New Yorkers have a reputation for being brash and pushy.
Having recently come back from Barcelona, I noticed a striking difference in cultural consideration.
Barcelona and NYC both have fantastic subway systems.
In Barcelona, when you try to get off a train, the people trying to get on don’t wait. They walk right at you.
In NYC, everyone waits for people to leave the train before they get on.
New Yorkers have a gracious subway etiquette oddly lacking in Spain.
So this is La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s true masterpiece.
What’s interesting about it is that construction began in 1882 and it’s still not done.
I know what you’re thinking: if the Spanish didn’t stay up so late, take naps in the middle of the day, and eat that unhealthy food, they’d have finished it by now.
But there is more to the story.
“My client is not in a hurry,” Gaudi said.
I’m not sure if he considered God or humanity his client, but it was certainly one of the two (if not both) and so I can see his point.
He aspired to combine nature and geometry, form and structure. He wanted his buildings to look ALIVE.
What better way to give a building a sense of life and growth than for it to be eternally under construction? Each architectural generation has left its mark.
But a recurring question I have is this: did Gaudi envision his parks and buildings only being populated by tourists?
For instance, the room in the below picture was designed as a place for people to go during “inclement weather”. The windows in the room gave them both protection and a view of the city to create a pensive atmosphere.
However, as you can see, it is now serves as a waiting line for an elevator.
Imagine creating such beautiful parks and buildings for mankind, and in the end, they just become tourist ant farms.
On Sunday, Laurie and I realized that many of the Barcelona tourist destinations, such as the Picasso Museum, had gigantic lines. Probably 30 minutes to get into the Picasso Museum.
So I suggested we do a “Tapas Tour”.
We just hit the streets – stopping at a number of tapas places. Drinking a carafe of sangria or a bottle of champagne.
We walked miles, ate a LOT of food, and consumed probably 5 liters of sangria.
Sangria evaporates quickly in Barcelona due to the dry air.
All in a good day’s work.
I can’t believe I forgot to mention Laurie’s other redeemable quality.
She’s a damn good photographer.
And, serentripitously, I bought a new Canon Powershot Digital Elph before this trip. And she has the same model! So I got a quick tour on all the camera’s features (the owner’s guide sadly lacked a “quick start” section, something I am a big fan of. Another usability geek thing).
While she is kind of a film snob, she does shoot digital as well.
Not only did I get great tips on taking photos, but I took a lot of pictures of her taking pictures.
So the Barcelona advice that I got from Bain Smith, who lived in Spain, was, “when you think you’ve been out too late, stay out later.”
Thanks to Bain’s advice, I nearly missed my Adobe MAX presentation today.
Bain, was that advice or a nasty practical joke?
That is the Spanish lifestyle.
Ok, some day I will get married.
Perhaps have kids.
I don’t know, stop asking me questions.
But I imagine this life will take place in a quaint apartment like the one above.
Hundreds of years old, modest, balcony. Echoing vistas. I pluck nylon string guitars in a Baroque / Cuban style.
Our sex life only gets better and better.
We all have a fantasy that is so hard to wake up from.