Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dali Dreaming

Where did the last 21 days go? I am sitting in my darling apartment in the South of France and as I edit photos, I have just realised that it has been 3 weeks since I took these pictures in the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain.

The center atrium (more shots in an upcoming article) has the type of feature that reveals the wildly humorous streak which infused Salvadore Dali’s work. A gigantic sculpture of a goddess figure is riding atop a vintage black Cadillac beneath a stunning eye to the sky opening. It is actually breathtaking because it knocks your visual senses off-kilter.
 

A massive statue of a goddess rides atop the roof of a vintage black Cadillac at the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain.


 

An oculus or eye to the sky hovers above the atrium sculpture garden in Salvadore Dali’s museum in Figueres, Spain.


 

We’re already thinking of our next trip to Spain — but for now, here was how we spent an hour before we went to see the Dali works of art.
 

Mark pouring a glass of wine at lunch in Figueres, Spain.


 

Make sure to come back for more interior and exterior views of the Dali Museum in the coming days.

 

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Photo: Historical Fortune Teller in Barcelona

Whilst wandering through an exhibit in Barcelona’s wonderful CCCB — Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona — we happened upon this benign-looking but eerie-feeling display.

The exhibit concerned life in the El Parallel district from the 1890s through the 1930s. This fortune telling machine was used during that period by inserting a coin and then waiting for the paper prediction to appear in one of the doors that open at the bottom.
 

A very pretty but eerie-feeling fortune telling machine from the early 1900s in Barcelona, Spain.


 
A similar fortune telling head was a pivotal element of the 1988 movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. The scary-looking male fortune telling doll in that movie granted the boy in the story a wish and he was able to become a grown man overnight.

She has a lovely face — I certainly acknowledge that — but she also gives off an odd energy and although I was completely alone as I took my photos, the entire very empty room was full of that edgy energy. I waited for Mark to come into the room to see what his reaction was and I asked him if he knew what it was. “Yep!” was the very short reply as he exited the room hastily. Hmmmmm!!!

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Photo of the Day from Barcelona: “Yes Yes”

This wonderful 1920s, also known as the’Roaring Twenties’, poster is one of many vintage items that we saw at MACBA — the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. I’m running behind with editing deadlines right now, so for the next few days I may be interspersing articles with photo of the day entries like this one.

Enjoy!
 

Wonderful 1920s poster art from Barcelona, Spain


 

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Barcelona Nights Out: Photo of the Day – Shoppers and Diners

In contrast to our own home town here in the South of France which practically rolls up the sidewalks on weeknights, you certainly can’t say that about a weeknight in Barcelona!

The photo below was taken on the very busy Passeig de Gracia at night. Note the happy women taking a break on the bench surrounded by all of their shopping bags as other people continue to stream by.
 

Two unidentified women rest on a bench as people walk by at night on the busy shopping district in Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona, Spain.


 
Strolling, laughing, running into friends, people are definitely out an about and not racing to get home and sit behind closed doors.
 

Happy Barcelona, Spain citizens out and about on a week night on Passeig de Gracia


 
And in this photo, people are just beginning to think about going out to dinner and filling up the tables at the very early hour of 8:30 PM.
 

Diners begin to slowly fill the tables of a sidewalk cafe in Barcelona, Spain.


 
We found an upscale ‘toy store’ for grownups called Vincon that carried everything from fabbo art and office supplies to a stunning array of kitchen goods. I had what we called (in Deb and Mark verbal shorthand) ‘a tile store moment’ when there was actually so much in that store that I didn’t know where to look first! I managed to get some shots that weren’t filled with people (and trust me, that was quite difficult), but the store was absolutely packed. At the front entry there were a row of waiting room style chairs for the people who were sitting and patiently waiting for someone else to finish shopping so they could go home.
 

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1-Vincon exterior
2-Pantone Display
3-Moleskin Display
4-Bialetti Bonanza
5-Kitchenish
6-Waiting While They Shop
1-Vincon exterior
2-Pantone Display
3-Moleskin Display
4-Bialetti Bonanza
5-Kitchenish
6-Waiting While They Shop


 
Barcelona is an amazingly vibrant city and I can’t wait to go back!

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Days Out In Barcelona: Gaudi’s Casa Mila aka La Pedrera – Part 2

Constructed between 1905 to 1910, Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, is an interesting mix of almost futuristic exterior, as seen in yesterday’s rooftop sculptures post, and the very traditional interiors that certainly reflect the time in which the house was built.
 

Mark on the fascinating sculptural rooftop of Casa Mila — La Pedrera.

An example of the custom furniture Antoni Gaudi made is seen in this settee on display in the Casa Mila — La Pedrera.


 
The slide show below may be a surprise to some people who think of Gaudi as an architect of the fantastic and futuristic.

We need to remember that this was a commission for a family home and that the family surrounded themselves with the type of furniture, fabrics, and accessories that would have felt familiar and comfortable in the early years of the 1900s. You even get a tiny peek at the work spaces for the family’s housemaid.

One additional thing to note, this is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and should be high on the list of places to visit in Barcelona for anyone who is interested in the history of architecture.

The pictures begin in the amazing vaulted brick-tile attic space where there are displays of Gaudi’s building miniatures, discussions of his methodology in film segments, and exhibits of his unique furniture and hardware designs.

Enjoy!
 

 


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16-Kitchen Breakfast Room
17-Maid's Room
18-Sewing Room
19-Boot & Box Room
19-In-House Phone
20-Exterior Entry At Night
1-Brick Attic Arch
2-Casa Mila Scale Model
3-Family Looking At Display
4-Casa Batllo Models
5-Entry Door
6-Diningroom


 

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Barcelona Days Out: Gaudi’s Casa Mila aka La Pedrera

You know you have arrived at one of the more popular tourism sites for art and architecture in Barcelona, Spain when the Barcelona Bus Turistic is parked outside.
 

The Barcelona Bus Turistic parked outside the very popular Casa Mila, better known as La Pedrera, in Barcelona, Spain.


 
Casa Mila — which is also known as La Pedrera — is one of Antoni Gaudi’s most beloved architectural creations. Built as a private residence for the Mila family, there was strong objection to Gaudi’s designs and overt religious symbolism at the time of construction and many of the details had to be scaled back to comply with what the governing board deemed acceptable.

We were lucky enough to tour the rooftop area during one of the two ‘golden light’ periods of the day, just before dusk. Although we were jostled constantly by other tourists, I did manage to get several good shots that weren’t cluttered with people.

 


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Rooftop landscape atop Casa Mila - La Pedrera looking toward the sea
Alienlike Upper Chimney Vent at Casa Mila - La Pedrera
Some of the odd shaped chimney vents atop Antoni Gaudi's Casa Mila - La Pedrera
2 Helmut Embrace
10-MosaicTwist.jpg
Standing Tall at Casa Mila - La Pedrera in Barcelona, Spain
Exterior of Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera
Organic Iron Gate Entry to Casa Mila - LaPedrera
Casa Mila - LaPedrera Interior Lightwell
Mosaic Creature Chimney Vent at Casa Mila - La Pedrera
Single Helmet Head Chimney Vent at Casa Mila - La Pedrera
Rooftop landscape atop Casa Mila - La Pedrera looking toward the sea


 

 

A visual link to Gaudi’s masterpiece church, the Sagrada Familia, is available from the rooftop view from Casa Mila – La Pedrera in Barcelona.


 

My next article will be on the interior of the building including the period furnishings that are in place and the architectural details that Gaudi designed. This building is still lived in on several floors, so although the museum floors of the Casa Mila are open to the paying public, many other places are private and only for the use of the residents.

Hope you are enjoying these glimpses of Barcelona!

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Barcelona Days Out: Street Photography

Sometimes a single image says rather a lot and since I started my photographic life as a journalist, street photography still appeals to me.

On a Saturday afternoon in Barcelona, Spain, two women spend their afternoon in very different ways. I stood and watched for several minutes, and neither of them appeared to notice or acknowledge the presence of the other one. It was, however, an interesting juxtaposition of day-to-day action and lifestyle.

One further somewhat surprising note, I noticed quite a few people taking pictures with an iPad on this trip!
 

Two women in Barcelona, Spain spend their Saturday afternoon in very different ways.


 

POSTSCRIPT

I’ll be back in 24-48 hours with some stunning architectural shots from Gaudi’s Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera. The late afternoon light atop the rooftop terrace with its alien-like chimneys and vents was glorious!
 

Alien-like chimneys and vents adorn the rooftop terraces of Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera.


 

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©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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