Let’s not talk about how long it has been since the last post. Instead let’s discuss how crazy the past month has been! In between work, traveling, a music festival, interviews, more traveling, a wedding, catching up with old friends, and preparing for some big changes, the past three weeks have felt more like an entire season! So, backing up to the end of May, here are a few glimpses of a short week spent in Barcelona. After three days of music at Primavera Sound, the last two were spent wandering aimlessly… As we do.
They say Primavera Sound is the festival for music lovers (am I naive for not knowing that music festivals existed for any other reason?). Our first day kicked off with Future Islands (amazing!) and CHVRCHES, followed by a slightly disappointing performance by Arcade Fire – I guess our expectations were too high. The wee hours of the night met a heart-pumping show by Metronomy (one of my favorites from the entire festival) and finished with a good set – albeit a few technical mishaps – from Jaime xx. Day two began with HAIM, followed by half of FKA Twigs, half of Pixies, and then a full-on, crowd-surfing show by The National. !!!(chk chk chk) frontman flaunted Daisy Dukes and pelvic-thrusting dance moves for a hilarious show, getting even those of us with no rhythm in the audience to dance. The last day began on a mellow note with Volcano Choir, gearing up for Kendrick Lamar and then, more importantly in my book; Blood Orange (#1 Dev Hynes fan, right here!). Our night ended with a flawless performance by Foals, whose frontman Yannis Philippakis weaved through the audience to high-five a few eager hands.
There are many great “walking cities” in the world; but Barcelona is one of the best. If you’re not afraid of a few blisters, it’s worth it taking a whole day to just walk the narrow streets and get lost in between each palm tree-lined avenue. It’s also a photogenic city, and Barcelona’s light seems to glaze over Gaudi’s architecture in an almost ethereal way.
We rented an apartment in El Raval through airbnb, and loved it despite the neighborhood’s infamous reputation. The location was perfect for getting around, and we were able to walk everywhere, other than our daily (direct!) metro ride to Parc el Forum for the music festival, the first three days. We were a stones-throw away from the famous Mercat de la Boqueria, and only a Rambla-away from the Gotic neighborhood and beautiful Placa Reial (pictured below). While most days we cooked in the apartment, our Sunday brunch was reserved at Picnic in Born – a “mom and pop” kind of place with amazing twists on your brunch-time staples. We walked it off in the Parc de la Ciutadella and then along the boardwalk of the Barceloneta. On our last day we ventured north to the more up-scale Gracia area, and stopped for lunch at Nomo, indulging in some of the best sushi I have ever had… Sorry, no tapas reviews here – being half-Spanish, I get enough of those!
[Photo credit: all photos are mine unless otherwise stated]