Avinguda Diagonal – Diagonal Avenue Barcelona… Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Sun loungers on the Avinguda Diagonal in Barcelona, next to Plaça Francesc Macià

On this last weekend of August in Barcelona… today, a unique sun is my ally, my best spotlight… a great part of Diagonal Avenue Barcelona, or to use its Catalan name Avinguda Diagonal Barcelona, is closed to traffic, so I get my phone and a pair of sneakers and invite you to join me in the adventure of finding unique buildings, hidden places and relaxing corners.  So sew your shadow to my feet Peter, and up we go “second to the right and straight on till morning”.

palm trees and benches in the Diagonal
nice wide sidewalk in Barcelona Diagonal, where pedestrians have a prominent place
large windows on the first floor of this building
classic façade next to a modern building sharing together a place in the Diagonal

Let’s start our journey at Plaça Francesc Macià.  I follow the characteristic pavement pattern, onto this urban catwalk.  The design of the paving sett is determined by the general concept being deployed in the Diagonal project.

I have to be careful not to miss a thing… sleek modern buildings next to old classics and Gaudi’s trademarks, make for beautiful patchwork.  The awesome Casa Sayrach (Avinguda Diagonal corner with Enric Granados), stands so elegant, as one of the last buildings of Barcelona modernism. Curved shapes characterize its façade.

the plane tree leaf defines the transformation of an expressway for through traffic into a green corridor where pedestrians have a prominent place in the leafy shade of the trees that grow along the avenue. Project Diagonal by Terrades Arquitectes 2015
the palm trees shadow over the pavement
Barcelona is an example of modern architecture
the awesome Casa Sayrach (Avinguda Diagonal corner with Enric Granados)

Back to the avenue, amongst luxury shops and nice cafés and restaurants, I get to the terrace, of José Luis, a classic in Barcelona, the restaurant with posssibly the best “tortilla de patata” in town.

(UPDATE 2020: Jose Luis has now ceded this space to the famous Tapaç 24 by Carles Abellán, who has added this venue to serve the Barcelona district of Sant Gervasi-Galvany, here in Diagonal-Tuset. By the way the tortilla de patata is just as good 🙂 and don’t forget to try the “Bikini”). 

Next to it, “Ajo Blanco” (Carrer de Tuset), the other side of the coin, a cool new designer restaurant.  Diagonal-Tuset-Granados… the most interesting edge, an explosion of architecture … La Casa Mas de Miquel, La Casa Sayrach, and the stunning Metro 3 building, where the Habitat store (designer furniture) is located.

update 2018, this Michael Kors Store is now closed in Avinguda Diagonal.  The Passeig de Gracia store still remains open in Barcelona
wide spaces represent the character of the Avinguda Diagonal
Costa Cofee a place to have your favourite delight when strolling in Avinguda Diagonal in Barcelona
terraces alfresco for tapas in Barcelona Diagonal Avenue
building façade in Diagonal Barcelona
Metro 3 building a model of design for architecture lovers in Barcelona
the Habitat store (designer furniture) is located on the ground floor of the Metro 3 building
electric charger for vehicles in Diagonal Avenue, enhances the ecological commitment of Barcelona

Now I run into the “Barcelona Equestrian circle” (Círculo Ecuestre de Barcelona, on Diagonal corner with Balmes) – SPOTTED:  I’ve heard that you can belong to this select club for a small fee of 12,000 euros, plus the endorsement of four partners and, of course, you must pass a test prior to admission.  Then the doors of the Barcelona Equestrian Circle will never be closed to you.  You can get together with the economic and social elite of Barcelona, enjoy an exquisite coffee or a drink until the wee hours of the morning… but yes, YOU HAVE to wear a tie [at least of you’re a gentleman]. The Circle completely renovated the interior in 1992, including a full gym, a rooftop pool & café and 16 rooms for members and guests.

The club is hosted in the palace “Casa Perez Samanillo” built in 1910, and what catches the eye is one of the most striking elements of the building, a huge oval window overlooking Diagonal… locals call it the “fishbowl of Barcelona”.

a huge oval window overlooking Diagonal… locals call it the “fishbowl of Barcelona”.
there are many restaurants, bars and cafes on both sides of the Diagonal Avenue
buildings in the corner of Diagonal and carrer Balmes
while strolling along the Diagonal, look up and discover the buildings' penthouses
Barcelona stands out in design and a sample of it are the streetlights in the Diagonal
detail of what is hidden over the tree tops

This is amazing!!! No traffic and I’m walking in the middle of the street!!!  I’m arriving at Pilma, one of my favourites deco shops. Not far in distance, now I can see the obelisk marking the cross between Diagonal and Passeig the Gràcia.  To my right, the building of the Barcelona Provincial Council, advising the beginning of another great promenade, the boulevard of Rambla de Catalunya.

crossing Avenida Diagonal on a clear, sunny day
Barcelona Provincial Council is a public institution in Catalonia that provides direct services to citizens, it is located in the corner with Rambla Catalunya

A little further along are the Jardins del Palau Robert and in front of it, on the other side of the avenue, between two glass monsters, the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and Deutsche Bank

(UPDATE 2020: in the last quarter of 2020 the exclusive Mandarin Oriental Residences will open their doors in Barcelona in this same building that for many years, was the headquarters of Deutsche Bank… the new Zeitgeist “from bank to luxury residences…”)

Respectively, the Pompeya Church, a jewel of Neo Gothic contemplates the passage of time, unperturbed by its big neighbours.

the Chamber of Commerce and Deutsche Bank coexist with the Pompeya Church, a jewel of Neo Gothic
update 2020 - a few years ago this building was occupied by Deutsche Bank but in the last quarter of 2020 the Mandarin Oriental residences will open their doors in Barcelona in this same building where Avenida Diagonal crosses Passeig de Gracia
Palau Robert is a neoclassical building on Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia with Diagonal Avenue
An oasis of vegetation in the heart of Barcelona, this is how the Palau Robert gardens could be defined

Those deck chairs are so inviting… I’m done, hope you found it so appealing that you are eager to get your ass away from La Rambla, and discover an attractive brand new world!

living outdoors, gathering and enjoying moments together... this is the way locals enjoy life in Barcelona
the most photographed intersection in Barcelona is chaired by a monument to Nothing.  The Obelisk does not have a name and it is popularly known as "el lápiz"(the pencil)
Plaza del Cinco de Oros, this is the name of the square where Avinguda Diagonal meets Passeig de Gràcia

1830 Barcelona Time-what time do we meet?

my nephew's watch a perfect Barcelona time explanation
my nephew’s watch

Barcelona time described as the 24 hour clock.

What is the meaning of this question?

and why something that we have so assumed, can be a matter of confusion for others? Here comes the problem, when we use different methods of “naming” the time.

One day has 24 hours, isn’t it? then let’s name them.  Therefore after 12 noon -midday- comes 13 and 14 and 15… and we will end the day -midnight- at 24h (or 00.00 hours – both are used without distinction).

This is called the “24 hour clock” which is the Barcelona time we use and is a convention of time keeping in which the day runs from midnight to midnight and it is divided into 24 hours,  indicated by the hours passed since midnight, from 0 to 23. This system is the most commonly used time notation in the world today.

But usually we don’t say “I saw James at 14.15…” most of us will probably say “I saw James at 2.15 in the afternoon”.  Therefore it makes sense to say that the 12 hour time is mostly used in speech for ease of use, and 24 hour time is preferred in writing.

Diagram of the 12 and 24 hour clocks on a timeline

The 24 hour clock has also been called railway time (in Europe, therefore the Barcelona Time), continental time (in England), and military time (in the US).   It is also the international standard notation of time.  In the 12 hour time system, midnight is usually written as 12 AM, and midday (noon) as 12 PM. 

The Latin tags Ante Meridiem (before the middle of the day) and Post Meridiem (after the middle of the day), abbreviated to AM and PM, are required to indicate the difference between, say, 1:30 in the morning (01:30 hours) and 1:30 in the afternoon (13:30 hours). You forget about AM and PM if you use the 24 hour time system.

There is always a tip to make things easier

A quick tip to convert easily the 24 hour time nomenclature into the 12 hour use from 12 (noon) onwards -needless to say only for the PM hours-  is to subtract 2 from the hour, and the last (hour) digit will tell you what the time is.  That way:

The 24 hour tower clock in Venice uses also the Barcelona time format
The 24 hour tower clock in Venice that lists hours 1 to 12 twice

13.00 hours – 2 = 11.00 hours (the last digit is 1 therefore it is 1 PM)

17.30 hours – 2 = 15.30 hours (the last digit is 5 therefore it is 5.30 PM)

22.55 hours – 2 = 20.55 hours (the last digit is 0 therefore it is 10.55 PM)

23.00 hours – 2 = 21.00 hours (the last digit is 1 therefore it is 11.00 PM)

and of course 24.00 hours (or 00.00) is midnight because 24 – 2 = 22 and this means a 12.  NOTE that minutes remain the same…

…and this is how that beautiful drawing at the beginning of this post, in which my nephew with a simple circumference, some strokes and numbers, teaches me something as simple as it is interesting, and provides a unique opportunity to write about time and its uses, and gives me the opportunity to investigate in history of how mankind’s relationship with time has been, from its origins in the Egyptian astronomical system, to our present times and how we have managed to measure it, to organize our lives.

And of course, you can always use the drawing of my nephew’s watch, which is a perfect and simple Barcelona time explanation 😉

Enjoy your Barcelona time!

1830 Barcelona Time-what time do we meet? is a post written by Mercedes Delgado

YOU’D LOVE TO BE IN BARCELONA ON DECEMBER THE 2ND!!

shop, shop, shop… shop til you drop!

At last Barcelona takes the train of the FASHION NIGHT OUT.

New York was the pioneer of the idea three years ago, in a bid to support the fashion industry.

Its original pretense was so simple – extending store hours along with additional incentives, all as remedies to shore up the weakening retail sector in New York City.  However a season later, the idea first facilitated by Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, the legendary Anna Wintour, is now a global event, with 16 countries participating.

This is now a young classic,

and therefore Barcelona City Council is launching an initiative similar to that done by Vogue in major cities worldwide where it achieved major success, becoming a classic in a very short time period. One of its latest editions was in Madrid.

It is not only shopping, it is fun, shows, famous dj’s, parties and cocktails in all shops, bars, restaurants and hotels participating in the event. Gifts and all sorts of surprises and promotions in bars and participating stores. Barcelona, unable to ally with Vogue Spain because the magazine can only choose one city per country, has teamed up with Harper’s Bazaar which will host a big tent at one of the side roads of Passeig de Gràcia.

The key is buying flowers,

Passeig de Gràcia is the stage where the show is performed and the city will look gorgeous because that precise night the Christmas lighting will be switched on for the first night this year. Get your Shopping Passport and enjoy the shopping night. The passport is the accreditation that allows you the access for shopping at any of the stores that participates in the project -from 8 pm to 12 am-… and even to participate in 5 draws, with 5 fabulous prizes!

You can register during The Shopping Night at one of the two accreditation booths that you will find along the Passeig de Gràcia to get your Shopping Passport. (Rosselló street with Passeig de Gràcia and Gran Via with Passeig de Gràcia. From 10 am)…  Then all stores will open up to the big party.  Each time you buy for a value of 20 EUROS, a flower will be stamped on your Passport. The more flowers you have stamped on it, the more opportunities you have to win at the numerous draws that will take place during the night.

Happy Shopping!

Olivas Sféricas

¿Lo Quieres Saber?

Lolita Taperia (EX-Inopia)

¿EXPECTATIVAS CUMPLIDAS?

Bajamos a pie por la calle Rocafort, después de un duro día de trabajo y muchas ganas de darnos un homenaje.  Así que vamos al Inopia, en la esquina con Tamarit.  Cuál es nuestra sorpresa que al llegar vemos que ahora se llama “Lolita Taperia”.  Gente en la puerta, como antes y cantidad de extranjeros con sus mapas en mano preguntándole al “amable señor de la puerta” si eso era el Inopia, a lo que él respondía “yes, yes, same place, same kitchen”.

Con mi Blackberry trato de encontrar respuesta a este lío y me entero de que los hermanísimos Ferran y Albert (Adrià) están preparando un nuevo y flipante proyecto para este otoño en el Paralelo por lo que Albert ha dejado Inopia.  Pues vaya, se te caen un poco las espectativas pero también te suben las ganas de ser juez y no parte del nuevo proyecto del socio de Albert, Joan Martínez… ¿será el nombre lo que vendía o realmente la calidad de los platos?.  Después de esperar más de la cuenta, entramos.

Tomamos la ensaladilla con picos, las mini hamburguesas, unas berenjenas dulces, un pincho de cerdo de “dos colores”… bueno, bien, las raciones siguen siendo exíguas.  Estábamos sentados en la barra pequeña del fondo y me llamó mucho la atención que la chica que estaba detrás de la barra preparando platos, lo hacía sobre una báscula.  Cortaba una fina loncha de salmón, lo colocaba sobre la báscula, lo pesaba y apuntaba en una libreta.  Le ponía un chorrito de salsa blanca, lo pesaba y apuntaba.  Un ramito de una hierba y a pesar y apuntar… too much ¿no?, como diría alguien que yo me se “¡entre poco y demasiado!”.

Luego, sobre las 00.00 horas, se convierte en bar con coctelería.  De pronto las agresivas luces blancas de bar “noveau” de ambiente blanco, cambian a rojo, sube la música y el efecto es impactante, parece que estés en otro sitio, hay que felicitar al artífice por este efecto tan bien conseguido.

Lo peor, pero mal, mal, el “amable señor de la puerta”, que tengas que esperar en la pura calle y el agresivo efecto del cordón ese que ponen en las puertas de las cutre-discotecas y que desabrocha el gorila de turno para que pases.  No es buena imagen. Quizá por la marca Albert Adrià, se pasaban por alto estas faltas de respeto a los clientes pero ahora, muy bien lo van a tener que hacer para que la burbuja no se les pinche a ellos también, como una Oliva Sférica sobresaturada.

  • Dónde: Tamarit 104 (Eixample – Sant Antoni)
  • Cuándo: de martes a viernes de 19.00 a 23.00 – sábado de 13.00 a 15.30 y de 19.00 a 23.00 (luego sólo bar)
  • Llámales: 934 245 231

Are we human or are we dancers?

El Beso - Iker Casillas & Sara Carbonero - Johannesburg 2010

¡Somos los campeones del mundo!  escribo esto con lágrimas en los ojos…  ¡que maravillosa y voluptuosa frase!…  nos lo hemos merecido.

Un mes ha sido, en el que se ha ido formando la bola poco a poco, en el que las pantallas más o menos megagigantes, han ido atrayendo gentes a pulsos, como polillas a la luz (y desde luego con mucha más convicción que con la que iba Caaaaroolaaainnnn…)   Aquí ha dado igual que te guste el fútbol o que lo aborrezcas, ha sido imposible permanecer en la isla del desconocimiento, porque esto ha ido más allá.  Es la fuerza de los sentimientos que nacen del corazón y del estómago, del hígado y del páncreas, de todas las vísceras juntas que gritan y te mueven el cuerpo sin que lo puedas controlar.

No sé que tiene el fútbol éste, que nos hace olvidar.  He visto gentes preparándose para los partidos con auténticos festines.  Mesas con marisco, el mejor jamón, lomo, chorizo, tortilla de patata… y todo ello regado con los mejores caldos (y no me refiero a los de pollo, naturalmente)… todo muy español.  He visto ventanas y fachadas y caras y gafas y sombreros teñidos de rojo y amarillo, de nuestros colores.  He visto el cielo rojo esta noche.  He oido gritos y consignas y petardos y fuegos artificiales y bocinazos para que el mundo se entere…

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Política de bizFlats respecto a nuestros clientes afectados por el volcán islandés

El hombre propone y un volcán islandés dispone

Debido al caos aéreo producido por la nube de cenizas volcánicas, muchos de nuestros clientes se han visto seriamente afectados, teniendo que cancelar sus viajes a Barcelona.  En bizFlats hemos decidido informar públicamente a todos, de cual va a ser el procedimiento que en este caso tan especial se va a seguir con nuestros clientes afectados.

  • Nuestros clientes podrán volver a reservar el MISMO apartamento y hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2010 se guardará como crédito la paga y señal que ya se ha hecho efectiva, para el MISMO apartamento (sujeto a disponibilidad).   Esta cantidad de la paga y señal, se descontará de la cantidad total de la nueva reserva.
  • bizFlats no ha efectuado ningún incremento en sus precios, a diferencia de otros muchos negocios, como modo de aprovechamiento en su propio interés de estas desagradables circunstancias.

Estamos a vuestra disposición para resolver cualquier pregunta que podáis tener, de la forma que más os convenga:

https://www.bizflats.com/es/about-us/contact-us.html

y como siempre aquí estaremos cuando decidáis vivir vuestra experiencia en Barcelona con bizFlats.

El Equipo de bizFlats

mwc a world of anecdotes

Como sabéis, Barcelona es sede todos los febreros del más importante congreso mundial de telefonía móvil el MWC y nos llegan gentes de todo el mundo, de los lugares más insospechados…

MWC en la Fira de Barcelona

Llegan a una ciudad de la vieja Europa, mediterránea y llena de historia.  Recuerdo la perplejidad de un cliente que alquiló su apartamento en el Barrio Gótico.  El apartamento era una monada, totalmente reformado y decorado con muy buen gusto.  Nuestro amigo venía de oriente próximo, con sus desiertos, sus rascacielos último modelo, sus islas con forma de palmera… y claro, métete en lo que es el Barrio Gótico de Barcelona.  Pues un laberinto de calles estrechas, adoquinadas, mucha fachada de piedra y sol sólo en los pisos más altos.

Su reacción fue “explosiva” y había que convencerle en 30 segundos de que no se puede despreciar lo que no se conoce, pero ¿cómo explicarle a un saudí el concepto de gótico?.   No se me ocurrió otra cosa que repetirle muchas veces, con los ojos muy abiertos y moviendo mucho las manos a modo de ¡¡¡¿estoy poseída?!!!, las palabras “historia” “cultura” “herencia” y una vez más “gótico, gótico, gótico”.  Y funcionó.

Accedió a subir al apartamento y Read more

080 Barcelona Fashion-bad Controversy & good Parties

080 Barcelona Fashion Logo

The venue

080 Juan Antonio Avalos 030909 Foto Jorge Andreu _J7A5474 - Barcelona fashion city

In the last few years, Barcelona has emerged as the capital of world’s fashion at the fourth edition of this “real” fashion fair, the 080 Barcelona Fashion, which is now The catwalk show for new Catalan and international trends.

This edition, focused on increasing the commercial thrust of Catalan fashion, became a real bazaar where designers and firms sold their designs to the more than 150 buyers which signed up.  Deals were made in all languages.

080 Cardona Bonache 030909 Foto Jorge Andreu GJ7W2437 Barcelona fashion city

The Catalan Government has had the plan to raise Barcelona’s game as an unmistakeable point of reference in the world of fashion and cutting-edge design ever since Bread&Butter left us to return to Berlin and the Pasarel·la Gaudi fiasco.  To obtain that medal, it has based its strategy on internationalisation, linking creativity and industry, financial support, backing emerging talent and the organisation of a mega fashion event in the city of Barcelona. 080 Barcelona Fashion is the answer to this last line of action.

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