Saturday, 25 September 2010

Category: General - The Ugly: "Correbous"

In Catalonia, despite being the first region to ban bull-fighting, the practice of Correbous still goes on. The generalitat (parliament) recently decided (114 to 14) that setting bulls on fire and chasing them through the streets is a worthwhile tradition. All though townspeople in the southern region (Tarragona, Valencia area) contain themselves to placing torches and fireworks on the horns one could easily imagine that the bulls find the whole ordeal pretty stressful! In fact, I feel anyone who thinks this is a "tradition" to maintain should be chased around naked in their local town wearing a helmet with blazing fireworks. Only then could you claim that the correbous is not harmful to the animals!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Category: Stores - The Good: "Hibernian Bookstore"

Hibernian Bookstore Barcelona

An English(mainly) language used bookstore in the middle of Grácia (C/Monteseny 17). Nice selection of Hunter Thompson books as befitting the bohemian setting. But, there is a little of everything here for a decent price.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Category: Architecture - The Ugly: Mercat de L'Abaceria

The Mercat de L'Abaceria, Barcelona´s ugliest market?
Somehow the city council, in their furor to "upgrade" Barcelona forgot about this market in Grácia - ramshackle and grey it has a rather sad and resigned air about it. It is worth visiting when in Grácia, though, for the quality produce the stalls here genreally do offer despite the dire surroundings.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Category: Architecture - The Bad: Barceloneta Development

This prison like structure might not be the ugliest in Barcelona, but the idea of building this tall in the Barceloneta area just opposite the classic Estació França is ludicrous!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Category: Bars - The Bad: Tripode

Thre is nothing wrong with this bar located in the chic El Born barrio, but 11€ for a (small) double scotch!? That is five times the sell price in the stores....C'mon guys this is Barcelona, not Tokyo! The choice of music didn't help either, allthough funky the source of the sound being a free Spotify account means blasting inane ads through the speakers...

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Category: General - The Ugly: "Okupas"

"Okupas" (house occupants, squatters) or "atheists" are a regular fixture in Barcelona, always wearing their uniforms of non-conformity; nose-piercings, dreads, beads etc. The irony of uniformingly signalling your independence to a uniform consumer society is, however, not enough to merit a place among "the ugly" of Barcelona - Hypocricy is. One example is hosting an "anti-racism café" (bar/party) in a residential neighbourhood. An applaudable inititave, one would think, but when they are occupying the backstreet, located under this particular writer's bedroom window, celebrating their tolerance by blasting crap techno way into the night in one can't help but note the hypocricy. How credible is your tolerant, anti-establishment stance when you can't even show respect for your own barrio? Though is it too much to ask that respecting difference includes respecting those in your closest vicinity who do not share your lifestyle?
Hey, the bourgeois are people too!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Category: Accommodation The Good: Acomodis

Renting holiday apartments in Barcelona can be a challenge. For the short-term visitor we recommend: Acomodis - Barcelona Vacation Apartments. This is an official agency with an appealing portfolio of centrally located apartments. As a bonus you can expect personal and friendly service from the people at Acomodis!

For Scandinavian visitors we recommend:
Lägenheter i Barcelona
Lejligheder i Barcelona

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Category: Food - The Good: Restaurant Embat

Friendly service, nice informal setting. Very tasty food, inventive without being showy (or silly). Excellent value for money!

Category: Food - The Bad: Patxoca

Tapas restaurant by The Santa Caterina Market. We were three diners and the staff barely acknowledged our arrival. After the food arrived we had to plead for cutlery, one piece at a time - delivered by a barely audible grunt from "the waiter". The food was mediocre and did nothing to change the impression of a place that really doesn't care about their customers.