Hello all! I’ve been back for a little over a week and it has taken me this long just to catch up with life, time zones, and the digital realm of documentation. Our first european show was so incredibly fun and soulful. Many thanks to Camilo Tribin of Makinola who organized, promoted and put the whole thing together. Gustavo Osorio and his amazing photographic talents. Margarita Rojas of the Crayon Incident for her creative inspiration and beautiful performance with us at Miscelanea. Emily and Bryan Dunn for letting me run around with them all day and crash their honey moon. And of course Kodomo, whose music continually inspires me to do what I’m doing. Many thanks to all the lovely people that I met along the way.
My adventure began when my plane arrived early at the Barcelona airport around 7AM. The place was dark and desolate, and our flight was the only one that had landed. I had been in the air since 5:30pm the night before, wired and exhausted. The hotel I had booked wouldn’t have an open room until 2pm that day, so I made arrangements with two of my favorite Brooklynites to meet at their place at 10AM. I had just done projections during the ceremony for their wedding a couple weeks before, and as synchronicity would have it, they happened to have one day left in Barcelona, the day I arrived.
Having 3 hours to spare before meeting them, I connected with another lone american traveler, who guides bicycle tours in Utah & Oregon. She was waiting for friends, and I was waiting for a reasonable hour to head out into the universe, so we chatted and had a great morning meeting each other and exchanging travel stories.
As I said good bye around 9AM, I walked out into the grey rainy weather welcoming my arrival, to a little black and yellow taxi cab. I said something like, “¿Me puede tomar usted a mi hotel?” and showed him an address on calle Mallorca, and off we went. About a half hour later I arrived at a cool little boutique hotel, nestled in the middle of a vibrant NY-like city. Memorable amounts of colorful graffiti were splashed across doorways, cabs were plentiful, and there were dozens of bicyclists and pedestrians all across town.
I arrive at the hotel, and am pointed upstairs to my friend’s room. I lugged my equipment and bags up to the fourth floor and was greeted with huge hugs from the newly married couple. It was such a surreal meeting of worlds to have been in Brooklyn with them a couple weeks earlier, and in another country then and there. So I dropped off my bags, grabbed my umbrella and we headed out. We maneuvered in and out of amazing narrow, beautiful streets, until we made it to Barri Gotic, the Gothic quarter of the city. Absolutely stunning. Cobblestone streets, archways, exquisite cafes, cathedrals that look like dripping wax and even the occasional street performer playing instruments or wearing costumes.
We arrived at a little cafe to order a coffee and chocolate y churros! My new favorite indulgence. After catching up on the news and sharing some delicious pastries, we headed to the famous La Ramblas to veer off into La Mercat de la Boqueria. By far the best market that I have ever experienced. My eyes were overloaded by the color, texture, variety and freshness in every direction. Such a wide creative mecca for people who love and appreciate good food.
From there we wandered in and out of cathedrals, dodged raindrops, walked along the dock near Port Vell, and mused about the inspiration of the city. Eventually we made our way out of the rain, and into a cozy vegetarian cafe, which was serving a buffet of salads, quinoa, soups and other such delicious options. Everything we had was incredibly fresh and colorful. I can easily see why there are so many great artists in Barcelona, and I can’t wait to plan another trip there (possibly) next year to re-indulge myself in such inspirational surroundings.
As we finished our meals and made our way to the door we were stopped for a few minutes by the ensuing of quite a monsoonish downpour. Emily made the comment that even the rain is passionate in Spain!
We soon left into the rain, where we caught a cab and we headed back to our hotel so I could pass out for a few hours before dinner, and before the show schedule for 11pm that night! Yes, not only did I arrive in a whirlwind after not sleeping much, and a day of wandering, but I had to be awake enough to perform our first show! Mind you, starting at 11pm in Spain, is 5AM in New York. I was looped out of my mind, but so thrilled and excited, a few hours of sleep at the hotel would do just fine.
After the rain passed, and a double rainbow appeared just in time for our evening out on the town, I had a drink at the hotel bar and we made our way to a very unique restaurant in the area known as El Raval. Interesting seafood dishes, ox tail soup, and a variety of vino later, we all made our way to meet Kodomo, and crew who were setting us up over at our first gig at Bar Lempika. Drinks were passed around, shots that tasted like mini mojitos were shared, and this little Brooklyn-like Barcelona bar slowly became more and more crowded to come hang out with us. I projected some fun italian cartoons that I had just pilfered from the library last week for fun, and let it run while we set up to play. We began playing at midnight and had a great response from everyone there that night. Even the local guy who walks in and out of bar trying to sell roses decided to stay and watch the action. It really turned out to be such a fun evening, and it was great preparation for the next night for our gig at Miscelanea.
Sunny skies poured through my window at the 987 that morning. I gathered all my equipment and bags and made my way over to Pension 2000 to meet up with friends. The morning began with a short walk to La Rambla, and into a beautiful pastry shop of sorts. Cafe con leche, a potato tortilla y tarta de manzana. Delicious food everywhere we ventured. Then a short trip over to the market once again for more photos, fresh juice and food samplings. The day consisted of an amazing stroll up and down the Mediterranean coast line, past the sandcastles, and dipping our feet into the smooth sands and warm water at Port Vell. Quite a magical place if you ask me.
It’s hard to recount exactly where the wandering lead after that, because Barcelona is possibly the most amazing place to wander by foot that I have ever been, but I do remember an incredible italian restaurant where the chef had made his own pasta, and the prawns were freshly caught that morning.
The night came quickly and it was time to prep for the show at Miscelanea. Very cool art space! Upstairs bar, white gallery walls, and funky art on t-shirts and in book cases. There was even a little wink from the universe, when I saw posters by my favorite designer, Scott Hansen, hung up on a little clothes line of art strung between a nice little collection. There we set up limited edition CDs & vinyl for sale and continued to set up for the show. Unfortunately with my new mac pro I’ve run into all sorts of issues with being compatible with certain projectors and S-video cables, but 50 feet of VGA cable later, solved the problem.
Set up had been achieved and it was nearing showtime. Kodomo and I did a quick interview with a lovely journalist, and it was soon time to start. The Crayon Incident & GLUP! began their amazing set of very innovative electronica, and gorgeous hand created live visuals. I’m completely enchanted by their performance, and hope to see them perform again.
Around 9PM it was time for us. The room had packed itself with a wonderful crowd, and it was vibrant with incredible energy. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun performance and such an organized event. I’m still editing down video clips from the show and will be posting here shortly. We received warm smiles and a wonderful audience response all night long. Continued the show later at an after party, where I shot video and danced until we had reached the end.
Sadly, this was already my last day. It was the quickest whirlwind weekend possible. I spent the time taking photographs and getting lost in the city. Tempting to do some touristy ventures, but I instead chose to let the day take me where my intuition guided. That will remain with me forever, and really have no words to capture it’s meditative beauty.
Air Italia and Rome. Craziness. That is all I have to say about that!
I loved every second of my time in Barcelona and will definitely be going back, as soon as it is meant to be in future dates to come.