Posts tagged spain

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.

try to keep up…

Since I’m all over the map these days, I figured I’d just run through the schedule here so people who care can keep track:

March 28-31: Nice, France: The new code word for reminding me I’m about to embark on a really bad idea.
April 3-6: Valencia, Spain: World Superbike with Britt
April 8-11: Bilbao, Spain: Guggenheim, crazy Easter parades, Spa with circus people
April 20-29: Paris, France: Shop till ya drop with friends
April 30-May 4: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain: MotoGP!!!
May 7-12: Chapel Hill, NC, USA: Graduation!!!
May 13-20: NYC: beg for work, hang out, etc.
May 22-24: Atlanta: track day, hang out, enjoy springtime in the south
May 25-29: Express road trip to San Francisco via Marfa, TX with Yaron, if he can stand it again.
May 30: San Mateo, CA: Maker Faire with Dave and his critters
May 31-June 4: Monterey, CA: Sustainable Brands International Conference: beg shamelessly for work, make lots of new friends.
June 5-…depends on the efficacy of my begging efforts. 😉

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…

Salvtem Per Aqvem

Salvation through water. SPA. cool! I wonder if that’s actually how the word Spa was derived. Anyway, this hotel I’m staying at in Bilbao has the most awesome Turkish bath, filled with circus people. OK, so the circus (du Soleil!) people are hotel guests like me, but it’s still interesting. This Italian acrobatics coach invited me to dinner after the show, but since it didn’t include a free trip to see Varekai (again) I demurred. He’s old enough to be my dad, ok. I did, however, talk up my niece, as she is a killer gymnast, and could totally own Cirque Du Soleil.

More later, gotta get out and enjoy this gorgeous day!

Palace of the Marques de Dosaguiaus

This is the cozy little palace next to the fabulous hotel Britt found for us. So gorgeous I couldn’t even bring myself to close the curtains on it at night, despite it being lit up like Christmas. more pix of it on flickr.

view from here and now

view from here and now, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

one of the many fine views I enjoyed over the weekend at Valencia. Those long concrete strips leading up to the Ford billboard are actually steps. That’s where they put all the bad MotoGP fans who thought they bought tickets, then had their tickets revoked and didn’t figure this out until 2 days before the race.

As you can see, there are not nearly as many WSB fans in Spain as there are MotoGP fans. Only about 43,000 people turned up, so the cheap seats were totally empty. And I could hobble up the day before the race and buy one of the good seats. Sure felt good being able to do that.

graffiti in Valencia

graffiti, originally uploaded by pinkyracer.

is gorgeous! Used to have even better graffiti in Barcelona, but it’s all gone now. So sad.


you know those chase scenes in James Bond movies? Or sport car ads where some bad-ass car is careening down some hairpin switchbacks cut into some bucolic European mountain? Well, here’s one of them! It’s on the way home from Bilbao, for one of my first weekend trips. Too much riding for one weekend you say? Not when all your classes are on Wednesday and Thursday! 🙂