Thursday, May 04, 2023

Seen Around Town

Here are some details seen around Barcelona, Spain.

The door handle to V BCN, a home decor store in Barcelona's Eixample district.  

A Wallace Fountain at the intersection of Gran Via del les Corts Catalanes and Passeig de Gràcia.  One of the four caryatids (the female figure on the fountain) is affectionately named Vera.
Looking down Ronda de la Universitat, a major street in the Eixample district.
Another door handle at V BCN home decor store.
A security gate on a retail store.
The sidewalk of Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona. This sidewalk, from Plaça de Catalunya to Jardinets de Gràcia, are paved with these hexagonal baldosas (tiles) designed by legendary Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. They were originally designed for Casa Batlló but ultimately used in Gaudí’s Casa Milà. I bought a beautiful souvenir tile in the original blue-green color at the Casa Milà gift-shop.
A detail on the Font de Santa Ana, Barcelona's oldest fountain, built in 1356.  This fountain can be found on Carrer de la Cucurulla in the Ciutat Vella (Old City)
A shop in Ciutat Vella called El Ingenio.  Under the name of the shop, it lists the following items: Festive Items.  Mannequins.  Giants.  Big heads.  Jokes. 
A door bolt in the Ciutat Vella.
An architectural detail on a building.
The top of the Monumento a Colón (Monument to Columbus - Christopher Columbus), which is located at the lower end of La Rambla, near Port Vell. It was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona (1888) in honor of Columbus' first voyage to the Americas.

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2022: Sorry, no post on this day.
2021: Sorry, no post on this day.
2020: Sorry, no post on this day.
2019: Sunset Lights
2018: Family Heirlooms
You Can Put A Saddle On These Things
2016: SASsy But Comfortable
2015: ¡Holy Guacamole!
2014: Twisted Sifter Sifted My Photo From The Web
2013: Mine Is Easy To Spot
2012: Oh, For The Love Of Food
2011: Blintzes On Broadway
2010: Watt A Work Of Art – Part One
2009: Salena Javier Barcelona
2008: Road To Bangor
2007: Horton Hatches A Plaza
2006: Crack Whores For Everyone!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

A Dragon In The Mediterranean Sea

This is Casa Batlló in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.  

Wikipedia says, “Casa Batlló, built in 1877, is a building in the center of Barcelona. In 1903 it was purchased by Josep Batlló, who hired Antoni Gaudí to redesign the home. It is considered one of Gaudí’s masterpieces. Much of the façade is decorated with a colorful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles - a type of mosaic called trencadís. The roof is arched and has been likened to the back of a dragon.”
This house was SPECTACULAR. The curves, the colors, the unique windows.  The exterior is gorgeous. The interior even better. 

The living room windows facing the main boulevard in the city, Passeig de Gràcia. 

Look at this beautiful colored glass.
My favorite part of the house was the iconic blue light well in the center of the house. Topped with a skylight, the light filters down through the center and into the house via the windows on each floor. 
Look at the curved details on the edge of this door.
And these columns were put right in the center of the doors of the dining room that goes out to the patio.
This stairwell.  Ugh.  Gorgeous.
The skylights.  And the curves.  So beautiful.
The blue tiles of the interior building well are darker at the top and lighter at the bottom, intended to distribute the light evenly. It looks different from every floor and the rich, saturated blue color of the tile in the light well is gorgeous. 
From the bottom looking up, it feels as if you’re underwater. This fits since Gaudí got his inspiration from the marine world and the Mediterranean sea. 
Gaudí also designed the furniture for the house.
Look at the rich vibrant color of these tiles.
Gaudí created a special script for the letters of the alphabet.  You can see one of them here on the door of this room - the G at the top of the door.  
His design extended to the roof area also.  Look at these chimneys, decorated with his famous mosaic tile style.

This wall was designed to look like a dragon's back.
As you look closer, you can see the idea of the scales with the small pieces of tile.
Scales on the roof facing the front side of the building.
The entire time I was there I was imagining how amazing it must have been to have lived there. 

We went to three Gaudí buildings in Barcelona - Casa Batlló, Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), and La Sagrada Família.  This one, Casa Batlló, was my favorite.

This place is definitely a must-see if you go to Barcelona.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2022: Hallway From Hell
A Grand Old Visit
2020: Now You See It, Now You Don't
2019: Green Sticks Everywhere
2018: Designated Office Space
2017: Desert Garden In Bloom
2016: Agile Cat
2015: Future Steak
2014: What Should Have Been Paul's Place
2013: At The Drop Of A Hat
2012: Passing Up A Little Afternoon Delight
2011: Annnnnnd…It’s Back On!
2010: Rise Early. Work Hard. Strike Oil.
2009: It’s All Connected To The Pigskin
2008: The Sorriest Team Drivers You’ve Ever Seen
2007: Ooooooo, A Contest!
2006: Modern Convenience
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

The Makings Of A Feast Under One Beautiful Unique Roof

The Mercado Central (Central Market) is a three-minute walk from the apartment we are staying at in Valencia, Spain. It was built between 1914 and 1928.  The market is one of the largest in Europe, with more than 86,000 square feet under its roof. It’s built in the Valencian Art Nouveau style.

Most of the vendors sell food items but there are a few souvenir stalls. We bought some amazing produce, cheese, and bread from the market and had a little merienda (afternoon snack) with items from our haul. And, the food here is muy barato (very cheap)!

Here you can see the tiled exterior of the market building - between the palm tree and the Iglesia de San Juan del Mercado (Church of San Juan del Mercado).

One of the aisles in the market.  Look at the beautiful details on the ceiling.
The fresh fruit was insane.  Gorgeous.  I bought fresh squeezed orange juice which I drank as I shopped.  We bought some of these beautiful strawberries to add to our breakfast meals at the apartment.
More than ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall of this beer vendor.
Jamones (hams) are very popular in this area.  Few things are more important to Spanish cuisine and culture than jamón ibérico, the celebrated ham made from Black Iberian pigs.
The vegetales (vegetables) were impressive.  Look at the size of the celery in this photo!  They were at minimum, two feet long!  And check out the leeks right next to them.  And that head of romaine lettuce!  Everything was amazing and what we bought was fresh and fantastic!

¡Olivos! (Olives!) So many varieties it was hard to choose.
This is the cupola and ceiling in the center of the market. The design of the market is said to be an amazing example of Valencian Art Nouveau and looks more like a Cathedral than a market.

Ready-to-eat dragon fruit, cherimoyas, and beautiful oranges.

A cool dried blowfish.

Italian Pimientos (peppers) and beautiful berenjena (eggplant).  One of the dishes we had in Valencia - which was amaaaazing, was Berenjenas Fritas Con Miel (Fried Eggplant with Honey).  Oh.  My.  God.  You must make this dish!

And last but not least, look at these spectacular Pimiento Rojos (Red Peppers).  They were gigantic!  We bought several of them, which I sautéed with garlic in olive oil and then heaped on fresh bread that we also bought at the market.  I'm salivating just remembering how delicious they were.

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2022: Taking A Ship To See A Queen
Dignity Of Earth And Sky
2020: When Life Gives You Lemons
2019: Istanbul Cobble
2018: Circulating The Morning Air In The Lonestar State
2017: It's The Real OLD Thing
2016: Stopping In Style
2015: Patiently Waiting
2014: Find Out Where You Can Dine With Giraffes
2013: Sputtering With Excitement
2012: Water May Not Be The Only Liquid Nourishing These Flowers
2011: Nappy Time
2010: Dick. Not A Dick. Which One Are You?
2009: First The Poultry, Now This
2008: California Moon
2007: Ryno And Rob
2006: Living The Dream
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn't start until May 2005!

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Five Hours Of Bliss

 The last time I saw significant snow in my front yard was in 2015, but this storm dumped so much more on us. I got up early to go out and get pictures. This happened last week, on Thursday, March 2, 2023.

At 6am it was still actively snowing but too dark to take pictures, so I went back out at 7:45am. The sky was still overcast but there was enough light to take these shots. It was SO beautiful!!

All the delicate bushes had snow piled on each branch, and there were little piles on top of the saguaros. And look at the birdbath! That’s three inches of snow right there. Spectacular!

I wish this would happen more often. By 11am it was gone. Just like that.

I definitely need to move somewhere snowy.

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2022: Sorry, no post on this day.
2021: Room For Waiting
A Year Long Carnival
2019: Four Balanced Women
2018: Five Spices And A Few Cuties
2017: Water That Saved The Life Of A Princess
2016: A Few Blocks From Fort Apache
2015: Única…Original
2014: Living The Examined Life
2013: Trucking Like We're On Fire
2012: Looking For A Coffee Fi
2011: Container Port, You Are No Friend Of Mine
2010: Encased In Plastic
2009: No Lifeguard On Duty
2008: Palm Sketches
2007: You Know Who You Are
2006: I Fear The Family
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!