Friday, July 31, 2009

Hey there, hot stuff.

There are just too too many sweet pieces of manliness in these photos from Barcelona. After my first shoe purchase (a pair of Campers I call Lucia), I made my way through the tiny turny streets of old town and ended up about 6 feet from where I started. That spot was in front of some cathedral. After you've seen 9 cathedrals, you've seen them all - the roccocco, baroque and just plain gaudy (hee, hee - gaudi!) all melt into one another and it seems like you're looking at the same cathedral you saw yesterday and last week. Weeping Maria? check. Nekkid angel babies cowering in front of weird Inferno looking creatures? check. Gold nubby accents by the million over the nave? we got that.

But how many cathedrals can boast of having a firemen's bachelor auction right outside their front doors?! Only this one, mis amigos. While I sat on a bench next to another hot piece, I ate my 100th bocadillo of the trip and watched all these people dancing in circles. There was a small band, brass and strings, playing traditional Catalonian music while these people did their slow circle dancing, holding hands the whole time. Just like in the club, all the handbags were in the middle.

This one Japanese kid had been studying the moves for quite awhile before he joined a circle for the song Parc Guell. He looked more like he was doing a Bing Crosby-era style soft shoe, but - I know, I know - props for trying, young man. I just sat there smiling at the whole thing. There was warmness in my heart area. A gang of oldsters smiling and dancing - that's like watching a unicorn take a puppy dog for a walk to the lemonade and candy factory. Too good to be true.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

La Alhambra - during, after

Granada, Spain. Last week. 1,000 degrees centigrade. 800 degrees in the shade and about a cool 15 in the masterfully built, heartbreakingly beautiful palace that me and several hundred of my closest friends went to visit and tour in the midday Spanish (though some would argue Moorish) sun.

Unlike some of the other Euro Disney sights I visited in Spain, the Alhambra only lets in a limited number of people per day, even per section of the day. So sure, there's a crowd, but unlike every last Gaudi site I saw, I found myself with a few moments to myself every now and then to take a more quiet look around.

Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, there were exquisite carvings everywhere. Yup, tile work was lovely. The water, though, the water features were the bomb! The sound of water, the water itself, it followed you everywhere - down the stairs, across the room, into the gardens and across the grounds. If I ever have an estate I figure I should have money to burn, and so then, I will have some of that sweet Alhambra water following me through my privileged day.

At a certain point in your walk through the palace, you decide to sit down. And then maybe you refill your water bottle. And then you think, "Fuck it. I don't care what Generalife is. It's too damn hot. I'm going back to my ho(s)tel." That is what the gentleman in the second photo thought just a few minutes before we sat in quiet regard just a few feet* away from each other, waiting for the air conditioned bus to arrive.

(* .90 meters)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I need a third vacation

After panic attack inducing travel on an airline whose initials are D.E.L.T.A., I headed a bit north up to the first ever Wanderlust festival. This hippie fest was all about yoga and music all day long. Scary looking stilt people who looked like The Nightmare Before Christmas meets the Victorian era were there. Girls in crocheted bikini tops, dirty feet and scary toes, sweat, dust, frozen bananas, oooooohm.

Most of the extremists were gone by the time Andrew Bird made it onstage for the final evening. He sang a song called Sweet Matter that I think he might have said was for me if we'd had a chance to meet. Even more hula hooping fire breathing hippies left by the time the festival closer, Spoon, played. The music was great every show I saw. And all that yoga kept a lot of the bamboo pant wearing bud light drinking dreaded hippies out of the crowd. So essentially, they sponsored my easy front row placement. It was too easy to move all through the crowd.

Weird hippie magic, I think.

Andrew Bird was wearing Chaco's. It got around to everyone, like bird flu used to do.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I found love in Madrid

I was waiting in the car with the hazards on. My friend and host was inside Mallorca getting my first ever croquetes. Diosito santo. Es amor. Bechmel sauce with ham, all fried into a crispy little ball. Why didn't anyone ever tell me about these before? They make pants up to size 22 at Old Navy. I could've handled it. It's my life, I can do what I want.
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