For residents of Barcelona’s old town an affair way up in Sarrià or Sant Gervasi is probably the best way of surviving the summer. Ensure beforehand that your new friend’s flat is high in a modern block overlooking gardens, and you can enjoy coffee and parrots (barbecued, if you’re lucky) on the balcony before drifting back down Balmes and into the swamp. Your only significant handicap is likely to be the porter.
The last 15 years of the dictatorship constituted a golden age for porters–or rather for their employers–as the middle class grew rapidly in size, wealth and social pretensions while domestic labour remained ridiculously cheap. A key selling point in promotional campaigns for new blocks of flats of that epoch of frenzied urban growth was the porter’s lodge. Lodge is realtor-speak for a hovel from which, in better-financed buildings, a gollum will still emerge, as a snail from its shell (“salió el portero de su cuchitril, como un caracol de su concha”, alliterates Cela in the short story La eterna canción (1945)), and nip, snail-like, at the heels of transients: “Are you lost?”, “If you lived here you’d know you can’t take bicycles in the lift”, “I just washed that floor”.
Underground garage porters in such edifices are of a different race altogether and will be considered separately.
- FollowTheBaldie.com review
I’m terrible at collecting testimonials, but here, with permission, is an extract from a thoughtful longer piece by a Chicago woman
- Barcelona debt
“Clos!” mutters a wealthy neighbour every time it rains, confident that doom is imminent for Barcelona’s dentally salient mayor. In fact
(Denver Post) Trevor is Dutch and has just returned to Barcelona from Holland when I spoke with him. He plays a
- Crane spirit
When I went out this morning onto the Rambla del Raval, a man was standing up on the boom of the
- Two cool & contrasting Barcelona retro photo series
With a chart comparing Catalan to Madrilenian GDP 1980-2009.