Thursday, May 27, 2010

wait for me.

the increasing popularity of crowdsourcing – term coined by jeff howe in wired in 2006 – follows the tremendous force of DIT; do-it-together. it essentially means combining an open call for amateur (or not so amateur) efforts to reach a common goal whether a movie, a party or, as i've heard as the latest, an opera.

the basis of crowdsourcing is in the expansion of professional or semi-pro tools in the hands of amateurs because of their reasonable price and the growing number of freeware. anyone with a computer and a set of software can become a graphic artist, make movies, produce music, etc. as long as the talent and willingness to develop one's skills is there. it is a revolution of a sort, but not entirely unproblematic.

while the cynics claim that crowdsourcing is only a way to employ amateurs instead of trained professionals for work that is of lower but doable quality, those in favor celebrate the possibility of the web-based collaboration to have your talent known and utilized without diplomas or enviable agency jobs. taking part in a collaboration is a more efficient cv of your talent than linkedin or a personal website could ever be.

nonetheless, the downside is that the cynics have a point: it is a slippery slope down the collaboration slide towards exploiting talented people. why pay anyone for a great job if you can get similar quality for free? the phenomenon is more than apparent in interning (especially in the usa) that is a despicable field of abuse of graduate workforce – especially in fields of art, design and marketing. graduates must land internships in order to find a job – to gain practical knowledge of their field – but are increasingly finding it impossible to find start level jobs because agencies use interns for everything imaginable. interns are a free workforce, so why bother actually paying anyone...

the spirit of crowdsourcing echoes elitism, the idea that people can and are willing to work for free or for a minuscule compensation. the underlying assumption is that amateurs, the lovers of their chosen hobbies, are busybees who have a steady income supporting them while they take part in collaborations they feel a calling for. at another level there is a promise of future fame and possible work – as is with interning – which may or may not actualize. the problem is that the more eager to collaborate we become, the less likely it is that those promises will be bought and paid for.

i do, nevertheless, want to believe that crowdsourcing projects are not a way to create an underclass of creatives who depend on other means of making a living – already a familiar status quo for artists. nor do i want to believe the undercurrent that screams for the kinds of feminist critique towards describing some work as "a calling" and, thus, not requiring decent pay.

with results as great as these, i am more than happy to enjoy crowdsourcing projects. moby's competition for a video for his single "wait for me" produced hundreds of entries. what strikes me as odd is that the winner below by nimrod shapira – a cute, naive little flick – is posted on moby's site without any info on the maker or even a link.

another entry by jessica dimmock and mark jackson that moves at a level so fundamental it is impossible to ignore the human suffering. point being: these are great videos that moby did not pay a dime for...

i'm just not fully sold on the idea... what do you think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

dark sailor.

amongst fashion icons, the sailor boy of jean paul gaultier is one of the most prominent. the white pant and the stripey tee seem to cross sexual and gender boundaries where most formulaic fashion characters fail – the sailor is a hottie whether s/he or you as observer is a man or a woman.

what jpg does best for men is mastered by vivienne westwood for the ladies – despite the fact that her anarchistic sailing crew tends to be less law-abiding (did i just repeat myself?). neither designer makes sense without references to nautical people – whether heroic or delinquent.

although i hesitate creating the quirky hourglass figure that dame westwood has notably been known to craft, there are essentials that work for the creation of a shady sailor girl who hardly likes to take the curvy road. since i am not entirely against color (haha!), i feel most comfortable in the monochrome zone. that is no obstacle for doing the sailor – or at least that's what i want to believe. it comes down to combining elements that speak sailor together regardless of the anchor tattoos.

first, the pant is a classic: cotton twill with a full button front, wide legs and a snug high-waist fit is what you need. naturally, they're black.

second, the stripey top. black and white.

third, cotton shoes. white.

fourth, personality – which in my case is a few carefully selected bracelets that speak rock'n'roll rather than ahoy.

sailor pants by vivienne westwood anglomania, tank top by h&m, shoes by converse, bracelets by cos, jimmy choo for h&m and bless.

can you feel the sea breeze? how do you twist iconic styles without losing yer own sense of self?

Monday, May 24, 2010

santa does not live in the north pole.

i am notoriously difficult to buy presents to – or that's what i am told. it's not that i am ungrateful or throw tantrums, but the truth is that i am picky, to begin with, and it applies to everything as you might have noted. combine selectivity and a careful eye for details with a desire to own only things i love, and you've got a combo ready for gift disaster. it does not help that my sense of detail is not always predictable and what i may have loved last week may not be true the next.

nevertheless, i am sentimental and sensitive and could never whine about getting a present or pass it on or throw it out. i feel terrible for not being able to fully appreciate something i got, especially if it was selected with obvious care and thought. i adore that someone troubled themself to give me something – it makes me feel special. in the end presents for me come down to always pleasing me, but rarely nailing it.

my own reservations also create enormous difficulties when i'm buying presents for other people. i find it immensely hard and stressful.

therefore, i was pleasantly flabbergasted when on saturday i received a gift bag with something in it i instantly loved: a beanie with a clever detail that is just subtle enough to make a statement without being presumptuous. it seems that carefully reading my blog my likings can be determined to a tee. and it seems i wasn't the only one...

beanie by lustwear, longsleeve tee by cos, glasses by chanel.

i, hence, nominate team stella/hanna/anna-maria as my personal santa – thank you sweeties! the beanie has not left my head after i finally opened my lustwear gift on sunday.

love it. thank you.

neighborhood recommendation #13: summery salads.

the light air of summer messes up my system and my irregular eating patters get all the more distorted during summer. my favorite lunch salad is available only during the peak lunch hours of weekdays and my capability to make it there on time comes down to numerous uncontrollable factors that it's mere chance i get to enjoy one more than once a month.

luckily, there's an alternative that meets and, at times, exceeds my expectations when in need of a salad fix. the best part is, the time slot is wider and, thus, friendlier to my flaneurish ways.

rafla starts their summer salad menu today and serves it throughout the warm months. there are five, rather traditional alternatives – by traditional i don't mean boring, but classics that ride on their acquired status of hardly ever failing to please. carefully prepared these are such combos that after a hard day in the mood for something fresh and energizing you don't have to wonder whether everything in the world is in balance because your food definitely implies there's nothing to worry.

the goat cheese, balsamic, pine nut and red onion combo is a classic that needs no further explanation why it works every time. the avocado and salmon salad with a fresh wasabi dressing is just the perfect soother with the right amount of perkiness. i got a chance to taste the tiger prawn salad for the first time last saturday, and yes, there is another winner. for the more carnivorous kinds there is a version of niçoise and a chicken tabbouleh salad that undoubtedly please those so inclined.

pics by mikko rasila.

my only wish is that they bring back their early saturday opening hours. their schedule change has totally messed up my extended family's weekend routines... pretty please?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

time to heat up.

bbq's are important to finns. there are other big barbecue nations, no doubt about it, but we take special pride in eating outdoors throughout the summer.

the etymology of the english term is vague, but the most plausible theory states that the word "barbecue" is a derivative of the west indian term "barbacoa," which denotes a method of slow-cooking meat over hot coals. a foodie magazine casually informs its readers that the word comes from an extinct tribe in guyana who enjoyed "cheerfully spitroasting captured enemies." the oed traces the word back to haiti, and others claim that "barbecue" actually comes from the french phrase "barbe a queue", meaning "from head to tail." proponents of this theory point to the whole-hog cooking method espoused by some barbecue chefs.

wherever the term originates, there are multiple others that denote this most universal method of cooking over an open flame that has become a very special event if taken outside; a rare opportunity that often becomes an occasion. it has also become increasingly technical and grander.

some differences in the nuances of preparing food outside are apparent between us and, for example, the americans. while it seems that they appreciate bbq as a gorgefest where the biggest apparatus wins if stocked so full of meat that you can't smell anything else but a burning carcass for weeks to come, finns seem just ecstatic to prepare their food outside with the tiniest little portable bbq's. sure, we have adopted the tendency of bigger is better to some degree, but the amount of traditional small charcoal-heated bubble grills on front lawns and summer cottages is still impressive considering that a megasize gas grill can be acquired for a reasonable price these days.

it seems our affinity is fairly solidly based on the experience of taking an everyday essential outside because we just cannot do it most of the year. be it only one sausage, there's always a solid reason to start a fire.

since we start as early as possible – that is, when you can spend the requisite amount of time outside without freezerburn – for those of us who spend a lot of time at the countryside, endless grilled food starts to lose its appeal later in the summer. but knowing this does not in any way diminish the sheer joy of the first bbq of the year.

mine happened last weekend, at the garden cottage. my sweetie's brother had built a ghetto style barbecue for his bday last year: he had taken an old barrel and turned it into a humongous wood heated apparatus that could fit an entire village's dinner.

heating it meant burning a solid fire for some time to achieve charcoal, then we added some jack daniel's wood smoking chips for additional whiskey flavor... our not entirely small feast of ribs, sausages and soy burgers looked rather modest inside.

have you had your first barbecue yet? are you a fan of the grill?

Friday, May 21, 2010

list for the beginning of summer.

feelin' positive and everything. things that make me happy at the moment:

1. switching my facebook to pirate english. "yar scurvey self be aprreciat'in this."
2. foursquare and getting my friends excited about it. despite the many obvious bugs in it, it works as a miracle tool for meeting up with friends. if they remember to check in to places, that is...
3. my new shoes from zara. i've worn them everywhere, including the monki/weekday opening party you might have read about everywhere else. i had the chance to see everything an hour earlier at the press event, but have yet to return to the store for shopping. needless to say, i had fun, had a few drinks and chatted with friends. a great party, so thank you everyone involved.

4. nettle soup i made from freshly picked local superfood from the garden cottage. omnomnom.

5. the new solo single from bloc party frontman kele, "tenderoni". the song combines kele's hauntingly ripping voice with some club friendly twitching. i can feel this filling dark dance floors very very late in the hot night.

what makes you happy at the moment?

d fortify.

i have a habit of whining about my work to friends. it's not a tendency i am particularly happy or proud of since i am one of those fortunate people who really likes their job, challenges and all. as with most people, i presume, my complaints are just an outlet for stress, but i could try to locate more productive methods for letting out my vexation.

blogger lunchin'n'workin': 1. cold avocado soup and coffee from sis.deli and a good, freshly out-of-the-mailbox read. 2. good old cherry vans slipons. 3. sheer tee from cos, denim shorts from current/elliott. 4. park office essentials: macbook pro, iphone case by louis vuitton, vivienne westwood for sigg water bottle, sandwich and coffee from sis.deli, reflecting blogger wearing tee from zara men and denim shorts by current/elliot.

therefore, i want to remind myself and share one of the incredibly great things about my job: if i have no f2f meetings arranged, i can work whenever and wherever i want. digital media means i need my laptop and internet and i am good to go anywhere. sure, my clients call and i must be available, but my physical location is not important. although i am enthusiastic about having an office to go to, on days like these, the lure of sunshine is irresistible. thus, i have taken a couple of hours each of these past hot days to enjoy a long, working lunch at the park with my dog.

for her, these hours are precious since the cold months deprive her of exercise. moreover, the park provides endless sense data she greedily sniffs from the air and the ground – a blind as a bat dog has a limited set of entertainment. for me, the sun soothes my skin and i can just about feel the tingle of vitamin d production and you really cannot beat the view of blooming flowers and green grass.

the wildlife: 1. jorma nibbling a stick she found with her 7 remaining teeth. 2. a ladybug visit. 3. jorma claiming the weekday bag. 4. flowers next to my portable office. 5. jorma sniffing the news.

have you been able to enjoy the sun?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

odd night out.

tonight is the design district odd week late shopping night around town. most stores are open till 9pm and many have special offers and goodies on site. i suggest you take a stroll and just see for yourself what is on going on, but here are a couple of events i'm going to try to make:

*klaus k rooftop terrace opening from 4pm.
*skanno summer terrace party with music, shopping and manolo blahnik designed bottles of coke light.

but to top them all, i want to cheer for the ilja glazunow opening at kiasma. last night's preview revealed that there are some unannounced gems present, such as this artwork by urho kekkonen:

i'm dj'ing on the terrace – hottest in town, seriously – so pop by to hear 60's pop hits from salvatore adamo and alla pugacheva in addition to your usual indie dance tunes. or just to see me faint from the heat...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

event sponsorship 101.

for years i helped organize or solely put together fundraiser concerts for amnesty international. it was my way of participating in a cause i considered worthwhile because i find meetings and group discussions tedious and mostly a waste of my time. a yearly practical activity was how i felt i was most useful; i had strong ties to both restauranteurs and professional musicians, and i used my connections for the promotion of something beneficial, human rights.

the events themselves were not huge – three bands, a dj, info stand selling t's, a few hundred people –, but basics are the same whether you're doing a big event or a small one. some things are essential, that is.

every year i started the concert planning meeting with a list of tasks and stressed the order of doing things. i was often found annoyingly arrogant for pointing out that group members were not to run to their friends and promise them gigs nor were they to call anyone before we had a location agreement. although i was called a bitch for acting patronizingly, i knew better: my list was based on past mistakes that happened when people were overly excited about doing good.

at the time i thought the incapability to hold oneself down for the requisite time was a feature of ngo youth: excited about saving the world without a second to waste. i also blamed the inability to realize that people who had something to offer – whether it was products, their artistry or time – had to select where and to whom they'd donate it, on youth and single-minded optimism. even if my fellow amnesty activists felt human rights and the concert was the coolest thing on the planet at the time, not everyone necessarily shared their conviction.

judging from discussions of late with friends i have come to realize that this haphazard pomposity was not left behind at ngo level. musicians, representatives of cosmetics companies and those in the business of alcohol are approached all the time and asked for collaboration in a myriad of projects. some of the stories i hear are unbelievable and, incredibly, well-known brands are not exempt from acting amateurishly.

it seems simple enough: you want stuff, they want visibility, right? well, yes, but there's more to building a successful sponsor deal. therefore, i want to share some pieces of wisdom when in search of sponsors...

here's a check list:

one, have a complete proposal. throwing a great idea is nothing but a waste of time to sponsors. and they are busy people.
-fully develop your idea before approaching anyone. the amount of requests people send that only state that "this is an incredible opportunity for you to portray your talent or promote your product to international/interesting people" is overwhelming. the baffling part is that the claim is completely vacuous unless there is an actual planned event with a list of planned invitations. in case this sounds self-evident, the reason i am pointing it out is because there often is none of those when people start approaching sponsors and performers. seriously, you cannot really think that a request stating "incredible" without any feasible meat around it would convince anyone, now did you?

two, have a date and venue first – unless you have free access to venues which most of us in need of sponsorship do not.
-musicians and companies need a date before making a commitment. plan a date that's reasonable for realization. for example, fiscal years do influence the amount of funds corporations have for sponsorship, tour dates determine where bands are, etc. timing your requests indicates you have the decency to find out who you're dealing with.

three, do calculate. determine your expectations according to your position.
-if you cannot offer any compensation, you cannot expect a full concert from your favorite band. if you want samples of products, know the number you require before asking. if you want alcohol, have a plan for the amount of people and the length of service. do not ask for a vague "collaboration": you may think that it's a cunning way to lure a company to pay or give more than you first imagined, but your clever thoughts are unfortunately unfounded. they've got marketing budgets and they're not going to accidentally throw a huge amount of money at you if you cannot even determine what you need nor have the balls to be frank about it.

four, be reasonable. ask for what you need, make an agreement and stick to it.
-do not expect a company to pay for your event unless that is what you explicitly asked and agreed on. do not come adding items to the bill because you think a large company can afford it better than you – if you agreed on 3 free beers per invitee, do not add cleaning costs or napkins. (yeah, i thought this was self-evident, but apparently i was clueless...) make sure the band has everything you agreed on – a missing backline is pretty hard to come across in a matter of minutes.

five, be humble.
-even if human rights is the most important cause for you, it might not be for someone else. musicians try to make their living in music and if they agreed to perform pro bono every time someone asked, they'd play hardly any actual gigs. if your event feels like the coolest party in town, the company you're asking for liquids may not agree to get you and your fifty friends drunk just because you deem it fun. giving out gift bags may be the rave, but full-size shampoos cost enough to require a reasoning beyond "my guests liking shampoo and you getting free promotion by making them happy".

six, be open to suggestions and restrictions.
-the musician may have a new album coming out and may want to try playing new songs instead of hits – pro bono means they decide. the brewery may want to promote a new product or requires a bartender to be present. the cosmetics company may suggest a guidance corner at your event. listen to them, but do not expect them to plan your event for you (see point one above).

seven, act respectful. whatever you receive, always present it in a respectful way.
-do not comment loudly on your performers if they fail to play exactly what you wanted. do not throw free bottles of hairspray around the room or have vodka bottles on a dirty table with smashed fruit next to a passed out host. these days the pics and comments will make it to the company. needless to say, that is the end of your sponsor deal.

eight, be grateful.
-it is true your event provided visibility to your sponsors. it is deceptively delicious to believe you gave them a huge benefit and that they should thank you for free promotion. unfortunately, that is only the partial picture and many deals are not as lucrative as we as event organizers might like to think. therefore, if you cannot send an invitation to a representative of the company, send a short report, some pics and a thank you note afterwards. it's hugely embarrassing if the main sponsor shows up at your event through friends who are invited. for bands, make sure the backstage is fully stocked. i remember having trouble explaining to my fellow amnesty enthusiasts that bands expect some alcohol backstage no matter what is in their usual raiders. it's just polite to have soda and snacks. and beer.

with this list you should be good to go. the word of mouth is a terrible or a wonderful tool – depending on how everything went – but there's tons you can influence by just being respectful.

anything you might want to add? another perspective?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

barca shopping.

i suspected that barcelona would not provide a shopping heaven for me. i was right. finding anything worthwhile proved to be more than a cinch.

the local style seemed a combo of italian classic street style and catalan hippie – both delineations i find alien in their colorful casualness. i also looked out of place in my black industrial gear and felt very little affinity towards the little shops that lined streets everywhere.

nonetheless, there were a few i did like. first of them was doshaburi, which reminds me of our local wondrous wunder. owned by a japanese couple the atmosphere was friendly but more reserved than pushy. the selection consisted of their own denim in addition to the same brands you'll find at wunder, but the variety was wider and more bold. i tried on a hauntingly embroidered dress by marjan pejoski, but had to pass because my height proved too much for the design despite size 8 fitting me fine otherwise – i find feeling too tall slightly strange although i am well aware that i am above average height globally speaking. nonetheless, this particular shop was a great place to stumble upon since they have a fully functioning online store, as well.

i was on the lookout for a blazer and a pair of pants that were office appropriate. the pants were a no show. my second recommendation called maje is where i found one beautiful jacket. unfortunately, the fit was slightly off and the price too steep for the material. other items in the store were precious, though, and if i was in need, it would have been a spot i could have purchased a few things without a doubt.

both of the above were located close to our hotel in addition to cute street wear hubs and local recommendation, miriam ponsa. i looked forward to ponsa's creations but they were unexciting and cut for a figure unlike mine. a pity, really.

my third recommendation is c-mmetric, in eixample. a minimalistic, mostly black collection of more avantgarde items felt homely to me although i bought nothing.

thus, my money went to cos, yet again. a sheer grey cardi from the men's department (below) made of beautiful wool alpaca blend and light as air, a silk tee and a couple of cotton tees was all i got. worthwhile basics that will get tons of wear and that will replace some of my old, already overly worn pieces.

since we only reserved one full day for shopping, we probably missed many boutiques lurking in the midst of the small streets. for some reason barcelona store fronts lack protruding signs facing people strolling the streets and without an exact address, stumbling into an interesting store depends on taking every single little alleyway and checking around relentlessly. i found myself continuously frustrated at crossroads, looking for building numbers in order to decipher which way to turn – although i could see the entire length of the street – because there were no identifying signs sticking from walls above stores.

therefore, and because we're planning on revisiting, i welcome all suggestions and recommendations from you. so shoot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

better than love.

manchester is providing something worthy of interest again. echoes of depeche mode (which in my eyes is holy and i hold almost nothing sacred...) were more than detectable in their first hit "wonderful life", but combined with a pop sensibility that almost reminded me of s-a-w (saywhat?!), they sneakily escaped my sneer as a copycat duo. thou shall not play with gods, i say.

the hurts are back with a song that i appreciate, again. called "better than love", i am not quite sure it lives up to its title but is definitely worth a listen.

chic & basic.

when it comes to choosing hotels, i take my time. although i also believe in spending the least possible amount of time in my hotel room, i still consider lodging an important detail of the trip.

my travel budget is never huge and, therefore, i cannot just pick the swankiest hotspot in town. nonetheless, i do not go for the cheapest alternative, nor do i select based on stars – grading or lodging – but try to find a combo that includes a reasonable price, an interesting location and a special orientation to design. sometimes design just means the place has crazy personality, not your average idea of a design hotel, but i'm sure you get the point...

it's not easy to find a compromise, but as i wrote before about hotels i recommend in nyc, amsterdam and paris, there are always a few that work.

my nyc recommendations could benefit from the addition of ace hotel to the list, based on hearsay.

this time i did my research unaware of the dynamics of the city, and at first chose casa camper, located in the middle of el raval. unfortunately they were booked full for a part of our trip and i had to turn elsewhere.

i stumbled repeatedly into a hotel that was named rather cheesily, chic & basic, but after browsing their site, decided to give them a go. the area, el born, a part of the old city next to parc de la ciutadella, said nothing to me and was not mentioned too favorably by anyone i asked. people knew it was dubbed as a fashion neighborhood, but the idea i got was somewhat vague.

as our choice, the hotel was spot on. el born turned out to be touristy – as all barcelona is – but classy and trendy. the street grid was the same style as everywhere in the ciutat vella (old city) – that is, intimate and cosy compared to the city above plaza catalunya – but the neighborhood seemed significantly cleaner than el raval. there were numerous excellent restaurants and the most interesting boutiques were pretty much around the corner. we were still a decent distance from the rambla ('decent' meaning 'far enough'), but close to everything including the beautiful park where we spent two afternoons relaxing. as a location you cannot do much better than el born, really.

as far as the design goes, the entire hotel was constructed of sleek white surfaces inside an old private residence. the spacious room (size large, they also have medium and xl) consisted of a huge white bed, a glass shower in the middle of the room and details from the old palazzo. needless to say, the glass facilities do restrict the occupants to the less bashful kind...

there was a continuous stylistic choice throughout the hotel: plastic "bead" curtains that hid the entrances to the rooms and also acted as light curtains inside the actual rooms where a led lighting system could be altered to suit your mood. in the hallways the led lights created an almost eerie mood. the cleverest little detail were the shaped cushions that could be used as nightstands, backrests, chairs, etc. – made of white leather, naturally.

the hotel had definitely lived past its days of glory as the hottest spot in town, but had not suffered terribly from the wear and tear despite the fact that the material choices spoke more of ingenuity than big cash. thus, although slightly pricey for the overall quality, i do recommend it based on the atmosphere, cleanliness and service. major plus for the firm beds – and can someone explain me why hotel sheets seem so incredibly soft compared to even good quality linens at home...

others hotels in the neighborhood we stumbled across that seemed interesting – and were a tad more affordable – we'll try next time: ciutat and banys orientals.

Friday, May 7, 2010


one of the highlights of my trip was a visit to cccb, the centre of contemporary culture in barcelona. there was an exhibition called atopia, a collection picturing urban landscapes and people.

some were real but entirely foreign, unlike everything we'd consider urban or sometimes even a dwelling. some were familiar and beautifully frightening. some exquisitely beautiful but thoroughly imaginary.

i was particularly touched by anothermountainman's lan wei liu, a series of photographs of unfinished buildings started during the economic boom of china after allowing foreign investment which were left to decay after the money ran out. the phenomenon is visible around the world, graspable in nyc and quite probable in dubai, for example.

the collection consisted mainly of photography, but video, sculpture and painting was also present. there were big names i knew before like vanessa beecroft and david lachapelle, whose images have a fashion editorial, constructed and almost teflon-like lack of subtlety regarding their subject matter but are flawlessly polished, and, additionally, striking images from daniel canogar and intricate architectural juxtapositions of dionisio gonzález.

wholeheartedly recommended, the exhibition runs till 24 may, so you've got to hurry if you want to catch it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

greetings from catalonia!

i am back from an invigorating trip to barcelona. it was an anniversary present from my sweetie and a city i've never visited before. thus, our six days were filled with activity and i have much to digest for the weeks to come.

overall the city impressed me with aesthetic precision and attention to detail. it definitely is not my city fashion wise – let's say i stood out in my black, industrial gear amongst the colorful hippies – but i fell in love with the impeccable presentation and beauty around the entire town.

i also found out that i share the catalan passion for salty foods, cheeses and seafood and, therefore, the entire city opened up as a huge culinary cornucopia that kept on impressing me. the above photos are from bubo, an award-winning bakery where we enjoyed an exquisite lemon tart and some cava, and from origens 99,9%, a culinary shop-restaurant concentrating on catalan cuisine and local produce.

i shall return with my recommendations and reflections later this week, but before i forget, i want to thank anu and silver for equipping me with a bundle of amazing tips for our trip.

fins aviat!