MY POINT OF VIEW 23 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
Last week saw the premiere in Barcelona of one of the most long-awaited films in the city since they brought out the promotional video for the Barcelona Olympic Games. I am of course talking about “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, the latest film by Woody Allen.
During the last twelve months, either through official studio channels or unofficially through gossip in the press, we’ve heard everything, right down to the last detail, about the shooting of this film (where they were filming, what they were eating, how they were dressed, who was kissing who, and so on). Now we’re getting the full blaze of reactions to the work itself, in other words, whether or not it’s a good film, does it remind us of other films made by Woody Allen?, is it a faithful portrait of Barcelona?, what to make of that kiss between Penelope and Scarlett…
MY POINT OF VIEW 22 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
Here’s a message for all you boys and girls who are coming to stay in Barcelona for a few days any time between September 19th and 28th: You’re in luck!
And I’m not saying this because it’s some kind of special week when it’s actually affordable to have a coffee in Passeig de Gràcia, or anything like that. My reason for saying this is that this is the week when Barcelona celebrates its main annual city festival: the Festival of La Mercè. This is a traditional festival and series of street events during which different institutions, cultural centres and associations make their premises and open spaces available to the general public for the holding of concerts, theatrical performances, poetry recitals, firework displays and all kinds of leisure and artistic activities.
For nearly 10 days, if you wish to, you will be able to enjoy morning, afternoon and night numerous different free events held all over the city which will keep you entertained and, who knows, you may find one or two that you really enjoy.
MY POINT OF VIEW 21 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
Well, here I am again. I could start by writing a few lines in which I express my rage that the summer holidays have come to an end, or my sorrow at being forced to get back into the daily routine or, even worse, my feeling of nostalgic longing to re-live what may very well turn out to have been the best summer I’ve ever spent in my life. Nevertheless, while not ruling out completely any of the above options, I have finally decided to leave them for later on, for when my head is cooler and my brain a little calmer, and the hangover from so many days of relaxation and hedonism has had a little time to pass.
Today, on the other hand, I should like to bring to your attention a series of advertisements I came across on my way to work on my first day back. These adverts I saw are on the Diagonal, and are easily identifiable because they are in the form of a parcel wrapped up in brown paper and string. By this I mean that it is the bus-stop advertising signs themselves that are wrapped up in this mysterious packaging, which is accompanied by a postmark reading ¨New York¨ and a big wax seal to prove (in a slightly over-the-top way, as you can see) that the package is unopened. Not only that, there is also a message written on top of the wrapping paper reading in Spanish: ¨YA ESTÁ AQUÍ¨ (¨IT´S HERE! ¨).
Barcelona celebra su fiesta mayor durante una semana alrededor del 24 de septiembre, día de Santa Mercé, patrona de la ciudad. Cuenta la leyenda que en el siglo XVII el pueblo se salvó de una plaga de langosta tras rezar a la actual patrona. Año tras año, le damos las gracias con una fiesta popular llena de fuego, color y diversión.
Durante 7 días las calles se llenan de actividades, en su mayoría gratuitas que combinan el carácter lúdico y festivo con el más tradicional.
Fiesta de fuego, de cielo y de tierra, más de 500 actividades repartidas en una semana.
De día, muchos museos y edificios que generalmente no son accesibles al publico abren sus patios interiores y salas privadas en jornadas de puertas abiertas gratuitas.
MY POINT OF VIEW 20 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
Something is about to happen in Barcelona. Something important. Well, maybe ¨important¨ is not quite the word: ¨stunning¨ or ¨amazing¨ would be the best word for some people, it has to be said. The thing is, on July 19th and 20th, Bruce Springsteen is coming to town.
Come on now, don’t get all cynical about it. I am NOT writing this article when all the tickets are already sold out and you no longer have the slightest chance of getting to see one of the living myths of popular music. Quite the opposite, because, surprisingly enough, there are still some tickets left for the last concert of the tour, on the 20th. Yes, I know that the most logical thing would have been for the last concert of the tour to be full to bursting, but on this occasion Bruce or whoever organizes the concert dates for him has come a cropper in a big way. A concert was announced for the day after (the 20th) instead of for the day before (the 18th), which would have been more natural because that way those who had made a big effort to buy tickets for what was originally going to be the only concert in town (on the 19th), and so logically those who wanted to see him most, now have the choice of either going to both concerts or settling for seeing the next-to-last concert of Bruce’s tour …but that’s another matter.
MY POINT OF VIEW 19 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
SPECIAL EDITION: MARRAKECH
“Salam alikum”, “bonjour”, “merci”, “can I trust him?”, “does he trust me?”, “what's the name of the hotel?”…I think that the stress produced on arriving in a country that is new to you should have a name. Likewise there should be a word to define the discomfort passengers experience when there is too little space between seats on planes. I think it's a sensation shared by most of us who, for one reason or another, decide to discover another city: it has a pinch of fear, a handful of insecurity, a generous helping of hope, a little mistrust and the whole lot is sprinkled with the urge to have a good time.
This is how I felt on arriving in Marrakech. And now, after four days of the mixture being marinated in the atmosphere, the people and the food of this city, I can say that the resulting combination is a great improvement on my expectations.
San Fermin and La Tomatina
The Running of the Bulls vs the craziest tomato battle in the world
MY POINT OF VIEW 18 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
Aaagh!! We’re coming to that time of year (or I should say, that accursed time of year) when bangers and fireworks become undeservedly popular. We’re approaching the festival of Sant Joan (Midsummer’s Eve).
One day it would be worth looking at why there are some saints who are better-known and have the privilege of having more celebrations in their honour than others, but that’s another matter.
The subject for today is that I would like to give a few tips to those of you who are visiting our city for the first time on the night of 23rd June.
1. Invest all the money you had planned to spend on buying Mexican-style hats in the acquisition of ear-plugs.
2. If you see a group of teenagers huddled together with a lighter, don’t give them the credit of the doubt and take it for granted that they’re getting ready to smoke some dope. What they are really preparing is a personal attack against your hearing.
3. If you really like bangers, you won’t be enjoying this article, and on the night of Sant Joan you will have more fun than Winne the Pooh in the warehouse of a leading brand of honey.
MY POINT OF VIEW 17 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
Yes, I know, I know…it’s unforgivable, not a word of explanation or anything. In fact, I’ve been so bad about it that one day in the not too distant future I’ll try to explain, or even to justify, my 3-week absence…but, not today.
Today I want to talk to you about music, because Barcelona, like every big city that’s ¨in¨, is a town that is overflowing with music festivals, especially whenever there’s a chance of holding them in the open air. We have the ¨Sonar¨, we have the ¨Primavera Sound¨, the ¨Summercase¨, the ¨Electronic Weekend¨…we have loads of them. Another thing is that all the concerts I’ve just mentioned have a lot of points in common:
1. Electronic music as an indispensable ingredient.
2. Plenty of modern, beautiful, alternative people with more than a few bob in their pockets.
3. Names of groups that are unpronounceable by mere mortals like me who are not well up in the matter*.
MY POINT OF VIEW 16 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
While walking around Barcelona, perhaps the more observant among you will have noticed that the city’s fountains are empty. There’s no water in them. It’s the same with the artificial lakes, the public swimming pools and all the other places where the water doesn’t have a vital and essential function.
Don’t go thinking, though, that this is because we are as tight-fisted as all the clichés make us out to be. The reason is much more serious and worrying than that: it’s due to the serious drought that we’ve been suffering for far too many months now.