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April 2012 Nยบ 183 Free

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Features 14 20 24

When squatting is the only option Pepe Carvalho, 40 years of a Barcelona icon


Splendid spiders

Regulars 06 07 08 11 13 19 22 28 58

On our web An inside look What’s new this month Fact-checker: Sant Jordi Fashion: ‘Stroll with a hat’ Interview: Colin McElwee Photo collage: Get-togethers Ideas: Culture, Gastronomy, Escape the city...


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Directories 40 45 56

Food & Drink Business Jobs

From the Senior Editor: April once more and for this issue, as the cover suggests, we’ve embraced Sant Jordi with a vengeance—well, providing it stays dry, it is one of the loveliest days on the Barcelona calendar. Book-wise, Nick Lloyd tells us the story of Barcelona writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, whose fictional detective Pepe Carvalho marks his 40th anniversary this year, while Nicola Thornton talks to Colin McElwee, one of the founders of Worldreader, an organisation bringing e-readers to children in the developing world. In Escape the City, Max Bentley outlines some of the historical festivals that take place in Catalunya, including this month’s ‘Medieval Week’ in Montblanc, where Sant Jordi is said to have battled the dragon, according to local legend. Our new Fact-checker section has all the essential info on Jordi himself and Roger de Flower adds his tuppence worth to the subject. There’s a lot more besides, of course (squatters, spiders and a stroll with a hat, for starters), so if you’re really not a fan of books and roses, we Hannah Pennell haven’t forgotten you. Publisher Creative Media Group, S.L. Managing Director Esther Jones Senior Editor Hannah Pennell Art Director Aisling Callinan Sales Director Rainer Hobrack Account Executive Richard Cardwell Financial Manager Andrea Moreno Editorial Assistants Max Bentley and Nicola Reid Sales Assistants George Hawken, Tashoma Lemard and Chloe Pera Contributors Regina W. Bryan, Jonathan Bennett, Lucy Brzoska, Roger de Flower, Nick Lloyd, Tara Stevens and Nicola Thornton Photographers Richard Owens and Lee Woolcock Cover illustration Rocío Macías Illustrator Ben Rowdon Editorial Office: Ciutat 7 2º 2ª-4ª, 08002 Barcelona. Tel. 93 451 4486, Fax. 93 451 6537; editorial@barcelona-metropolitan.com Advertising: ads@barcelona-metropolitan.com. General enquiries: info@barcelona-metropolitan.com. www.barcelona-metropolitan.com Printer: Litografia Rosés. Depósito Legal: B35159-96 The views expressed in Barcelona Metropolitan are not necessarily those of the publisher. Reproduction, or use, of advertising or editorial content herein, without express permission, is prohibited.

Find your nearest distribution point on www.barcelona-metropolitan.com

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80m2 apartment, full of light - Sant Gervasi

Bright apartment of 110m2 - Pedralbes

Elegant 180m2 apartment - Rambla Catalunya

Living-dining room, open-plan kitchen, balcony, two bedrooms and bathroom. In really good condition. Furnished. Price: €1.300 Ref. L0303BA.

Living-dining room with fireplace, kitchen, two bathrooms, four bedrooms. Good finishes. Unfurnished. Price: €1.265 Ref. L0298BA

Full of light, living/dining room with fireplace, eat-in kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Unfurnished. Price: €2.800 Ref. L0302BA

Beautiful family apartment of 160m2 - Turó Park

Modern house of 200m2 - Sitges

120m2 apartment - Francesc Macià

Impeccable bright apartment, large living-dining room, eat-in kitchen, four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Parking. Unfurnished. Price: €3.250 Ref. L0306BA

Four floors, living/dining room, equipped kitchen, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, garage. Convenient location. Communal garden/pool. Price: €2.000 Ref. L0291ba

In excellent condition, eat-in kitchen, living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Furnished or unfurnished. Price: €1.600 Ref. L0289ba


Unique 240m2 penthouse - Jardinets de Gracià

Two-bedroom flats - Old Town

Brand new flats in Port Vell

80m terrace, five bedrooms and four bathrooms. Unbeatable central location. Needs some updating. Price: €1.400.000 Ref.V1255ba.

In classic building, fully renovated, top finishes. From 50m2 to 88m2. Located in a quiet area. Prices range from €330.000 to €490.000. Ref. V1207ba.

Flats between 65m2 and 90m2 with sea views and from one to three bedrooms. Parking. Prices start at €300.000 and go up to €600.000. Ref.V1158ba.


Please call for further properties 93 241 30 82

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on our web


FOR US IT WAS HEAVEN British historian and author Angela Jackson, based since 2001 in Catalunya, has just published her latest work, a biography of Patience Doran, who was a volunteer nurse during the Spanish Civil War. The book, which has been released in both English (For us it was Heaven) and Castilian (Para nosotros era el cielo), includes letters and papers from Patience, many photographs, and material taken from interviews that Jackson carried out with her. It follows Patience’s story from Thirties’ Britain, where she learned nursing, to Spain at war. Here she fell in love with a German fighter who was killed at the front. Patience later travelled to Maoist China, where she went to

Ideas for entrepreneurs and job-seekers

continue her fight for the causes she believed in. Read our interview with Angela Jackson online at: www. barcelona-metropolitan.com/angelajackson Top image: Patience teaching a woman to wash a patient; bottom image of Patience is taken from the cover of the Castilian version of book

In these difficult economic times, any help for those wanting to set up their own company or looking for work is welcome and here at Metropolitan, we want to lend a hand as well. As such, we have various resources in the ‘Working’ section of our website for those considering or needing to make a change in their professional lives. These include: a dedicated Twitter feed featuring job opportunities in Barcelona where English language skills are required (@WorkinBarcelona); interviews with Barcelona-based entrepreneurs who’ve already gone through all those difficult paperwork and financing stages and have shared their wisdom with us; and lots of practical information about finding work here. Read all about it at: www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/working

CORRECTIONS In the last issue of Metropolitan, we inadvertently left out the photo credit for the image of Jesús Vilallonga on page 24. The photographer is Gabriel Suau. In addition, in the Address Book on ‘Quick Bites’ (page 38), we omitted the information for Zuckerhaus, which is Parlament 17 and the contact telephone number is 666 379 168. We regret the errors and apologise to all concerned.

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AN INSIDE LOOK Illustrator Rocío Macías www.behance.net/elperrovuela

I live in Barcelona, though all my family come from the south of Spain (as you probably know, the cradle of flamenco and Semana Santa). All of them have been ‘craft’ people, and most women in my family made a living at tailoring, so I grew up surrounded by fabrics, patterns and yarn. I’m sure that’s the reason why I love fashion and like to see my drawings not only on paper or canvas, but printed or embroidered on a nice piece of cloth. I studied Arts and Literature (my other great passion) and hope I’ll be able to write and illustrate a book of my own soon. I share my life between being an artist (or at least trying to) and teaching art. I do like communicating and talking to my students, but what I really love is the moment when I lock myself in my studio and just draw. That’s when I feel I’m in the right place, in my own place. I like it when I create an image and I’m not really sure of its meaning then, after some days or weeks, I look at it again and I understand everything. When that happens, I know I’ve done good work.

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Barcelona is resilient. I never miss a walk by the seaside when it’s sunny. I always avoid Portal de l’Àngel on the first sales day. A view: Plaça Catalunya and Las Ramblas from my friend A’s terrace: you can literally feel the city buzzing. A building: Casa Comalat at Còrsega 316. A beautiful (and a little hidden) building. An inspiration: the streets around Mercat de Santa Caterina. A place to go with friends: Almirall, one of the oldest bars in Barcelona. Beautiful, lively and cosy. On my to-do list: A trip on the ‘telefèric’ [cable car]. I can’t believe I haven’t done it yet! About the cover: In my drawing you can see a girl celebrating Sant Jordi, one of the most important festivities in Barcelona. She carries a book covered with dragon’s scales and she shows a message with a rose she has just been sent. Who has sent it? It’s spring and it’s Barcelona, so you never know...

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WhaT’S neW In TOWn


TeLL me The harmony of velvet, fur, cushions, roaring fires, mirrors, candles and lampshades at newly-opened restaurant Dime ensures a luxurious dining experience. It promises the informality and personality of that ‘feels like home’ warmth, but with a touch of grandeur. So it’s almost as though you were dining chez toi, only you’re not in a rush, nothing is burning in the oven and you didn’t forget to buy that vital ingredient. Self-taught chef David Reartes has a passion for flavours and senses, and his cuisine is a combination of cultures. What’s more, the whole restaurant is a furniture showroom, so as well as a satisfied appetite, you could take a bit of this ‘home from home’ away with you. Doctor Fleming 11. www.dime-restaurant.com

Taxi! It’s cold, it’s late and you’re tired. Tourists are stumbling out of bars, passers-by are talking nonsense, angry neighbours are shouting from their balconies, and you’ve just declined yet another offer of one-euro beer from a streetseller. All you want is to go home. But where are all the taxis? Oh yeah, they’re taking everyone else home. Anyone who’s been in that position (viz. everyone) should thus be grateful to GooTaxi, a smartphone app available in Barcelona and several other Spanish cities (as well as in Italy and Brazil) with a total network of 16,000 taxis. There’s no cost—simply download the app and in just two clicks and approximately 15 seconds, you’ve ordered your cab. The application uses geolocation technology to determine where your nearest taxi is. You’ll receive a message informing you how long your taxi will be, and another message when it has arrived. You can use this speedy, comfortable service while still enjoying your evening, and without the hassle of waving down taxis from the city pavement. www.gootaxi.com

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NYC in BCN Hotel Claris has just thrown another bar into the cosmopolitan mix that is Barcelona. East 47 is a remodelled underground cocktail bar that arouses nostalgia for New York in the Sixties, complete with Andy Warhol Pop Art décor. It’s modern and elegant but with distinct, urban touches. There’s a broad selection of alcoholic drinks to choose from, as well as a sweet and savoury tapas menu. Pau Claris 150. www.derbyhotels.com

hamburger hunger Hunger strikes. What you really want is a burger. Recently opened in Barceloneta, hamburguesería Burguer Nass offers a small, to-the-point burger menu, but with a few twists. Choose from a 180g ox or veal burger with various out-of-the-ordinary accompaniments, such as soya beans or Roquefort. If you don’t fancy being adventurous, there are more classic options, or you could always order a sandwich, a salad or some croquetas instead. Still hungry? The chocolate orange cake on the dessert menu sounds good. You’ll have to control your cravings, though, since at the moment the burger bar is only open on weekends and when the weather’s nice. Carrer del Judici 13. www.facebook.com/BurguerNass

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- Sant Jordi was named the patron of Catalunya by the Generalitat in 1456, although he had been venerated here from the eighth century. - Traditionally, the nobility and upper classes would take part in a mass in the Sant Jordi chapel at the Palau de la Generalitat on April 23rd, coinciding with a romantic Rose Fair also held at the palace. – April 23rd is the day when William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes are said to have died, both in 1626. This convergence of the passing of such significant writers was the reason the date of Spain’s Day of the Book was changed in 1930 from October 7th. - When the Day of the Book was changed to April 23rd, it gradually became incorporated with different celebrations and traditions in Catalunya. It took hold here partly because some people regarded it as the Diada (national day of Catalunya, actually celebrated on September 11th); in much of Spain, however, the celebration of the Day of the Book gradually disappeared over time. - In 1995, April 23rd was declared the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day.



the century from which dates the earliest record of the celebration of a Rose Fair on the day of Sant Jordi at the Palau de la Generalitat

Book sales on the day of Sant Jordi represent between five and eight percent of annual sales in Catalunya. Last year’s topseller in fiction, in both Castilian and Catalan, was writer Albert Espinosa with If you tell me to come, I’ll drop everything… but tell me to come. In non-fiction, it was the book from French writer Stéphane Hessel, Time for Outrage! (again in both languages), that topped the lists.

the amount in millions of euros that was made from book sales on Sant Jordi 2011

Sant Jordi (or Saint George) was a Roman soldier in the third century CE, who was eventually killed for speaking out against the persecution of his fellow Christians. He has been adopted as the patron saint in many countries, regions and cities, which each give their own spin to his story. In England, his appearance at key moments of some of the Crusades in the Middle Ages apparently sparked his original popularity there, whereas it was in Eastern Orthodox portrayals of the man that dragons and maidens are thought to have originated. There is also the work, The Golden Legend, a 13th-century collection of saints’ lives, which set a story of George and the dragon in Libya. Here in Catalunya, both Jordi’s role in helping embattled soldiers and his legendary dragon-slaying have found their place in local tales. The story of a town besieged by a fearsome dragon that has to keep the creature’s threats at bay by sacrificing its own inhabitants (eventually ending up with the daughter of the king, which is the moment that Jordi steps up to the plate) is, according to the Catalan version of events, not set across the Mediterranean but rather took place in the country town of Montblanc. Nowadays, the town makes the most of its famous association with Sant Jordi with a special medieval fair each April—for details, see page 34.

WHAT YOUR ROSE SAYS ABOUT YOU RED—love and admiration YELLOW—friendship WHITE—innocence ORANGE—passion and desire PINK—happiness RED AND WHITE—togetherness SINGLE ROSE—simplicity BRIGHT RED—internal beauty

* which don’t even come from Wikipedia. Instead, thanks to the Generalitat and Ajuntament for sharing.

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This month, the Eighth Barcelona ‘Stroll with a Hat’ takes place on Rambla Catalunya. The organisers want to bring back headwear as a style essential and give hat lovers the chance to show off their most striking items in public.

Back in 2005, two Barcelona milliners had a fine idea. To inaugurate a ‘hat parade’ in the city, where participants could sport elegant and eye-catching headgear at a time when the custom of regularly wearing hats was more or less extinct. Today, the two women, Nina Pawlowsky and Cristina De Prada, have overseen the success and growth of their initiative—the first year, around 100 people took part; in 2011, the seventh edition, it was around 500. And the popularity of the gathering seems set to continue. “We wanted to do something to encourage people to wear hats every day, and not only on a special occasion. Organising a Hat Parade where each person could wear their favourite hat or just one they had at home seemed like a good idea. Obviously we were inspired by New York’s Easter Parade.” Following the success of the event, last year, Cristina and Nina organised their first ‘St. Catherine’s Night’. Catherine is the patron saint of milliners, and with her feast day falling in November (the 25th, to be precise), the winter celebration makes for a good contrast to the spring-time parade. As a night event, it also had a very different feel from the daytime, family-friendly passejada amb barret. Clearly as milliners, both Cristina and Nina are keen on the wearing of hats on a regular basis: “it’s the one accessory that rounds up an outfit, like the dot atop the ‘i’.” Asked why they think that social norms flipped 180 degrees regarding the wearing of hats from the middle of the last century to now, they give an understandably considered response: “People think they have to get rid of conventions and believe that wearing a hat is one of them, but in the end they are victims of other conventions without realising. A few decades ago wearing a hat was a dress code that could not be avoided, and not wearing one made you stand out. Today wearing a hat means the

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opposite, because with a hat you are the odd one out, and the hat makes your individuality stand out. Nevertheless, many chain stores now carry hats, and we may soon be back to seeing a majority of people wearing hats.” If you want to take part in the parade, but don’t actually own a hat, the women have a few suggestions about where to look in Barcelona for the perfect piece. “For a start, Sombrereria Mil and Obach, two retail shops that have been open for more than a century now in Barcelona, but there are more recent ones like Chapo, Dekap or, for example, Gratacós, a luxury fabric boutique that also sells occasion hats.” And what should you be looking for? “A good hat is a hat made from the best quality material, like fur felt for winter and straw or fabric for summer. It’s very important that it’s well made and that the shape suits the wearer.” Oh yes, the all-important question, how to find a hat that suits you? Not everyone feels that they can wear a hat, but the two professionals believe that this sensation is just down to us not being used to wearing them and so we make mistakes when trying to choose something. Their advice? Keep in mind your personality and whether you’re looking for an everyday hat or something for a special occasion. Visit a specialised hat shop for professional advice about what looks good and how to wear your chosen hat. “In the beginning it may seem a bit difficult to find the right hat, but be sure there is one out there for you!” 8ª Passejada amb Barret. April 15th, from the top of Rambla Catalunya, starting at midday. www.ambbarret.com

Sombrerería Mil: Fontanella 20 Obach: Call 2 Chapo: Passeig de Gràcia 55

Dekap: Sant Vicenç 29 Gratacós: Passeig de Gràcia 110

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No place like home With 20 evictions a day in Barcelona, a growing number of families are turning to squatting. Text and photos by Regina Winkle-Bryan.


f we look at Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he argues that property and employment are some of our most basic requirements, close seconds after absolute essentials such as food, air and water. But in today’s Spain, the necessity for a roof over one’s head is not being met, even though the Spanish constitution grants the right to housing to all citizens. Everyone requires a place to stay, but paying rent in Barcelona is not easy for many due to the economic crisis and an ever-climbing unemployment rate. It’s hard to pay a mortgage if you suddenly find yourself out of work, a situation that currently results in about 20 evictions a day in Barcelona, and 300 across the country. While being evicted is rough on anyone, it’s especially hard on Spaniards. In Spain, when homeowners can’t make their payments the bank takes the house and the once-owner keeps 40 percent of the debt. Therefore, the unlucky individual is rendered jobless, homeless, and an average €80,000 in the hole, according to a spokeswoman from the organisation Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH). In addition to the 40 percent, the former homeowner must also pay legal fees and interest on the debt. Sound a bit extreme? Many consider this situation to be abusive,

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and organisations such as PAH actively protest against it, managing to stop 140 evictions since 2010 and help thousands struggling to make ends meet. While 140 stopped evictions is a success, it’s a small one when compared to 300 evictions a day in Spain. PAH began way back in pre-crisis times when some saw the housing bubble forming but few were interested in looking at it carefully. PAH first became active under the moniker ‘V Por Vivienda’ (VPV) which was well known for its catchy slogan, ‘ Nunca vas a tener una casa en tu puta vida’ (‘You’ll never own a house in your ^%$@$%^ lifetime’). VPV was a grassroots movement, mostly made up of young people who were unable to fly the nest and get their own place because of high rent prices in Barcelona paired with low salaries. In 2008, VPV lost some of its traction as the economy did a swan dive into crisis mode and young people became less concerned with buying a flat in the face of other problems. However, some of those affiliated with VPV decided to pick up where the movement had ended and form PAH, which came to be in February 2009. PAH differs slightly from VPV in that it focuses on helping those who are being evicted and trying to change the law that allows banks to stick evicted homeowners with 40 percent

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(left) Toni and Annie in their squat in Terrassa; (right) the building in Terrassa taken over by 11 families

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debt. In many cases, when a family is being evicted, PAH tries to step in and negotiate with the bank concerned, asking it to allow the family to pay rent instead. On some occasions, this approach has worked, but in most instances it hasn’t and the family ends up evicted anyway. Under these dire circumstances, and with no other recourse, PAH has worked with families to re-open their home and ‘occupy’ or ‘squat’ it. This is illegal, but in this day and age, there is a growing sense that many people don’t think it should be. Numerous steps are taken by PAH and the homeowners before they resort to becoming squatters (called okupas in Catalan and Castilian). Occupying a home is always the last option as it causes all sorts of legal issues and can be traumatic for the evicted family. Many of the evicted who have recently decided to squat their own homes or other bank-owned properties had never previously participated in the Okupa movement nor did they consider themselves to be activists. In Barcelona, buildings in Nou Barris and Sants have been publicly taken over by families, with many other buildings also being occupied under the radar. “These days with the housing crisis, they estimate that there are 80,000 apartments standing empty in Barcelona,” said Iñaki García García of El Lo-


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cal, an alternative bookshop in El Raval. With abundant empty buildings and many needy people, squatting has become the answer. Toni and Annie lost their home in Terrassa in January this year. Like many affected by the crisis, Toni worked in construction and lost his job when the sector tanked. Unable to pay his bills, Toni was told by Banca Cívica that he, his wife, and two daughters would have to move elsewhere. But where? “We stayed with a friend for a week, but couldn’t stay for longer,” said Annie of their alternatives to squatting. “It was under a bridge or squatting this building,” added Toni, whose relatives were not willing or able to help them when they lost their home. Toni and Annie got in touch with PAH, which helped them to negotiate with the bank. In the meantime, Toni gained the support of many Terrassa residents when he camped in front of Banca Cívica for two weeks protesting the impending eviction. While Toni’s creative form of direct action did have some result (they lowered the 40 percent to 15 percent in his case), he and his family were still evicted and needed a place to go. This is how Toni and Annie ended up as one of the 11 PAH-supported families who squat a new building in the centre of Terrassa that is owned by Catalunya Caixa. The families and PAH publicly took over the building on December 16th, 2011 and are widely supported by neighbours and the community. Inside Toni and Annie’s sunny apartment there is running water and electricity, and lunch is cooking in the oven. There is no hot water or gas, so they prepare their bath water on the electric stove. The couple sit on the couch with their friend and neighbour Diego who lives with his wife and their two children on the third floor. There is a common notion that most of the people who are losing their homes and turning to squatting are foreigners or immigrants, but Toni, Annie and Diego are all from Catalunya. Before he lost his home and business, Diego had a small bar in Terrassa. “I never thought that I’d end up squatting an apartment,” he told Metropolitan. Far from radical, these three parents could not seem like more normal people. They are squatters and activists out of necessity, not choice, as are the other nine families in the building. Of the 29 people living in the building, six are children. Toni and company are a good example of a much larger problem. There is not enough subsidised housing in Spain, and as people continue to lose their homes they are left with few options. PAH has pointed out many times that while many Catalan banks offer social programmes supporting the arts or people suffering

in other countries, they are not doing enough to to aid the huge social problem in their own backyard. With so many empty bankowned flats in Barcelona, why not turn some of those buildings into social housing projects? Couldn’t this be a win-win solution? PAH hopes so, and in the case of the Terrassa building, PAH has taken action to show their good intentions. The 11 families have opened a current account with Catalunya Caixa and committed to paying €80 a month in rent each. While the bank has not recognised or collected on these payments, the objective behind it is a positive one. While direct action against, and pressuring, the banks are important factors in the PAH movement, perhaps even more important is the support the organisation gives to those in need. “When we started out, we expected to find many evicted people angry at the banks and the system. Instead we found that people were very depressed,” said Ada of PAH Barcelona. Being bankrupt, out of a job, homeless and unable to obtain more credit can take a serious toll on a person’s selfesteem. PAH found that many people in this situation turned to alcohol, suicide and violence because of the sense of alienation and failure they suffered. In Barcelona, PAH’s response to this issue is a weekly meeting held each Friday. At this meeting, at-risk individuals get support, but also see that they are not alone. Furthermore, at meetings they learn what their rights are, how to take steps to exercise those rights, and how to help others do the same. This empowering system has caused PAH to grow rapidly in the last year, and what started as a small group in Barcelona now has 50 associations across Spain. A society which struggles to meet its most basic needs cannot evolve and flourish. The economic crisis is far from over, and 2012 is supposed to bring more job losses and additional cuts to social services. When the government is unable to provide for those in need, perhaps drastic measures like squatting should be allowed. In any case, there are innumerable families who could use a helping hand. To see what you can do to help, contact PAH through their website.

There is a common notion that most of the people who are losing their homes and turning to squatting are foreigners, but Toni, Annie and Diego are all from Catalunya.

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Follow Regina on Twitter: @TheSpainScoop MORE INFO: Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca—http://afectadosporlahipoteca.wordpress.com Banca Cívica— www.bancacivica.es Hiptecados Terrassa— http://hipotecadosterrassa.blogspot.com

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Colin McElwee Managing Director of Worldreader, 48, British Worldreader is a Barcelona-based non-profit organisation that sends e-readers (Kindles) to children in developing countries. It harnesses existing mobile technology to give children the opportunity to access digital books, text books and other content relevant to their development. It was set up by CEO David Risher, who resigned as Senior Vice-President of Amazon.com during a sabbatical to co-found the project, and Colin McElwee, former marketing director at ESADE. For me, the written word makes an indelible mark on the mind. When I was a young kid growing up in Nottingham, my dad would drag me down to the local library every week and leave me to explore. There I was with access to all these shelves and it was fascinating. So one day, I would think, “Hmm, biology… I’m going to see what that’s about,” and the next week it would be something else. In the end, my dad would have to drag me out. That element of choice is very important in learning. With e-readers, a child in Africa, Asia or South America can choose the books they want to read, in the same way a child in the developed world can by going to a bookshop or library. It’s a very recent phenomenon. When David and I had the idea two and a half years ago, it seemed so obvious, we were amazed to find no one was doing it already. Now we work with 1,000 children in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Ten years ago, there was only 5 percent mobile penetration in sub-Saharan Africa, now there is 55 percent, so as that connectivity keeps growing, the opportunities will follow. This project is very much about transformation. Aid is very short term, but we are hoping that this will help people on the ground in poor countries get better educated through power-creating ideas— and technology moves much faster than government policy. We’ve got some wonderful partners behind us. We went to Amazon and showed them what we thought this device, originally

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designed for yuppies to read on the metro, could do in the developing world. They were very receptive and initial studies done by the US government have shown the results are better than we ever imagined. We don’t want this to be seen as second-wave imperialism. Although we have access to the Roald Dahl estate, Penguin and Pearsons, for example, we make sure the kids can access culturally relevant content as much as possible, by using local publishers and authors. By March this year, they could access over 75,000 titles. It can be very eye-opening. In Uganda, the children were surprised Ugandan books even existed. They expected Kenya, their big neighbour, to have its own books, but they didn’t even know they had authors in their own country. Children in these countries want to read the same stuff as children anywhere. The most popular are romance, adventure and sport. For our first project in Ghana, we downloaded the Wikipedia entry about the Ghana National Football team and the children were engrossed in learning about Ghana, the statistics and the players. We went to the Mobile World Congress 2012 to speak to some operators. Their focus is all about smartphones and apps, but we were saying to them: “Look, this may be a billion miles away from your core market, but we’re talking about 320 million kids…in 25 years, there will be 420 million!” The world isn’t thinking about what the impact of 420 million uneducated kids will be. I’m hoping that in five years’ time we can dissolve the organisation as every child in the developing world has unhindered access to digital books. It may take a little while longer but not that much! Barcelona has a lot of potential to position itself as a social enterprise hub. There are a lot of creative thinkers here.

www.worldreader.org Interview by Nicola Thornton. Photo by Lee Woolcock.

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Man of his time It is 40 years since one of Barcelona’s most famous fictional characters, detective Pepe Carvalho, came into being at the hand of writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. By Nick Lloyd.


his year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of the first novel featuring P.I. Pepe Carvalho, Barcelona’s answer to Phillip Marlowe. Two years later, Carvalho’s creator, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, was having lunch in one of his favourite restaurants, Casa Leopoldo in El Raval, when he accepted a bet to write what he described as “a cheap detective story” in just 15 days. Dusting off the private eye, he came up with Tatuaje in the designated two weeks, which became the first in the series proper. But Montalbán’s crime novels were never pulp fiction and, unlike Raymond Chandler’s, they had a hard political edge; better than anyone else, they chronicled Spain’s, and particularly Barcelona’s, transition from the hopes of pre-democracy to the disappointments of post-Francoism. It is impossible to comprehend the Barcelona of Carvalho and Montalbán without understanding the writer’s early life. He was born to an anarchist seamstress and communist factory worker turned police officer in Carrer Botella in the Raval five months after the fall of Barcelona and a month after the end of the Spanish Civil War. When he was just 15 days old, his mother took him to La Modelo prison to appeal for his father, who had been condemned to death by a military court. The sentence was reduced to 20 years. The Raval of Montalbán’s childhood, in the Forties, was a place of the defeated. There were bombed-out buildings everywhere, almost everyone was on the losing side of the war and, in the author’s words, “carried the post-war around on their backs like a dead body”. Montalbán was describing these streets when he said “Something akin to the beauty of misery was etched on the faces of the houses”. There were few men around: instead, they were in prison or concentration camps, in exile or dead. Many women were forced into prostitution to support their families. Although his own family was not destitute, as his mother had sewing work, his later passion for cuisine can be traced to the hunger he often experienced in these years. When he was five, Montalbán met a strange man on the stairs of his tenement block. His father had returned. But despite their poverty, there were always family celebrations in the traditional restaurants of the area such as Casa Leopoldo and Can Lluís. These became central places in his geography and writing, to which he and his private eye would return again and again. Manual Vázquez Montalbán became one of the very few people from the Raval who managed to study at university in the late Fif-

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ties, a time when, in his words, “0.01 percent of the student population was working class.” He then started working as a journalist and joined the clandestine PSUC, the Catalan communist party, before being arrested in 1962 when on an anti-Francoist demonstration. He was thrown in the cells of Via Laietana’s feared police headquarters and beaten up in front of his wife by the notorious inspector and torturer Vicente Creix. Sent to prison in Lleida, he described the experience as “his second university”. Here he found himself in the bizarre situation of watching the news of the death agonies of Pope John XXIII with his cellmates as though it were a football match. They wanted the Catholic leader to die because they knew it would lead to an amnesty, as indeed it did. Over the next 40 years, Montalbán became one of the most prolific writers and commentators Spain has ever produced. By his death, he had written around a hundred books covering everything from Catalan folk music and gastronomy to political treatises, but it is the 20 Carvalho novels for which he is most remembered. Montalbán used Carvalho to denounce a city that was losing its signs of identity as it swept the poor under the carpet in a race to modernity. Michael Eaude, whose highly recommended Con el muerto a cuestas: Vázquez Montalbán y Barcelona was published in January, summed up the detective as such: Like Marlowe, Carvalho is an ordinary man, who is relatively poor because otherwise he wouldn’t be a detective having to do disagreeable and dangerous jobs to earn a living. Like Marlowe again, Carvalho is the moral man walking the mean streets. He is a sceptic, because to survive the mean streets a detective has to doubt what people tell him. His scepticism is also an ethical attitude, in that it is applied to the arguments the powerful use to justify their actions. Carvalho sees his task as completing the job for his client, but he does not hand criminals over to the police: he does not trust them, as their job is to defend the ruling-class. When he pulls the thread leading to a criminal, he often finds that a leading capitalist is behind the crime. How else could it be in a criminal capitalist society? Montalbán also left an immense body of work as a journalist and essayist, and was a renowned Barça fan and gourmet. Food and recipes feature prominently in the Carvalho novels. Each restaurant where Carvalho eats forms part of the landscape of the city. His sidekick Biscuter knows the stalls of the Boqueria intimately. Montalbán constantly evokes his childhood through tastes and smells.

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Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. Source: PhotoAisa

On several occasions, only half joking, he suggested that the city council set up a museum of these senses. Michael Eaude points out that, “Unlike Marlowe, Carvalho tries to enjoy himself: the pleasures of sex, eating and friendship are important to him. You have to look after yourself, because no-one else will.” Through his body of work, Montalbán superbly and critically recorded the city’s and Spain’s faulty transition from dictatorship to democracy, slating the old Francoists, but also those who had undergone “plastic surgery in 1977”, miraculously turning into democrats. He was also angered by how Barcelona’s rulers—primarily the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), but also his own party the PSUC (which later became Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds)—swept away the memory of the city of his childhood in a remarkable whitewashing job, turning Barcelona into the clean city of the Olympics and design. Montalbán himself left the Raval and went to live in plush Vallvidrera. His sleuth followed him, allowing the author to look into the city from outside. But neither stopped returning to El Raval and showing solidarity with the oppressed, where everything the city authorities wanted to hide, lingered on. And, as Eaude writes in his book, although Montalbán was nostalgic for a disappeared Barcelona—the landscape of his childhood—at the same time he knew that these slums, in which it was so hard to live, would and should disappear. He also understood that the modern Olympic Barcelona was a good place to live, if you had money. Before his death at Bangkok airport of a heart attack in 2003, Montalbán told Eaude, “Barcelona’s not a bad place to live....but there’s been an enormous operation in these 20 years to instil disenchantment, to depoliticise people.” With the current onslaught on the public sphere across Europe and the beginning of a fightback against this, Montalbán seems as relevant as ever.

Nick Lloyd leads historical tours in Barcelona and runs the website www.iberianature.com

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A couple of his favourite restaurants Just round the corner from Montalbán’s place of birth, at Carrer de la Cera 49, is Can Lluís. Open for more than a hundred years, in its early years it earned its nickname of Can Mosques (House of Flies) as the cod for sale outside would attract swarms of the creatures, but over the years it gained a more salubrious reputation, and became a meeting-place for good food, and artistic and left-wing political discussion. Thanks to its location in the heart of the small gypsy area of El Raval, in the Sixties it also became a focal point for rumba catalana with impromptu sessions involving El Peret, master of the genre, who married the owner’s daughter. Another story illustrates the desperate divisions of the Raval of Montalbán’s childhood. On January 26th, 1946, a man and woman, both anarchists, were eating here with their young son, when the Guardia Civil burst in demanding documents. The woman knew what would happen to them and took a grenade from her pocket and threw it. Tragically, the restaurant owner and his son were killed. To this day a small indentation in the ground can be seen where the grenade struck. A favourite of Montalbán and Carvalho, Alcoi rice and roasted goat shoulder, is now advertised in the window as the ‘MVM menu’ at €22. From Monday to Friday, a solid €9.50 menu del día is also available. Casa Leopoldo (Sant Rafael 24) was Carvalho’s and Montalbán’s favourite restaurant, with their choice dish being mandonguilles amb sípia (meatballs and cuttlefish). It has, for many years, been a meeting-place for Barcelona’s literary elite, despite (or because of) being surrounded, until the opening of the Rambla del Raval, by some of the city’s worse slums. It is famed for its tertulias (discussions) fuelled by exquisite food, and is decorated with bullfighting motifs, de rigeur when the restaurant opened its doors for the 1929 Universal Exhibition. Be warned that prices have risen considerably since working-class families ate here in the author’s youth. A basic menu without drinks will set you back €25.

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Thanks to all of you who sent in photos for this subject—see more images online at: www. barcelona-metropolitan.com/get-togethers. Next month’s theme is: SHOPPING. Send your photos to editorial@barcelona-metropolitan.com by April 16th. Find all the practical info at: www.barcelonametropolitan.com/photocollage


Birthday celebrations in Ciutadella Park—by Andrea Moreno

Chatting in Pla de Palau, near the port—by Cèsar Pasadas

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Day trip to Sitges to explore th

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Two people talking over a coffee at Las Arenas—by Dorothea Biehler

Saint Patrick’s Day 2012 at Temple Bar—by Andrzej Witek

ges to explore the abandoned waterpark—by Daniel Rinehart

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Exploring—by Marika Michalak

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Wasp spider catches dragonfly

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Spider stories


Barcelona is teeming with eight-legged creatures. Text and photos by Lucy Brzoska.

ike them or not, we live surrounded by spiders. Spain enjoys a particularly high diversity of these arachnids, with nearly 2,000 species, compared with 600 in the UK. The spiders in our midst come in an assortment of sizes. They can fill the palm of your hand or require a magnifying glass to be seen. Some are brightly coloured, changing their tones according to their background, chameleon-like. They can exhibit extraordinary behaviour: some will fly through the air clasping a butterfly, others execute snappy dance routines or excel at motherhood. Encounters with spiders often leave a lasting impression, especially if you suffer from arachnophobia. This irrational fear is extremely common, and I have suffered from it as long as I can remember. But over the years, my horror of spiders has been eroded by fascination. Instead of running away screaming, I can now approach and observe. You could say that in my case exposure therapy has had good results. Particularly memorable for me was a chance meeting with one

of Europe’s largest species, a wolf spider, who crossed my path in Collserola about two years ago. I’d noticed something dart rapidly out into the open and then suddenly freeze in its tracks. As I approached, it scurried forward again. This time I was quicker and intercepted its trajectory before it could disappear into the undergrowth. It was an impressively big spider (about six centimetres across), with robust legs and a bristling back. But amazingly, on closer inspection, the bristles turned out to be a tangle of tiny legs: the dutiful mother was on the move with her brood of spiderlings. As their name may suggest, wolf spiders don’t spin webs, but instead go roaming in search of their prey. So without a web to act as a nursery, the female carries her egg sac attached to her spinnerets, the appendage spiders have for producing silk. To stop the sac dragging on the ground, the abdomen has to be kept raised, quite a burden for an active hunter. When the time is right, the mother will chew open the silken bag to free her young, and wait till they have all climbed on


Heather crab spider hiding in flower

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Sharp-eyed jumping spider


board and are securely clinging to her bristles. After riding piggyback for about a week, the spiderlings moult and disperse. I got down to ground level for a better view. The image of tender motherhood was temporarily forgotten when confronted with the wolf spider’s fiercely staring eyes, positioned directly above venomous fangs. As well as legs, spiders are liberally endowed with visual organs. Instead of the two large compound eyes displayed by insects, spiders usually have eight single-lensed eyes, variously arranged. In the wolf spider they are all prominently to the fore, with the central two especially large. You can pick them out at night, glinting reflectively in torchlight. But it’s the jumping spiders who boast the sharpest arachnid vision of all. These sprightly, diminutive hunters can be found on any sunny wall. Montjuïc castle, with its cracks and holes, is alive with them and there’s a good chance they live on your balcony, too. What you notice first, if you get really close, is a row of four bright eyes, which darken as they focus on your looming face. The other four are somewhat unsettlingly embedded on the spider’s back. Their excellent vision gives jumping spiders deadly accuracy when pouncing on prey, and also plays a role in their courtship. In rhythmic displays, legs are raised to flaunt bright colours. The males’ dancing seems to mesmerise the female and keep her predatory instincts at bay. Job done, the spider springs away with a wave of its ticklish palps. Other spiders prefer to live among plants. While out walking in spring and summer, you might notice a bee or butterfly strangely quiet on its flower, apparently undisturbed by your approach. The usual explanation is that they’ve fallen into the clutches of a crab spider, who will be tucked underneath, sucking its victim dry. Small and unobtrusive, the crab spider’s strength lies in its outsized forelegs, reminiscent of the seashore crustacean, and of course, its paralysing venom. Like a dentist’s anaesthetic, this sometimes takes a while to take effect, and the spider can be carried away for a mystery flight until it does. As ambush predators, crab spiders rely on camouflage and can change colour to match the flowers where they lurk. Once I found a heather crab spider in a purple pitch trefoil flower, its raspberry-ripple ice cream tones blending in smoothly. For further invisibility it had arrayed its legs like a Hindu deity, in line with the petals. A similar species, the Napoleon crab spider, comes in red or yellow varieties, but can be immediately identified by an uncanny black marking on the

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abdomen: the silhouette of Napoleon in his bicorne hat. Though not web-weavers, all the spiders mentioned so far produce silk: to make egg sacs, transfer sperm or abseil away from danger. For those species that use silk to trap their prey, often a rough tangle will do, but others construct sophisticated symmetrical structures. These are the orb spiders. One of the most spectacular is the yellow and white, dynamically -striped wasp spider. At the end of last summer, several of them had slung their webs alongside Vallvidrera reservoir, low-down in the grass, close to the water where dragonflies patrol. It was a sign of the strength of their webs that they could handle such large prey, who were tightly bound in white silk, their immense eyes dulled. Another orb species was encountered in a spooky underground cellar deep within Collserola’s woods in the grounds of Can Cata, which are open to the public two Sundays a month. I shone a torch into the pitch darkness and became aware of movement. Spreadeagled in their nearly invisible webs hung a colony of red-brown cave spiders. Here in the dark, they use sensitive bristles to pick up the least vibration. When I brought a friend to see them, she laughed, having expected something at least the size of a tarantula from my description. The long shadows of hairy legs cast on the cellar wall had distorted my memory. I’ve made considerable progress since the days when even the sight of a green spidery tomato stem would make me jump out of my skin. I now realise that spiders have a beauty of their own. But some of the irrational dread obviously remains. One summer night, some friends and I were out walking at the edge of the city. We’d stopped to identify some fox scat, as amateur naturalists like to do, when, just in time, we noticed a large spider suspended across the path, precisely at nose level. The narrow path, a convenient clearing in the otherwise dense scrub, turned out to be a favoured hunting ground for the common but imposing garden spider. Web after web blocked our way. Impressively, they build these intricate structures at record speed each night, and then pack up in the morning, ingesting the silk. Dodging, crawling, we had a long, slow walk back in the dark.

Lucy Brzoska runs nature tours and writes for the website www.iberianature.com

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MAKING PLANS A few suggestions about things to do tonight, this weekend, later on...

Up on stage Some of the concerts happening this month in Barcelona

And So I Watch You From Afar (above)—Saturday 14th at Sala BeCool The Waterboys (23 Festival de Guitarra)—Sunday 15th at Teatre Coliseum Absynthe Minded—Friday 20th at Sidecar Laura Pausini—Saturday 21st at Palau Sant Jordi

Modern dance

Rock the Ballet, Teatre Victòria, 11th to 24th; Macadam Macadam, Mercat de les Flors, 19th-22nd and 26th-29th

Anyone in the mood for a performance of traditional choreography should probably head anywhere but Barcelona this month, with not one but two shows taking place that mix up dance styles and musical genres in a carefree way that will doubtless scandalise purists. If, however, you like watching energetic, fit youngsters take command of the stage with novel performances, then Rock the Ballet and/ or Macadam Macadam will certainly ring your bell. The former is an overwhelming mix of rock music (includ-

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ing Queen, Michael Jackson and Prince), jazz, acrobatics, breakdance, martial arts, pantomime (unusual, right?) and tap performed by a group of six men with serious abs and a sole female (who probably also has good abs, let’s be honest). Macadam Macadam charts a similar course but rather than rock, its focus is hip hop with music hall, dance, skating, bikes and acrobatics all thrown in for good measure. For sure, go along and be entertained, but be prepared to feel sadly inadequate.

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Working together Palestina/Israel: contradiccions d’una occupació, Centre Cívic Teresa Pàmies (Urgell 185) Junts is a Catalan association that brings together Jews and Palestin-

Palestinians from their homes for the building of a new Jewish set-

ians and which has organised a series of events that aim to reveal

tlement (April 18th, 7pm). On Wednesday 25th, there will be the bi-

the current realities of life in Israel and Palestine. Kicking off the event

lingual recital of the most recent poem by Mahmud Darwiz by Ronza

is the Spanish premiere of the documentary Israel v Israel by Swed-

Al Nouri and Javier Hernández, with music by Yannis Papaioannou.

ish film-maker Terje Carlsson, who will be at the screening (April 11th,

The run ends with a final documentary, D’une seule voix, following a

7pm). It features a grandmother, a rabbi, an anarchist and a former

group of Palestinian and Israeli musicians who travel to France for a

soldier who all want to find a way to bring about Israel’s withdrawal

three-week tour, during which tensions appear amongst the partici-

from the Occupied Territories—the story highlights how the struggle

pants (May 2nd, 7pm). Accompanying the weekly events will be two

for peace is dividing Israel. The following week, another documentary,

ongoing photo exhibitions at the same venue: ‘Palestinian women

entitled Sheik Jarrah, will be shown, covering the life of people in the

under the Israeli occupation’ by Pat Risko and ‘Palestine, stories of

eponymous neighbourhood of Jerusalem who are largely Palestinian

resistance’ with works by different photographers and presented by

refugees but also Israeli activists trying to prevent the eviction of 550

the BDS campaign (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).

something old

Brick Lane BCN—Vintage Market, Corretger5 (Corretger 5), Saturday 7th, 11am-6pm. €2 entry Anyone unsure whether vintage has yet taken Barcelona by hold can find the answer (hint: it’s a big SÍ) at this month’s Brick Lane event. With a line-up of sponsors that has included Tanqueray, Desperados and Heinken, and guest DJs from the UK and Ireland, the fashion faithful are well set with these regular sales of classic and unique clothes and accessories from the past. If you’re a vintage virgin, Brick Lane offers an ideal place to take the plunge into this fast-fashion alternative. It brings together a range of established vintage labels all selling a mix of items for both men and women.

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Two grand masters of art are featured in exhibitions at the CaixaForum that highlight their differences and similarities. By Alx Phillips.

Delacroix: The Shipwreck of Don Juan, 1840. Musée du Louvre, Paris

Goya: The Parasol, 1777. Museu Nacional del Prado, Madrid

DELACROIX (1798-1863)


Spanish artist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) and Frenchman Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) are utterly distinctive artists yet comparable in their contrasts. Each broached grim, often violent subject matter imaginatively, manipulating colour and tone to heighten emotion and make fantastical scenes seem real. Goya, portrait painter to the royal courts of Carlos III and IV, lived through times that would drive anyone mad. At the height of his career, an illness left him stone deaf and while he continued with commissioned works, he began to produce series upon series of dark, introspective, aquatinted etchings in which he documented an ignorant and immoral society with unflinching acuity. In a series of prints called ‘Caprichos’ (1799), Goya used points of white to pierce darker areas so that the eye draws his scenes together, making them seem believable despite the wild subject matter: a carnival of cannibals, animals and witches, or two men carrying donkeys in Tú que no puedes (1797). His portraits are even more remarkable, given that they were paid for. His subjects are overtly plump and self-satisfied (Carlos IV de rojo, 1789) or drooling and ignorant, and he finished them by candlelight so that figures seem illuminated on hazy, menacing backdrops, where mysterious cloaked figures, or the mere suggestion of them, lurk (La Feria de Madrid, 1778-9). How he got away with it seems to prove all the points he is trying to make. For his famous La Maja nude from 1800 (the clothed version is on show here), he was dragged up before the Inquisition, yet without further repercussions. From 1808 to 1815, violence and famine wracked the country as Napoleon Bonaparte battled with Spain. Of this, Goya produced a seething set of prints, ‘Los Desastres de la Guerra’, that was published after his death.

Scenes depict reciprocal, interminable violence irrelative of status, nationality or gender (Enterrar y callar, 1810-14). In 1826, as Goya in self-imposed exile in Bordeaux daubed demons on the walls of his home, an idealistic young Frenchman was causing a stir in Paris with his own emotive but unsentimental visions of war. Unlike Goya, Eugène Delacroix went looking for adventure. Yet while he conjured up dramatic scenes of the Greek uprising against the Turks (Greece dying on the ruins of Missolonghi, 1826), he remained “coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible,” according to Baudelaire. He developed a technique in which one colour influenced another, amplifying emotion without compromising on authenticity. Delacroix expressed in art what his Romantic contemporaries did in literature, painting scenes from Lord Byron’s satirical poem Don Juan (The Shipwreck of Don Juan, 1840) and from Gothic novels such as Melmoth the Wanderer (The Public Confession, 1831). He championed individuality and creative genius while making the artist seem humble and homely; he portrays 17th-century poet John Milton relating Paradise Lost to his children (1827), and Baron LouisAuguste Schwiter having artistic thoughts in the bosom of nature (1826-30). After travelling to North Africa in 1832, Delacroix painted exotic scenes that also seem warm and domestic. In the sensuality of a harem (Women of Algiers in their Apartment, 1834) or the whirling choreography of a marketplace (Fanatics of Tangier, 1838), Delacroix’s influence on the Impressionists seems clear: they just had to put in a paintbrush and stir.

CaixaForum. Until May 20th

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CaixaForum. Until June 24th

Read more of Alx’s writing on her blog at www.lookingfordrama.com

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This is one of those months in Barcelona when film festivals converge—we take a look at what the Mecal Short Film Festival and D’A Festival Cinema d’Autor each have to offer.

Ahora no puedo

Les bien-aimés (2011)



When? April 12th to 29th Where? Cinemas Girona is the principal venue, but some screenings will take place elsewhere, including the Institut Français, Fàbrica Moritz and the Antic Teatre. How much? The cost of the festival pass has been reduced from €25 to €18 this year. Students of cinema and theatre can get a further discounted pass for just €12.50. Past form: This is its 14th edition, so fair to say it’s well-established on the scene by now. Unsurprisingly, it has grown signficantly from its early days and has sought to introduce unusual elements each year to keep the format fresh, including eating food in line with the on-screen action. What’s the aim? To promote the short film format; films up to 30 minutes long are welcome from directors around the world, although many of those being shown are much, much shorter than that. Who will be appearing? Presumably interesting presenters and happy prize-winners will be at the various award-givings. Unfortunately, they are by invitation only. As is the inaugural ceremony, but the party afterwards is a public event, so rock on down to the Fàbrica Moritz and see who you can rub shoulders with. Pick of the films: Because they are so short, there is an almost monstrous number of films on show (around 300 apparently) and even the number of categories is overwhelming. However, stand-out sections should be: ‘Soy un loser con superpoderes’, celebrating modern antiheroes; ‘Hell Yeah’, featuring works inspired by heavy metal; and the topical (considering the gloomy Mayan ‘forecasts’ of imminent world’s end) ‘Oh my god there is no future’.

When? April 27th to May 6th Where? The recently inaugurated Filmoteca de Catalunya in the Raval will host the screenings of work by featured director, Claire Denis. The other venue for the festival is Cines Aribau Club. How much? Prices are being kept the same as for last year’s inaugural edition, so that’s €7 per screening, with discounts available and sets of five tickets at a reduced price. Past form: It only started in 2011, so not too much to say here. But, in this day and age, any cultural event that can find the resources to continue after its initial outing deserves some credit (quite literally for those suffering financial problems). What’s the aim? “Exploring contemporary cinema d’auteur, in its widest sense, seeking out the best in new film creations and combining established names with new talents.” Basically, they want to give cinema-lovers the chance to see films that wouldn’t be put on at the local cineplex in a million years. Who will be appearing? No word on special appearances by directors or actors so far. It seems to be all about the films themselves. Pick of the films: Sangue do meu sangue by Portuguese director Joao Canijo (which was an award-winner at San Sebastian) relates the story of a close-knit family from a poor part of Lisbon struggling to deal with the day-to-day realities of their lives. Life Without Principle is the latest effort by Hong Kong director Johnnie To, one of the film-makers helping to breathe new life into the former colony’s movie industry. French film-maker Claire Denis is the focus of this year’s retrospective with a selection of her fiction, documentaries and shorts being screened.



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RELIVE HISTORY Learn about Catalunya’s varied past by attending one of its historical reenactments taking place this season. By Max Bentley.

Many forget that Catalunya has a rich and celebrated history, which includes Greek and Roman settlements, the prosperous Middle Ages and modern battles, all of which have made the region what it is today. Thankfully, there is a series of historical reenactments going on this season and throughout the year that help us to relive and commemorate those momentous times.

SETMANA MEDIEVAL DE LA LLEGENDA DE SANT JORDI The legend of Saint George and the dragon is perhaps one of the most patriotic and well-known tales in European lore; however, what is not always considered is that, according to Catalan tales, the infamous slaying of the dragon was alleged to have taken place only 100 kilometres away from Barcelona. Catalan folklorist Joan Amades, in his book Costumari Català (1952), states that the chivalrous act having taken place on the doorstep of Montblanc, in the province of Tarragona. To celebrate this historic occasion, in 1987, the townspeople of Montblanc decided to annually reenact the exploits of Sant Jordi, who was officially recognised as the patron saint of Catalunya by the Roman Catholic Church in 1667. This year’s edition of ‘Medieval Week’ takes place between April 20th and May 1st, when there will be a series of theatrical productions and medieval festivities designed to create a realistic potrayal of life during this period. Over 500 costumed participants will furnish the town with medieval market stalls and the streets will be filled with dancing and entertainment. Houses will be adorned with the colours of the four noble houses of Montblanc, while the opening ceremony introduces us to the festival’s main characters. Witness a recreation of the Catalan Courts (the government of the time), take a shot at archery or attend the medieval feast (€25-50)! The festival culminates on Saturday April 28th with the celebrated feat of Sant Jordi rescuing the princess from the feared dragon and slaying the beast (€15, under-sixes get in for €5). According to Amades, a rosebush grew in the spot where the blood of the dragon was spilt and Sant Jordi chose the prettiest rose for the princess as a declaration of universal love, hence the Catalan tradition for lovers to exchange roses on the day of Sant Jordi. During the festival, this Entrega de la Rosa takes place on Monday April 23rd, the Catalan equivalent of Valentine’s Day. This date commemorates the death of the original Sant Jordi who was supposedly beheaded in Palestine on April 23rd, 303CE, after protesting against Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians. Back in Montblanc, a medieval tournament will provide audiences with an action-packed spectacle and there will be a series of daily processions and musical performances. And if just watching sounds dull, there is still time for you to perform in the proceedings by applying online (see More Info below).


Roman weapons and shields © Triumvirat Mediterrani

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Relive Catalunya’s Greek, Roman and Iberian heritage with the 17th edition of the Mediterranean Triumvirate on Saturday May 12th. The municipality of L’Escala in Girona and the nearby ruins of Empúries set the scene for Catalunya’s most diverse historical reenactment. The area on the Costa Brava was known as Palaiapolis by the Indigetes population that resided there before the Greeks settled on the coastal spot of Empúries around 600BCE, while the Romans arrived in 218BCE; the settlement was abandoned in the third century CE. There is an impressive collection of archaeological exhibitions at the ruins and the nearby Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya (€2.40 entry fee). The aim of the yearly Triumvirat fair is to demonstrate and transmit the legacy of coexistence between the three cultures that lived here, through an expansive programme of cultural, historical and

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Entrega de la Rosa, Setmana Medieval de la Llegenda de Sant Jordi

recreational activities. These include craft and mosaic workshops, gastronomic exhibitions, boat rides, the sale of slaves, Olympic traditions, gladiator battles and military defence formations. The arrival of the legion and a fire show open and close the festivities.

MAGNA CELEBRATIO Down the road from here, in Badalona, resides another archaeological site, the ancient Roman town of Baetulo, which was founded by General Scipio over 2,100 years ago. Between April 27th and 29th, a festival takes place dedicated to Roman practices and professions. Tasting a Roman menu, trying your hand at pottery, producing coins, working as a goldsmith and learning secret perfume and hairstyling techniques are but a few of the enticing options on offer this year. At the Badalona Museum, there will be several exhibitions and a production about the first Emperor of Rome (Augustus) to reflect how Roman society lived. Why not become a Roman citizen for the day?

L’ONZE DE SETEMBRE I GIRONELLA By the river Llobregat in Gironella on September 11th, there will be a night-time, two-hour long theatrical reconstruction that recalls the 1714 Siege of Barcelona during the War of Spanish Succession. This saw Felipe V of Spain, backed by French forces, defeat Archduke Charles of Austria and his Grand Alliance, capture Barcelona and end Catalunya’s autonomous rule. Barcelona became part of the Bourbon dynasty’s centralisation efforts and September 11th has since become the National Day of Catalunya, a day which sits deep in Catalan hearts as they look back to the historical boldness of their nation in times past.

MORE info

Setmana Medieval de la Llegenda de Sant Jordi www.setmanamedieval.org Triumvirat Mediterrani - www.triumviratmediterrani.org Empúries - www.mac.cat/seus/empuries Magna Celebratio - www.magnacelebratio.cat L’Onze de Setembre i Gironella www.lonzedesetembreigironella.com

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FOCUS ON THE FOOD Don’t let a few glitches distract you from the excellent dishes being served at Topik. By Tara Stevens. Photos by Richard Owens. ✪ - NOT WORTH THE TRIP, ✪✪ - COULD IMPROVE, ✪✪✪ - GOOD, ✪✪✪✪ - VERY GOOD, ✪✪✪✪✪ - NOT TO BE MISSED


ometimes I think I must wander about with my head in the clouds, because Topik seemed to come at me out of nowhere. It’s been around since October 2009, but the first I heard of it was through a chef friend who told me, a couple of months back, that I simply had to go. Unfortunately, my attempts at making a reservation for what seemed like an amazing lunch deal didn’t quite go according to plan. “You can’t reserve if you’re having the menu del día,” said the voice at the end of the phone. “If you want to reserve, you have to go à la carte.” I know it’s a Friday and all that, but still! If you want a bargain lunch, first come first served rules apply, I suppose. Suffice to say I made the reservation to eat à la carte and got there at 2.30pm to find the place about a quarter full. Fortunately the menu read so well I didn’t actually mind being forced to go à la carte, though the experience did stick in my craw. Moving on though, the place itself is bright and sunny with large windows giving to the street at the front, and more intimate and cosy down the stairs at the back. The red brick walls, white-painted beams and comfortable chairs make it a pleasant place to be, despite the fact that during the 15 minutes I wait for my friend nobody so much as offers me a glass of water. They don’t even look in my direction and I’m gasping. I know it sounds like a lot of griping, but I do it from a place of love: if these little things were sorted out, Topik would be a truly terrific place to eat and getting a whole lot more attention than it currently does. Chef Adelf Morales earned his stripes in the stellar kitchens

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of San Sebastian before disappearing off to Japan to learn the fine art of cuisine over there and bringing back a clean, clear approach to the Mediterrasian genre. Solid Spanish ingredients including smoky cecina de León, luscious jamón ibérico, plump Cantabrian anchovies, spider crab from the Basque country, tender octopus from Galicia and some local rib-stickers such as cap i pota form the basis of tapas-sized dishes jazzed up with punchy Asian flavours: wasabi, soy, seaweed, miso and sake all feature albeit with a light, thoughtful touch. The wine list is carefully considered, too, and includes a small selection that changes by the month. My friend begins with an oyster, which has been gently poached in miso and topped with scallions and shredded seaweed. It’s not quite what he was expecting (read: raw), but is nevertheless a happy marriage of salt, ozone and a cheeky little jolt of fresh green onions. Being allergic to this type of bivalve, I have juicy king prawns wrapped in ribbons of vermicelli, deep-fried and served with homemade allioli, and we share four croquetes de txangurro (spider crab), sweet and oozy as can be. A hunk of besugo (gilthead bream) in sake is as glossy as mother-of-pearl and tender as butter, nicely contrasted by a square of crunchy coca topped with creamy unagi (eel, sushi style) and grilled foie. Wild mushroom canelons topped with truffled béchamel brought us back to the Catalan hinterland, wrapping us up in ravishing pillows of warmth. Indeed the only dud among them were the deconstructed patatas bravas, comprising the usual tepid, soggy potatoes shaped into a tube

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Chef Adelf Morales

and topped with a teaspoonful of boring brava sauce. Ho hum. But then, joy, for an entire two-man arroz con sepia y alcachofas soon arrived as our main course—a triumphant mix of plump little grains of rice clad in a richly fishy stock with the welcome contrasting textures of cuttlefish and artichokes. It almost finished us—if you have the tasting menu, be sure to come hungry—but not quite. I did my usual thing of pretending I couldn’t possibly eat dessert, but still managed to scarf down a mojito sorbet topped off with a shot of aged rum (utterly delicious) and my guest made short work of a hazelnut coulant. Given the run of good eats I’ve had in Barcelona lately, I can only say our chefs and restaurants are on a roll. And Topik deserves a place with the best of them. Follow Tara’s gourmet musings on Twitter: @taralstevens

Topik, València 199, tel. 93 451 0923, www. topikrestaurant.es. Open Tue-Sat 1pm-3.30pm, 8pm-11.30pm; Sun 1pm-3.30pm; Mon 8pm-11pm. Menu del día €12.50. Tasting menu €30 for six tapas, a generous main and dessert. Tara’s rating: ✪✪✪✪

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3/23/12 11:00:39 AM


quick bites NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: ocaña


n March 26th, one of the most talked-about projects in town—for which, in the interests of transparency, I should say I am the gastronomic consultant—finally opened its doors on the Plaça Reial, with any luck injecting new life into the old place. It is, after all, one of the city’s most handsome squares, and when it was finished in the 1860s was the height of fashion for Barcelona’s glitterati. Since then, of course, it has been beleaguered by a seedier side of life but hopefully Ocaña will go a long way to starting a new chapter in its history. The space—which will eventually incorporate a café, restaurant, cocktail bar and club—takes its name from the artist, actor and bon vivant, José Pérez Ocaña (pictured above), who lived on the square in the Seventies and early Eighties and was a leading figure in Barcelona’s ‘la Movida’, the famously hedonistic cultural movement that spread across Spain after Franco died. Housed in an old rubber stamp press and arranged around two central atriums, it is split over three levels with many original features such as the gilded columns and hardwood floors meticulously restored. The Apotheke cocktail bar meanwhile is lined

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with richly decorated wood panels salvaged from a pharmacy in Vigo. Until everything opens, the café for now is the heart of the place offering specialist teas and coffees, fresh juices, and contemporary aperitifs such as their signature Bloody Mary Infusion (made with bacon vodka). Food-wise think modern Catalan bistro with a big focus on fresh, light and healthy ingredients and a sprinkling of influences from elsewhere. While there are a couple of rib-stickers like a hearty Catalan breakfast of botifarra and beans with a fried egg, there is also artisan yogurt with an orange, cinnamon and mint salad and a handful of new dishes like ‘shakshuka’—a riff on the Tel Aviv breakfast classic of eggs poached on spiced tomato sauce. The lunch and dinner menu is a mix of quality crowd-pleasers such as a 21-day aged filet steak served with an entire Trocadero lettuce dressed with mustard vinaigrette and a lighter, brighter take on traditional Catalan recipes such as a ‘suquet’ of grilled corvina on a stew of fresh spring peas. The restaurant, which is due to open later in the spring, will be an extension on this theme. Ocaña, Plaça Reial 13-15. www.ocana.cat

Image: José Pérez Ocaña, by photographer Pieter Vandermeer

By Tara Stevens.

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Food&Drink For more in food&drink visit our online directory www.barcelona-metropolitan.com/eating-and-drinking  under 20 |  20-30 |  30-40 |  over 40 RV Reservation Advised | NEW in food & drink this month American


Bar THE ORIGINAL AMERICAN SUPERMARKET 4Sant Gervasi Good news from Taste of America! All of the products you miss from the U.S.A., from BBQ sauces to breakfast treats, are now in Barcelona. Cheerios, Hershey’s chocolates, peanut butter and jelly, Newman’s Own sauces, Wilton, root beer, Peperidge Farm, marshmallows, macaroni & cheese, bagels and more are just some of the goodies that await discovery. Go visit, you’ll be amazed! And for your convenience, there is public parking right at the rear of the store! New opening in Sant Cugat!  Balmes 322 I FGC Sant Gervasi I Tel. 93 211 9792 C/Plana Hospital 18 I FGC Sant Cugat Tel. 93 187 5070

PINK ELEPHANT 4EIXAMPLE Barcelona’s first contemporary American restaurant and cocktail bar, now in their fourth year, invite you to indulge your senses. All menu items are made to order and their desserts are baked on the premises by an American chef. To complement your visit, browse their selection of wine and beer from the U.S. including the latest additions from the Brooklyn Brewery. 

Villarroel 82 I Metro L1 Urgell/L5 Hospital Clinic Tel. 93 502 4825 I info@pinkelephantlounge.com www.pinkelephantrestaurante.com Mon-Fri 1pm-4pm, 7pm-1am, Sat 1pm-4pm, 7pm-3am, Sun 7pm-1am

NEVERMIND4Barri gÒtic Nevermind is a cult place for those looking for a more alternative scene in touristy Barcelona. Mixing large amounts of grunge music, graffi tti and urban sports, they serve up amazing cocktails, special! house shots, cheap beer, Happy Hour till 10pm, free freshly-made popcorn, authentic decoration, skate videos and much more.  Escudellers Blancs 3, 08002 | www.nevermindbcn.com | Open every day from 7pm

SWEET REBEL BAR4Barri gÒtic Located in the heart of the Gothic quarter, this cool ‘beach bar’ is the place to enjoy the sweetest reggae music 365 days a year. Chill out with a beer or try a Jamaican cocktail made from natural fruits and sweet rum. Its comfortable surroundings and ambiance. make it a great place to relax. Beers 2 Cocktails 5.  Ample 54 | Open every day from 7pm-3am

7Sins Bar and Lounge 4EIXAMPLE e If you’re looking for a friendly and good value place to get a bite to eat, 7Sins is the place you’re looking for! Their menu has a vast selection of dishes to share as well as a large choice of gourmet 100% beef burgers. After your meal there’s an elegant lounge with Chesterfield sofas and impressive decor, ideal for having a drink or cocktail. 7Sins also has a terrace where you can enjoy a meal or a drink outdoors. You can see their full menu at www.7sinsbar.com 

Muntaner 7 | Metro Universitat Tel. 93 453 6445 | www.7sinsbar.com Mon-Sun 1pm till late | RV


flaherty's4BARRI GÒTIC

Do you dream of great bagels? Then Be My Bagel is the right place for you. They sell authentic bagels from Barcelona, just how you like them. They have an extensive range of bagels and cakes, from the more classic choices such as poppy and multigrain to delicious and innovative chocolate, almond and coconut bagels - you’ll not come away disappointed. 

Since it was established in 2001, Flaherty’s has become one of Barcelona’s best known and busiest Irish pubs. By offering food all day from 10am til midnight (including our popular Full Irish Breakfast as well as group menus), live satellite sports on big screens, WiFi, a sunny terrace and a pool room where you can also play darts, not to mention its very spacious premises, Flaherty’s has rightly become known as the pub that has it all! 

Planeta 37 (Pl. del Sol) I Metro L3 Fontana and Gràcia I Tel. 93 518 7151 I bemybagel@gmail.com Open from Mon-Fri 9.30-2pm and 5pm-8.30pm, Sat 10am-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm, Sun 10.30am-2pm

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Plaça Joaquim Xirau | Metro Drassanes Tel. 93 412 6263

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FOOD & DRINK 41 Burger LiLiBurger4BarCeLOna

PiM PaM Burger4BOrn

You can choose from four types of burger: classic, cheeseburger, barbecue as well as bacon cheese, for 8 to 9.50. Sides include fries, bbq chicken wings, chicken nuggets and salads. Free delivery. 

Here quality is of the upmost importance, making it the best burger and frankfurter take-away in town. Special hamburgers, chicken burgers, bratwurst, frankfurters, home-made chips and stroganoff are also available and are all prepared on the premises. 

Tel. 93 458 0710 I Tue-Sun1pm-4pm and 7pm-11pm www.liliburger.com

international BeLgiouS 4Barri GÒtiC

Sabateret 4 - Bor I Metro Jaume I Tel. 93 315 2093 I burger@pimpamplats.com Calle Bigai 1, Bonanova, 08022 I Tel. 93 211 5606 www.pimpamburger.com I Every day 1pm-12am

With the most original 50 flavours on the planet, Belgious’s HighDefinition Ice-Cream provides a universe of new sensations. Their other products include authentic savoury crepes, waffles from Brussels and full-flavour exotic juices from Brazil, including the famous Açai natigela.  Gotico - Avinyo 50 I Metro Liceu I Tel. 93 501 9020 Rambla de Poble Nou - Taulat 83 I Metro Poblenou I Tel.93 127 0333 For opening hours consult www.belgious.com

delivery Bread & CirCuSeS BarCeLona 4GrÀCia

giLda BY BeLgiouS4 Barri GÒtiC

Bread & Circuses creates delicious, inexpensive, creative sandwiches showcasing American technique and style combined with incredible Catalan ingredients. The first truly American-style sandwich shop and delivery service in Barcelona. Try our lunch box special for your office, picnic in the park or day at the beach. Follow us on Facebook. 

Open for just a year, Belgious’s new restaurant concept has already become a reference in the Gothic quarter, famous for its Belgian-Spanish tapas and fusion cuisine with ice-cream. During the week, they surprise their visitors with exquisite daily menu offerings. At night, you can start the evening with various Belgian draught beers then continue with some tapas, or how about their famous Flemish beef stew? Check them out, you won’t be disappointed!

Congost 13, 08024 I Metro Gracia Tel. 610 898 494 I Delivery from 1pm-4pm

gourMeT eXPreSS4 BarCeLOna ‘Lunch Box’ by Gourmet Express. The best alternative to pizza or Asian food. A new concept in Barcelona; they are specialists in delivering high-quality food to your home or office at reasonable prices. They can deliver within 30 minutes, exquisite menús, made by our own chefs using only the freshest products. Traditional Catalan and Mediterranean food to satisfy the most discerning palate, thoughtfully served with all you might need, including metal cutlery and glasses. All so you can enjoy food in the comfort of your home or office. Free delivery to readers of Barcelona Metropolitan.  Pasaje Milans 28 | Tel. 93 260 0789 www.gourmet-express.es

ViTaLi PiZZa4 BarCeLOna Gourmet pizza delivery from 3 locations offering 50+ thin-crust, homemade pizzas. With specials like three large cheese pizzas for 15 and the option to pay by credit card, it makes for an affordable meal at home without all the fuss. Special offer: 2X1 on every Monday home delivery! 

Paris 109 I Metro Hospital Clinic Tel. 93 444 4737 Calle Rosselló 270 I Tel. 93 458 0710 Taxdirt 13 I Metro Joanic/Gracia Tel. 93 285 41 95 www.vitalipizza.com

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Ample 34 I Tel.93 310 3492 Open Mon-Fri 1pm-4pm, Every day from 7pm-12am www.gildabybelgious.com

guT4GrÀCia Firstly there’s the food. Using only the finest quality ingredients, the kitchen specialises in Mediterranean cuisine with an international twist and plenty of options for vegetarians. Try their quinoa and tofu burgers or a sinful home-made dessert. Secondly, there’s Gut’s attention to detail and the friendly, respectful service. It’s the perfect place to have a drink and enjoy the night in good company. Try it for yourself and find out why everyone is talking about Gut. 

Perill 13 I Metro Diagonal Tel. 93 186 6360 I restaurantgut@gmail.com

food &drink

to advertise in this section, please call 93 451 4486 or email ads@barcelona-metropolitan.com

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42 FOOD & DRINK ice Cream Shop BeLLaMia HeLaderia iTaLiana4BOrn

iCHo4LeS COrtS

After a long day of discovering Barcelona, people queue up to taste Bellamia’s exquisite gelato. The reason: friendly staff, an excellent location, but most of all, delicious, freshly made ice cream that gets rave reviews from everyone who’s tried it. 

Icho restaurant blends authentic Japanese cooking with the best Mediterranean products. This is an unequalled, exquisite and innovative gastronomic option, totally unique in Barcelona. The tasting menu is pure gastronomy fantasy - you will delight in an emotional journey beyond your senses. This restaurant breaks the mould of the existing impressions of modern Japanese gastronomy in Spain. 

Epaseria 14 | Metro Jaume I | Tel. 93 310 4210 1pm-midnight (50m from Santa Maria del Mar)

Deu i Mata 69-95, 08029 | Metro Maria Cristina Tel. 93 444 3370 | reserves@ichobcnjapones.com www.ichobcnjapones.com Mon-Sat ,1.30pm-4pm and 9pm-11.30pm

Japanese - Sushi

indian SaKura-Ya4LeS COrtS


Sakura-Ya is a serene-yet-busy little joint that combines a Japanese restaurant, bar, souvenir shop and food store. Located in L’illa shopping centre, at lunchtime it offers the very best traditional Japanese cuisine and take-away. The quality of the food is excellent, and so is the service. SakuraYa definitely lives up to its standards, so whenever you are in the mood for some shopping and good food, treat yourself to a Sakura-Ya experience. 

Nakashita is Barcelona’s newest sushi restaurant, a cosy place where you can enjoy the best Japanese food and freshest seafood. Located close to the Arc de Triomf, the restaurant feels like an authentic Japanese tavern with a very intimate atmosphere. Enjoy your delicious food along with wine, Japanese beer or sake. 

Centre comercial l’illa Diagonal planta el rebost Diagonal 557, 08029 | Metro Mª Cristina/Les Corts Tel. 93 405 2645/93 430 48 90 | Fax. 93 430 3743 Restaurant Mon-Thurs 1pm-5pm, 6pm-9.30pm, Fri-Sat 1pm-9.30pm Shop Mon-Sat 9.30am-9.30pm

Rec Comtal 15 | Metro Arc De Triomf, Tel. 93 295 5378 | www.nakashitabcn.com Mon-Sun 1.30pm-4.30pm, 8.30pm-12am

ToYo - SuSHi Train4GrÀCia Among the youth it’s the most sought after Sushi Train Restaurant in Barcelona. It’s the absolute place to be if you’re in with the in crowd and always packed five minutes after opening. It has a quality buffet with super fresh food prepared daily, Toyo is the place to go. Not only do they have a huge amount of different types of dishes, but you can also eat as much as your heart desires. Choose what you like while it passes in front of you, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get great service. Toyo gives you amazing food for a good price. The midday menu is only 10 and the evening one is 15.  Torrent del Olla 10 | T. 93 459 2630 www.restaurantetoyo.com Open 1.30pm-4pm, 8.30pm-Midnight Closed Mon night

SUSHIEXPRESS4eIXAMPle If you want to enjoy the best sushi service in the city, this is your place! Sushiexpress takes great pride in using top quality ingredients to ensure excellent sushi. They are conveniently located in two places in the city: l’Eixample and Santaló, and they can deliver it to your home or hotel. Delivery is from 1pm-3pm and from 8pm-11pm. You can choose individual pieces of maki, nigiri, sashimi, temaki, menus, combos, and other Japanese specialties from an extensive menu that you can check on their website. If you eat at any of their locations at noon the menus are accompanied by a free drink.  Consell de Cent 255 | Tel. 93 451 5454 Open 12pm-4pm, 7pm-11pm 365days/year! Delivery 1pm-3pm, 8pm-10.30pm

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nirVana4eiXaMPLe Located in the heart of Barcelona, Nirvana is a relaxed and intimate place, inspired by the refined esthetics of Oriental culture with modernist touches. They provide an original mix of Indian style and the latest trends from the world’s major capitals, creating a special environment that transports you to a place of feelings, tastes and nuances that make any visit to Nirvana an unforgettable experience. From noon, you can enjoy a creative menu that combines a selection of traditional Indian flavours with Mediterranean cuisine, and features exquisite details of Oriental cuisine. Later on, enjoy their Club Lounge where Nirvana offers excellent service in an area designed for you to enjoy a varied menu of drinks and cocktails, as well as a live event or show.   

Pau Claris 96 | Metro Passeig de Gràcia | Tel. 93 270 3585 | reservas@nirvanabcn.com www.nirvanabcn.com | Mon-Fri 1pm-4pm, Mon-Sun 8pm-3am

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FOOD & DRINK 43 MagnoLia 4 Barri GÒtiC

naMaSTe4eIXAMPle e Namaste was the first Indian restaurant in Barcelona. You will be able to enjoy authentic North Indian food in a lavish and exotically decorated interior. The secret of Namaste’s rich and authentic cuisine lies in the finest selection of delicate condiments cooked by professional Indian chefs, using the Tandoor cylindrical oven of Northern India—the best oven for keeping the juices and flavours of cooked food. Namaste has also carefully selected the best wines to accompany Indian food, including Indian wines. For beer lovers, Namaste has a wide range of European brands and Indian beers and liquors. 


In the heart of the Gothic quarter, Magnolia offers exquisite signature cuisine from chef Gianni Fusco at affordable prices. With its warm and loungy interior, it is the place of choice at any time of the day. During the week, breakfast and lunch menus attract huge crowds thanks to their great quality and reasonable prices. During the afternoon, clients can choose from a variety of tapas or enjoy mojitos for just 3.50.  Breakfast from 2.70, Lunch from 9, Dinner menu 17.95 (Sun-Thurs) 25 (Fri-Sat) Ciutat 5 | Metro Jaume I | 93 304 2376 | 691 504 942 noche@magnoliabarcelona.com | www.magnoliabarcelona.com | www.facebook.com/magnolia.rna Mon-Thurs 9am-1am, Fri 9am-3am, Sat 1pm-3am, Sun 1pm-1am

Villarroel 70 | Tel. 93 451 4027 www.restaurantenamaste.com Open 1pm-4 pm, 8pm-12pm

indian - Hindu Veg WorLd india4 GrÀCia Discover a world of sensations in a relaxed and homely atmosphere. Try vegetarian delicacies from all over the world such as delicious bread home-made in a Tandoori oven and south Indian dishes like Masala dosa and Idly. Daily continental and Indian menus, 9.50 inc. Free soup and salad buffet. 

Bruniquer 26 | Metro Plaça Joanic Tel. 93 210 7056 | Tues-Sun 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11.30pm

Juice and Smoothie Bar Sano 4GrÀCia Barri GÒtiC - SantS Want a healthy, tasty alternative? Try a refreshing smoothie like Antioxidant, Mango & Passion Fruit or Coco Muesli (3.80) or a delicious juice made only with fresh blended fruit and no added water, milk or sugar (3.60). Can’t decide? Try one of their convenient combos from 4.50. 

Gran de Gràcia 16 | Metro Diagonal Tel. 93 217 8115 | Jaume 1 | Metro Jaume I Tel. 93 310 3247 | Creu Coberta 50 Metro Espanya | Tel. 93 117 0891 Every day 10am-8pm | info@sanojuice.com | www.sanojuice.com

JuiCY JoneS 4Barri GÒtiC Barcelona’s emblematic juice bar now also serves vegan breakfast that includes tortilla de patata, muesli with raw cashew yogurt, muffins, waffles, coffee and tea. Chill out in the bar for smoothies or enjoy a sandwich or a full meal in the restaurant. 

Cardenal Casañas 7 | Metro Liceu | Tel. 93 302 4330 Every day 10am-Midnight

Mediterranean BarnaBier4POrt OLÍMPiC Located at the base of the Mapfre tower at Port Olimpic Barnabier specialise in Mediterranean cuisine, paellas, fresh seafood, tapas and have a great list of international beers. Their fantastic menu also includes salads, grilled meat and pasta with something to suit all tastes. For group reservations consult their website for the complete menu.  Marina 16 | Metro Port Olimpic Tel. 93 221 0212 | www.barnabier.com

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roMero4 eiXaMPLe D Located in the centre of the city, just a few streets from Passeig de Grácia, this exquisite and charming restaurant serves fresh, organic produce sourced directly from local markets. The staff are determined to share their love for Barcelona and its culinary wonders and only use the best ingredients to create their delicious dishes. The idea behind the restaurant was to create a unique space where good friends could come together and enjoy great Mediterranean food and wine. The chef at Romero, José Antonio Camacaro León, has an unmatched passion for food and offers his guests creative, natural dishes based on Mediterranean cuisine. With options for vegetarians and gluten-free menu items, there’s something to suit all tastes. Be sure to check out the great value set menus and daily specials too.  Bailén 115 | Metro Verdaguer or Girona | Tel. 93 457 0640 info@romerobcn.com | www.romerobcn.com | Mon to Sat Lunch starting at 1pm Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm, Thu-Sat Dinner starting at 8.30pm

Boo4POBLenOU BOO Restaurant has a privileged location on the coast of Barcelona and it’s the perfect space to organise meetings between friends, business meetings, events, etc. Boo has daily activities, weekend, daytime and evening entertainment, group bookings and special events. In Boo Restaurant you can enjoy the best Mediterranean cuisine in its two restaurants: The Restaurant and Boo Mirador and they have different options for groups and vegetarians as well as special cocktail and snack menus.  Nova Mar Bella Beach, S/N, Espigó de Bac de Roda 1 Metro Poblenou (L4) | Tel. 93 225 0100 info@elboo.es | www.elboo.es Tue-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, Sun,12pm-18pm Closed Sun and Mon night.

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Fabula4Poble Sec


Located in a trendy new area of the city, this restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine using the freshest market ingredients as well as a fantastic wine list with wines selected from over 17 D.Os. They have a great three-course menu del día for 10.20 and at night you can enjoy traditional Spanish dishes and half rations from La Carta. Their special ‘After work’ promotion lets you enjoy their Cocktail of the day + tapa for  4.50 between 5pm and 9pm, Monday to Friday. They also have a private room that is available for group bookings. 

Barcelona’s best vegan restaurant , Juicy Jones never compromises on freshness or quality. They serve a range of Mediterranean and Indian cuisine with a funky ambience they also offer a large variety of freshly squeezed fruit juices and smoothies. Don’t be fooled by imitations. Go Juicy!  Hospital 74 | Metro Liceu | Tel. 93 443 9082 Everyday 12pm-17pm, 20pm-01am

Vietnamese la vietnamita 4GRÀCIA La Vietnamita is a new food concept in the heart of Gràcia - offering fresh and healthy Vietnamese inspired cuisine. They offer light and nutritious dishes such as traditional ‘Pho’ soup, the typical rice noodle dish ‘Bun Xiau’ and classic ‘Goi Cuon’ spring rolls. All their dishes are prepared in the moment and served with ingredients that are naturally full of flavour. Veggies and vegans: They have a lot to offer you, too! So what are you waiting for? 

Parlament 1 | Metro Poble Sec | Tel. 93 292 6209 info@restaurantefabula.es | www.restaurantefabula.es

Torrent de L’Olla 78 | Metro Diagonal | Tel. 93 518 1803 | www.lavietnamita.com

Thai Thai gracia4GRÀCIA Expect authentic ingredients all imported from Thailand and cooked by experienced Thai chefs. The Pad Thai and green and yellow curries have excellent subtle flavours. Simply delicious! The special tasting menu for 21 is a huge hit and allows you to try all the exotic dishes Thai Gracia has to offer. An affordable 11 menú del día is available during the week. The warm hospitality and attention to detail to every dish at Thai Gracia will keep you coming back for more. 

Còrsega 381 | Metro Verdaguer / Girona Tel. 93 459 3591 | www.restaurante-thai-gracia.com Every day 1pm-4pm, 8pm-12am | RV

Vegetarian amaltea4EIXAMPLE E Visit Amaltea vegetarian restaurant, where a warm and welcoming environment allows you to fully enjoy a tasty and healthier alternative to your everyday meal. Dishes include cereals, pulses and vegetables with home-made puddings. The cuisine is creatively international with care taken to ensure that each meal is well-balanced and made with the freshest ingredients. Menu of the day 10.70, night and weekend menu 15.30. 

Diputació 164 | Metro Urgell | Tel. 93 454 8613 | www.amalteaygovinda.com Mon-Sat 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11pm, Closed Sun

Bun bo ViÊtnam4Barri Gòtic Satisfy your craving for fresh, healthy Vietnamese food just steps away from the Gothic cathedral. Sit under the leafy trees of the quiet terrace or inside the restaurant which is entirely decorated with bright colourful pieces straight from Saigon. Start with delicious fresh summer rolls, crispy Asian pork lettuce cups, followed by traditional Pho or Bun noodle dishes. Accompany your meal with a fresh and exotic cocktail like the sakirinha (caipirinha made with sake). The menu of the day is an affordable 10 inside and 11 on the shady terrace. The kitchen is open non-stop all day. 

Sagristans 3 | Metro Urquinaona | Tel. 93 301 1378 | www.bunbovietnam.com Every day 1pm-1am

Winebar Disset 17 Graus4BORN


The new wine temple in Born—a unique space in Barcelona offering a wide range of quality wines. Just opened, you can come and enjoy the cosy, local and welllaid-out bar, surrounded by shelves full of original and interesting wines. Affordable to all, the bar offers wines from all over the world, specialising in Spanish, French and Portuguese wines. Also don’t forget the special drinks menu of gin and tonics, cocktails, whiskies, beers and other drinks. 

Founded 25 years ago, Govinda continues to thrive on a blend of experience and fresh innovation in vegetarian Indian cuisine. The international menu features talis, a salad bar, natural juices, lassis, pizzas and crêpes. Govinda offers a vegan-friendly, non-alcoholic and authentically-decorated environment with lunch and weekend menus. 

Placa Villa de Madrid 4-5 | Metro Catalunya Tel. 93 318 7729 | www.amalteaygovinda.com Tue-Sat 1pm-4pm, 8pm-11am, Sun-Mon 1pm-4pm

Food & drink Apr 2012.indd 48


Carrer Antic de St Joan 3 Tel. 93 268 1987 | Tue-Sun 7pm-2.30am

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Business directory To advertise in this section, call: 93 451 4486 or email: ads@barcelona-metropolitan.com See also our online directory at www.barcelona-metropolitan.com


* Discount for Metropolitan readers. Check our website for details.


Scissors of London -

BRITISH HAIRDRESSER Tim aspires to listen to your needs and suggests how they might be met in distinctive and exciting ways. Style is unique and Tim will craft you a look achieving a harmony of shape and style. Tim has been hairdressing for over 12 years. Having trained, taught and worked in London’s top salons including Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon. Opting out of salon life, Tim works to fit in with the modern pace of life and offers a one to one service orientated around your needs.

Kinki peluqueros is an international hairstyling group from Holland with over 40 salons in their home country. They put their heart and soul into cutting and colouring the most beautiful hairstyles, from the latest trends to classic cuts. If you bring a friend for a full treatment they will give you both a 15% discount and a free glass of cava. English, Spanish, Dutch, German and French speaking. Pintor Fortuny 14, Raval Metro: Catalunya (L1, L3) T. 93 302 3379 www.kinkipeluqueros.es Open Mon 4pm-8pm, Tues-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 10.30am-8pm

Carrer Viladomat 45-47, Atico M. 633 382 787 timbulmer@btinternet.com www.scissorsofldn.com

Anthony Llobet English Hair Salon - HAIRDRESSER


Don’t let your Spanish come between you and your hair. Anglo-Catalan Anthony Llobet has over 20 years’ experience in hairstyling and a passion for excellent client service. Anthony leads a dedicated team of stylists who specialise in a variety of services, including Afro hair, extensions, straightening and make-up (and speak over 11 languages between them). The original retro interior and friendly staff create a very special atmosphere where you can relax and enjoy a stylish cut. Put your trust in Anthony and the team, who are strongly committed to providing you with outstanding service at affordable prices.

What sets apart an Aveda beauty professional? Their mission is to bring out their client’s natural beauty. Aveda partners with salon and spa professionals around the world. They see beauty as a craft and believe that authentic beauty is one that works in harmony with nature. Authentic beauty cares for the environment we inherited and that we’ll leave to the generations that follow us. Authentic beauty cares about society, creating harmony in the way we live and the way we interact with one another as human beings. Taller lives this mission to the full, offering gentle and natural hair and beauty treatments in a unique and beautiful space in the heart of the Born.

Gràcia, C/Ros de Olano 19 T. 93 218 0449 / M. 692 371 307 Raval, C/Sant Pau 122 T. 93 441 3177 / M. 692 371 308 El Born, C/Carders 34 T.93 295 4871 / M. 692 371 404 Gòtic, C/Avinyó 34 T. 93 301 4513 / M. 692 371 405 www.anthonyllobet.com

Pescateria 8, Born T. 93 315 0980 Metro: Barceloneta (L4) Open Mon 2pm-8pm; Tues-Sat 11am-8pm

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La Hair Boutique -


Trained by Toni & Guy London, Veronique runs a friendly salon with a dedicated team who speak English, Spanish, French and Swedish. La Hair Boutique is a relaxed and cosy salon that offers progressive cuts and colours with great style advice too. They are especially talented at creating new, personalised looks using the latest techniques.

Plaça Regomir 5 Metro: Jaume 1 (L4). T. 93 269 1937 M. 699 643 462 www.hairboutiquebarcelona.com

*READER MASSAGE DISCOUNT Make the most of 2012 with the ‘Complete Healthy You’ programme. It includes weight management, personal fitness, therapeutic massage. The benefits to you: • Eat and live like a confident, healthy person achieving your ideal weight. • Enjoy exercise, tone up and renew your energy. • Feel relaxed, detoxified, free of pain. Ask about this fabulous six-month programme offered at a special discounted rate! M. 659 995 657 nunu@thevitaltouch.com www.tvtbarcelona.com

VeterCat Melisa Oddo


The best at-home veterinary care for your pet in the province of Barcelona. French and English-speaking veterinarian. Vaccination, general medicine, behaviour problems, emergencies, etc. Thanks to her love for animals, Melisa Oddo offers you the best vet service in your home. Try it for yourself and be impressed.

Professional and friendly, the Bonavet veterinary clinic provides veterinary consultations, x-rays, analyses and surgery. They can also advise you on dietary requirements and they stock a complete range of special food products, beds and toys to keep your pets healthy and happy. If you make an appointment you can even bring your pet down for a grooming session and a trim.


M. 620 157 753 melisa@vetercat.es www.vetercat.es

Dr. Steven Joseph - DOCTOR Established in 2005, Googol Medical Centre offers its patients comprehensive healthcare in a friendly, discreet and relaxed environment. UK doctor Steven Joseph provides a wide range of medical care for the English-speaking community in Barcelona with access to all medical specialties and tests.

Gran Via Carles III nº-37-39 Metro: Les Corts (L3) T. 93 330 2412 M. 627 669 524 googol@hotmail.es www.googolmedicalcentre.com Open Mon-Sat

Plaça Bonanova 10 T. 93 211 0204

Pharmacy Serra Mandri


The helpful and qualified pharmaceutical staff at this wellknown Barcelona chemist can help and advise each client to ensure they get exactly what they need. They also stock a great range of products, including homeopathy, natural medicine, aromatherapy and organic cosmetics. The pharmacy is open 365 days a year and also offers a home delivery service. Av. Diagonal 478 Metro: Diagonal (L3, L5) Chemist T. 93 416 1270 Homeopathy T. 93 217 3249 Open every day 9am-10pm

Mary D. McCarthy - DOCTOR

Dra. Susana Campi - DENTIST

Feel confident with Dr. Mary McCarthy, an American-trained doctor for adults. A native English speaker with over 20 years’ experience in Barcelona, Dr. McCarthy offers professional, private health care. She is a member of the American College of Physicians and is also certified as a Specialist by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

For all your dental needs, a team consisting of our first-class professionals can offer you excellent treatment. We have more than 30 years of experience and are pleased to offer you our services in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Catalan.

Aribau 215 Pral. 1a T. 93 200 2924 M. 607 220 040 FGC Diagonal or Gràcia

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The Vital Touch -

Rosselló 95, local, 08029, Barcelona Metro: Hospital Clinic (L5) Entença (L5) T. 93 322 9114 Fax. 93 322 0220 campi@coec.net

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Dr. Christian Eickhoff deutsche zk - DENTIST

Tingsvall & McCarthy -

Highly recommended among the international community, they use the latest in dental technology like digital prothetics and orthodontics. The whole German team is English speaking and the doctor has an American training in implantology and orthodontics. Check-ups and X-rays are free. Centrally located

Dr. Stefan Tingsvall offers general dentistry, orthodontics, prosthodontics and endodontics, whilst Elena McCarthy is a qualified dental hygienist and specialises in comprehensive preventative care and tooth whitening with Bright Smile. Together, they aim to provide a relaxing and pleasant experience for the patient.

Consell de Cent 249, bajos Metro Universitat (L1/L2) T. 93 323 9629 info@deutsche-zk.com

Castellnou 47 T. 93 205 1903 M. 636 312 522 / 696 664 430 FGC Les Tres Torres (L6) Bus: 16, 30, 66, 70, 72, 74 tingsvall.mccarthy@gmail.com www.tingsvall-mccarthy.com Open Mon-Sat


Tania Spearman -

Kathryn McConkey -




DISCOUNT Make acupuncture your first choice, not your last resort! Tania is offering all Metropolitan readers a 35% discount on first appointments with this voucher. Acupuncture treats many conditions from pain, stress and depression to fertility and more. Call now to make your appointment or to see if acupuncture is right for you. Tania is a UK university trained acupuncturist with her own clinic in the centre of Barcelona. English, Spanish and German spoken.

Kathryn McConkey is a fully-qualified, English- (and Spanish-) speaking osteopath in Barcelona, based at Aralia Centre Mèdic, and a member of the Spanish Registrar of Osteopaths. Osteopathy can be beneficial for cases of acute or chronic neck and back pain and tendonitis, as well as for digestive disorders, headaches, insomnia and much more. Treatments are apt for all age groups, including children and the elderly. M. 609 143 690 mcconkey.katy@gmail.com

Enric Granados 133, 4-1 bis 08008 M. 644 322 161 info@taniaspearman.com www.taniaspearman.com


Eugenia Espinosa PSYCHOTHERAPY

Their infusions taste delicious and complement a healthy lifestyle. They have created four blends using 100 percent naturally-grown herbs and spices. The recipes are based on Ayurvedic medicine and endorsed by modern science. UP&GO: Ideal for sport and exercise. YOUNG&FUN: Enhances memory and promotes concentration. CALM&RELAX: Relieves stress. SLIM&FIT: Helps to maintain a healthy weight.

Eugenia is a dedicated professional who specialises in psychological issues related to immigration. She offers effective treatment for mood and anxiety disorders as well as couples and family therapy. The first consultation with Eugenia is free.

T. 93 814 0287 andy@innorbit.com www.innorbit.com

M. 677 090 479 genaespinosa@yahoo.com



The Hestia International Centre of Psychotherapy has become a reference in the city. The professional team work with individuals, couples and families through psychotherapy, coaching, counselling, clinical hypnosis, art therapy, NLP and EMDR. They speak English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Portuguese and Greek and the first consultation is free.

Passeig Sant Joan 180 Pral 2 Metro: Joanic (L4) T. 93 459 2802 info@hestia.es www.hestia.es a

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Network of English Speaking Therapists Established in 2000

NEST is a dedicated multi-disciplinary team of English-speaking therapists who provide professional services to individuals, families, schools and companies. Established in 2000, their highlyqualified, licensed psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists offer outstanding services in English and several other languages. For more details on their practitioners, visit their website or see their advertisement in the main pages. www.barcelonanest.com

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Jonathan Lane Hooker -


Jonathan Hooker can help if you’re looking for support, guidance or help with any aspect of your life. An English-speaking psychotherapist, counsellor, coach and guide, he is dedicated to helping people make sense of their lives. Jonathan provides one-to-one sessions or workshops for groups of four to 12 people. Metropolitan readers are invited to a free 20-minute introductory meeting.

Nick Cross is a registered psychologist, specialised in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can help you with the causes of distress and unhappiness and it provides treatment for anxiety, fears, relationship difficulties, depression, problems adjusting, loss and trauma.

T. 93 590 7654 M. 639 579 646 jonathan.hooker@yahoo.com www.jonathanhooker.com

M. 644 193 825 ncross@copc.es


Paloma Azpilicueta -

Berta Garcia, M.D, MsC. -



English-speaking clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. Forty years of professional experience with adults, children and adolescents. She has worked in both the public and private sectors in mental health as well as in education and social issues. Psychodynamic orientation.

Having specialized in neurobiology and anxiety disorders for her Masters at the University of Maastricht and Florence, she is also well experienced in adult and child psychiatry in both public and private systems. As an English-speaking psychiatrist, she has worked for many renowned international institutions providing an excellent service with multidisciplinary treatment.

Barcelona: T. 93 415 6646 Mataro: T. 93 799 6596 solazpi@ya.com www.centrepsicologiamataro.com

M. 626 232 641 info@drbertagarcia.com www.drbertagarcia.com

Krishinda Powers Duff

Clustermedica Laser treatment

Krishinda is a fully-qualified and trained British midwife offering home birth and home dilatation service. She also provides antenatal and postnatal care and support to mothers and babies for six weeks after birth. She is supported in her practice by a team of Spanish but British-trained midwives and alternative health care professionals as well as a breast feeding consultant/Doula. Midwife means ‘to be with woman’.

The B-Cure laser provides relief and treatment for a wide range of orthopedic problems in the neck, back and joints that generally result from bad posture, excessive use of a computer keyboard or sports injuries. Now you can stop pain and heal the source with just a six-minute treatment, twice a day. It’s ready to use anywhere, lightweight and rechargeable. If you’re suffering from this type of injury, then call now or visit their website for more information.

Bsc Hons - Midwife

M. 665 143 437

Marenostrum Centre de Salut familiar

Fontanella 16 Principal, 08010 krishinda@gmail.com

T. 90 210 6989 Vidal i Guash 13 clustermedica@clustermedica.com www.clustermedica.com

Steve Elite Fitness -

Graham Collins -

Steve is a fully-qualified, professional personal trainer, who has worked with some of the strongest British and American athletes (UK strength coach for national judo team) and is now enjoying bringing these benefits to motivated private clients in the Barcelona area and beyond. After years of experience and with a fun, personalised and hands-on approach, he guarantees an impressive change in your physical fitness, energy levels and confidence.

Graham Collins is an experienced interior designer and property consultant and can help with everything concerning property, design and decoration. So, whether you need help working out the property market or are looking for someone to renovate your home, Graham is here to help you.


M. 635 661 961 www.elitefitnessbcn.com info@elitefitnessbcn.com

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Interior Design

Consolat del Mar 35, 3er Metro: Barceloneta (L4) M. 678 757 511 grahamcollinsbcn@gmail.com

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Terraza Barcelona -


Dirk has a passion for creating affordable carpentry designs for both interior and exterior spaces. From terrace decks to planters, pergolas to storage sheds, he will impress you with the quality of his work. Wooden furniture for: garden, terrace, balcony, living, bedroom, bathroom, office - you name it, he makes it! Everything is custom made - choose from one of his designs or bring your own ideas. Please contact Dirk for an obligation-free quotation.

Advalua is a team of architects and professionals that can find and/or reform the property for sale or rent that you’re looking for, whether to live or work in. They offer a complete range of services: they inspect and evaluate properties; carry out renovation estimates and projects as well as coordinate all the work to be done; process the permits, technical documents and everything you need.

M. 657 452 279 info@terrazabarcelona.es www.terrazabarcelona.es

M.693 726 721 www.advalua.com info@advalua.com

Van - Removals


VanBCN offers experience, good service and inexpensive rates to make your move or removal safe and easy. Whether you are looking for man with a van for a quick move or if you want to do a complete removal, just call or send your request online. VanBCN adapts its service to your needs. They can pick up your stuff or take it to the port, airport or storage. Deliver home your purchases from IKEA or any other shop. Move your office, your room or your house. Just contact VanBCN. They know how to do it.

Corase specialise in international removals and have a worldwide network of agents. You can trust them with any type of move, big or small. Their staff are attentive to each client’s needs and are trained to ensure that you get quality, speed and security. Corase also offer a range of other services, including storage facilities. They will be happy to give you a free quote.


T. 93 426 7684 M. 647 533 344 www.vanbcn.com

Lugaris - PROPERTY The best option to live and work in Barcelona. Brand new, modern furnished and bright apartments. In Poblenou, a few metres from Bogatell beach and very close to the 22@ district. Privileged services such as swimming pool, parking, security, cleaning and free WI-FI, to make your stay more confortable. Use this promotional code to get 10% off your next booking. Code: 20CM12 Vidal y Valenciano, 14 T. 93 221 9159 info@lugaris.com www.lugaris.com

Spaces for rent - PROPERTY Hotel Onix offer a range of rooms and spaces for rent at a low price. Perfect for a variety of classes and events like yoga, theatre, dancing, business meetings, seminars and rehearsals. They have different sized rooms at Liceu, Plaça Catalunya and Plaça Espanya that are both clean and comfortable with central heating, A/C, tables and chairs to suit your needs. You can rent their space by the hour, half or full day, weeks or months. For more information please call Jubran. T. 93 303 4154 events@hotelsonix.com

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Av. Diagonal 249 Metro: Monumental (L2) T. 90 070 2270 (free) info@mudanzascorase.es www.mudanzascorase.es

Aspasios Rentals & Services - PROPERTY Staying at Aspasios in Barcelona and Madrid is the perfect way to enjoy Spain. Feel at home in a new city while staying in a luxurious furnished apartment. Aspasios provides accommodation for days, months or years. They offer check-in at any time and day of the year as well as a 24hr phone service. Aspasios has multicultural staff willing to welcome you in different languages. Adriana Romero T. 93 304 1448 info@aspasios.com www.aspasios.com

Benjamin Franklin -

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL The Benjamin Franklin International School in Barcelona offers a differentiated American curriculum from nursery to grade 12, which includes English language preparation for college education, foreign language programs and learning support. It is fully accredited with strong academic programs, such as the American High School Diploma, Spanish Baccalaureate Certificate and the IB Diploma. It also has an active parent-teacher association and a welcoming global community. Martorell i Peña 9 T. 93 434 2380 F. 93 417 3633 www.bfischool.org

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One-to-One -


Learn exactly what you need with one-to-one Spanish classes in the office or at home. Focus your classes on the language and vocabulary that best serves you according to your own personal or professional needs. Business Spanish and small group classes are also available. Get confident in Spanish with Pilar.

Study Spanish in one of Spain’s most established and prestigious language schools. Since 1982 Metropol have provided high-quality language training to students of all nationalities. The school is right in the heart of Barcelona city centre and it’s a great place to learn or improve your Spanish. It’s a popular and specialised school, with more than 27 years of experience and they offer great value Spanish courses for all levels.


M. 610 057 266

Kingsbrook -

Spanish for foreigners

Languages4Life -



Kingsbrook have been helping people learn Spanish in a simple, pleasant and fun way since 1985. The school is located in the heart of Barcelona and has a team of experienced and dedicated staff. In order to create an optimal learning environment, the school ensures that classes have only between 7-10 students.

Languages4Life is a small school in a charming building in the heart of Eixample. Our teaching method is visual and intuitive thanks to our interactive classrooms which have tactile whiteboards and internet. We have inspirational native teachers who have experience in language instruction. Access to internet on Macs or via WiFi.

Trav. de Gràcia 60 Metro: Diagonal (L3, L5) T. 93 209 3763 info@kingsbrookbcn.com www.kingsbrookbcn.com

València 275 3o Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (L2, L3, L4) T. 93 487 5116 learn@languages4life.com Skype languages4life

Versión Original -


The experienced teachers at Versión Original are thrilled to share their enthusiasm for the Spanish language and culture. This small city centre school, with classes of no more than 10 students, is devoted to languages, especially Spanish. There’s a great atmosphere here and a 5% discount for Metropolitan readers.

BCN L.I.P. Languages is a small school with a warm and welcoming atmosphere in Barcelona’s old town. They offer both intensive and extensive courses and it’s the perfect place to ensure success in your language immersion. The centre is equipped with the most advanced facilities to enable you to succeed in your chosen language.

Gran Via 636, 1o 1a A Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (L2, L3, L4) T. 93 412 4576 info@versionoriginalbcn.com www.versionoriginalbcn.com

T. 93 318 6591 info@bcnlip.com www.bcnlip.com

Análoga Traducciones -

Lotus Concierge -

Análoga offers you a wide range of quality services: · Translations: Specialised native translators. · Legally-certified translations: Official translators appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. · Interpreting: Qualified professional interpreters. Rental and installation of equipment for simultaneous interpreting.

If your company needs help and expert assistance in hotel booking, looking for meeting venues and conference rooms, arranging and setting up roadshow or tradeshow stands, transport arrangements and much more, then contact Lotus Concierge today and they can discuss your needs in greater detail. They offer a no-obligation discussion and quote for the first-class corporate event management and hotel booking services they can provide for you.



Paseo de Gracia 122, 3º 1ª Metro: Diagonal (L3, L5) T. 93 412 4618 info@analoga.es www.analoga.es

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T. 93 301 8241 Pau Claris 87, 1o1a Metro: Passeig de Gràcia (L2, L3, L4) www.bcnmetropol.com


T. 93 200 6277 info@lotus-concierge.com www.lotus-concierge.com

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MuLTIMEDIa LaNGuaGE SCHOOL Idiomplus offers a revolutionary new method of learning languages by utilising social media as an additional online tool so you can learn the content you are most interested in. Their courses are designed especially for professionals, entrepreneurs and managers who require the command of new languages. By practising with relevant content and conversations that fit your interests and work needs you will quickly be able to put your new skills into practical use. T. 93 445 1791 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 583 5ª www.Idiomplus.com info@idiomplus.com


Geo Mac - COMPuTERS George Cowdery is a freelance Mac technician who has been providing valuable support to the Mac community in Barcelona for over 15 years. among the services he offers, George can help clients with maintenance and upgrades, hard drive replacement and aDSL setup. He can also provide consulting and tutorials according to his clients’ needs.

M. 606 308 932 machelp@geomac.es www.geomacbcn.com


Mrs.Q design studio -

Increase the visibility of your website and business online with SEO, digital marketing and web video. They develop and manage: your digital marketing campaign; web video production; SEO; social media; Google Adwords; inbound marketing and more. Contact them today for a free consultation and quote. Or sign up for a €100 web video.

Need a logo, brochure or poster? Mrs.Q design studio can design it for you. They work in partnership with their clients to ensure that their visions can be expanded upon to create a unique solution. Mrs.Q design studio has a fresh and creative outlook on every project. Whether you want branding, website design, tailor made wedding invitations or advertising—let them come up with a visionary original design.

M. 679 952 795 hello@zumoseo.com www.zumoseo.com

M. 699 260 938 mrsqdesignstudio@gmail.com www.mrsqdesignstudio.com


Guitar lessons - MuSIC alen holds Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in guitar performance, and has been teaching all levels of guitar for over 18 years. He accepts students for private or online/ Skype lessons. His students have been top prize winners in numerous guitar competitions and have gone on to earn performance degrees at major universities throughout Europe.

T. 652 477 269 alengaragic@gmail.com www.alengaragic.com

François Roudière (Dip. Mus,

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François has 18 years’ experience teaching music and languages in the uK to both adults and children. He will adapt to every individual requirement and tailor his lessons to the needs and pace of each student. Learn to play the piano for fun, to entertain your friends or study for the aBRSM or other exams. He teaches beginners to intermediate level. If you wish, you can also practise your French, English or Spanish while you learn the piano.

Tired of being out the loop on the best documentaries or are you a secret soap fan? Or, maybe you’re just missing your favourite television programmes from home. There’s no need to miss out anymore—now you can see all of your favourite channels here in Barcelona! Europa Digital are licensed and fully insured to install all satellite systems, including a whole range of channels from BBC HD, Freesat, ITV HD, Sky, Sky 3d, Sky Sports and many more. They can also supply all European systems and viewing cards. They were the first company to start operating in Catalunya and, as well as private installations, they have worked for hotel groups and put multi-systems in apartment blocks.The experienced and professional team give friendly advice to ensure that you receive the best package to suit your needs. They are the only company of their kind with a registered office and a 24-hour helpline. Visit their showroom before you buy or call them now for a free quotation. They are fully licensed and insured.

M. 603 506 861 francois@roudiere.co.uk

Floridablanca 78 Metro: Sant Antoni (L2) T. 93 325 1797 M. 666 556 452 Sant Josep, 32, Sitges T. 93 894 72 99 www.europadigital.tv admin@europadigital.tv

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NEW! NEW! NEW! Not allowed a satellite dish? Now we can supply all your favourite uk tv channels including all sports and films over the internet. No dish needed! Specialists in satellite TV, HD, audiovisual and unmatched for quality and reliability. For a personal, efficient and friendly service call the specialists. Our professional team provides satellite television from across Europe at unbeatable prices!

BritSat offer great television packages so you’ll never have to miss your favourite TV programmes again. Craving a bit of classic comedy, your favourite soap or just fed up of feeling out of the loop of the best TV at home? BritSat will install the full package you choose for a great price. Take your pick from some of the best television in Europe as they install British, Dutch, German, Italian and French satellite TV. The team will create tailor-made installations to suit your requirements, always aiming to find the most discreet location for the dish and cables. BritSat provides excellent customer care and can also incorporate sound systems and multi-screen viewing.

M. 649 605 917 info@britsatlive.com www.britsatlive.com T. 93 845 9874 M. 649 413 832 enquiries@easisat.net www.easisat.net

Spain Accounting -

Tax AND Accounting services


Qualified UK accountant with 25 years experience in Spain offers: · Tax services for freelance ‘autónomos’ & companies · Income tax returns for employees & non-residents · Registration of ‘autónomos’ & company incorporation (SL) · Practical advice on setting up a business in Spain · Fast, reliable email service Call David Cook 678 702 369 info@spainaccounting.com www.spainaccounting.com

Smartsat - TELEVISION SERVICE Want to watch UK television? Smartsat was set up in 2002 to offer people living in Spain the choice of watching their favourite UK TV channels including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and the entire FreeSat platform. They have since gone from strength to strength and have installed systems for hundreds of satisfied customers. They’ll build a package perfect for you, whether it’s an individual satellite installation for your home, or multiple installations for offices. Based in Barcelona, the team can go to homes and businesses across Catalunya. Choose from a variety of packages including Standard, Plus (integrated hard drive) and Plus HD (High Definition). A full after-sales service is available and all of the equipment provided is guaranteed. Get in contact with Smartsat today, for all of your satellite needs.

M. 610 092 848 tv@smartsat.tv www.smartsat.tv

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Dragon - INSURANCE Whether you need car insurance, building and contents house insurance, health, life or travel insurance, Dragon’s Insurance’s friendly staff are always ready to help and give you the best advice on insurance in Spain. With multilingual staff speaking English, Spanish and German, there is always somebody ready to help you with your individual needs. Their prices are absolutely unbeatable. T. 96 649 3762 F. 96 649 3998 maria@dragoninsure.com www.dragoninsure.com

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Brumwell Brokers -

Legal Practice A&E -

They not only care about your wellbeing, they “insure” it. With over 20 years of experience under their belts they can help you will all your insurance needs. Working with most insurance companies they guarantee you the best quote and best cover for what you need. They can even insure your bicycle!! Bromwell Brokers’ service team can also help you with tax, accounting, legal and labour laws. (Set ups, Autonomos).

- Commercial/Civil law. - Contracts: lease, contract of sale etc. - Corporation Establishment. - Taxes: IVA, IRPF, Companies Tax. - Legal defence. - Construction and Insurance law.


Pl. Gal-la Placidia 1-3 08006 T. 90 262 7810 F. 90 262 7811

Sánchez Molina -


The lawyers at Sánchez Molina speak English, Spanish, Italian and French. They can help with your business licensing services, legal defence and representation, registration under any form of ownership, accounting services and work and residency permits.

Gran Via Carles III, 84, 5 Metro: Maria Cristina (L3) T. 93 490 9669 javiergarcia@sanchezmolina.com www.sanchezmolina.com


They speak English.

Passeig de Gràcia 118, ppal, 08008 T. 93 125 8799 info-bcn@lawyer.com

Green Bean Coaching BUSINESS Coaching

Green Bean coaches entrepreneurs and business owners proven business techniques that have helped thousands of businesses boost their sales, increase profits, and hit their business goals. We will guide you to implement the strategies you need to move to the next business level. Call us for a noobligation chat to learn more. Or visit our website to receive our Free Emini Series – Your Road Map To Business Success. T. 93 268 9544 M. 693 940 701 explore@freegreenbeans.com www.freegreenbeans.com

deVere Group -

FINANCIAL ADVICE The deVere Group is the world’s largest independent financial consultancy with a truly global presence. They provide expert, impartial financial advice in international savings, bonds, life insurance, pensions, as well as structured products, to expatriate clients and international investors around the globe. Their commitment is to help their clients create value and wealth by suggesting the right financial products that best suit their needs. Their advice is free and with no obligation. Passeig de Gràcia 56, planta 7 T. 93 487 5503 barcelona@devere-group.com www.devere-group.com

The Spectrum IFA Group - FINANCIAL ADVICE The Spectrum IFA Group creates and provides financial planning solutions for expatriates and foreign residents. Their experienced and qualified team in Barcelona can help you with all aspects of finance including: • Pensions/ Retirement Planning • Savings & Investments • Life Cover • Health Insurance • Currency Exchange • Mortgages • Tax Planning • Asset Management They are regulated financial planners with offices in seven European countries, dedicated to providing the best advice and solution for each individual client. Please email or call them to arrange an initial, no-obligation introductory meeting.

T. 93 665 8596 Passeig de Gràcia 63, Principal 2A barcelona@spectrum-ifa.com

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To advertise in our business directory call:

93 451 4486

email: ads@barcelona-metropolitan.com


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Job directory To advertise in this section, call: 93 451 4486 or email: ads@barcelona-metropolitan.com See also our online directory at www.barcelona-metropolitan.com

For the latest jobs for English speakers in Barcelona, follow us on Twitter @WorkInBarcelona

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Smelling of roses U

nless you’re an exceptionally fast writer, the chances are it’s too late to cash in on Sant Jordi’s Day this year. But now is definitely the time to start planning for next year, so that you can retire to your Caribbean island the year after that. As for roses—they’re going to take a while longer, if that’s how you want to make your millions. It will not have escaped your notice that Sant Jordi’s Day is big business. If it has escaped your notice, this state of blissful ignorance will evaporate like dew on a rose petal the minute you step outside your door on April 23rd to face the onslaught. Someone’s cashing in, and if it isn’t you, it really should be. And books is definitely the way to go. Growing roses is long, slow and tedious. It requires patience and horse manure in roughly equal quantities, as well as more problematic resources such as sunshine, land and good timing. If you’re not already a landowning horticulturalist, the investment is going to be prohibitive, no matter how exorbi-

tant the early roses of Sant Jordi’s day might be, and how attractive the idea might seem. Writing best-sellers, in contrast, is quick, fun and easy, apparently. It might require patience, but in place of horse manure, only coffee and cigarettes. Or maybe whisky. In the past, the investment might have been just as prohibitive as for growing roses, though if you were good enough, most of it would be met by a publisher (in return for an iniquitous slice of the profits). But with e-publishing, the cost is minimal, the potential profits maximal. The same might be true of e-roses, but there’s a limit to the number of e-roses the world needs, even on Sant Jordi’s Day, and there are probably enough rose apps out there already. Plus, while an e-book offers many of the same pleasures as a real book (apart from getting sand trapped in the pages when you’ve been reading at the beach, and being able to hurl it across the room in irritation), the same cannot really be said of e-roses. A rose by any other name might smell as

sweet, to trot out birthday boy Bill’s tired cliché, but he wasn’t thinking of e-roses. They smell of static, stale coffee and the sweat of an unwashed app-developer. Or they would if you could smell them, which of course you can’t, and that is partly the point. Not that most of the roses available on Sant Jordi’s day smell much better. They’re like the listless blooms that desperate hawkers flog to boozed-up mugs hoping for sex, as if a skanky restaurant rose would be a deal-maker in the evening’s proceedings. Even if you could develop a suitable rose app, it’s a strictly seasonal market. Books are like Korean dogs—they’re not just for Christmas, you can enjoy them all year round. So if you’re going to make your millions next Sant Jordi, you’re more likely to do it with books than roses. In preparation, your homework this month is to study the Sant Jordi’s Day stalls, ready for De Floribus Enterprises’ Guide to Writing a Bestseller, coming to this column soon. --Roger de Flower

HOROSCOPE Aries This is a romantic time for you and could bring some unexpected, but welcome, surprises. Someone you haven’t seen for a while is likely to reenter your life. You’ll be taking big steps to improve your health.

Taurus Things look good

Gemini An interesting month for you with a great emphasis on communication. There will be information coming your way and you’ll need to decide how to manage it. The end of the month is a good time for home projects.

Cancer You may be feeling the pinch of a tight budget but things will pick up towards the middle of the month, resulting in an unexpected surplus of funds. The second half of April brings new insights about yourself.

Leo You’ll be bubbling with energy and able to make the most of new projects and travel. Good luck could definitely be coming your way during the second half of the month regarding resources and cash.

Virgo You’re feeling energetic

Libra There will be lots of fun activities with friends which will really lift your spirits. Towards the end of the month there will be some surprises at work. Take these in your stride as they may lead to new opportunities.

Scorpio Prepare for lots of changes and excitement in your career and you will receive praise for your accomplishments. Travel is best left until after the 17th, when things are calmer and you are better able to relax.

Sagittarius Plans to improve

Capricorn Money issues will

Aquarius There may be committment issues in a close relationship. Make sure that you talk these through and don’t let communication go sour. You’ll have the opportunity to go on a short and unexpected trip.

Pisces A great month to start a new diet or exercise as you have plenty of energy and discipline. If you’re in a relationship, communication will really flow. If you’re single, it’s a great month for meeting a new partner.

your knowledge through further study come to the fore again in April. It’s time to decide what you really want to do and whether to take the plunge. This is a good month for travel abroad.

on the home front and any improvements you’ve made to your home or living situation will start to pay dividends. You’ll receive some news near April’s end that you may need to act on.

and sociable in April. Make sure that your partying doesn’t take too much toll on your health, though. A friend will come to you with a business idea that could be worth exploring further.

require your attention at the beginning of the month. You may feel like ignoring these, but you must deal with them and move on. Friends will be seeking you out, so enjoy their company.

scoop By Ben Rowdon

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Profile for Barcelona Metropolitan

Barcelona Metropolitan Issue 183  

April once more and for this issue, as the cover suggests, we’ve embraced Sant Jordi with a vengeance—well, providing it stays dry, it is on...

Barcelona Metropolitan Issue 183  

April once more and for this issue, as the cover suggests, we’ve embraced Sant Jordi with a vengeance—well, providing it stays dry, it is on...