My point of view #15

MY POINT OF VIEW 15 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

Today I want to take you on an excursion. Yes, that’s right, just like the excursions we used to go on when we were kids. So get out your lunch-box, put on some strong shoes and hang your camera around your neck, because we’re going to the mountains.

Carretera de les Aigües - Barcelona

Barcelona has two big mountains: Montjuïc and Tibidabo. What’s more, these two mountains (depending on where you’re looking from) are face to face with each other, challenging and motionless, although in fact they’re constantly changing. They have both aged in different ways, and have shrunk more than a little (one at the top, and the other at the bottom). Years ago there was a fun fair on each of them, but, as often happens when two things are too much alike in the same city, it’s difficult for them to live in harmony. And no, I’m not talking about the Espanyol and Barcelona football clubs, although I could be, but that’s another subject. Let’s get back to strong emotions.

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My point of view #14

MYBooks, sant jordi POINT OF VIEW 14 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

Roses, books, books, roses, people, roses, books, people, books, people, roses, books, books, more roses and more people…

Because today no other words are needed to talk about this Catalan tradition: Sant Jordi's Day. If you want to know why we celebrate it look it up in Google, because I want to talk to you, describe, explain what happens on our streets for a few hours on April 23rd.

 
Very early in the morning, when it's still so dark we should really call it night, the florists who sell flowers wholesale at the 'Mercat Central' flower market, have everything ready to receive the last rose buyers. We say last, because the professionals have done all their work days before. This day, and there are a lot of people (particularly young people who want to make some quick money) who spend the day selling red roses together with an ear of corn and a ribbon with the 'Senyera' (the flag of Catalonia). To enter the market you need a special permit, but I can tell you from my own experience that at around 7 in the morning they let everyone in… and the sight is really worth seeing!

Once the flowers have been sold, it is a joy to walk around any of the streets, let yourselves be carried away by the smell of roses and stop at a bar to have breakfast while you watch people putting up the stalls of books and roses that hours later will be immersed in the crowds.

Every year, on April 23rd, all the streets, squares, alleyways and roads around the city will be bursting with people looking for a book for him and a rose for her. On this day there is no rose more beautiful than another or book better than another: there is your book and the rose that you give or the rose you receive and the book you give.

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My point of view #13

MY POINT OF VIEW 13 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

peatonsMost psychologists recommend that we have a daily routine that varies only very slightly. They say that this makes us feel calm and secure, and give us a stable reference point. Having fixed meal times, going to the gym on a certain day of the week or organising the fridge in the same way every week can be small gestures that make everyday life simpler. In the same way, the route we take each day to work, to university or to school has the same importance. It is a good idea to establish certain norms for this journey, since it is after all made at least 5 days a week. En route you very often see the same man on the same corner out walking his dog, the woman who has filled up her shopping basket to feed the whole family and is now waiting at the number 14 bus-stop, or the group of school kids taking advantage of the last few minutes before they enter class to chat about everyone and everything. Every day, practically the same images – not identical, but very similar.
 

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My point of view #12

MY POINT OF VIEW 12 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

I have learned this week from the media that the Maradona of the Rambla is retiring. My first reaction was a feeling of indifference, due to the fact that this gentleman, who wears the colours of the Barcelona Football Club and does juggling acts with footballs, has never done much for me and has never really turned me on in the same way that the sight of the fountains of Montjuïc may have done, or a view of the sun setting over the port, or taking an aperitif up on the mountain-top at Tibidabo. After thinking about it for a few minutes, though, I realized that I was doing an injustice to a personality who, thanks to his consistency, coherence and discretion, has come to form a part of the folklore of our city.

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My point of view #11

MY POINT OF VIEW #11 (By Tatiana Sisquella)

This week it’s your turn to write the article, because I’ve just put myself in your shoes. Yes that’s right, I played the tourist over Easter and spent 4 days in Rome. It’s also true that I filled my face with all that mozzarella cheese produced by female buffaloes, and which now turns out to be contaminated, but that’s another matter..

touristThe thing is that for the first time I was really aware of what it’s like to be a 4-day-tourist in a strange city. To begin with, there’s the stress involved in finding out about the places you have to see once you get there. Because that in itself is a double-edged sword. On the one hand you can’t avoid the Coliseum, the Pantheon and the Piazza di Spagna, but on the other hand, you feel the urgent need to discover the Rome that’s not described in the guides – a hidden café in some alley that only the natives know about, shops that don’t have branches all over the world and restaurants where they don’t care whether you’re Catalan, Japanese or Milanese: they still serve you good food.

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My point of view #10

MY POINT OF VIEW #10 (By Tatiana Sisquella)

Cabina de TelèfonsTo start with, a statistic: on a world-wide basis there are now more mobile phones than people. Putting your mobile phone into your bag or your jacket pocket has become as much an everyday act as cleaning your teeth (correction: there are more people who remember to take their mobile with them than who remember to clean their teeth, but that’s another question).

Having a mobile phone is no longer a privilege in our society. Making a phone-call is no longer an act that is the result of a conscious thought process: we often call first and think later. It is quite clear that our relationship with telephones has radically changed in a very short space of time. And within this maelstrom there is one element in the picture which has silently and discreetly passed from having a leading role to becoming just an extra, walking alone at the back of the set. How does an actor feel when, after years of fame and glory, he is relegated to the most complete anonymity? What can it feel like to be a star who was in the limelight for years but who overnight is suddenly no longer noticed any more by the general public? Well, lift the receiver of a public telephone-box and ask it.

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My point of view #9

MY POINT OF VIEW #9 (by Tatiana Sisquella) 

The article I’m going to write today is to be read out in a low voice or in a whisper.

With your permission, I’m going to take the liberty of taking you by the hand and leading you to one of my favourite spots in Barcelona. I only have one request to make: don’t raise your voice, because we’re going to one of the quietest places in the open air in the whole city: the Plaça Sant Felip Neri.

Sshhhh…

Plaça Sant Felip Neri - BarcelonaIf you’ve been to Barcelona before, you’re bound to have been very near this square, which lies on top of a former medieval cemetery. Maybe this is the reason why, when you walk into it, you are filled with a feeling of peace and serenity that is difficult to find in other areas of the city. The Plaça Sant Felip Neri is right in the middle of it all, between the Cathedral and the Plaça Sant Jaume, in the heart of the Old City. Of course you could also have seen it without ever having come to Barcelona. The film “PERFUME” and the Evanescence videoclip for “MY IMMORTAL” both chose it as a backdrop.

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My point of view #8

MY POINT OF VIEW #10 (By Tatiana Sisquella)

The other day I was walking along one of Barcelona’s many crowded streets. More specifically, I was coming out of my regular workplace in the Plaça Francesc Macià and I was going  to the next street down to get my car…Yes, I know that in a city like Barcelona I should use public transport to get around because it’s more sustainable and all the rest of it, but that´s another subject…

We had had a pretty good day at work that day: a good atmosphere, lots of giggles all round, not much work to do .…in fact, it had been one of those rare days when going to work doesn’t seem like an obligation. So there I was, walking out into the street wrapped in a sort of patina of good will to all men, with a smile on my lips and much more of a spring in my step than is usual for me, and suddenly, out of nowhere, an almost imperceptible sound came out of my mouth.

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My point of view #7

MY POINT OF VIEW #7 (by Tatiana Sisquella)

How is it possible to be so modern without dying in the attempt? I already knew that Barcelona as a city was cosmopolitan, modern, eclectic, contradictory, expensive, environmentally and acoustically polluted…in other words, that it had all the ingredients necessary to form part of the world elite of top-level cities, but the latest thing that has just come out beats anything that has happened so far or is likely to do in the future. For two weeks now we’ve had our very own edition of Time Out…

TimeOut Barcelona

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My point of view #6

MY POINT OF VIEW #6 (by Tatiana Sisquella) 

Barcelona can be a city of many colours. The different tones depend on the weather, the city's inhabitants, its festivals and even on whether the streets have risen in a good mood or not on that particular day.

But for the last three years the first week of February in Barcelona has been strictly black. I'm not making any metaphor here, no, I'm just announcing that once again 'BCNegra', the city's annual crime fiction event is just about to take place.

BCNegra comming soon in Barcelona

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