Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cavorting with the Artists

During my spring break, my friends Katie and Kristin visited me from Maryland.  We spent some of our time together in Barcelona visiting sights that were still on my bucket list, one of them being the Miro Museum on Montjuic.

Miro was one of the most popular 20th century Spanish artists. He dabbled in Surrealism, was influenced by abstract Expressionism, but in the end belonged to no specific modernist movement. I found I was drawn more to his work than Picasso's.

Here's Katie trying to make sense of one of his sculptures consisting of a coat hanger and an umbrella.

This painting was called "Diamond Smiling at Twilight."

This one is from his "Constellation Series."  He was hanging out with a bunch of mystic poets during this time period (1960s). The titles alone illuminate the trend. Another one was called, "The Smile of a Tear."

Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at "Juicy Jones," a cheap, yummy vegan restaurant in El Raval neighborhood.

We wandered into this small church as people were getting ready for Good Friday services.

We wandered through El Raval towards La Rambla, all part of the Old City.

La Boqueria Market was closed for the holiday.  This is the most famous and oldest open-air market of Barcelona, and the spot is thought to have hosted a market since the 1200s.

Easter flowers for sale on La Rambla.

We stumbled upon the city's main Good Friday parade alongside La Rambla. A procession of floats and penitents.

The Mourners.

Mary's Float.

People were yelling out "Guapa!" to Mary, which means "Beautiful!"

That night we went to watch Flamenco at Jazz Si Club in La Raval neighborhood. It's a tiny bar run by a musician's workshop that shows live authentic flamenco every Friday night and is always jam packed. We sat on the balcony, legs dangling off.


One evening, we went out to eat at Els Quatre Gats (Catalan for "The Four Cats").  It was opened in 1897 as a hostel, cabaret and restaurant, and soon became the central hangout for the main characters of the Modernisme movement in Barcelona.  Pablo Picasso often frequented the pub, and even designed the menu early in his career.

It probably would have had a cooler vibe if it were filled with modernisme artists and not tourists, but I was glad to have experienced the inside, nonetheless.

The exterior of the restaurant:

And walking home through L'Eixample neighborhood.

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