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Monday, May 5, 2008


So, in case our graphic design book never gets approved and printed and bound...I found this quote for the book--Monica's reflection and thought I should share.

Sometimes it is hard for me to find the words when asked about my experience abroad in Barcelona. How can you explain to someone who most likely hasn't seen what you've had the priviledge to see made you feel? Especially someone who doesn't live for architecture. So many times I found myself saying, "You just had to be there..."

My advice to those going Barcelona is to take it all in: the sights, the smells, the tastes of the food, and the companionship of those who will share in the experience with you. Because when you all come home and are asked, "How was Spain?," you can at least turn to them and say, "Do you remember when...?"

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Here I am: Estoy aqui

It's hard to believe how close I am but how far away I feel.
It's funny how different the US is, even from the can tell you aren't in Europe anymore. Baseball diamonds and rows of houses might be what give it away, or the ever-changing squares of farmland/developments/contained wilderness.
Minutes after getting off the plane, I walked through the gates of the Philadelphia airport where Dad and Jess were waiting. I was good until then...Maybe I thought I was wrong about the fields, and I was back jetsetting through foreign countries.
They brought me back home to reality, at which point I broke down.
So here I am, in the US of A.
With tons of memories, and even more dreams.
This might take some getting used to.
But it has been more than worth it.

Tengo que dejarte, Barcelona: I have to leave you, Barcelona

Goodbye apartment :-(
OpenCor...always open...except at 4:30 am.

Casa del Team Aldana...3rd story (Principal 2)

This pretty much sums it up...
Me and Bob. We started together, we end together.
Lucky him, he's got a few more weeks of traveling and a brief stop back here before he heads home. I'm on my way...back through Frankfurt, back to the US. Here goes nothin'
Thank you Barca and everyone who made it possible: my friends, my classmates (also my friends haha), my teachers, and most importantly my family.
"An experience can never be truly explained, it can only be revisited through memory."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

La noche final: The last night...

While we had a pretty lazy day, the evening was time to have one more fun night at Gran Via...where we cleaned and laughed and were distraught all at once.
Yay us. I love my Barca kids!
Bill cleaning up while I call Anass to go visit before dinner.

Jake and Bob at Tombs waiting for our tapas meal.

Vic and Sean..."ahhhh we have to leave soonnn"

TAPAS! Calamari, patatas bravas, etc.

Mi amor.

And so went our final night...Bob and I, ate at Els Tres Tombs, where we ate the first night, this time with all of the friends we still have in the city (including Eugenia!)

Back at Gran Via, there is something strange going on here...
Not just ANY bag...we've been saying Vic's bag was as big as she is since we got off the train to walk to our hotel in Gerona!

HAHAHA. Sean...dusting...LOOK at that pile of dust!?!
Oh good times. A strange way to end the Barca trip in some ways, not what I expected for a last day, not that I know what I wanted to do, or do differently, but a good way to end it just the same.

El dia final: The last day

Starting off from the casa...

AKA "Calle Aldana" or "Aldana Street"

Billy...being a bouncer at the entry to our building

One of the things I love about Barcelona
We (Brian, Jake, Brandon, Billy, and I) met up with Sean and Vic, as they had promised me they would take me to the vintage stores next time they went. So I searched the streets, to no avail...even the locals hadn't heard of it, and finally we wandered into it, and saw them walking down the street towards us..."fancy meeting you here!" haha.

Being tour guides for our arch friends from Rome + Brandon,
Billy and I took them to Raval, Las Ramblas, and Plaza Reial, before I headed to the beach to meet Vic, since we were supposed to go there but the boys had a change of heart and wanted to see the Gaudi stuff today before it closed.

I walked at a good pace, but made sure to pass my favorite buildings, including the gas building, with its crazy cantilever...see if you can figure this picture took me a few minutes to get it the way I wanted it.

This is the hotel to the mountain-side of the Frank Gehry fish (aka "whale") at the beach. I really like this covered outdoor courtyard underneath the building, and the way the structure is exposed on the outside.

The marina restaurants

Vic is upset...

My last Barca sunset for a while...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cena a la casa de Cece y "Mojito": Dinner at Cece's and "Mojito"

So today we finished up all of the book-making and then I went with Rob and bought churros to bring to Cece's for our dinner. It seemed like everyone we had met was there...the professors, minus Vidal, a girl from a firm visit, Cece's "partner", Joel and their daughter, and random friends of all of our elders. It was a good time. Christi made a slideshow presentation, we handed out our books to everyone, and gave cards to our teachers.'re getting very sleeeeeepyyyyy...

Benja playing with Cece's little pipsqueak! I had fun playing with little finger puppets and making her laugh-soooo precious!

Vic..."Blue Steel"
There's more to life than being really really ridiculously good-looking, and I plan to find out what that is...

Oh, chicos!
Billy, Bob, Brandon, Brian, Benja, Sean, Tom
(or should I end it "Bean" and "Bom"?)

Cool kids after getting turned away from Mojito on our first attempt because Bri was wearing flip-flops...PUNKS! Eugenia made a phonecall, though, and found a small bar nearby in L'Eixample with live music where you rotate seats constantly to take over for people who leave and regroup for new people to enter. It would definitely not meet code in the US...which made it all the more exciting! Popcorn, anyone?
Tom, Bob, Brandon, Ben, Meg, Eugenia
(where'd Brian go?)

Benja and Bri...easy there, killer!

After a masterful plan of passbacks (and by passback I refer not to IDs, because no one checks those anywhere anyhow, but to shoes...yes, shoes. They didn't like Brian's flipflops, so we didn't like them. Vic was fantastic as she entered with Bob, gave him Brian's flip flops, and returned to the corner that we were waiting on a block away to give Brian Bob's clown-size shoes to get past security where they were then safely able to swap without a hitch...) some kid fell in love with Monica. Gotta give him props--he was a persistent one, but all he got was this picture and memories of dancing at "Mojito." Hahaha.

Some of our munchkins had to get going early, because they have flights to catch. Bri already left for the airport (it's like 4 am). I'm sad. Brandon, Mon, and I stayed until the dance floor began to get empty...he was just happy he stayed b/c the bartenders started dancing-haha! I guess there isn't much else to do but enjoy the last 2 our group of 12 slowly dwindles down...ugh this is going to be tough.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Terminados...pero no de veras: Finished...but not really

So, after pulling all-nighters (or close to it) yesterday, we were required to meet for Graphic design class since field trips took the other available dates for working on the book-making process. We were also required to finish the boards that we were working on most recently so when I told Bill on the way home from dinner around midnight that I was going back to Aldana to do work, he decided to grab his computer and come there we were til 3 this morning working on photoshop and inDesign only to get up at 9:30 and come to studio to do more work...

...and this is how we felt about it...
After getting paper for the books at an art supply/paper store in Ciutat Vella, we came back, did some folding and chopping and arrived at the point (no pun intended) seen here. I spent most of today poking little holes in the creases of the folded sheets so that I could then thread them together.

This is a pile of said pages, which were next taken and divided up into enough books for our whole class and teachers. Each of us got about 12 sheets, which was anywhere between 100-200 pages after being folded and thread. Billy was naked and pretending to be at the beach, since that was the plan before we learned of book-making day.

After we took the mini-booklets, we had to tie them all together to make each book, using a method of clamps and shear human strength. Each tied pack then had a paper towel placed on the binding edge, and was soaked with glue to harden the spine, then topped with another paper towel for cleanup of glops and to help avoid excessive dripping. While waiting for these to dry, in a stack in the corner, Esteban made the mistake of giving us spraypaint, stencils, stickers, and materials we had bought for book covers...and it became the highlight of today!
Not only did we create our own font, the BCN Cerda, if you will, but I cut out the stencil seen above which became the main source of our cover designs, altered for each individual book, of course. This was so much fun, and the creative juices flowing like crazy!

Christi is posing with the cover we made for her book.
By 10:30, the books still weren't dry enough to take them to get them trimmed, so we have to come back tomorrow, but we're off to meet everyone at the beach and play some frisbee!