More photos from our trip to the Sagrada Familia.
More photos from our trip to La Pedrera (Casa Mila).
More photos from our trip to Casa Batlló.
Antoni Gaudi’s creations are unlike anything else in this world, and ninety years since his death architects and engineers are still scratching their heads at their genius and standing in awe of their exquisite beauty. Being an architect, I guarantee that if I were to try to design anything remotely similar in today’s world, I’d be told it can’t be done. Of course, that’s not true. Anything can be done with the right budget, creative team, and perhaps most importantly, the right patron – but the suggestion would be considered over-the-top and, well, just not practical. But as you walk through Gaudi’s built environments, you discover they are, in fact, practical. They have served, and continue to serve, as spaces to live, to work, to play, and to worship for decades. They are sculptural and fanciful with new discoveries around every corner, but they are also functional and purposeful. In short, they are some of the most wonderful examples of habitable art in the world.
The creation continues incessantly through the media of man. But man does not create…he discovers.
El meu aerolliscador està ple d’anguiles.
“That’s the most awesome thing I’ve heard in a long time,” he remarked as The Cure was playing over the bar’s stereo. “It’s going to be amazing!”
Three-plus years on from our last trip to Barcelona, I’d been pining for an excuse to return, and when The Cure announced European dates that included a night in the Catalan capital I purchased a ridiculously expensive pair of tickets before telling Kim where we’d be come late November. It had been over two years since our last proper holiday – at least, something more than a long weekend out of town, or time taken off to deal with dead and dying family. Properly getting away, and properly enjoying ourselves in a way that involved passports and foreign languages, was long overdue.
So when a Cure song crept out over the bar stereo, it was with great pleasure that I told my friend, “I’m taking my sweetie to see The Cure… in Barcelona!”
“Awesome” was what was playing in the back of my head when, early in the morning hours on our last full day in the city, I awoke to see Kim, ashen gray and sweating profusely, stumbling weakly down the hallway from our hotel bathroom. “Amazing” was what queued up next in my internal monologue as I tried to catch her as she collapsed next to the bed, holding her as I watched the nightstand get jostled by the commotion, in turn shaking the lamp on it, which, in an act of solidarity with everything else in motion that moment, decided to fall over onto Kim’s glasses, breaking them squarely down the middle.
Titles aside, turnout was its largest yet and the stellar success due in no small part to the hard work of the organizers, backed this year by Emerald City Pet Rescue. Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle was blocked to traffic and, flanked by a police escort and led by Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, several hundred activists, conservationists, concerned citizens, children, lions, and dogs marched from Seattle Center to Westlake Plaza – singing, chanting, waving signs, and engaging the multitude of curious onlookers. One couldn’t ask for better weather on this early autumn day, nor a more jubilant and enthusiastic crowd.
I say that because an unexpected surprise while visiting Victoria was stumbling across the Victoria Highland Games and bearing witness to that singularly unique and moving experience.
It was a pitch black, rain-soaked evening as we headed over to Benaroya Hall, but besides being cold, wet, and wearing inappropriate shoes for the weather, my heart was heavy and conflicted. It had been less than forty-eight hours since the world learned the news of David Bowie’s death; it felt like time had been standing still and my head had been swathed in a hazy cloud of sorrow and disbelief. I wasn’t sure how I could muster up the energy or enthusiasm for a show by any other artist, no matter how much I’d been looking forward to it.
Now there’s something missing when
You’re kissing me
It’s subtle yet it’s gone
And then I’m suspicious
And then it gets vicious
And then it’s a hole right through the heart
And you said you loved me
I thought you loved me
A friend and I were speaking recently about the fact that all bad news arrives first thing in the morning – something I’ve come to dislike immensely recently. A week ago I woke, turned on NPR, and prepared to shower. They were playing an older interview with David Bowie, the content of which I can’t readily recall. I presumed it was in promotion of Blackstar, his twenty-fifth album, released two days earlier on his sixty-ninth birthday. As the clip finished, I dipped in under the showerhead to hear the NPR anchor come back in with, “David Bowie: dead at the age of sixty-nine.”
The truth, of course, is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.