Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apparently I'd rather look at people than art

How I felt before coming to Barcelona.
It is hard not to lapse into cliches writing about a magical place like Barcelona. We all know the pace of life is different in Spain, art is part of every day life, walking down the street you feel the centuries collapse, people are more cultured, blah blah blah blah. All true. But I will try to provide more original commentary, however shallow. I guarantee it will be very shallow.

Some things I've noticed:

-Women wear harem pants here, but there are no Ugg boots. I think these about cancel each other out as bad fashion decisions.  Unfamiliar with harem pants? Harem pants. I had a pair in 1986.

-Rompers. On grown women. Perhaps becoming trendy again in the U.S. as well? I can't get past how much I dislike the name to actually assess the look. I'm sure, like everything, it looks good if you're thin enough.

-Ugly glasses. A lot of glasses like these, but on young beauties, male and female. Fashionable in the urban U.S., but I think more so here.

-Flesh colored nylons! With shorts! This is not a fabulous look, but as one with very pale legs, I half hope it catches fire.

-Random outrageously chic outfits.

You don't see this while shopping for quinoa at the Mill Valley Whole Foods.

Men have a fashion thing going on of their very own but it's one I can't begin to decode. It involves closely cropped hair, tight shirts, and a slightly puffed out torso, like they're just about to stop a soccer ball with their chests.

Finally, while it is true that Americans are fat, if my eyes don't deceive me, many Europeans are rather plump.

We're having lots of fun. My kids are so lucky. I didn't go to Europe until I was twenty and it's already so clear that international travel is helping them grow up more cosmopolitan and cultured:

Hoot is an awesome book. 

In all seriousness, though, I want to thank you for your dining and sightseeing suggestions. Yesterday we went to the Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat and it was fascinating, especially the tiny ancient dice and the wine cellar. We walked to Cal Pep for dinner, but the line was too long and Owen was too crabby-hungry, so we had to make do with a place we passed on the way. That was a big disappointment, because it looked wonderful. I bought torron -- four kinds -- at Planelles Donat today. I have only tasted the egg yolk variety and it is delicious. The others are (presumably) for gifts. I have eaten both squid and cuttlefish -- I can't quite figure out the difference -- and they were unbelievably good. Today I tried to order a sobrasada sandwich but the waitress just gave me cheese with red pepper spread, which I don't think is correct. I will try again. Everything you all suggested is written down and in my bag and I plan to act on as much of it as I can. Thank-you so much.
Tasty little fried fish.


  1. In case you didn't see my urgent recommendation on Twitter, I'll post it here too -- find a shoestore called Muxart. Go there. Buy shoes.

    Also, buy saffron while you're there. So much cheaper than over here.

  2. P.S. That picture of Owen is priceless.

  3. Oh Laurie, I located Muxart as soon as I read your Twitter rec. I have googled pictures. Ten a.m. tomorrow.

  4. I'm so jealous of your trip! I have no exciting travel plans coming up any time soon, so I'm just going to live vicariously through you in Barcelona. My hub's in the Navy, and they've "promised" us we'll go to Europe for our next tour. Fingers crossed!

    Have a wonderful time!

  5. I'm sorry to say, that quite a few of those fashion trends are popular in NYC. The harem pants, the rompers, the glasses, everything. I don't quite get it either.

    It sounds like you're having a fantastic time in Barcelona though! International travel is truly a fantastic thing for kids. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to London in middle school with my mother, and it really did change the way I saw things, even if I didn't realize that at the time.