Ianqui's 365 Project

Thursday, May 31, 2007

May Retrospective

This time we have a lot of food, some politics, and I'm pleased to find that I've rediscovered my interest in street art. I thought I'd lost it for a while. At the very least, it's an excellent reminder of the activities I participated in while in Barcelona these past 2 months.

I also notice that a lot of these photos were taken with my kit lens, which is relatively wide angle, rather than the 70-300mm zoom lens. I'm glad to see that, since I'd like to develop a vision for wide-angle photos. Soon I'll be back in NYC, and my friend (who is here visiting BCN this week) told me that we should go out shooting together and he'll trade his wide-angle fixed width lens (can't remember the exact size—35mm?) for my zoom for a day.

151/365: In preparation for the Full Experience

In preparation for the Full Experience

We had a "typical" Catalan dinner at our house: tortilla de patatas (bottom left corner, not entirely visible), olives, tomatoes, really good ham, bread, cheese, beer. Also not pictured: the lovely fuet. Instead of beer, I had a clara, another inspired Spanish drink consisting of half a glass of beer mixed with half a glass of Schweppes or Fanta lemon soda. Among my greatest sadnesses in life is that Fanta sells all sorts of nasty soda flavors in the US, but not lemon. I guess in Britain this same drink is called a shandy, and it could be made with Sprite or non-carbonated lemonade, but it just wouldn't be the same.

Also, despite recently having made fun of the Pan con Tomate flickr group, I nevertheless added my contribution.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

150/365: Still life with wine and water

Still life with wine and water

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

149/365: Grim but satisfying

Grim but satisfying

I probably took better pictures today, but somehow I like this one the best. As I was walking across Plaça Catalunya to find my friend, I noticed this gull eating a pigeon. It was gruesome, but I have to admit that it doesn't pain me very much to see Mother Nature in action when pertains it to pigeons.

Monday, May 28, 2007

148/365: A smoke with her coffee

A smoke with her coffee

Sunday, May 27, 2007

147/365: Everyone's vote counts

Everyone's vote counts

Today is Election Day in Spain, for mayors and city government. I went with House while he voted. In Spain, there are no machines, neither computers, nor butterfly ballots nor the quaintly outdated but functional machines we use in NYC. He explained to me that in the past he's seen some old people get very emotional during the act of voting, since until the death of Franco in 1975, there was no such thing as voting here. He also told me that he's seen old people ask for a stamp indicating that they'd voted, even though those stamps are usually only necessary for workers who get a couple of hours off during the day to prove that they actually went to vote.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

146/365: Remnants of the old Barcelona

Remnants of the old Barcelona

This old decrepit factory is in the neighborhood I used to live in the very first time I went to Barcelona as a study-abroad student. Now, the area is changing rapidly, but the old remnants of its industrial past are still visible. This building is slated for demolition, and the street artists have taken it over. A few more examples (plus some other photos of the area, including the building I lived in!) are on Flickr.

Friday, May 25, 2007

145/365: Vegetarian nightmare

Vegetarian Nightmare

Markets are so much fun, even if the ones in Spain are predominantly filled with ham stands. A couple more photos from today are here. And I wasn't about to make this the picture of the day, but for the sheer grotesqueness of it, check this out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

144/365: Barefoot and sleeping

Barefoot and sleeping

I almost left Barcelona without going to Park Guell. But I couldn't do that to the photoblog! Besides, I had agreed to meet someone nearby, so I decided to haul myself up to the park, too. I realized as I was there that there was nothing that hadn't been photographed before at Park Guell, and that made me kind of sad. The only thing new would be the people—every day a new group of people comes to the park, and so I decided that while I'd also take the standard shots, I should focus on the people if I wanted to capture something unique about Park Guell.

See the rest of today's shots on Flickr.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

143/365: Fleeing the invading hoards of tourists

Fleeing the invading hoards of tourists

There are a couple of notable things in this photo, both seen and unseen. First, the pictured building is a giant Starbucks. As is to be expected, it's located there because the stop for the Bus Turistic is also located there. Second, this line (updated: for the bus) went around the corner. There are a lot of tourists in Barcelona right now. Third, why isn't it the Spanish alphabet that's pictured? The Spanish alphabet includes extra letters, like "ñ" (and is "ll" a letter? I'm not sure. But anyway, inscribing the alphabet on the side of a building is odd.) Finally, I didn't even notice that woman running away when I took the picture, but she's awesome.

Updated: My flatmate House has emailed me to tell me that the alphabet is the Latin alphabet in general, which is the universal set of the letters of this form.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

142/365: Spuds captivates the crowd

Spuds captivates the crowd

Monday, May 21, 2007

141/365: Candy-coated marshmallow martini

Candy-coated marshmallow martini

It's a little pathetic, but there were a couple of places I wanted to go in Barcelona because they were written up in the New York Times travel section. Bubo (careful, it sings at you), profiled here, was one of them. Fortunately, today one of the students I share an office with decided that we should all go get some pastries after work today. And so we did. I shared this mojito mousse and a chocolate-almond confection with her. Mmmm.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

140/365: Strangulation


Saturday, May 19, 2007

139/365: What's cookin'?

What's cookin'?

Yesterday we had a barbecue at a friend's farmhouse. When I say barbecue, I don't mean a Weber grill on the patio. Rather, barbecue refers to a stone oven with a grate on top for cooking the meat. At the last minute, my friends realized we didn't have anything for me to eat, so we stopped at a grocery store and bought eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms to put on the grill. Authentically grilled veggies....Mmmm.

Friday, May 18, 2007

138/365: Doesn't she know it's not yet Memorial Day?

Doesn't she know it's not yet Memorial Day?

I don't really understand the concept of wearing all white in a city. By the end of the day, you're bound to look like crap. And don't you fear sitting down...anywhere? And heels with shorts are, well, icky.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

137/365: Keep 'em coming!

Keep 'em coming!

Tonight we finally got around to having tapas of a sort. Quimet i Quimet is a tiny little bar in the neighborhood Poble Sec that's known for these kind of tapas (the bar, not the neighborhood). The one in the front, with raw bacalao (a kind of cod), was amazing. The salmon in back was also especially excellent.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

136/365: El Guapetón

El Guapeton

It's not that I'm obsessed with this guy, it's that I'm obsessed with the campaign that he's running. I just don't understand why his party thinks that displaying him as a hottie is a successful strategy. I keep hearing, though, that there's a serious problem with getting young people to vote in Catalunya, so maybe they're trying to get that vote. That said, I don't necessarily see how this is going to work with (straight) young men.

(Clockwise from top left: "Do you want a Barcelona that has you in mind?" / "Do you want a Barcelona that's more just and more secure?" / "Do you want a Barcelona with a real airport?" / "Do you want a Barcelona that's both cosmopolitan and Catalan?" And utilitza'ns is literally translated as "use us" or maybe even "take advantage of us"...interpret that how you'd like.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

135/365: End of the line

End of the Line

Monday, May 14, 2007

134/365: An obsession with teh English

An obsession with teh English

I've been thinking about going around and taking pictures of businesses that have English names (e.g. "Natural Break") and making a montage, but I'm not sure I've got that much energy at the moment. In any case, giving restaurants foreign names is one thing ("Pret-a-Manger", anyone?), but I'm just not sure I understand what teh English adds to this advertisement. Dinero would have been just fine, I think.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

133/365: The pork carver

The pork carver

Festa de Bandolers, Castellserà, Catalunya

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

132/365: Flowers fell from the roof

Flowers fell from the roof

This picture was taken at Girona Temps de Flors. If I may say so myself, I recommend the rest of the photos in my Temps de Flors flickr set.

Friday, May 11, 2007

131/365: Like home, but March, and in Spanish

Like home, but March, and in Spanish

"11-M(arch) Lies and Manipulation! We want to know!!! Who was it?"

I've at least figured out that there's a group of people who don't believe the government story about who bombed the train in Madrid on March 11, 2004. I'm not sure I've figured out what they think might have happened instead, but the whole thing seems similar to the people who don't believe the official explanation about 9/11 either (I'm not going to link directly, but you can do a search on 911Truth. Spanish speakers can also google "Peones Negros" for more info on the Spanish movement.)

I have to admit that I was even more transfixed by the woman wrapped in a Spanish flag and wearing a baseball cap with "España" emblazoned on the front. I can't say I ever thought I'd see such a thing in Barcelona.

Today was a good photo day. See more at Flickr.

An interruption for a technical question

A kind new reader left a comment on my previous picture suggesting that I reduce the size of the pictures because the page is slow to load. Oddly enough, I actually increased the size of the pics at one point because I noticed that most photobloggers have larger size photos.

I understand that this may be a problem for some people, so I'm taking a poll about the best way to solve this it. One reason the other photobloggers don't have a problem is because they have fewer pictures on the page (I have 15!). So, there are a few ways to deal with a slow loading page:

(1) Reduce the size of the pictures
(2) Cut down the number of pictures on the page to, say 5 or 7 (a weeks worth?)

What do my faithful viewers think is better?

UPDATE: OK, I have cut the number of posts to 7 per the front page, and yes, older photos can still be accessed by clicking on the archives. But if you still want to give your opinion, it's still being solicited.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

130/365: Palms in the Raval

Palms in the Raval

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

129/365: I want you to vote for me because you think I'm hot

Vote for me because you think I'm hot

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

128/365: Admiring the armless giants

Admiring the armless giants

Sculptures by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj appeared on the Rambla Catalunya this week, and passers-by seem fascinated.

Monday, May 07, 2007

127/365: Lost in thought

Lost in thought

Sunday, May 06, 2007

126/365: Bird Fight!

Bird Fight

This was one of the craziest things I've ever seen. I was standing under a tree, and all of a sudden these birds came at me in a free fall. At first I thought they were babies that had fallen out of the nest, but I realized they were adults when they proceeded to go at each other. I wasn't sure if they were fighting over something or mating, but whatever they were doing, it was an intense few seconds, and then they flew away.

Now, if only I knew what they were! (I hope that the Flickr Bird Identification Help Group will assist with that.)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

125/365: Well, what do you want me to do about that?

Well, what am I supposed to do about that?

(I also especially liked this one today.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

124/365: Underground passage

It's been a while since I've looked for and photographed street art. But today I found this underpass near the university, and I was captivated. Here's a small sample of the amazing art.

Also, I think it's worth checking out the larger size of today's photo.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

123/365: Sin titulo

Sin Titulo

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

122/365: Before the fun, drudgery

Before the fun, drudgery

I can't believe I've resisted taking pictures of the soccer field from out my window until now. Maybe I'll go down to ground level sometime and try to do what Billie does.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

121/365: See what I mean about that whimsy?


April Retrospective

What can I say about April? Looking at the thumbnails, it seems like April has been about capturing the combination of stateliness and whimsy that is Barcelona and Catalunya (and a little bit of London). Comparing the project here to the project in New York highlights the differences between these two cities. New York is gritty. Barcelona is grand and airy. Both cities can be unexpected at times, but I think it's easier to find absurdity in New York (in a good way). In general, Barcelona is a more orderly city, although when things don't go as planned here, people don't get so uptight or belligerent as we do in New York.

Mostly, I just wish we had as much open space—parks and grand avenues and wide sidewalks—as they do here. I think the quality of life is probably better here. (I won't get started on how many times I've had conversations about how few vacation days Americans get vs. the 30-40 days that most Europeans have.)