by Michael Garry Smout
It was never The Barcelona Reviews
intention to enter the world of tourist information or even to draw too much attention to
the city unless, like Sant Jordi (World Book Day), it was literary oriented. The name,
like the Paris Review (long situated in New York) or Mississippi Review,
came about because this is where we live and where it began. But through much of our
e-mail - some from those who mistakenly surfed to the site looking for hard-to-find
tourist info, but most from readers and subscribers and even some contributors - we have
learned that there is a huge interest in the city, with one of the most frequently asked
May: With the first real hot days and the trees in full leaf it is certainly one of the prettier months for gentle walking around and looking up at the balconies with their blossoming pot plants. Just roam. Barcelona is a perfect city for ripping up maps and simply moving, feeling, and sensing your way. May is probably the most peaceful month to visit: lots going on but nothing major - except the workers holiday on the first, to clog the city - and no huge pressure to have to be somewhere and see something. Then, too, there is summer finally in the air. Highly recommended for those lovers to get some fresh air after all that heavy reading in April. May is the first time you can sit outside and eat without the feeling that the weather is about to change and it is for that reason I decided to write a short, separate piece about Catalan food and how to create one of my favourite Catalan dishes, arr˛s negre, along with gruesome photos on how to prepare cuttlefish, one of the main ingredients. So, if youre interested in Catalan cuisine click here.
June: It is very possible that the little party to
celebrate Pentecost or Whitsun will occur at the very end of May, but it is more often in
early June and takes place in the area called La Barceloneta on the day that is a public
holiday only in Barcelona. It is one of the weirdest celebrations youre ever likely
to encounter, a neighbourhood fiesta unknown to even many residents of Barcelona. Groups
of men wearing grocery items - sausages, chickens (usually plastic), toilet rolls, tins of
tomatoes, erotic postcards fashioned as hats, etc. - and carrying facsimiles of
double-axes that flash or reflect, do this very strange dance to pounding drums while a
firework is set off and the Catalan flag is repeatedly dipped.
The ever-growing Sonar Festival kicks off around mid-month (dates this year: 15th, 16th, 17th). This International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Arts, once held on woody Montju´c and at an affordable price, is now staged in the Contemporary Culture Art Gallery (CCCB) and the Museum of Contemporary Arts (MACBA) - hardly the chill out setting of before. Its now considerably pricier and draws a more uptown crowd, but not exclusively. Thousands of people attend the three-day event, that in the past has been headed by Kraftwerk and Laurent Garnier. This year's headliner is still a mystery.
Weather? Usually good; clear skies. The beach starts to become official (June 15th is a benchmark start for the summer season and price hikes in tourist bars) as the Red Cross, the beach huts and the hawkers move in. All in all, a highly recommended month apart from the rowdy kids and their arsenal of fire-crackers.
|ę 2000 The Barcelona Review|
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|navigation: barcelona review #18 may - june 2000|
|Fiction||Jess Mowry - One Way
Richard Weems - Curbside Mailboxes
Adam Blackwell - The Louis Agency
Deirdre Maultsaid - Puppy Dogs' Tails
Javier Calvo - Ned Flanders
|Poetry||Dolors Miquel - Two Poems|
|Article||May and June in Barcelona|
Answers to Jorge Luis Borges Quiz
|Regular Features||Book Reviews