EST. 2009

August 18, 2012

These Close Encounters

AUGUST IS VACATION MONTH in most parts of Europe, including Spain and its bohemian Barcelona. What does this mean? Shops and services shut down as if going on permanent siesta and the locals disappear completely, leaving nothing behind but shadows on the sidewalks and clouds in the sky. Dry cleaners are closed. Neighborhood cobblers, tailors, locksmiths and framers are away. Hardware stores barred shut. Local shops. Furniture shops. Antique shops. Specialty shops. Basically, most everything outside of the tourist zones, you can expect to be shuttered and padlocked.

What's left to do? Join in on the million or so tourists that populate the city each summer, soaking in the sun, the sights, the flavors, the wine. The sea, the sales, the sleepy siestas after sobremesa. It's a tourist city after all, whose endless attractions seem ample enough to last a lifetime. Gaudí's nine buildings alone, I haven't visited all. And that doesn't even include the rest of the modernisme structures by other notables. Local fashion brands, let's not get started. I will conquer you all in time!

But after tiring of the crowds, it's good to know I can retire back to summer sleepy town where the two-week silence begs me to throw private Broadway concerts in the comfort of my solitude. Feliz verano indeed!

"Closed for vacation" signs, Barcelona.