Posts tagged barcelona

line dry

line dry, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

what have I been up to? Well, doing what I did best as a child. Degrading the property value of my parent’s home. 😉 Today was very productive, not only did I actually apply for a job or two, I straightened up around the house, and installed this clothesline. And did the laundry to hang on it. I was calling it “The Clothesline Experiment” and then I recalled that I’m an old hand at line drying. Although, for Baywood, where the average home price is safely over 6 figures, it was certainly unusual.

Why, in Barcelona, that’s all anybody did, unless they wanted to pay 4 euros for the (American) dryer in the laundromat. And instead of nice, expansive backyards to hang their clothes in, everyone had a rack hanging out the window. Sometimes on windy days, peoples clothes would blow onto my patio. I never knew quite what to do with them, and put them all in the hall, in case they came from someone in my building.

I never thought it would happen, but I’m actually homesick for Raval. Shitty neighborhood, but I do miss the city life. Even though I’ve been in San Francisco pretty much every evening since I arrived, it’s still not enough.

So none of my clothes blew off, because I used plenty of clothespins. Tried the old-school ones, that are pure wood, no hinges, and discovered they can leave splinters, so the delicate clothes got the little curtain clips I bought for no good reason at IKEA in Barcelona. Which work great for this purpose.

Anyway, I was partly trying to conserve energy, partly trying to prevent undue wear on my clothes. My parents have a rather old washer and dryer, so they are a bit rough on the clothes. But I wussed out and did some things in the dryer, the things I knew would be better off there. So I technically did not save any energy. If anything, I wasted some, since the dryer wasn’t full. Yes, this is one green strategy that should be all or nothing.

I think I’ll talk dad into buying a Bosch energy star washer & dryer. Or whatever equivalent they sell at Costco, the store that can sell him ANYTHING.

It was a good experience for Valentino as well. I finally let him come outside for a minute. After so many years of me acting like the world was about to end every time he so much as looked at an open door or window, he was terrified, and ventured out very cautiously. Poor guy. I think it’s time we got him a chip n collar so he can go play in the grass like a real cat.

Barcelona- her good side

The party begins!, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

In the interest of balancing the ledger, I need to tell you what I liked about Barcelona, as there are some things I’ll definitely miss:

Circles instead of intersections. Absolute genius, and I wish there were more of these in the world.

Eating dinner at 11pm

2 wheels RULE the road. Scooters get more respect in Barcelona than any other vehicle. If only I could turn LA into the scooter town that Barcelona is…

Barca! Now I have a football (soccer to most of my friends) team to root for! This is the beginning of the street party that erupted after we won the last semi-final. More team spirit than even Carolina, blasphemous though that is.

Cute shops, funky architecture, awesome public transit, thriving arts scene, my awesome landlord in Raval, Mattia46 scooter rentals, the topography being so much like LA, especially from the mountains.

Most of all- the AWESOME drivers! Spanish people really know how to drive/ride, there’s a reason so many top racers come out of Spain.They drive fast and pay attention. I saw way more close calls and stupid moves in 9 days in Paris than I ever did the whole 4 months in Barcelona. Riding there was a dream.

I think there was something else, but I forgot it.

Bilbao during Santa Semana. no wait, first a word from my future… :-)

The story of Bilbao is a dull and rather existentialist one full of ennui and lonesome misery in the endless rain, which I can’t rush through. I will try to give it justice sometime tomorrow, but really think it’s more likely to spark a novel.

Right now, I’m in a better mood after rejoining my friends in Barcelona. I’m even grateful to be back in Raval,  because the muslims store owners see no reason to shut down on Easter Sunday, unlike all the devout Catholics driving this country deeper into financial ruin by taking damn near an entire week off for Easter. Speaking of which, I finally went to church in Barcelona! 😉 Paddock Motard Bar (which I happen to live very close to, and you’ve read about before here), was open for Sunday services: to show the MotoGP races. They had set out all the chairs they had in rows facing the TV’s and the place was packed with rabid fans watching the 125 race when I arrived. It was awesome! Everyone was going crazy, and it felt so damn good to be somewhere in Spain where Easter didn’t seem to be bringing life to a grinding halt. However, mother nature brought MotoGP to a slippery halt, as it was rained out. grrrr. It rains like 4 days a year in Qatar, and it seems those 4 days are always when the GP is in town! They actually had to cancel the race because they run it at night to show off some fancy lights. The problem is: bright lights + rain = zero visibility. pffft. do it in tha daytime, people!

I’m more interested in keeping my eyes on the prize. Whenever I need a boost, looking at real estate in LA makes me happy. It’s a pleasant way of daydreaming about what I want in life, thinking about where I want to live next. So today’s entry is this third floor loft in the fabulous Barker building. I went to a party at a friend’s loft there in August (which feels like a million years ago) and fell in love with the place. The sexy rooftop pool/spa, the Urth caffe across the street, the whole downtown arts dist. vibe. Love it. Would sacrifice a private garage for it…

Pythagorian Theorem of Riding

Wow! So I’m catching up on my horoscopes, and this is amazing. I actually followed Brezny’s advice without even realizing it. The dogma was that I am too cool to ride a scooter. I finally relented and rented one (with a nudge from Britt, if she hadn’t suggested it, I might not have done it). And what’s changed about my worldview is that I can actually enjoy getting from point A to point B even though I am the slowest guy out there. While some of you have survived being passengers in a car driven by me, none of you know what goes on inside my helmet at a red light. I filter to the front, thinking nasty thoughts about what a bunch of tools these cagers all are, especially the idiots in North Carolina who honk at me as I neatly cut through the lanes. Losers. And I am appalled beyond belief at just how excrutiatingly slowly people pull away from a light, especially in North Carolina. In Barcelona, of course, people drive the way people should drive the world over. Fast. No dilly-dallying. So I thought I would need to be on my fast bike to enjoy riding here. But I’m on the slowest thing ever, and I’m actually digging it. AND I actually arrive calmer because I’m not freaking out over how slow everyone is the whole way there.

I’m glad that Pythagoras’ dogma was shattered because everyone knows mere numbers can’t provide the ultimate truth about reality. pffft.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras is
known as “the father of numbers.” He taught that mathematics provides
the ultimate truth about reality. His otherwise productive career went
through a rough patch when one of his students found that the square
root of two is an “irrational” number that can’t be expressed as a simple
fraction. “Impossible!” said Pythagoras. His system was built on the axiom
that there are no such numbers. Yet he couldn’t refute the student’s
proof. By some accounts, Pythagoras had the student drowned for his
impunity. The brilliant theorist couldn’t deal with the threat to his dogma.
I bring this to your attention, Aries, because you have an opportunity to
do what Pythagoras couldn’t: accept the evidence that your beliefs about
reality are limited, and incorporate the new data into a revised worldview.

check out my big box

big box, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

OK, so it’s not mine, but I once had a silver Vespa P200E, just like this one. My first and second scooters, in fact. My very first scooter had probably 5x the horsepower my current rental has. Amazing. But fun. It’s certainly (humbling would be the word, but that’s not how it feels, more like pacifying) being so slow off the line I’m better off just staying behind cars than getting up front with all the other scooters and holding up traffic as I goose the throttle to try and get her up to speed a little quicker. Especially going uphills.

So I bought gas, which was a little overwhelming at first. I didn’t want to do anything inappropriate at the gas station or anything. And it wasn’t really any different than buying gas in the US, except you can’t pay at the pump.

So this box. For those of you who gripe about my sleek 4.6 liter Givi box on the back of my R1, well. Stuff it. My Givi box rocks and dammit. It’s not like it’s some 10 liter diamondplate monolith, got it? ;-P I’m gonna flip that bike over backwards on May 7th, after all this time on Butters. Yeah, my scooter’s name is Butters. As in “I dunno you guys, are you sure this is a good idea?” while Cartman unveils yet another devious scheme involving shaming the boy who knows no shame…


No, it’s not a new sport, but it’s new to me. I love it, and the people who do it, because they enabled me to watch the Tarheels v Duke game that CBS tried to keep the rest of the world from watching. Protectionist assholes. Dumbass announcer even said at one point "This is the greatest rivalry in all sports!" Yeah, and that’s why we can’t even watch it in Barcelona, where -ahem- exists the greatest rivalry in all of Europe, in a sport watched by more people the world over than basketball.

This has been a very sporty weekend for me. I got to go to my first ever Barca (that’s FC Barcelona, the greatest soccer team in the world) game and I got to watch the awesome game against Duke. The Barca game was fun, especially because the stadium is alcohol-free, so everyone was quite well-behaved. But then, I’ve been out with drunk Spaniards before, and they’re well-behaved drunk too.

my secret crush

coach in a box 2, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

yes, I have a charming boyfriend. And Spanish men really don’t do it for me. But I love coach Guardiola. Not only is he handsome and dapper, with suits cut so very well, but his passion for the game is unmatched by his opponents. In the few games I’ve seen, anyway.

I also love him because he itches to run beyond the confines of his box, to get into the game and really show his boys how it’s done. He seems like such a control freak, it’s awesome.

I could never have a job where I was told “OK, you need to manage those people over there, while they’re working. But you can NEVER go beyond this dotted line.” It would drive me insane.

babycar with scooters

babycar with scooters.JPG, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

it’s so damn cute! don’t you just want to pinch its cute little cheeks? How many cars are shorter than 3 scooters parked side by side??? Adorable. I would still take the scooter over the car, though.

looks like I’m movin’ into Hollywood, Barcelona

So today my roommate/landlady tells me she wants me out in a week so her cousin, who owns all the furniture, can move into my room. Not one of the other two rooms, but mine. bitch. What’s funny is that not 5 minutes earlier I was pining for the days when I had my own place, tired of dealing with her and her inability to put dishes in the dishwasher, among other annoyances. I like my other 2 roommates, but whatever. So here’s my way out, but looking for a home is never easy. Especially when all the rental agencies are closed on weekends. wtf. And I am going out of town for 4 days on Friday, so I kinda need to get this sorted by Thursday. grrr. As much as I’d like to be out tomorrow, and am willing to pay a lot more for the luxury of living alone, I don’t want to deal with the process. Whatev. I’m looking forward to sleeping in an adult sized bed again. And not picking recyclables out of the trash. The world will implode a little sooner thanks to people like Ines who insist on being so damn wasteful.

Anyway, the title about Hollywood relates to how I’ve defined the various neighborhoods here in Barcelona. Where I live now, St Gervasi, is like the Upper East Side in NYC- conservative, kinda old money. Barri Gotico and Ciutat Vella, where most of the cheap single apartments are, is just like living on Hollywood Blvd (aka La Rambla) with all the same hustlers and noise and insanity. But with bona-fide, fresh off the boat from Africa female hookers instead of trannies.

Old Indian Lady at Bread & Butter

Old Indian Lady.JPG, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

So I went to this fashion trade show here in Barcelona, scouting interesting new labels for my friend’s store in Atlanta. It was fun to play “buyer” without the responsibility of actually placing any orders. And it was nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s sick and tired of Ed Hardy.

It’s funny, I was reading a piece on some branding blog about how the loudest ones are the weakest, and whaddya know- Ed Hardy, or rather Chris. Audiger enterprises, had by far the largest booth, but whenever I told their competitors I was looking to replace them, I was told I wasn’t alone in that. They have limited themselves to a very specific style that’s so recognizable it’s inevitably faddish.

Yet if the loudest is the weakest, the quietest isn’t necessarily the strongest. Is it? What are some really quiet/polite brands/ad campaigns that you like?

Oh, and yeah, I thought it kinda strange that L’uomo (Men’s,Italian) Vogue would have this old Indian lady on the cover. Then I realized who it is. Man. He looks about a million years old.