Anne spotted this shop in the Borne that we now call the little spice market. Her grandfather in Turkey had one just like it, with the exact same bales. So for a flavor of the east without the travel, we get a fix here! On Passeig de Picasso.
Yesterday's proud article on Barcelona's designers. And they picked Benedicte's beautiful tables to REPRESENT. Handmade tiles pressed in the old times by Barcelona's historic artisans, found in the dumpsters. Rescued, bag after bag. Now Benedicte has an incredible collection that she makes into lovely tables for her clients. A piece of history, with a modern flair. www.mesabonita.es
A great book. Even if you don't cook. Fantastic. The photography is so delicious it makes you want to eat things you might already know you don't like. And it contains pictures and references to everyday life in Barcelona that sometimes you just don't have your camera ready enough to catch. I have never tried one recipe, but it's my favorite housewarming gift at the moment and I cherish the copy I bought for myself. Sophie Ruggles' My Barcelona Kitchen, published by Murdoch Books.
Easter nears. Brown eggs pretty much the standard, but I need the white ones to make those colors pop. Surprise, white eggs at the poultry shop the other day. And I find them at the big covered markets around town too. In every size from petite to ostrich. For the coloring kits, Taste of America, Balmes 322.
Medieval fabric reinvented. Look close, there on top of the wooden filing drawer. Not for cold castle walls anymore. Teresa Rosa Aguayo stiches miniature tapestries, whimsical scenes of mediterranean pools and beaches. Think David Hockney, but in a scandinavian palette. Made on handsome old-fashioned looms. Set in modern see-through frames. A little precious at around 400 Euros each, but hey. The best ones are in the store, not on the website. Felted wool bowls, clothing, jewelry and art works too. The workshop's called Teranyina, Calle Notariat 10 Baixos www.teresarosa.com
By now the stressy part of the holidays is setting into Barcelona. Crowded streets, full parking lots and packed shops. For a Christmas market that is so calm it almost doesn't have a pulse, a day trip to Begur. Combined with a quick visit to empty beaches and a long lunch at Turandot (excellent food and generous menu of the day, for only 17 euros in a cute family run place), a gulp of calm before diving back into the city's lively celebrations. www.restaurant-turandot.com
Vending comes to a halt most days from as early as 1:00 pm to as late as 5:30 pm. At independent shops, still operating the old fashioned way. In the barrio Born, the metal shades up, pricey displays in plain sight. A time and place to go...with no pressure on your wallet!
Almost every neighborhood has a little heart of shops. I love the three blocks along Santalo between Maria Cubi and Calaf. A mix of boutiques, chain stores, and cafes in Sant Gervasi. The kid parking is new for me!
Crafted, guilded, generational secrets, pigments, forms, sand, limestone, water, a hydrolic press, art and function all in one, working alone, in a cavernous room. Pere Marti. Handmade tiles made 12 by the hour, drying on racks for 28 days, then journeying to floor saucy habitats here and far away. Rare now, everywhere then. Marti Mosaics, An 1913 factory in Manresa, north of Barcelona where the lonely tradition continues one tile at a time. Thank you Francesca and Benedicte! www.mosaicsmarti.com
By Maia Pay Ozguc
Barcelona Impressions. Be curious. Be present. Be Barcelona!