- for my parents -
BARCELONA DIARIES 2012
The first month
Let the adventure begin
The new house How we got into the flat
Big wheels Back to the beginnings
Beach days Sumvmer heat
Surfing in the Mediterranean?
Torre del Barro
Up in the mountains next to the river
Green apartment buildings The other side of the river
Around Glories The centre of our neighbourhood
Someone is always visiting So many good people to meet
Everybody loves Forum
How Forum became the same old, same old
One of many days like this
Here and there
One of the few times I left Barcelona
Celebrations all year
XVII. The last months Try to keep myself entertained
001 WINDING STREET TIBIDABO
I. BARCELONA THOUGHTS
Barcelona is one of the top destinations to practice any kind of extreme sports on modern urban objects/ elements worldwide. It doesn‘t matter, skateboard, BMX, rollerblades... The whole world visits just to skate the city. Somehow Barcelona has spots on every corner, on every street and they all look and skate awesome, the city seems to be built like a big skate park. The reason for all the this are the 1992 Olympics in combination with a bubble of hipness that occurred during the early and mid 90‘s but vanished shortly afterwards. Apparently Barcelona was this artsy place for all the hip 90‘s people, kind of what Berlin is trying to be today, with the only difference that Barcelona’s architctes had money at the time and were able to just build anything they wanted. If you’ve been here, you know that it’s possible to just skate around the city get from spot to spot that way. At first there are the obvious ones, like Barceloneta, the Olympic stadium or the Forum. When those get old, any metro into the hills and a skate down will do. Another positive influence on skating is the weather. It’s mostly sunny with an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day, which is perfect conditions for any outside activity. After seeing the Black Market Euro Tour and the Alex Broskow sections in KFC 4 pretty much all of us blade kids in Germany knew that blading paradise just moved a whole lot closer. It wasn‘t California all the way over the Atlantic anymore, it was Barcelona just a (most likely cheap) two hour flight away. In 2007 we finally managed to sort things out, my friends Dario Soller, Mark Heuss and I teamed up for our first ever Barcelona adventure. We were still young, so we shredded hard every day and were barely able to walk by the end of our trip. I remember my ass and legs stuck to the sheets of my bunk bed every
night because of all the wounds. Needless to say we had the greatest time in the city, there is an incredible edit somewhere on the internet, filmed by Mark, edited by Dario. Going back to skating in Germany was pretty tough, shitty same old spots. The next time I visited the city was with Alex Rudolph the year after, in April 2008, just for four or five days. It was a two man mission and those are always hard, we were highly motivated to get clips but between two people sessions don‘t happen, one guy films and the other skates, so it is always hard to get juiced. My next time in city was on the skate shop tour. We travelled down to Barcelona in a van all the way from Germany. We had Maik Lojewski, Daniel Prell, Kenth Ulvedal, Sascha Lopez, Miro Kolb and Patrick Smith on board. I had just recovered from a broken navicular bone so I didn’t skate that much, my purpose was to film everyone else (Besides driving the car for 2000 kilometres) We stayed at this Spanish dude’s place in the centre somewhere in the “squares”. We even met up with Mark Heuss, Alex Rudolph and their crew who happened to be have their own Barcelona adventure while we were there. They were about to leave when we arrived, our time in the city was just overlapping for a few days. I wanted to stay in Barcelona and extend my holidays, but after a long discussion with Maik (the other driver) I decided to help him take the car back to Germany. So I went home just to book a flight back to Barcelona the next day. I switched from filming to skating and once again had a great time in the city. Calippo let me stay at his apartment for a few more days free of charge and so my adventure continued. After all these great experiences and time spent in Barcelona I started to think about ways and possibili-
BARCELONA DECEMBER 2012
ties to stay for a longer time. In 2010 I moved to Berlin to work in Media. Besides not really getting that done properly I met a lot of new people and made some new friends. One of them was Tim. What always pissed both of us off, especially in Berlin, was the winter. We talked a lot about winter retreats and to just move away somewhere sunny, but when I lived in Berlin I was poor all the time, so thinking of holidays was more like dreaming of holidays. I never made it out of the city for vacation, except to film/work at the Roskilde Festival. After about a year I had to leave the city due to a new job opportunity. Tim and I stayed in contact and kept to talk about to just leave. Once I settled into my new job I started to work out of office a lot, which led to be able to work from anywhere with a desk and internet connection. One thing that caught my eye during those long work hours was the lifestyle of a little elite group of bladers. Richie Eisler and Dustin Werbeski came from Canada and convinced The Conference to give them a flat and a few Euros every month so they can live and blade in Barcelona. They had a huge output, whether it was edits of different pro riders who visited, sections of themselves or the Powerhouse blog. Another great inspiration were their Powerblading edits, they started to use skates with big wheels to get around the city, I totally got hooked on that, an “old” aspect of blading that nobody had thought about in a long time. After a while Tim and I made real plans, Tim was going to sublet his apartment in Berlin and we decided to either move to Lisbon or Barcelona. But after a long back and forth we ditched the plan to rent our own apartment, instead one of Tim’s friends, Max, let us stay at his Barcelona apartment for all of January. He was about to move out and all the people he sublet to already did, so we were lucky to both have
our own rooms. So there I was in Barcelona, only for a month though. Richie took the responsibility later on to teach me the basic rules of Barcelona (power) blading: 1.
Don‘t bring any ID. You won‘t need it any ways.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Don‘t be scared, the police can‘t catch you. If they are on a scooter, they need to stop and get off before they can grab you. Same thing for police cars. If you need to pee, use one of the many trash cans. Be careful who watches you skate. If an old person complains, leave. If the police surprises you at a spot act stupid, tell them you’re on a holiday. The black girls on the Ramblas have nothing good in mind. One clip a day is all you need. Skitching is easy.
002 APARTMENT BUILDINGS SANT ANTONI
003 THE POLICE! VILLA OLIMPICA
00 VARIOUS SKYPE KONVERSATIONS KEVIN CHOW 06.012012
Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Kevin: Mathias:
Kevin: Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Kevin: Mathias:
Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Kevin:
added :D (Kevin sends a pic of something) haha goodbye frames yeah looks like a fun fakie stairide haha you’d have to manage going in curves i want to see more fakie stairiding in rollerblading... of course they have to make sense i guess you know this? http://spotsofbarcelona.blogspot.com/ and this http://spotsofbarcelona.blogspot.com/2009/08/alfons-x.html eventhough i was there once und got scared i wanna do some jetsoning there http://spotsofbarcelona.blogspot. com/2009/06/besos-bumps-over-fence.html i want this!!! http://www.rollingupdates.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/erik_bailey533x800.jpg i ll throw a full speed jetsons sweaty down that hehehe yeah man Jetson blading is the shit what does olli want? go back to yesterdays curb? haha not sure the bumps are fun but it’s reallyt only one thing you can do there won’t bother with my knee I don’t want to risk it twisting of course... did you reach benni? yea just got off the phone with him he wants to meet down near the beach he’s there with his gf can you meet us here at drassanes? at your place? is that cool or did you want to meet at barceloneta ledges? is Tim up? no I ll call him I woke him up he was actually still sleeping he has to take a shower so i guess it’ll take us a while to get wherever we need to go i d say 40 mins minimum=15:00 yeah that’s fine I said we’d meet Benny closer to 3-3:30 spanish styles not Cheeeerman styles so precise german style would be 10 it’s disgusting sometimes am yes ha Spanish styles meet at 1 show up at 3:30 not complain hahahahah ;) because that’s normal I can be late and lazy but not THAT lazy ;) k get your gear together then send me a skype call before you fools leave it’ll make us get ready yeah i guess we’ll just jetson blade down
Kevin: Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Kevin:
Mathias Kevin: Mathias: Kevin:
Mathias: Kevin: Mathias: Mathias: Mathias Kevin:
make sure he has his face on for Benny he’s a rock star after all ok so i think they know each other pretty well well I wouldn’t want Tim to not look his best for me at the very least he’s so sensitive after all. :) please don’t tell him that i told you that or even make fun of it ... cause he’s so sensitive after all yes he’s an artist they’re all torchered exactly and sensitive so I get it and he doesn’t drink anymore so I can see it no worries man his secret is safe with me so I told Benny we’re meeting at barceloneta bank ledges 3:15-3:30 just see us there ok we’ll either skate down that way or get on a train and go somewhere i d prefer the train thing go up to the “mountains” and down yea bring your fancy camera and a fish eye so we can get radical maybe even gnarly perhaps insane im always in conflict, caryy tripot flycam flinstones jetsons and camera bag =no fun carrying nothing= fun but no memories yes bring flinstones & camera make tim carry your flinstone frames get memories ???? profit yeah well figure something out tim made it through the refreshing/showering process going straight into breakfast now awesome you go girls call me I’m gonna go put my pretty face on call we heading out now sould we come by your place? just meet us at the spot you know how to get there or you re already out? we’re still here not really there is aö lot of those banky tings send the adress via gmaps or we ll be in 15 mins by aour place here’s the address Barceloneta @41.382339,2.185937 via google maps http://maps.google.com/maps?q=41.38312,2.185893&ll=41.382283,2.185936&sp n=0.006215,0.013776&num=1&vpsrc=6&t=m&z=16
WINDING STREET TIBIDABO
APARTMENT BUILDINGS SANT ANTONI
THE POLICE! VILLA OLYMPICA
This photo was taken on one of the few adventures Darina and I got up to. We met in January to go up to Mt. Tibidabo. I hadnâ€˜t been up there yet, they have an amusement park and a church up there. The amusement park is a little outdated, but it offers a great views over the city, which adds quite a unique touch.
Everything was so new and different in the beginning, I tried to be outside as much as possible. I wanted to see every part of the city and draw a mental map. A year later I think I can say that I have seen Barcelona, it is so hard to find new things or get inspired now.
People tell crazy horror stories about their skates being taken away and 1000 Euro fines. Nothing happened to me or the people I spent time with last year, but I know a few people that got busted. Just be careful. That day the policemen just checked traffic, they didnâ€˜t bother me.
004 WHERE IS EVERYONE BELLVITGE
005 THE END BELLVITGE
006 ROUNDABOUT BELLVITGE
II. THE FIRST MONTH LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN
My flight left on the 28th of December. I remember I wasn‘t too thrilled to go anywhere the day before my flight, if I had the choice the last second I would’ve stayed at home, but the flights were booked and there was no going back, so off to the airport. Tim was already in Barcelona, his flight left a day earlier. We contacted Mark Heuss prior to our departures and begged him to hook us up with some Powerblading gear. The basic concept was that skating around on small wheels and anti rockers is not fun at all. So change the two small wheels to four 80mm wheels, all of a sudden the most basic things in blading are so much fun again. When I arrived Tim picked me up, we hung out for a while, got out our PB‘s and bladed effortless all the way from Gracia to the Forum. The most fun I’ve had in a long time, right on my first day. A few days later we had new years, our plan was to create an epic fireworks/ powerblading edit but due to the Spanish way to celebrate new years, there were not many fireworks at all. That’s why we never made an edit, we didn‘t even go out that night, had a pretty lame new years. (I later found out that they have the big party with all the fireworks in midsummer, makes a lot more sense. It is warm.) After I realised that Tim’s conception of the Barcelona adventure differed from mine, I started to do more and more things on my own. Still hooked on the PB thing I would just pick any random last metro stop, metro there and blade back. One thing I found interesting in particular were the arrangements of big apartment buildings spread all over the outskirts of the city. It seemed really dangerous to hang out there at the time, I was always scared to get robbed, but the only time something like that happend was when I walked drunk down Las Ramblas.
BARCELONA JANUAR 2012
After we spent a week or so in the city Oliver Nermerich told me that he was going to visit and stay at his friends Kevin’s place. He asked if we wanted to hang out, that’s how I got introduced to Kevin. Kevin and I hung out after and he eventually made me a member of one of the local dispensaries. I later passed that legacy on to Dustin. The next visitor was Ben Harmanus, he actually visited twice, one time with his girlfriend and the next time on his own to be able to skate. We went blading a few times and I made an edit out of the clips we got. I have to say, Ben’s skating is crazy to watch, he always tries the weirdest shit which results in the most awkward slams, but he manages to never hurt himself. At the same time a bunch of Tim’s friends also visited, Daniel Groner, Dave Benski and Bartholomäus Zientek. Dave is involved with Black Jack, the original plan was to make a Dave Benski Black Jack edit, not a Ben Harmanus Adapt one, but Dave didn’t feel to shred hard so I focussed on Ben. Later Kevin and I met Christine to sort out a new flat for me. We had dinner and I got introduced to Darina. I guess we liked each other and decided to go up to Tibidabo to see the amusement park and enjoy the view over the city.
007 DEATH TO FITNESS GUINARDO
008 RECREATIONAL AREA BELLVITGE
009 KID ON BLADES BELLVITGE
010 OLD COUPLE BELLVITGE
WHERE IS EVERYONE BELLVITGE
THE END BELLVITGE
DEATH TO FITNESS GUINARDO
I was scared that day, I couldn‘t figure out if this was a safe place to skate around with my camera or not. I can‘t tell one year later, either. It seems to be such a sketchy place but at the same time people are friendly and nothing ever happened to me in those areas.
I went to see the big red bricked bridge with the many spots on the way to the airport. Afterwards I kept on going outwards the city along Av. de la Granvia de l‘Hospitalet which turns into a highway once it leaves the city. That‘s when I thought I reached the end of Barcelona.
Belvitge is such a crazy place, not beautiful in a classic way, but it looks fascinating to my eye. The whole area is located next to train tracks and station, which kind of separates it from the city. Again, great lighting and a shot of apartment buildings.
The sign read in German means „death fitness“. That is of how we felt after skating and walking around so much in those first days, dead because of all the fitness we did. Google translate didn‘t give any insight on this making perfect sense in Spanish either.
KID ON BLADES
One thing that fascinated me about this place was its beauty compared to similar places in Germany. When I remember the apartment complexes on the outskirts of Berlin or apartment housing in Germany in general, those places just look terrible in comparison.
I remember when Kenneth Owens form Charlotte, NC came by for a visit. He was so confused and surprised that he was able to skate down the streets without having people point or laugh at him. All these people on fitness skates were a new thing to him as well.
This photo reminds me of the photo work my roommate Claudio does. He is a street photographer, which involves taking photos of people and random things in the streets. I might say his work inspired me to shoot this, but I hadnâ€˜t even met him when I took this picture.
011 TIM WOLFF RAVAL
00 VARIOUS SKYPE KONVERSATIONS TIM WOLFF 12.11.2011/17.11.2011/07.12.2011/11.12.2011
Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim:
Mathias: Tim: Mathias:
Tim: Mathias: Tim: Tim:
ahoi powerblades sind bestellt hehehe bzw. frems die billige mit den billigen rollen also komplett 50 mark vom dreisterne euro äh euromark question mark haha genau ja wie siehts denn aus mit bcn? jo schaun wer mal wenn ich in der neuen bude bin 15- jan bis 15. feb wird eher nix also gar nicht oder ab wann? weil ich wahrscheinlich mit blackjack nen stand aufm winterclash mach also früher wieder weg muss also lieber etwas früher hin hehe 10-31. jan oder so nur nen monat? hihi, besser als nix... mal schaun hehe ja 20 tage is glaub schon ok oder schon vor silvester hin also ende dez bis ende jan hätte ich nix gegen wollte eh mal silvester am strand abhängen ja als wir da waren gings ja besser als in der falckensteinstr. abgestochen zu werden haha BARCELONA hast du das Richie interview gelesen? wenn wir fahren dann fahr ich nur Powerblades meinste das reicht das anfang dez zu planen/buchen? oder jetzt? Ich kauf mir jetzt dann auch powerblades eher jetzt schon ok schreiben wa die tage nochma loco roco hey i think i have good news biste da? Von Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN) nach Girona (Barcelona) (GRO) Mi, Dez 28 Flug4124 Abflug Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN) 06:30 Ankunft Girona (Barcelona) (GRO) 08:20 ich komm dann um 15:50 :-)) aber dann freu ich mich voll doll und wenn ich dann da bin ist doof :-( ne aber besser ist es krieg die krise hier wieso doof? freu mich schon auf bcn :-O ja wenn man die ganze zeit denkt “boah hey wenn ich in b-city bin ist alles besser” ist das ok, aber wenn man das zuviel denkt ist man dann da und hat zuviel erwartet ja ich will sonne und warm das reicht mir muss nich in berlin sein evtl noch ein paar homies zum rollerblading haha dann is ok und urban-beachlife
Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim. Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias:
hehe also ich denk ich nehm 2 paar schuhe mit und geh mal schlummermodus ja das problem bei mir IST DAS GEWICHT o laters schickste mit der post ja aber das ist sirgendwie sketchy mit der spanischen post... wenn das dann nicht ankommt haha UPS oder du nicht weisst wie der zettel aussieht oder Fedex hmm ja wenn dann so weil frames wechseln immer ist doof Ich muss aber auch ne menge mitnehmen... wegen arbeiten und so am besten nur urlaub machen kamera, stativ, flycam... da hab ich noch 10 kg, 2xskates handgepäck haha noch 4kg für klamotten ne unterhose und ne jeans reicht ich glaub ich kauf einfach neues zeug da ja ich hab überlegt ob ich mir dann nicht da einfach klamotten kauf und die am ende per post zu mir schick kauf eh imer die selben socken bei H&M haha hehe genau oder nur zu kik oder die spanische version davon oder 2nd hand da gibts topman das ist günstig und besser als hm... wir waren mit max mal auf nem 2nd hand markt da da warst du nich dabei oder?t jo sowas könn wa auch machnen das war in so ner kleinen halle voll mit hippen spaniern da gabs günstiges zeug ich geh auf jeden fall noch auf ein konzert im januar oder evtl sogar 2 Circle takes the square!!! hast du dich schon informiert was so geht? ja geht kaum was, aber CTTS :) ich noch nicht (blush) kommste mit? wenns nciht unglaublich teuer ist... hehe... aber ich denke schon ch such dann auch eins aus ;-) haha
TIM WOLFF RAVAL
SECOND HAND SHOP RAVAL
SUNSET OVER SANTS MONTJUIC
VAGA GENERAL L‘EIXAMPLE
This is Tim on our 3rd day in Barcelona. We flew in on the 28th of December, this was taken on the 31st. Our first days involved a lot of walking around the city. Taken in the expensive second hand store on Validonzella. Tim found a present for Tobias Kotischke that day, it was a vintage T-shirt that somehow connected to Tobias‘s dog Toto.
After I took the picture of Tim from up top I walked down a few stairs to stand next to him and photograph the wall he faced. Nothing great really, but I think it fits nicely.
I went up Montjuic with the cable car to get some nice dolly shots of Barcelona for a video project. After I got off on top I took some pictures overlooking the city. I used my 125mm vintage lens which caused the extreme lens flare.
Vaga General seemed like a friendly get together at first, I thought „Oh, this is how they strike in Spain!“ Following trucks playing loud music seemed more like a big party to me. Things changed fast, the police got mad. They were so reckless, didn‘t even care if woman or child. In the end things escalated, Starbucks was on fire, El Corte Ingles and countless trash cans as well.
012 SECOND HAND SHOP RAVAL
013 SUNSET OVER SANTS MONT JUIC
014 VAGA GENERAL L‘EIXAMPLE
RANDOM DUDE GOTIC
LOOKING UP BARCELONAETA
SCHOOL TRIP GOTIC
OLD MAN READING THE NEWS ANTICS PALAUS
That day we tried to meet early to avoid the heat. This picture shows a random person walking around the tiny alleys in Gotico. Never met the guy again, but I really like the lighting and overall composition in this picture.
Barceloneta reminds me of pirates. I imagine that it was a crazy place in those times. Lots of small alleys and thin, high houses, not too much light. I can almost hear the cannons shoot, but nowadays it‘s mostly Canons. I was trying to take some video dolly shots that day, none of which ever made it anywhere.
I don‘t know if this group actually was on a school trip, but it seems like the woman on the right is the teacher and all those kids are her students. I like how she waves her hand and has that annoyed expression on her face. That‘s how I remember teachers.
We came to skate the spot in the background that day, but a group of older people already sat down and had breakfast, so there was no way we could skate it. (Rule #4) We hung out for a while and I took this picture of an old man who read the news.
015 RANDOM DUDE GOTIC
016 LOOKING UP BARCELONAETA
017 SCHOOL TRIP GOTIC
018 OLD MAN READING THE NEWS ANTICS PALAUS
III. THE NEW HOUSE HOW WE GOT INTO THE FLAT
Poblenou. This is what my new neighbourhood was called. Kevin hooked it up, thanks pal. After I spent the first month close to the centre, up the street from plaza Universitat, flats needed to be changed. I had to go back to Germany first, figure a few things out and then come back after to move into a new flat. Now, how is that going to work? Well as I said, Kevin hooked it up. After I mentioned that I want to come back to live and stay in Barcelona Kevin liked the idea and made the connection towards Christine, a girl he knew from Canada, looking for a roommate. I can‘t remember if any of the sketchiness regarding the flat was mentioned the first time we met, but I guess not. After we met Christine at the Forum skate park she invited Kevin and me over for Dinner. We arrived at the house, took our blades off and walked up that tiny staircase. It was wintertime so it was cold and dark. I couldn’t really tell that it was an awesome flat, it looked rather shitty. Lots of trash left by the former tenants everywhere, it seemed rundown, no proper furniture, the paint job was terrible and the most attractive part, the two terraces, couldn’t be seen in the dark. I didn‘t commit to anything that night, the room seemed expensive and small. Time flies in Barcelona and before I had the possibility to check out any other places, I was back in Germany. Back there it became clear that this was the only easy way to get back into Barcelona, so I started to talk to Christine on Skype and Facebook about the room and if it still was available. Dealing with things in Germany took longer than I expected, I had planned for two weeks, but it turned out to be six, which had me come back in mid march. When I came back I finally had the possibility to check out the place I moved in. It was a three bedroom
apartment over two stories with two big terraces and two bathrooms. It was quite spacious, had a big living room and a bright kitchen. It was and still is a bit rundown, but it definitely creates its own charm that way. The key element is the downstairs terrace, sunlight from ten in the morning up to eight or nine at night depending on the season. I spent countless hours in one of the chairs up there and fell asleep in the hammock many times. After I realised that I live in one of the nicest apartments in Barcelona, all the stuff that came or came not with it was revealed to me. The person who actually signed the lease was a girl named Manu from France. She had the big room in the flat but never showed up. She was the main tenant and we paid all our rent towards her. Little did we know, she kept collecting the money but never paid it towards the landlord. She owed them 16.000 Euros in rent and probably a couple of thousand more to gas, water and electricity companies. She wasn‘t a poor person who couldn’t afford to pay rent, she just preferred not to. Luckily she didn‘t drag us too deep into her problems, but in the end her problems were causing us problems. Christine did all the business here, she kept e-mailing Manu and the landlord. Manu was supposed to come by and collect her things, but never did. We had to pay her portion of the rent, as she stopped but “her” room was still full of stuff. Christine went through her things and tried to sell them to the second hand store, but they turned out to be worthless, because she threw out the cables earlier. At some point we even got scared of getting kicked out by the police because it felt like we were squatting the place. Even though we paid rent, we had no right to live there. Nobody would help us fix things around
POBLENOU MARCH 2012
the flat or help us with any of the other problems concerning it. We even showered at the beach for a while because the hot water didn’t work. For some reason the landlord liked Christine and after a long back and forth to try to resolve the situation we eventually got them to let us stay, at least for the next month. It still was a crazy situation, we paid a lot of money for an apartment that didn‘t work, running hot water in every bathroom causing horrendous water and electricity bills, a terrace door that couldn’t be closed, a somewhat useless stove, 1940 electrics... to many things to name. We still paid a lot of money when they fixed all the major faults, still in the dark whether they would let us stay for a longer time or not. After a few afternoons of negotiations we finally worked out the one condition that would keep us in the apartment. We needed a Spanish person to sign the lease, because the landlord didn‘t want the same situation all over again.(French girl Manu) That‘s when Claudio stepped into our game plan, he had even lived in the apartment before so he knew its advantages. He agreed, but wanted to make sure that things will get fixed and the contract won’t be a rip off. Soon a new contract, more things that needed to be fixed, who is going to live here etc. were worked out. We had to pay three month’s rent as a deposit and one month’s rent the day we „moved in“ which turned out to be the nice sum of 1600 Euros each. I hope someday they will find their ways back into my pockets. Now to Poblenou. At first I thought it was way off the map. I lived above Universitat and thought it was great, so the new place between the city and Forum, on the beach though, seemed too far away from it all. In the end there was no choice which made up for the best decision ever. Poblenou is such a great
place to live. A very diverse, well located, not too touristy place right by the beach. We moved into one of the nicest and quietest streets in Poblenou as well, Maria Aguilo. Our street leads up to Diagonal on the one end and straight to the beach on the other. The next street over towards the city is Rambla de Poblenou, a smaller version of the big “Ramblas” close to Plaza Catalunya in the city. Just less tourists, less Pakis and more Spanish people. Before we get to the beach we have to cross a little “ghetto strip”, basically rundown apartment buildings and a parking lot, then cross the street which leads to the park right in front of the beach. If you take the park to the left you will end up at Forum, take it the other way and you‘ll end up at the Mapfre towers.
019 SPRAYPAINTED RUINS POBLENOU
020 TREES POBLENOU
021 TERRACE POBLENOU
I LIKE YOUR BIKE POBLENOU
023 DUSTINS HOOD POBLENOU
024 CEMENTRY POBLENOU
I LIKE YOUR BIKE POBLENOU
I pass this structure every time I leave our flat to either go to the beach, Forum or skate towards the city. It is located on this little stretch of nothing which serves as a parking lot at the moment. For some reason it will always remind me of the time I spent in Poblenou.
Our neighbourhood and the beach are separated by five or six big apartment buildings and a parking lot. It seems like such a bleak place, but they planted a lot of things to try to make up for it, at least a little. These trees are one of the things they planted.
The closest spot to my house is at the bottom of this building. A bank with two big rusty pipes coming out on top, good for wall rides. Nick Lomax did a few moves here, other than that its only been discussions about nothing. Oh and why don‘t they have terraces?
That day I took my roommate’s girlfriends‘ dog Saskia for a walk. I took the camera and shot this photo of the park close to our house. I always took the dog there. I stopped walking the dog after I overheard two Ladies pointing out that I had to be gay. I hope it was due to the dog‘s pink leash and collar.
SPRAYPAINTED RUINS POBLENOU
DUSTINS HOOD POBLENOU
This is the area where Dustin and Johanna had their studio/flat. Not exactly, but this is a good example of what the neighbourhood looked like. The picture even got the Torre Agbar tower in the background.
One day Dustin and Johanna asked if I wanted to check out the cemetery in Poblenou. They showed up late, so I went by myself and I have to say that it was quite different from the cementrys we have in Germany. They bury their people in walls, not the ground. Still looked nice though.
IV. BIG WHEELS BACK TO THE BEGINNINGS
After I watched a lot of their edits on the internet I totally admired Richie, Dustin and the powerhouse gang. They always seemed to have such a great time with all their friends and the different people who visited. One video I particularly remember was the “Tron” themed edit by Richie. It didn‘t show any “normal” skating, it was just a few dudes cruising around the city and hanging onto cars, well mainly hanging onto cars. They released it at the right time as well, just when Tim and I were about to go to Barcelona. I planned to blade regularly and try the PB‘s every now and then. As soon as I put the big wheels under my skates the need for normal frames and wheels seemed gone. The first weeks skating around on big wheels seemed a lot more fun compared to what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years. Somehow more fulfilling. I still had my blades on, so the basic element stayed the same. In all my years skating I learned, that in order to gain joy or fulfilment, lots of work needs to be put in, which involves lots of falls and in the end a whole lot of pain. That concept changed all of a sudden. I still had crazy amounts of fun, adrenalin rushes and all that, but the price wasn‘t as high anymore. To use my skates for what they were originally intended was a new experience, at least in the recent years, as most of us started out on fitness skates. On one of the first days we went skating with Dustin, he showed up with a pair of prototype Level 2’s. A few days later we all met up again at the W hotel to skate the ledges next to the sea. I got to try the Level 2‘s on Dustin’s Xsjados. I was not impressed at all. A new type of frame in combination with a skate I hadn‘t skated in years didn’t feel good, so I lost interest and kept skating my 76mm Advance setup. A few
BARCELONA SUMMER 2012
few months later Richie got a package with prototype Carbon 4‘s and after he shot the ad The Conference claimed he wanted to get rid of them. To make the whole deal more attractive he added the Level 2 prototypes, so there was my chance. Richie planned to leave for Roskilde soon, he didn’t manage to sell the skates beforehand so I offered to do that for him. My plan was to keep the Level 2’s and throw a pair of my Fluid 4 frames under the skates. After a few posts on Spanish rollerblading pages I found a kid who was eager to buy them, I met him at Canyelles skate park, sold him the blades and was the proud owner of one pair of the first five prototypes of Level 2‘s. It was crazy, they worked so well. I can’t believe I didn’t like them earlier. Everything worked perfect, grinds on ledges, rails, no wheel bite whatsoever. The dude The Conference bought the design of has to be a genius. Skating the Arrow frames with different wheel sizes for about 5 months sure helped a lot. If you can back Royale that ledge with a four 76mm wheels Advance setup, it will be a lot easier in the Level 2‘s. Rails were an absolute no-go on the Arrow frames, the Level 2‘s made them work now. They were even easier to grind on than curbs or ledges.
025 TAYLOR RICHIE GETTING RID OF HIS SOCKS BARCELONETA
026 RICHIE SHOWING OFF ANTICS PALAUS
027 RICHIE EISLER PB TRUE MAKIO POBLENOU
028 BLADERGANG VILLA OLYMPICA
00 VARIOUS SKYPE KONVERSATIONS ABOUT POWERBLADING TIM WOLFF 26.02.2012/13.05.2012/23.05.2012
Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim:
Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim:
Mathias: Tim: Mathias:
Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias:
haha heute war ich nur powerbladen... haha an der ampel mal spontan geskitcht iner hermannstr... :D da wird einem doch warm ums herz :-) haha ja aber ich glaub die autofahrer findens nich so geil hahaha nene gar nicht aber hab nur kurz schwung geholt aber dafür ganz gut, kacke is halt wenn die sich erschrecken und das lenkrad rumreißen oder so und einen dann kaputtmachen oder halt mal ne super vollbremsung machen und der typ von hinten dich einfach zerquetscht :-O aufm dorf war das auf jeden fall enstpannter hinter nem traktor haha wir ham das immer am bus gemacht ja das hätte sich bei uns nich gelohnt bei bussen alle 2-3 stunden haben das an traktoren mit anhängern und lkws gemacht
woooooooooow das ledge gerät me gusssta http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3510342241520 faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast haha ich kann jetzt bs shifty inn er miniramp mit pb perfekt. In dem forum park bs shifty die ledge runter geht auch und unitys etc haha machste nen pb edit? hab heute pariah gekriegt keiner filmt mich und mich selbst filmen mag ich nicht hehe hab ich auch und rgardless gib doch dem kevin die kamera in die hand ja ich mag mich nicht aufdrängen und wenn das einer macht soll der spass dabei haben und nicht von mir gezwungen werden richie eventuell mal sehen wir sind jetzt dicke kumpels aber richie ist kaputt heute war irgendso ein typ aus hamburg da den ich nicht kannte kurze lunch session am foum park :-) haha das war so lustig der verrückte adam und so n paar berlin typen waren letztens da gideon und der kleine jetzt grosse blonde und ich sass am forum park mit richard und hab n cerveca geschlürft die konnten es nicht glauben hahahahahah haha is der irre jetzt fest in batze oder nur korz da gewest? der irre ist fest hier ich war gestern nacht powerbladen 22,5 km haha ich war gestern nacht powersegeln so windig am strand schneller als alle jogger ohne die füsse zu bewegen kite-blading
Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias:
Tim: Mathias: Tim:
Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias: Tim: Mathias:
hier aufm tempelhof machen das manche macht bestimmt bock so windig wie das da is aber ich bin dafür glaub ich zu leicht ich flieg dann weg hahahah dann kannste wie beim kite surfen 30m gaps machen hat die Datei Bildschirmfoto 2012-03-21 um (Map of 22,5km blade around Berlin city) hahahahahahaha wooow aus welchem grund? zuviel energie? musste skaten haha und ja danach war ich nich müde sondern fit :D haben nur die beine bissl weh getan hmm ich war die letzten tage relativ viel bladen und ich bin fertig, zu viel computer aber ich muss ja für die meisterschaft im sk8 cross trainieren http://www.skatecross.net/events-2012/sankt-wendel-ger/ check die liste :-O kizer :D haha oli b meinte ich soll das hinschreiben wird er doch pro immernoch PB only? jo soviele haten über PB auf so curbs die aus dem natursteinmaterial sind wie die am strand geht alles also der bank to curb spot ja keine ahnung macht halt mehr spass im augenblick und darum gehts große rollen ist halt der shit ja auf jeden fall, alles andere macht kein sinn.... 55mm wheels...wow hahahaha kannste gleich abgefahrene von anderen leuten nehmen schon komisch dass sich das bei 55-max 60mm eingependelt hat ich fahr immernoch die eisler undercover 59 in kopenhagen war so ein geiler boden da konnte man so geile geräusche machen aha ich kann jetzt eishockeystop mit pbs also wie inner eishalle mit schlitts-schuhen also ich bin noch dran so ein royale auf rollen? je nachdem wie der boden ist man wird so viel besser im skaten wenn man viel rumgurkt damit hab ich das gefühl um hier irgendwo hinzukommen nehm ich ja immer die blades, letztens war ich länger zu fuss unterwegs haha so langsam haha ja das nervt dann so bald gibts powerblading “level 2” frames und carbon 4’s Super geil die Frame, also die achsen sind quasi höher in der frame also damit kann man mit 76mm ganz normal alles grinden ohne dass die rollen berühren... flat versteht sich...
TAYLOR GETTING RID OF HIS SOCKS BARCELONETA 15.05.2012 19:34
RICHIE SHOWING OFF ANTICS PALAUS
RICHIE EISLER PB TRUE MAKIO POBLENOU
BLADERGANG VILLA OLYMPICA
Taylor came from Canada to visit for two months. Taken on the big platform next to the W hotel after we skated the ledges next to the sea. Taylor easily learned back royals on 80‘s that day, it is so much easier when you see people do them rather than to try and figure it out by yourself.
There are always lots of visitors and at the time Richie had his girlfriend, Amanda from Sweden, visit for a couple of days. She brought a pair of skates and got some power frames from Richie. Taken while Richie demonstrates his strength and manliness in front of the girls.
That day we went out to shoot pictures for Richie’s interview in Clac magazine. We got kicked out of every spot but kept skating down Diagonal. We found this spot where Richie did a true makio on PB‘s just for fun.
This is another one of my favourite photos, taken after we skated the fountain below the Mc Donald‘s near the beach. We went back the next day just to realise the city finished the cleaning work and let the water back in.
029 CONCRETE SQUARES VILLA OLYMPICA
030 DUSTIN‘S BIRTHDAY VILLA OLYMPICA
031 DAILY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT NOTHING BARCELONETA
032 BARCELONA LOVES ROLLERBLADING DIAGONAL MAR
DUSTIN‘S BIRTHDAY VILLA OLYMPICA
DAILY DISCUSSION ABOUT NOTHING BARCELONETA
BARCELONA LOVES ROLLERBLADING DIAGONAL MAR
These are the concrete squares that make all the piers on the various beaches in Barcelona. I like the lighting and how the top bit looks a bit like a pyramid which reminds me of Richie, who talked a lot about how bad he wanted to see the pyramids.
This was one of the first weeks Dustin was in town. I didn‘t know it was his birthday that day, but Taylor was kind enough to prepare a little birthday cake and candle. This is us leaving right after we ate the cake.
This happens quite a lot when out skating, especially on PB‘s. You skate around the city, come to a spot and talk about the possibilities. With “nonpros“ its mostly stuff that could be done, but Dustin and Richie are actually able to do the things they point out.
This is why I really like skating towards the Forum, all you do is glide along palm trees and these types of buildings on perfect ground. The city did a good job to make the whole place look outstanding, it appears very futuristic and has a great feel to it, especially when the sun goes down.
033 DANAE, CLAUDIO AND GINA GLORIES
034 PALMTREES AND TOWER BARCELONETA
035 DARINA GLORIES
DANAE, CLAUDIO AND GINA GLORIES
PALMTREES AND TOWER BARCELONETA
This is my roommate Claudio, his girlfriend Gina and Danae from Greece to the left. We went to a rooftop pool party, got wasted in the daytime and stayed from 4pm to after dark, couldn’t get enough and went to a beach party at Forum afterwards. I dropped my camera off in between, otherwise it probably would have left me a lot earlier.
This is the big plaza at Barceloneta beach. The beach is to the left and the city to the right. The background shows the cable car which goes up to Montjuic. This place always makes me feel like I am on holidays.
Also taken on the day of the pool party, this is lovely Darina. We actually shared the camera that day and she took a lot of pictures too. I am still supposed to export and upload them for all the people who can‘t remember a thing.
V. BEACH DAYS SUMMER HEAT
We met up at the beach at lot in the summertime, most of the time Bogatell, the one closest to my house. Just to hang out for a while on those hot summer days, talk for a bit, enjoy the sea, the heat, and maybe a few cold beers. I remember that every time I dove into the ocean, the feeling of awesomeness arose. Sensing the clear, refreshing water on my skin, swim out for a few hundred meters (to the buoy) and look back at the beach. I would always think “this is so awesome, it can’t get any better” That feeling would occur every time and wouldn’t get less of amazing. Jump in there, be underwater, warm like a big bathtub, see the ground, is an outstanding experience, every time. If I didn’t go at lunchtime I went after work. Those eight weeks of super warm summer sure seemed endless while they lasted. Just to mention it, summer is really hot, crazy hot. You wake up to 30°C at 8am and go to bed with 34°C. You sit and sweat. The desk I worked on (some cheap IKEA model) swell up due to all the humidity my arms created resting on it. There isn’t that much else to do. Blading, well we tried. It all came down to what we called “golden hour”, the time when the sun slowly sets and puts the city into that bright orange light we all like so much. Best conditions for shooting as well. When it was really hot and there was no improvement in sight I went to our local China bazaar and bought an air mattress for 5 Euros. It was green and seemed of low quality but it was one of the best beach investments (the only one) I made that year. You can stay in the sea as long as you want in August and September. The problem is, without something that keeps you afloat, you have to swim by yourself. This is exhausting and there isn’t that much energy in the summer’s heat. So the air mattress was great, stay in the water all day - no physical activity required.
BARCELONA SUMMER 2012
One of my missions, or the greater thought behind the air mattress, was to have a beer and a cigarette out there in the sea. A few mediocre attempts later I finally managed to get it done. It wasn’t easy and Dustin and Johanna would later say that what I did out there looked quite confusing. (I was trying to dry my hands by waving them around. Some lighters don’t work with wet hands.) Of course summer ends, same for Barcelona as any other place in the world. It went as fast as it came, even though it seemed endless while it lasted. All of a sudden, I wondered why I wasn’t with my friends at the beach anymore. The last time we went to the beach with the intention to have a proper beach day, including swimming, was in late October. It seemed just as any other day and I am sure that no one of us realised that this would be our last encounter at the beach that year. I brought the skateboard Richie had given me after he left and we didn’t go to our usual spot in Bogatell, but somewhere closer to the city.
036 MUSCLE BEACH VILLA OLYMPICA
037 RANDOM BEACH SCENE ST.POL DE MAR
038 SHOWERS VILLA OLYMPICA
039 ANDREW AND GINA ST.POL DE MAR
040 WAVE VILLA OLYMPICA
STANDING IN BREAKING WAVE VILLA OLYMPICA
MUSCLE BEACH VILLA OLYMPICA
RANDOM BEACH SCENE ST. POL DE MAR
ANDREW AND GINA ST. POL DE MAR
SHOWERS VILLA OLYMPICA
Barcelona is a caring city. It gives its citizens the possibility to stay in shape, free of charge. (Citizens on the beach are supposed to look nice for all the tourists in summer) A lot of the city‘s beaches have exercise machines built for everybody. People actually use them, they are hardly ever unoccupied.
This was my perspective a lot last year. Flat on the ground, on a towel, face up, lie on the beach. I only moved for beers or a dip in the sea. We did this in St. Pol de Mar, one of Claudio’s favourite beach towns, that day.
This is Andrew and Gina after a long day at the beach, don‘t let that water bottle fool you... We were on our way back to the station and I made use of the great light and got this shot.
I remember some time in May we had no hot water. It was due to a switch in our bathroom that seemed to turn a plug on and off, but what it really did was turn off the hot water. The landlords caretaker had to drop by and fix the „problem“. We had a good laugh, but to shower on the beach in May is not the greatest thing.
STANDING IN BREAKING WAVE
It gets boring on the beach after a while, so one day I came up with this project to take very close pictures of the tiny waves we have. I never got around to go deepen it, mainly because it was too scary to always tear my camera away from the water in the last possible moment.
Same idea as the photo on the other side, just shot from above. It looks quite dramatic, but the waves were small that day, like 0,5m. I still managed to cover my camera in saltwater a few times.
VI. BADALONA MISSION ONE OF MANY DAYS LIKE THIS
One of the best things about rollerblading in Barcelona is that no matter where we went, we always found something to skate. We picked any random metro stop, had a look around and found spots. That day we decided take the metro over to Badalona. Kevin works as an English teacher, has clients all over the city and mostly uses his skates to get to appointments, so he sees a lot of spots on his daily travels. Both of us wanted to go to Badalona, he found a ledge spot and I wanted to skate the big stadium in the centre. After a bit of convincing, the others were down to join us. We gathered quite a big crew, it was Kevin, Richie, Dustin, Johanna, Amanda, Eric and me. We met way to late to avoid the heat and soon found ourselves walking down a huge strip of urban waste land. A bunch of homeless dudes hung out (or lived under the bridge we crossed) and started fun fires in the grassy area next to the bridge. They didn‘t bother to put them out until one of those fires got too big. All of a sudden they started to panic, they gathered all the containers they could find, filled them with water and tried to extinguish the fire. They made it in the end but they sure had to fight for it. When we reached the ledges Kevin talked about, we realized they were too long, rough and ended in nothing. Not skateable. After we gave Kevin a bit of shit we kept on walking and started to look for the next spot. 10 minutes later we found a c-shaped ledge, but it turned out to be too rough and curvy. We still tried, but it was just way to hot to skate at all. So we decided to go to the beach, one of the only smart things to do in Barcelona’s summer heat. We all enjoyed the ocean and went for a swim. When everybody was done we went to the next spot, just a narrow full pipe in a house’s wall, right by the beach. It wasn’t really a spot to film clips, but Dustin decided to take a few photographs of Richie for his upcoming
interview in Clac magazine. When we were done with the spot we made it to the stadium I wanted to see, but the ledges turned out to be just a bit too big of a stunt, so I passed. We kept on going and the next spot was a quick PB 180° out of a stone bank back onto the street. The little extra to this spot was that Richie had to ride through a bit of dirt to make it to the bank. I got the clip of Rich and we kept moving further towards one of the many plazas. Dustin figured a line he wanted to film and that was pretty much the last thing we did that day. All the clips we filmed ended up in my “Barcelona - The early days” edit.
042 ERIC PIEPER BADALONA
043 OPEN FIELD BADALONA
044 KEVIN CHOW BADALONA
045 RICHIE EISLER BADALONA
ERIC PIEPER BADALONA
OPEN FIELD BADALONA
KEVIN CHOW BADALONA
RICHIE EISLER BADALONA
This is Eric Pieper from Los Angeles. He came by and visited us in June. He didn‘t have any PB‘s so he got himself a rental bike to get around the city to keep up with us.
We got off at the station and then walked towards an awesome new spot that Kevin found earlier. The ledge turned out to be way too long, rough and ended in nothing. So we kept walking over this big field close to the beach facing Barcelona on the one side (shown in picture) and Badalona on the other.
Kevin is the man. He and his girlfriend Rebecca have lived in Barcelona for about two years now. He hooked me up with the flat I live in, hanging out with Richie and Dustin and has been a nice guy all year around. Thanks Kevin.
Richie poses for a photo. Well, in fact he didn‘t pose for me, but Dustin took the picture of him with one of his analog cameras. It was for an interview in one of the upcoming issues of Clac magazine. I just threw a snapshot in between.
VII. THE SURFBOARD SURFING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN?
One day out skating we found a surfboard. It wasn’t really a board for riding waves, more the windsurfing kind. We talked a lot about trying to surf. Mainly about how awesome it would be to have some kind of activity on the beach rather than to just sit around all day and do nothing except to drink beers. So we were happy to find this just sitting on the side of the road, didn‘t care that it wasn‘t made for the purpose we wanted it for. We were so enthusiastic about our find that it didn’t even bother us to take it all the way back to Glories by metro and then back to Dustin and Johanna’s studio. It was mid-summer so waves were a very rare occurrence. I took us quite some time to actually go out and use the board, I can’t recall, three weeks, maybe six. We have been researching the wave forecasts on various websites a lot and after a few failed attempts we finally met up and took the board out to the sea. To be precise, Dustin did. On his Rollerblades, skitching. I had to laugh my ass off, but he actually managed to let a taxi pull him for about a good kilometre, despite all the winds which forced the surfboard to be very hard to handle at 40 Km/h. It was a warm, but not overly hot, windy, slightly cloudy day. It was actually quite surprising to find waves as we imagined them. Big. Nobody in the water, but a few people on he beach. Dustin went in first, it looked all easy from the beach. When I had my turn I drifted far off towards the lifeguard‘s stand because of the wind. Our board didn’t have a leash, which I have to admit, was quite dangerous. Being thrown over by a 1,60m wave hoping the board wouldn’t hit was scary. So the lifeguard comes over and tells us to stop, because it is not allowed to surf without a leash. He criticised my surfing skills, too. What a dick. Oh, apropos dick, Richie tagged along that mission too. He didn’t get to surf but he didn’t want
to any ways. He had been surfing in Australia for a bit and wasn‘t down with neither our surfboard nor the waves. He said that they were big, but would brake way to close to the shore. After we got “kicked out” we hung out on the beach for a while, enjoyed the breeze and the view over the ocean. When the studio finished, Johanna moved back to Sweden and Dustin switched to Alex’s place in the mountains, but the surfboard stayed at the warehouse. We put it in the secret storage room in the entrance area of their building. It’s probably still there.
SURFBOARD SKITCH VILLA OLYMPICA
OUT THERE VILLA OLYMPICA
WAVES VILLA OLYMPICA
How are we going to get the surfboard to the beach without too much effort? Dustin figured it out quite fast and one of the many cab-drivers in Barcelona gave him, unknowingly, a ride.
As soon as we swam out our arms started to feel heavy, even though we hadnâ€˜t really done anything yet. Waiting for the waves, it got cold. Am I in the right spot? Where are the waves? Oh there is one! Ah never mind... Still a fun exercise until one of the lifeguards came by to make fun of my poor surfing skills before he kicked us out for not having a leash on our surfboard.
This is the spot we picked that day. Our initial plan was to go all the way down to Barceloneta because it is supposed to have the best waves, but we couldnâ€˜t wait and as soon as we saw the waves on Nova Icaria we were sold.
046 SURFBOARD SKITCH VILLA OLYMPICA
047 OUT THERE VILLA OLYMPICA
048 WAVES VILLA OLYMPICA
IIX. TORRE DEL BARRO UP IN THE MOUNTAINS NEXT TO THE RIVER
After Dustin and Johanna gave up their studio in Poblenou they had to figure out a different place to stay. For the first couple of days they stayed at my place, but after a while I felt uncomfortable because of my three roommates. They knew a Swedish guy named Alex who had a house in the mountains, they’ve met him before and he offered them to stay at his place, free of charge. So they moved to the mountains and after a while I made it out there, too. They always made it sound like it was really far away, but there is a train which takes about 15 minutes from Glories. On first sight the house was nice, a bit rundown though. Before I got in I had to walk through some kind of dungeon up a few stairs and then reached the front of the house. It used to be a Swedish squat/party house but all the other tenants got kicked out. The landlord liked Alex so he let him keep the place. The house was outside the city so it had all the benefits that came with that, a big garden, terraces on different levels, a swimming pool, almond trees and lots of cats. For some strange reason they had free energy, too. Sounds all right, but as I mentioned before, it was pretty rundown and needed a lot of work. Initially they were only going to stay only for a few weeks, but time passes fast in Barcelona, as I write this it has been about two months, at least for Dustin. Johanna decided to go back to Sweden after a while, she couldn‘t find a proper job and Dustin had to finance them both with his Conference money. Spain’s Marc Moreno has his place right around the corner in the same neighbourhood. He lives in the house his father built in the 60‘s or 70‘s. Its a really nice place and in a far better state then Alex‘s house. He even has a guests room where he let Chris Dafick stay over summer. And the cutest red little cat, named Balla, after their crew “Ballas Perdidas“ (lost bullets) lives there, too.
TORRE DEL BARRO OKTOBER 2012
No one of us had ever been to Torre Del Barro before, there were lots of new and fresh spots to be found. Its a small neighbourhood but located on the side of a hill which makes up for lots of stairs and differences in height. Dustin’s first reaction was: „The spots are unreal man, I just saw two blocks and was blown away“ .We skated the place three or four times and always found new things. One day Mark decided to do a “stunt“ in the plaza right near the station. Many of the locals who hung out watched and after he laced the trick he gained local hero status with benefits at the local weed dealers.
049 STREET LEADING UP TO MARK‘S TORRE DEL BARRO
050 DUSTIN WERBESKI BS FASTSLIDE TORRE DEL BARRO
051 APARTMENT BUILDING COMPLEX TORRE DEL BARRO
00 VARIOUS SKYPE KONVERSATIONS DUSTIN WERBESKI 09.10.2012
Mathias: Dustin: Mathias: Dustin:
Bra bra. whatcha doing today? we got to alexs simply and stayed the night, its a chill flat. but the hood is unreal for skating haha. you shoudl come check it out, and we can try to meet with marc and chris hmmm well well... i ve got 1-2 more hours of work to do... but i m down for whateve after that. are you online over there? ike all the time or are you hustelinâ€™ the web? haha all the time. i got my first set of clips from dom too. whoop whoop. Just playing with that edit now, and emailing, but yeah ill be down to get down in 2 hours. Just keep me posted and tell you what i knows going down over here. but yeah, i need to heal up so i can fuck shit up up here hahahahaha haha juiced to see that hood ha yeah, i saw 2 blocks and was blown away. its cray.
Dustin: Mathias: Dustin: Mathias:
so, im getting dommys footy for the mornin. editing and hustling. well speak and should session over here. fuck it, ill get a safe clip to start this shit haha gotta work my way out of here hahahahahaha
this hoods outta control bra. but yeah, im a keep working til your able to come out this way. got all my dom footy, edit should be cut by the time you get here, roughly ha yeah i m pretty much waiting for this thing to get delivered and then come out...no word yet though cool cool. just shout when u peace. ill meet you at the train or metro. or the park out front or whatever ha haha man fuckin spain. of course they couldnâ€™t get it done, what was i thinking well i can come over now have you figured out the way to go? umm yeah, sagrera has to be it. but i think its a major transfer. ride yellow if you wanna chill for a half an hour. i ll get going within the next 20 mins. i ll give you a call when i exit. dont pic it up just come down to the station sounds solid. so the renfe right? ill meet you outside. just shout before you peace too. thanks bro
STREET LEADING UP TO MARK‘S TORRE DEL BARRO
DUSTIN WERBESKI BS FASTSLIDE TORRE DEL BARRO
APARTMENT BUILDING COMPLEX TORRE DEL BARRO
After moving to Torre Del Barro Dustin realised that Marc Morneo lives in the exact same hood. He lives in the house his father build in the 1970‘s. His parents moved somewhere else and now he holds it down there. The blader in the picture is Dustin on his way to Mark‘s place just to find out he is not home. At least we go to bomb down that hill.
I finally made it out to Dustin‘s new hood and we went for a skate. This plaza is what I walked into when I first left the train station. I took this picture of Dustin doing a backside fastslide, I just had one shot, after that he wanted me to film the trick. Funny, the clip turned out semi-good due too sloppy blading and no tripod.
The centre of Torre del Barro is located on the foot of a mountain. There are lots of apartment buildings, all on different levels connected by this kind of hallways or staircases. I like how the last bit of sunlight comes through the staircase on the top left and the lady carrying her red bag.
052 BARCELONAS MOUNTAINS TORRE DEL BARRO
IX. GREEN APARTMENT BUILDINGS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER
Every time we walked up to Dustin‘s place in Torre Del Barro we had an awesome view over the river towards the Badalona side of the city. One thing that always looked interesting was this apartment building complex, lots of big, green apartment houses built really close together on the side of the mountain. We figured that it had at least a hundred skatespots in there. The only problem was how to get there? We could easily spot the place, but the problem was the river running in between. Bridges seemed rare and we couldn‘t even spot the closest one for pedestrians. Regardless, one day we decided to meet up and explore this hood. We met at Santa Coloma on the red line around noon. One nice thing about Barcelona is that it has escalators in many places you wouldn‘t expect them. The hood we looked for wasn‘t as close as we thought, we had to walk for a while. We outwalked the buildings on the mountain and took all the escalators we could find until we found ourselves in this grassy, rocky, scant landscape. We overlooked the whole city up to Montjuic. The most interesting thing was the perspective we got, it didn‘t look like we had imagined it at all. We hadn‘t realised until then but there are a lot of big hills in the city. Of course we were aware of their existence, but we never thought that they were arranged that way. After a little break we reached the hood we originally looked for. Well, we reached a big long thing made out of concrete first. It seemed like the top of a tunnel which wasn‘t covered in dirt/mountain yet. The concrete pathway on top led us straight into the apartment complex we wanted to see. After we walked through the buildings for a few minutes we realised that there were no spots to be found, everything was built way too close together. We figured it was a fun mission, well worth it and continued
BADALONA OKTOBER 2012
with the descent. Still up in the mountains and able to see what’s on the ground we saw this amazing park with some skate able obstacles in it. Dustin remembered the park from skatingi it the year before and confirmed the presumption of skateable material in there. It was my first day back on anti rockers, so I had an exhausting, slow session on a little bank to ledge spot. Dustin fell on his wrists once, so bad (refreshed his injuries) that he wasn‘t able to take the pain and had to lay down for a while. Luckily Johanna was there to take care of her hurt boyfriend. He didn‘t really know what happened to his wrists, his last major “fuckup” was when he tried to grind down a metal structure close to Glories. He put all his eggs in one basket that day, it worked before on a soul to disaster soul, but that time it didn‘t. So his wrists might have been broken or just sprained, nobody knew. They are still fucked to this day - it is mid December now. He just went on a two months recovery trip to Sweden, so hopefully he will be fine for his 2013 adventures. I kept blading for a while but soon stopped, hot weather and getting used to tiny wheels again made it difficult to have a fun session. We peaced the plaza and went home.
053 UP IN THE MOUNTAINS TORRE DEL BARRO
054 BARCELONA RIVER AND FORUM BADALONA
055 APARTMENT BUILDING BADALONA
BARCELONAS MOUNTAINS BADALONA
UP IN THE MOUTAINS BADALONA
BARCELONA RIVER AND FORUM BADALONA
APARTMENT BUILDING BADALONA
Another one of my favourites. This photo gives a bit of a different perspective on Barcelona and its mountains. Being in the city you canâ€˜t really see that there are plenty of little hills leading up to Tibidabo.
This photo was taken on the highest point of our adventure. We used all the escalators we could find and once we passed the last buildings we came to a point where nature actually grew wild. Some trees and Barcelona in the background.
This photo shows the river separating Barcelona and Badalona. In the back on the left is Forumâ€˜s big solar collector, our flat would be located somewhere on the far right. All the buildings in between make the nice stretch of futuristic buildings on the way from my house to the Forum.
This is basically the same picture as the one on the left, just taken at a different focal length. This was shot with a 50mm lens, the photo on the left with a 70-200mm lens. Beautiful view over Barcelona and its surroundings. I really like the colours the building has in this picture, love the shades of pink and orange.
BAD IDEA GLORIES
JOHANNA BERG POBLENOU
RICHIE ON HIS WAY POBLENOU
When Dustin tried to grind down this structure some dude on a bike rode by and said something about blind men seeing this. I met him a couple of weeks later at a bar and told him that he was in the clip and offered to share it via facebook. He replied that he has a friend in Columbia who rollerblades, that guy saw the edit Dustin made later on, recognized him in there and then showed it to him. Travelled all the way to South America and back to Barcelona.
This is Dustin’s girlfriend Johanna. She came with Dustin from Sweden and hung out with us all year. She got pretty good on the blades after a while, but she had no choice really. Before the home movies broke she was camera operator Nr. 1 and filmed an edit of Dustin and me Powerblading. She always had lots of physical (real) art projects going on, I can barely remember the studio‘s floor empty.
This is just a snapshot of a nice lighting situation taken in the newly build part of Poblenou. I put it next to the photo of Johanna because it was shot on the same day and has a Swedish car in it, a Saab. And guess what, Johanna is from Sweden.
We hung out at one of Poblenou‘s new buildings that day. To be honest it was so new that I didn’t feel too well skating it. The others didn‘t care and this is Richie picking up speed for one of his moves that day, Torre Agbar and a few of Poblenou‘s futuristic buildings in the background.
056 BAD IDEA GLORIES
057 JOHANNA BERG POBLENOU
058 SAAB POBLENOU
059 RICHIE ON HIS WAY POBLENOU
060 RICHIE EISLER SOUL TO SOUL POBLENOU
X. AROUND GLORIES THE CENTRE OF OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
After I moved to Poblenou, located quite a bit away from all the famous, touristy things like La Rambla, Barceloneta or Placa Catalunya, not too many popular sights were close by. Glories would be the closest one. The whole area around the tower is referred to as Glories, the tower itself is called Torre Agbar. That took me eight months to figure out. It seems as if the city‘s architects built a part of „future Barcelona“ right here. They started at Glories and will probably take the whole strip of industrial buildings to the beach down and fill it with fancy new futuristic buildings. Poblenou basically consists of three areas, first the neighbourhood I live in, made of traditional Spanish townhouses and small streets. It‘s nice because there aren‘t too many tourists, close to none in the wintertime. A few streets over towards the city is the industrial part with shops like car repair, recycling, workshops, pretty much anything that needs big industrial buildings. There are some nice lofts up for rent too, my friend Darina just moved into one of those places. It is the same area that Dustin and Johanna had their studio in, the part of Poblenou located two or three blocks below Glories. The third area is what I refer to as „future Barcelona“, the area the city just started to create. When we all lived in Poblenou, we went to Glories quite a lot. For once, it houses the closest metro station of the red line, if we were to go to Trinidat Vella, Badalona or Fondo we would meet at Glories. Other things that make it quite an attractive hangout are the skatespots around the tower. They look really great, but to skate the painted concrete cubes is hard, unless you are Richie Eisler or just a madman. The ground is perfect and so seems everything else, but I, like Oliver Smallman in one of the pictures, stood on top of that hill a couple of times with the same “I don‘t know what to do expression“ on my my face. I‘ve seen people get really hurt on those little cubes.
POBLENOU SUMMER 2012
Right next to the tower is probably the biggest rotary traffic in Barcelona, it‘s gigantic and runs on two levels. Next to that is another skatespot, a few circle shaped humps with banks all around them. It‘s a very beautiful spot too, the the bridges of the rotary traffic seem to hug the area, which makes up for excellent shots. If the skatespots around the tower start to get boring there is always Encarnts or the gypsy market. They sell the grimiest shit among the usual new flea market articles. They even sell used shoes (really used!) Most of the stuff people want to get rid of is either stolen or was found dumpster diving. The only things I‘ve ever bought there were a food grinder and some one Euro swim shorts. The grinder worked for approximately 2 months, then broke at Danae‘s birthday party. Just too many Margaritas. The „pulse“ button never worked, but it was a cheap make for us cheap people any ways. Next to Torre Agbar is the “Hotel Silken Diagonal Barcelona“. They organize rooftop pool parties once a month in the summertime. People get wasted on a roof with a pool in the 20th story of a building in the daytime. It is quite pricey but the view and whole setting makes well up for it. I spent all my money on 10 Euro Gin Tonics that day, so my 50 euros kept me smiling for a while.
RICHIE EISLER SOUL TO SOUL POBLENOU
GANG WAITING GLORIES
Richie Eisler doing his thing, soul to soul on a brand new marble ledge in Poblenou. This was just for fun, even though Dom West is filming in the background, I don‘t think the trick appeared in any edit. The spot is this newly build university building in Poblenou, just around the corner from the old studio.
We just finished skating Glories that day and were about to go home or at least back into the direction of the studio. This is that day‘s crew just waiting to cross the street.
062 GLORIES FROM REDKEN HOTEL GLORIES 09.07.2012 16:05 If you don‘t have a premium flat in one of the few city‘s skyscrapers it is quite hard to get a good view over the city. So I took my chance and brought the camera to the rooftop party to get a few shots of the city and its surroundings. The foreground shows the big roundabout at Glories, the mountain in the background is Tibidabo, with its church on top.
063 OLIVER SMALLMAN GLORIES 16.09.2012 15:28
The perfect facial expression to describe the spot. I’ve been so many times and sadly it doesn‘t get any easier to skate. Grinding the little concrete squares is tempting but has ended up very painful for some people. This is why I totally understand Oliver’s expression of “yeah I want to do something but damn, I am scared.“
061 GANG WAITING GLORIES
062 GLORIES FROM REDKEN HOTEL GLORIES
063 OLIVER SMALLMAN GLORIES
064 LEON HUMPHRIES GLORIES
065 MOTHER AND KIDS GLORIES
066 WORK IN PROGRESS GLORIES
LEON HUMPHRIES GLORIES
MOTHER AND KIDS GLORIES
WORK IN PROGRESS GLORIES
I think Leon was mopey when I took the photo. He didn‘t want to skate the spot but had no choice, everybody else was down to. That‘s why he didn‘t carry the happiest expression on his face. He had to wait quite long for the spot change, too. We were so many people and everybody wanted to get clips.
While everyone was busy doing wallrides or hitting their heads on lamp posts I shot this photo of a random family standing besides the big roundabout near Glories. Sagrada Familia and its construction work in the background.
Richie doing a 540° over one of the humps at Glories. Dustin is filming. Just another day of work for those two guys. I took a few different photos of Richie doing the 540° but never captured the exact right moment. I missed the grab for about a quarter of a second each time. I later discovered the „continuous shutter“ option in my camera.
XI. SOMEONE IS ALWAYS VISITING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE TO MEET
The main purpose of the studio that Dustin, Richie and Johanna set up was to be able to accommodate all the skaters The Conference would sent. The year before a lot of people came. Richie and Dustin acted as their Barcelona guides and filmed/ produced edits of them. The plan this year was to charge the Conference for the stay of their riders, and then for the edit they would produce. The first person who stayed wasn‘t on any of The Conference‘s teams, the name was Taylor Richie and he came from Canada. Definitely one of the coolest dudes out there, he stayed for two months. We had some good times, I remember (or not) one of those nights when we went out on our blades to go to the centre and have street beers. I was already drunk when we left the house, so on the way to the centre I started to stumble and fell over. I twisted my knee really bad and couldn‘t skate for three weeks. It were the times of the legendary WNS sessions, too. They were held a few Wednesdays at the Forum skate park. Taylor taught me how to fakie 720°. I had never done one before, but right after he explained to me that “it is just a 540°, but you start fakie“ I laced it within 3 tries. The next visitor was Brandon from Malta, a super nice dude who came by for two weeks. He didn‘t have any PB‘s and just brought his normal blades on our first few missions. After a while he switched, got himself a PB setup and never changed it back afterwards. After Brandon left, Josh from Australia came by for a visit. He showed up sometime in July and I later realised that Josh, upon returning to his home country, had just won the Australian titles. CJ Wellsmore took part too, so that was kind of crazy. Probs. He hung out a bunch at the studio too. The next person to stay was Nick Lomax. I called it the “Lomax weeks“. For some reason I didn‘t have to work that much at the time so I was lucky to get out and blade every day. He was the first person to come by and shred
professionally with the intention of having enough tricks for an edit by the end of his stay. He sure did shred hard, laced good tricks for nine days straight. I agreed to help film for his edit and later gave all the footage to Dustin to let him deal with it. He made a nice edit out of our efforts, Nick Lomax doing‘ his thing. Nick is a hilarious character off the blades as well, always a joke on his lips and some random girl in his arm. His favourite place in Barcelona soon turned out to be the beach close to Port Olympic. He would go there, get drunk off the one Euro Paki beers, hang out and wait till he could pick up any random girl. One night he came home drunk and thirsty. At the time Dustin developed his own black and white film which required three or four different liquids, stored in big water bottles next to the fridge. Nick took a big draught out of one of them, just to run to the sink and spit out what he hadn‘t swallowed yet. He then asked Dustin what the hell he just drank, Dustin replied “which one did you drink out of?“ To which Nick replied “The one that said stop on it.“ What a dude. He managed to come back on a second trip, this time he brought the whole Loco skateshop team. They were such a big group, maybe 10-15 people. Dustin was eager to have most of them stay at the studio and tried to work out places for all of them to sleep. What kind of sucked was that nobody of them really was a Conference skater, except for Elliot Stevens. So the whole concept failed yet again. Joe made a nice stick into which he engraved some patterns, a nice gesture, but still, you can‘t pay rent with sticks. I think I bladed only three or four times with the whole gang during their 10 day‘s stay. For the first skate we went somewhere out of the city, I can‘t remember what the place was called, maybe Montgat. Adam Kola was guiding. We reached a big plaza, meant to be a skatepark as there were obstacles like rails
BARCELONA SUMMER 2012
rails, boxes and a mini ramp, but those weren‘t the main attraction. The whole area was located on the foot of a hill, but it had three even levels, connected by big banks, protected by rails. Add a giant bank to bank corner and you have the perfect real street skatepark. A funny thing is that Nick took it super easy the second time he visited. The first time was crazy, we were a proper production team following him. He tried a few things the first session but hurt himself, after that it was mostly beers and party. The second time we went to skate we started right by the long ledges close to my house. When I arrived it was only Leon and a small part of the English group, everyone else was supposed to join in later. I had just warmed up, when Leon asked me if I wanted to film something real quick. I didn‘t bring my camera so I thought I got out of it, but no, he already handed me his. He tried a line and nearly got it the first three times, but afterwards he just got more and more angry and his attempts less and less close. I was very happy to hand the camera to someone else. We kept skating until the rest of the crew arrived, we then went towards Forum and shredded the spots along Diagonal. Mark Stamer from Germany was visiting and Julian Coulter from the UK joined our crew as well. We found an awesome bank to rail spot that I enjoyed a lot. It worked so well with the Level 2‘s. On the way back we went through apartment buildings on a walkway for pedestrians. All of a sudden this Spanish dude and his two kids on a scooter appear behind a corner. He went way too fast and didn‘t think, he ended up crashing into Mark and his bike and fell over. Nothing bad happened, but we had to laugh hard. That got him even angrier, so he jumped up and started to scream some Spanish but soon realised that there were just too many of us and that he probably should leave. So he took off with his kids. The third time I met the crew we went to shred around Glories and in our hood, Poblenou. Same thing
again, everybody was keen to shred the cubes next to Torre Agbar, but nobody really did anything. Except for Dustin and Rich, who both filmed lines with Dom West. After that we went across the street to a curb and wall ride in a line. Leon tried some moves, he wanted to get clips really bad, too bad for my taste, he always got angry and left people with an awkward feeling and a bad time. He convinced Dom West to film a line, but after a few tries he sadly held his ao topsoul for too long and couldn’t avoid the lamp post anymore. Face plant into lamp post, forehead bleeding. The lamp post was crooked already, so it kind of looked like Leon hit his head so hard that he broke it. After we found a pharmacy for Leon we went to one of the new spots right in Poblenou, too new, it looked like an expensive ticket just walking along. Rich and Dustin didn‘t care, they got a few clips and after that we called it a day.
067 DAN STIRLING MUTE 360째 MONTGAT
DAN STIRLING MUTE 360° MONTGAT
LEON HUMPHRIES EL MERESME
I wasn‘t sure of if this bank was purposely built for skating or if it was just there. The fact that they left a part of the bricked bank in concrete makes me think it was. Then again, it might just be for technical or stability reasons. Either way, Dan Stirling didn‘t care and laced this 360° mute over the bank with ease. Its Kola‘s flash in the background, he probably got a way better shot than I did.
Leon warming up for the first spot we decided to skate that day. Joe Atkinson sits in the background because he was hurt and couldn’t skate properly. He enjoyed the Powerblades though.
For anyone who doesn‘t know, roof terraces are awesome. Most of the time they require a flat in the upper level of the building which means stairs, but hanging laundry out to dry isn‘t the only thing they are good for. Barbecues, sunbathing, parties, tanning, relaxing, breakfast and probably 100 things more. I love our terrace.
068 LEON HUMPHRIES EL MERESME
070 RICHIE EISLER SUPERMOVE EL MERESME
RICHIE EISLER SUPERMOVE EL MERESME
FORUM‘S FACTORY FORUM
FORUM AREA FORUM
Richie Eisler got creative on this spot and laced an alley oop makio on the bottom wood part of the rail to alley oop fish on the top metal part. You can tell it was a good move because everybody stopped what they did and started to watch, take photos or film.
Forum is such a crazy place, it seems unreal. It serves the city as an area for events, they have big concerts, exhibitions, festivals and even the X-Games there. If they don‘t have any events scheduled it is quite dead. A massive urban playground for any kind of extreme sport.
Everybody who has been to Forum has noticed the strange smell. It smells like cat food, or dog food, maybe fish food? I don‘t know but the building in the background is one of the factories responsible.
Another Photo just to give an idea of the dimensions. The big solar collector to the right and a few artsy metal structures without any purpose to the left. The brick waves at Forum would be to the right side out of the picture, this is also the area where festivals like Primavera Sound or the X-Games are held.
071 SUNSAIL FORUM
XII. EVERYBODY LOVES FORUM HOW FORUM BECAME THE SAME OLD, SAME OLD
Everybody who visits Barcelona with the aim to practice any type of extreme sports wants to go to Forum, it is as simple as that. It is a crazy, futuristic place and I have to admit that the first times I visited Barcelona, I couldn‘t wait to see it. It is a huge event area connected to a harbour, located north of the city, right by the sea. They built everything, a massive plaza for events like Primavera Sound or the Xgames, a fancy harbour for fancy ships connected to a swim and wake board area, a few art museums, a skatepark, a big shopping mall, a congress centre, a giant solar collector and unwillingly of course, numerous obstacles for skating. All of Forum‘s skatespots have been in many skate videos over the years, so everybody who visits knows what they have to expect (even though it always looks a lot easier in the videos) and knows where to go to get to these places, Forum. The most famous spot from a rollerblader‘s point of view is probably the big set of stairs right next to the congress centre, followed by the big set of stairs right next to the solar collector. The thing all these stairs have in common are the Forum ledges, ledges with round edges that can be skated like a handrail. Everybody who ever goes to Barcelona needs to see and skate those. The problem is that most of the worlds better skaters have skated them, so many crazy tricks have been done on those ledges and the whole forum area in general. Doing new tricks or to finding new spots is hard, as an average skater nearly impossible. Same goes for filming, all the angles have been used, it is hard to get an interesting or new shot and most of the time you end up using one that has already been used. Don‘t get me wrong, I really enjoy and like the place, I go there all the time, especially because it is so close to my house, but not for a proper day of skating with the crew. I just go there to enjoy the scenery, to know and feel I am in Barcelona. Go to the Forum skatepark
for a bit, throw some moves, then go and ride the downhill pathway which leads to the big brick waves, surf them for a bit and then head back home. But this is not what all the visitors have in mind, they want to go big and skate all the famous spots. I agree, when I came for the first time, Forum was just overwhelming, so much to do, see and skate. The more I went, the smaller it got. Less and less spots I fancy to skate and by now the skatepark is the only thing I want to skate. (I hated it at first) So after a year of guiding people through Forum I am sick of it, even though it is crazy that a place like this could ever turn into the same old same old. Maybe its not the place, because I still like it, but the skate sessions. They seem to be very similar all the time, meet at the metro, skate the bank to ledge at the art gallery first, then move towards the waves, have a bit of fun there, then go to the ledges next to the big solar collector (the ones in the front are a bust and not worth it unless somebody wants to try the big disaster) skate them for a while and finish the day off at the park. Optional things to skate are the curvy ledges close to the skatepark, the long curb whose last bit is angled and the big concrete structure with the many ledges and the wallride.
072 FORUM‘S FACTORY FORUM
073 FORUM AREA FORUM
XIII. TERRASSA MISSION PISCINAS ABANDONADAS
In summer we dreamed about skating abandoned stuff. We did a lot of research and it turned out that there are quite a few things to discover around Barcelona. One of the things we found were the abandoned pools in Terrassa. We saw some pictures on the internet, but had no real description of how to get there, the only info we had was that they were close to Terrassa. After a bit of browsing we found them on Google maps, keyword “Piscinas Abandonadas Terrassa” We arrived at around 2 pm. There was a bus that left in the direction of the pools, but only two times on Sundays. We missed it, so it became more and more clear that if we wanted to see the pools we had walk or blade there. (We knew it was far) On our way we found a tunnel with transitions on both sides that Mark had shown to Dustin before. We got excited and skated it for about two hours, making good use of both our blades and cameras. Right after the tunnel the way turned into steep uphill for two or three kilometres. We ditched our skates and decided to walk again. I had to carry all my equipment and even though I‘ve gotten quite used to it over summer, this mission was different. We walked for what seemed like 45 minutes and finally reached the top of the hill. We got some beautiful views over the city and had a break. We didn‘t know if we were still heading in the right direction so we decided to ask somewhere. The closest thing we found was a gas station. When we walked in everybody stopped doing what they did and looked at us with big question marks in their eyes, without us even asking anything. We looked for the youngest person which turned out to be some 16 year old kid. He knew what we talked about and pointed us in the right direction. So we kept walking along the highway.
Our research on Google maps clearly showed that the pools were still within Terrassa‘s city limits, as soon as we saw the highway lead into wide open land with no houses we stopped. We tried to ask more people but they were no help. We even tried to climb some sort of tv-antenna tower but that didn‘t work either. So we decided to walk back. We remembered the directions the kid gave us, to my surprise the pools turned out to be very close to the gas station, about a kilometre away. We unnecessarily walked for 2 hours, but found them in the end. (If it wasn‘t for our poor Spanish skills or me ignoring the left turn right after the gas station, things would‘ve been a lot easier) The pools turned out to be enormous, it was this huge 70‘s style public swimming pool. It had the big pool in the centre and was surrounded by three or four stories of changing rooms. We walked around for a couple of hours, took photos, checked every single room, building, door and then skated the pool for a bit. It took us ages to get there, thats why we only made it for sunset which meant two hours left to play before we had to get back on our way home. I collected a few little pool tiles as souvenirs and what do they say? The journey is the reward. So this was a very rewarding trip.
074 STAIRS TO DIVING PLATFORM TERRASSA
075 BLADABLE TUNNEL TERRASSA
076 VIEW OVER TERASSA TERRASSA
077 FILMSONIC TERRASSA
078 DUSTIN AND JOHANNA TERRASSA
089 FILMSONIC TERASSA 02.09.2012 15:52
079 STAIRS TERRASSA
080 PISCINAS ABANDONADAS TERRASSA
STAIRS TO DIVING PLATFORM TERRASSA
BLADEABLE TUNNEL TERRASSA
VIEW OVER TERASSA TERRASSA
I climbed up those stairs to stand on top of the diving platform. This wasn’t the best idea. The stairs were all shaky and the staircase had no railing. I wouldn‘t say I am afraid of heights, but once certain points of danger and height are reached, I think I am.
We found this tunnel on our way to the abandoned pools. We spent quite a bit of time there, I filmed a few clips of Dustin and he took some super 8 footage of me. Mark Morneo showed Dustin this spot before but didn‘t tell where it was. We had a good laugh when we found Shredweiser stickers all over the place.
Up to the tunnel our way was smooth and went downhill, but once we passed it things changed and the street started to wind up a hill. This photo was taken halfway between the tunnel and the gas station where we asked for further directions. It was so exhausting to walk up the mountain and I was smart enough to bring all my gear. It had at least 30° the whole day, lesson learned.
Dustin’s came up with the idea to use his super 8 camera to shoot photos. He just shoot single frames or a few more if he wanted to photograph a sequence. He is probably still working on that, he has to scan all the negatives (which must be a crazy amount of work) and then turn them into .gif sequences for our beloved internet.
DUSTIN AND JOHANNA TERRASSA
PISCINAS ABANDONADAS TERRASSA
Another photo of Dustin and Johanna. We got so excited to finally reach the pools that we totally forgot about our initial plan, shoot an edit skating the abandoned stuff. We all just walked around and tried to get a few good shots before the sun went down.
The whole place was surrounded by a single concrete structure which must have served as changing rooms in the past. The only thing that makes sense is that every person who visited the pools had his or her own private changing room. These stairs connected the different levels of changing rooms with the bottom level of the swimming pool.
I had a hard time to decide which photo to take for the panorama. I took so many that day but didnâ€˜t really like any of them. So this is a compromise, it doesnâ€˜t even show the big, deep pool of the facility, but the sun was already so far down that the other pictures were too shady.
XIV. RANDOM MISSIONS HERE AND THERE
When everybody else was busy with work, or nobody was down to do anything, one thing that always fit was a random mission. I used to do that a lot, just picked a random metro station and went to check the place out. The first three photos were taken when I got off the metro at Montbau. It is located high up in the mountains and impossible to go any higher, the highway separates the last bits of Barcelona from the rocky, grassy landscape up in the mountains. I took a left after I left the metro and followed the highway. I skated around the top a bit and went down Av. Meridiana back to Glories, then back home. The second set of pictures was taken when Darina and I went to see the abandoned pools and the Parc del Laberint. We found the pools, but a different group of people already had a fashion shoot in there so we decided to check out the park first. It was a nice hidden park on top of the city with a Labyrinth made out of thuyas, trees similar to fir trees. We went trough the labyrinth which didn‘t take long to figure out and then proceeded to walk through the park. Even though the labyrinth was supposed to be the highlight of the park, I preferred the rest of it. It was remote, so there were nearly no people or tourists at all. After the park we went back towards the pools and Darina looked for a spot to paint. When she found one I had to stand guard until she finished her piece. I wasn‘t too happy with the thought of getting caught but nothing happened in the end. The third set of pictures was taken on Christine’s and my visit to Sagrada Famila. When she knew she had to leave soon, she made up a list of things she wanted to see or do before she left. One of them was Sagrada Familia. I wanted to see it too, so we decided to go together. I am not really into churches and history, but this place was well worth the visit. It was quite expensive, around 16 Euros including the elevator to the top, but that money will be spent towards building the church.
BADALONA SUMMER 2012
It felt more like a contribution in order to finish the construction work, rather than an entry fee. tion work, rather than an entry fee. The ceiling inside is just crazy, I have never seen anything like it and couldn‘t stop to look at it. Going up into one of the churche’s towers gave us really nice views over the city. We spent about 4 hours in and around Sagrada Familia, we even went to the museum later on, saw some of Gaudi’s early drafts and learned about the way he died. He got hit by a cable car.
081 VIEW OVER THE CITY MONTBAU
082 HIGHWAY MONTBAU
083 GOING NOWHERE MONTBAU
VIEW OVER THE CITY MONTBAU
GOING NOWHERE MONTBAU
Taken on one of my many missions to discover the city. I never planned to use this photo for anything, but while I worked on photos in Lightroom later on I started to like it and included it. View over the city just before the sun went down, notice the lamppost‘s light is already turned on.
Taken at the same time, just in the other direction, not towards the sea but the mountain. There is a highway underneath and this is the wall that keeps the mountain from burying the highway in case of a landslide.
The third picture in a series I took that day. This is as high above the city as you can go, unless you climb up to Tibidabo or want to walk through rocks and bushes. I couldn‘t figure out the purpose of the walkway, I got up there from the highway but it led nowhere.
Darina told me about an abandoned pool she knew, up in Horta near the velodrome. It is part of the facilities they built for the Olympics. When reached the pool we found out that some people had anticipated us, but that didn‘t stop Darina from executing her original plan, to paint something. We soon found a safe place in the surrounding areas and she started.
085 DARINA MONTBAU
085 VELODROM MONTBAU
086 GARDENS MONTBAU
087 SAGRADA FAMILIA OUTSIDE L‘EIXAMPLE
088 SAGRADA FAMILIA INSIDE L‘EIXAMPLE
SAGRADA FAMILIA OUTSIDE L‘EIXAMPLE
SAGRADA FAMILIA INSIDE L‘EIXAMPLE
The velodrome up in the Montbau/ Horta area. We spent a whole night in there as background actors for a Justice music video in May. That day I came back with Darina to look for abandoned pools. We found them but they were occupied by another group of people.
Darina and I wanted to check out these gardens which had a labyrinth in them. In my opinion the labyrinth wasn‘t that great but the other parts of the park made up for it. It is kind of a secret spot up in the mountains, so there were not that many people. It seemed a little forgotten as well.
When Christine realized her days in the city were numbered, she wanted to see a few of the famous sights before she had to leave. One of them was Sagrada Familia. Expensive, but well worth it. I am not into churches and stuff like that, but this one is just amazing. And it actually felt good to contribute towards building one of the biggest and most diverse churches in the world.
The thing that most of the people do inside Sagrada Familia is to look up. At least that is what I did the three or four hours we spent in there. It looked so impressive, and reminded me of some sort of giant shrimp or lobster.
THE SEA IN SITGES SITGES
DUSTIN TAKING A PHOTO SITGES
After we sessioned the Sitges skatepark in the morning hours Gerard was so kind to take us down to the city centre in his car. This is the pier that separates the two main beaches in Sitges. I think the photo gives a good impression of how hot it was that day.
We walked around and explored the old town centre. Even though it is just a half hour train ride away, things look different over there. Sitges has a complete different charm compared to similar parts of Barcelona. This is Dustin doing his other thing, taking photos.
For some reason this door caught my eye and I did my best to get a good shot of it. I even thought about a series, but in the end the first picture turned out to be the best so I gave up on the rest. Random historic door in Sitges.
I noticed people fly the Catalan flag, not the Spanish one. I havenâ€˜t gotten too deep into Spanish or Catalan history but I assume Germany and its state Bavaria are quite comparable. The Bavarians think they are the greatest but nobody else in the country shares that thought.
XV. SITGES MISSION
ONE OF THE FEW TIMES I LEFT BARCELONA
When we did our research to find out about abandoned pools and such, it showed that there was some stuff in Sitges, too. They have an abandoned racetrack and some pools. That day we just went to the Sitges skatepark to film a few lines. The skatepark turned out to be a perfect bowl park, lots of lines and fun. It was one of the “peak of summer missions”, so it was incredibly hot. Close to unskateable hot, and we arrived a few hours past noon, when the sun hits the hardest. We still shredded as hard as we could and I filmed a few lines of Dustin but even he struggled due to the heat. After a while a few of Barcelona’s locals showed up, one of them was Gerard who was kind enough to drive us back down towards the city centre after we finished our session. He showed me where to get some water, too. We then walked along the beach or promenade and checked out a few bits of the old town centre. Took photos here and there and looked for a spot to finally go for a swim. I bought some Ray Ben Glasses off some friendly black feller, he must have made a mistake because he only charged me ten Euros. When I told Dustin and Johanna about the great deal I just made, they didn’t seem to be interested at all and mumbled something about rip off. All the beaches in Barcelona are artificially made. I don‘t know if that’s the reason, but if you walk into the water you‘ll have to start to swim really soon, it drops off very fast. Whereas in Sitges I was able to walk for ages. It was very shallow for a long time, so the water was a lot warmer and the waves were a lot bigger.
When I recall last summer’s swimming experiences I have to say that this was definitely my best one. Super hot weather and water, I just let go and got knocked around by the waves. So good. And Sitges is a really nice little city too, it reminded me of pirates. It kind of had that Barceloneta feel to it but in a lot smaller and less touristy way.
089 THE SEA IN SITGES SITGES
090 DUSTIN TAKING
A PHOTO SITGES
091 DOOR SITGES
092 CATALUNYA SITGES
093 DUSTIN TAKING ANOTHER PHOTO SITGES
DUSTIN TAKING ANOTHER PHOTO SITGES
MY STORE GRACIA
GRACIA FESTIVITIES GRACIA
GRACIA FESTIVITIES GRACIA
Being busy taking photographs of everything I like, I tend to forget that looking at the stuff with my real eyes and try to memorize what I see is worth far more than to have it on my flashcard. But I wouldn‘t be able to look at it right now if it wasn‘t for ignoring reality and looking through the viewfinder that day.
There is always something going on in the summertime. Weather it is Poblenou’s Festa Major, the one in Gracia, various general strikes, midsummer, festivals... Too many things to name. This was taken at Gracia‘s Festa Mejor, some dude in front of a/ his store who looked like he stood guard.
Gracia is the hip part of town where all the young people live. They take the Festa Major very seriously, Gracia is known to have the greatest of all the cities district‘s Festa Majors. (Every Barrio has one) So they prepare their streets with all sorts of themes, make nice decorations out of trash or recycled material, hang them up, put lights into or around them and play music. Oh and drink.
The spiral things which hang down from the ceiling are made of used bottles and I am sure the other stuff in the picture is made from disposables as well. The drum kit might be real, if not it would at least explain the crappiness of some of the bands playing.
098 RICHIE EISLER WINNING FISE MONTBAU
EMPTY SEATS IN VELODROME MONTBAU
Richie was about to leave for the FISE Contest in France, so we took this photo to post on the internet in case he would win. Too bad he didn‘t. Taken during times of extreme boredom and lack of beer at the Justice music video shoot.
We had to constantly move around the velodrome to fill their backgrounds with cheering spectators. They did a good job replicating the crowd in post, because in the video it seems as if the whole stadium was crowded. It wasn‘t. It was very empty actually.
XVI. NIGHTTIME RANDOMS CELEBRATIONS ALL YEAR
One thing the Spanish love is to celebrate. It doesn’t really matter what or why, but one sure thing is that there is always something going on. If it is the big Festivals like Prima Vera or Sonar, Sant Juan (midsummer), the Festa Mejors of the different Barrios or just any other random event, it doesn’t matter, there is something to celebrate nearly every weekend. Most of these festivities are held outdoors and just about anyone can join them. Most of the time we would just strap our blades on and enjoy the celebrations that way. Cheap one Euro beers from one of the many “vendors” in the streets and the party was ready to be started. One of the most impressive things that was new to me was “Festa Major”. Around August and September every Barrio in the city has its own little street festival. The most popular is the one in Gracia. Gracia is the part of the city where a lot of young people live and they seem to take Festa Mejor very seriously. They probably start to decorate their streets three or four weeks in advance, the decorations are just too big and complex to be created in a shorter period of time. They are mostly made of waste as well, so all these beautiful structures constist of old plastic bottles in combination with other disposables. Lots of people come by to see the decorated streets and bands play. The residents put their chairs and tables into the streets and enjoy tapas while they talk to their neighbors for the first time that year. Even our neighborhood has its own Festa Mejor, just not as fancy and big as the one in in Gracia. They still managed to put up three stages, all within hearing distance of our apartment. There was a different band playing in every room of the house for about 10 days straight. Crazy spanish people. The celebrations for midsummer were awesome too, I’ve never seen that many people on the promenade close to Barceloneta.
BARCELONA SUMMER 2012
Around midnight they lit lots of fireworks, this was how I imagined new years would be like. It basically was new years, just in the middle of summer. We all met up near Barceloneta and had lots of fun peeing in trashcans, riding through firecrackers and drinking beers. Another time we all met at the velodrome up in Montbau to be the crowd in a Justice music video. Richie found out about it and thought he might either become a stuntman or DOP. Neither of it turned real, but we got to hang out in a massive stadium and watched many assiduous people make a music video. Awesome? No, rather boring, they didn’t even have catering or at least beers for us. We had to wait to the end because we wanted to skate downhill back into the city with the sun rising and that didn’t happen before 7am. What a great memory, no cars on early Monday morning, the sun rising and us going down the hills a top speed.
094 MY STORE GRACIA
095 GRACIA FESTIVITIES GRACIA
096 GRACIA FESTIVITIES GRACIA
097 RICHIE EISLER WINNING FISE MONTBAU
098 EMPTY SEATS IN VELODROME MONTBAU
XVII. THE LAST MONTHS TRY TO KEEP MYSELF ENTERTAINED
The last months. I don‘t know, are they? Right now I sit in my room trying to figure out what’s going to happen next year. Another year in Barcelona doesn‘t really make sense, it feels like I‘ve done everything and I am kind of over it. It is so hard to find something new or a place I haven‘t been to. It just feels the same as one year ago, back to solo missions, try to find new places, even the lighting is the same. So right now I am evaluating my options for next year, this year to be exact, as I write this it is already the 11th of February. Right now the plan is to go to Amsterdam and meet Dustin, Richie and Nick. Say goodbye to Dustin as he goes back to Canada. Produce the first edit of a series called „checking in with“. Back to Barcelona after and then hopefully off to Lisbon for one or two months with Richie and Nick. Then move to Canada over summer to visit my friend Ben Stiller and maybe join the Canada van tour with Dustin. I have no idea what’s going to happen afterwards. To be honest, these last months have been the most boring so far. The whole crew left for their home countries or went on new adventures, the only people I know to skate with are Kevin and Julien, but they seem to be very busy. Of course there is always the Spanish crew, but the language barrier makes it hard to interact or hang out on a level I would like to. We have winter too, nothing crazy like back in Germany, but there is a lot less going on in the wintertime. I go to the Forum skatepark two or three times a week to keep my skating from declining, go on a solo powerblade mission every now and then and join a party here and there. Nothing much, enjoying the quiet life. Other than that I work a lot, try to finish this project which has been a bitch to be honest. If I would have known that this would keep me occupied for about 2 months, you probably wouldn‘t read
BARCELONA DECEMBER 2012
this right now. But thankfully this is the last bit of text I have to write for this project, from now on it’s just correcting mistakes. I hope that 2013 will be as good as 2012 was. That’s tough, because 2012 was probably one of the best years I’ve had so far. All the fun in the sun with all these amazing people. So much time spent blading, so much time spent on the beach, so much time spent outside, it sure was a blast. Thank you 2012. Here we go 2013.
099 DUSTIN WERBESKI FASTSLIDE BON PASTOR
100 MY HOOD POBLENOU
101 TIBIDABO I TIBIDABO
102 TIBIDABO II TIBIDABO
103 CRUISE SHIP BARCELONETA
DUSTIN WERBESKI BS FASTSLIDE II BON PASTOR
MY HOOD POBLENOU
TIBIDABO I TIBIDABO
TIBIDABO II TIBIDABO
Taken on one of our last blade missions in 2012, Dustin Werbeski doing another “signature” fastslide. I think the Mindgame “Bang“ video inspired him to do all those fastslides. We went skating with Mark and Mineroh somewhere up in the mountains that day.
It feels like seasons are a bit shifted in Barcelona, Autumn isn‘t in October but in December and winter seems to be one weekend in February. I really like that. Also this tree perfecly resembles the look and feel of my neighborhood.
When everybody I hung out with over summer left for Thailand, Sweden or just went back home, I started to go on solo missions again. I accidentally took the metro one stop too far, but it turned out to be a nice walk through the woods and mountains. I passed all sorts of creeks, had to cross a river, saw the big tv-antenna up close and ended up at Mt. Tibidabo‘s church and amusement park.
Same story different picture. Not even that different, just taken two minutes apart. You can see some of the amusement park‘s viewpoint platforms in the foreground and the city in the background. You can‘t see the lamppost I photoshopped away.
104 PIER FROM W HOTEL BARCELONETA
103 CRUISE SHIP BARCELONETA
PIER FROM W HOTEL BARCELONETA
By the end of the year I run out of things to do and places to discover. I think I can honestly say that I have been all over the city, one of the last things to discover close by were the long piers that protect the city from storms and big waves. It‘s not allowed to walk on them but the fences weren‘t that high.
I decided to walk behind the wall so nobody would see me from harbour side. The side behind the wall was made of massive concrete cubes protecting it. They must at least be 3m x 3m because it‘s hard to climb them even if they just lay flat on the ground. I had to climb over, around and underneath them for about one kilometre. It was quite challenging, but fun.