guessed it, cupcakes. Besides cupcakes, this shabby-chic establishment offers toast and jam, 100% organic coffee, and gourmet sandwiches (they look tasty, even though we have certain prejudices against establishments that self-label their products gourmet).  Besides the extra points for fun decor that includes rattan, salvaged doors made into tables, and two huge cup-cake-tin shaped light fixtures over the main counter,  the café con leche is elegantly served in gold-rimmed cups and saucers with fun designs etched into the foam. Cupcakes are well-presented and available in a wide variety of cake and icing combos (we shared a brownie cupcake with cream cheese … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Dessert, Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Food, Featured, Uncategorized

Barcelona Hats on Parade

Barcelona Hats on Parade

Barcelona Hat Parade (Paseo con Sombreros y Tocados en Barcelona) at LaVanguardia.es Today over 300 of Barcelona’s finest donned their favorite hat or head-piece and paraded down Rambla Catalunya (from Diagonal to Gran Via). This is the 7th edition of an annual event inspired by the Easter Sunday hat parade in New York (that we’d never heard of before looking into the Barcelona version, but oh well). Unsurprisingly, the event was created by two milliners to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

Roses for Everyone–Cervantes Park Rose Festival

Roses for Everyone–Cervantes Park Rose Festival

  Spring in Barcelona comes late. You might have noticed (we do) that it’s mostly the guiris (if you’re a tourist or newbie to Barcelona, that’s you) that are walking around in pastels and Spring clothes. Most Barcelona residents are sticking to lighter Winter wear, even now in May. Only yesterday I saw an older lady in furs (I kid you not). At any rate, if the dark colors and endless pavement are getting you down, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Parks, Barcelona Sites to See, Barcelona Things to Do, Featured, Uncategorized

TMB-The Basics of Getting Around Barcelona in Public Transport

Barcelona’s transport system is thankfully reasonably priced (okay, it could always be cheaper, but try comparing it to catching the underground in London or Paris) and fairly easy to manage. When we can’t get from A to B in under an hour on our own two feet, TMB’s our favorite way of getting around. While we prefer metro over all the other vehicles offered, TMB also has buses at the ready and your TMB ticket allows you to take the tramvias, ferrocarriles and Rodalies (short distance) RENFE trains within the zones you paid for. For those of you who aren’t familiar with public transport, Barcelona and the surrounding areas have been divided into circular zones radiating out. The first zone is Barcelona, and includes close by bedroom communities like Santa … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Bus, Barcelona Getting Around, Barcelona Metro, Barcelona Public Transport, Barcelona Tram, Featured

Primavera Cultural with TMB

While we kinda-sorta think TMB has enough on its plate without trying to multi-task and distract us from the rising ticket prices, and regular strikes by workers with cultural activities, they obviously disagree. and will continue to do so until at least the 30th of June, the end date of their current edition of Primavera Cultural (Cultural Spring). Swipes at our means of getting from point A to point B in Barcelona aside, TMB has some great freebies going on. May 5-21 catch the Loop Festival-Videoart al Metro, urban art projection pieces from Susa Pop, Johanna Bruckner and members of Public Art Lab.  Start your weekend  off stylish (Friday, May 6th)  with free runway show Sub ModaFAD 2011 in metro stop Diagonal at 8pm, and follow up Saturday the 7th … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Culture, Barcelona Freebies, Barcelona Music, Featured

Tips to Eat Cheap and Enjoy Local Barcelona Cuisine: Part I: Where Not to Eat

Tips to Eat Cheap and Enjoy Local Barcelona Cuisine: Part I: Where Not to Eat

  Where Not to Eat: 1.    Are you near a big tourist attraction, say the Sagrada Familia, or La Rambla? Get out and dodge before you lose big time cash on mediocre food.  Step away from that terrace full of camera-toting fools and take at least a few hundred more steps until you’re in an area free of people posing in front of monuments. 2.    Keep your distance from establishments in Barcelona serving “World” cuisine with menus in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Barcelona Eateries, Barcelona Food, Featured, Uncategorized