Dammit, I Love this City

Maybe it’s the way time moves more slowly here, maybe it’s the Mediterranean, maybe it’s something they put in the water, maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the 5 meals a day, or that you hear dance music at the bank, maybe it’s the ways the motos are parked on the sidewalk, or the little old people walking around at midnight, or the coffee, or the newspapers, or the irregular verbs, maybe the indignados who sleep in the ATM booths and lock themselves in, or the Gaudi, or the Catalan…whatever it is, there’s something about Barcelona!

I just got back from a great blues jam session with my friend Pol in Sala Monasterio, and on the way home I caught myself thinking, “Dammit, I love this city!”  It’s just one of those days when things go right and wrong — on your way to deal with bureaucratic nonsense all the crosswalk lights turn green for you, on the way back the metro arrives just as you set your foot on the last stair, your focaccia is a little burnt but the company is worth it.

For about two weeks I’ve been back in Barcelona.  A lot of my time has been spent reviewing Spanish, exploring around Barcelona (it’s the perfect city for callejeando), getting together with a few friends from last semester (and a few new ones, of course!), and fortunately some live music!  On Friday a friend of mine Sougata and I went to a jazz jam at another great venue, Harlem Jazz Club in Barcelona’s Gothic neighborhood.  Saturday night I went to Las Paraigües with a group of people to hear the David Philips trio, a band from the UK who plays American Folk.   I love the questions the Spaniards ask me about America and Americans, one of which was “So, did the fact that this guy plays American folk music influence you to come tonight?” to which I could only reply “Hell yeah!”

David Philips Trio @ Las Paraigües

Afterwards, several of us went to a discoteca for a little bit then to a “hidden” bar (you actually have to call to get in, fortunately one of the people had the number!)  We climbed the stairs of what looked like any ordinary apartment building, and entered a flat that had been converted into a bar.  Not just some “house party,” a pretty cool place!  Once we got inside, a guy from our group was instantly pulled aside to be a teammate in a game of pool.  ¡La gente está muy loca!
On Monday I moved into the apartment where I’ll be living until the end of the semester.  I live in Gràcia, which is a distinct neighborhood of Barcelona (sometimes compared to Greenwich village in New York).  Photoblog of Gràcia coming soon, so stay tuned! 😉  The apartment is nice, I live with 3 other students: 1 from Colombia, 1 from Mexico and 1 from Finland.  Photos of the apartment soon!

4 thoughts on “Dammit, I Love this City

  1. Yohay Elam says:

    I love the city as well! It’s the international-ity of the city is one of its best features.
    Tuesday blues nights at the Harlem Jazz Club are really great, and the Monasterio has surprisingly good stuff. I still haven’t been at Paraigües. If you want to check out quality Flamenco, go to JazzSi on Fridays.

    • Warren Ray says:

      Barcelona’s international-ity is amazing. You can walk around the world in less than 10 blocks. Paraigües is definitely one to check out. It’s small, so be sure to get there early! They managed to squeeze around 130 people in a tiny space. I really liked Monasterio, great vibe!

      I think I read about Flamenco at JazzSi on Fridays in Metropolitan, they wrote an excellent review! I will have to check it out some Friday night, you and Galia should come!

  2. lesley says:

    You really need to get an intetnship at the tourism dept! How could i not want go visit Barcelona after reading this?!

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