February 1, 2013 |
LONDON - Salvador Dali's portrait of a New York-style icon and Joan Miro's homage to his Catalan roots are going on sale at a London auction of surrealist masterpieces. Dali's 1943 "Portrait of Mrs. Harrison Williams" will go under the hammer Tuesday with an estimated price of between 1.5 million and 2 million pounds ($2.4 million and $3.2 million). Dali painted the ultrarich and super-stylish socialite - who later became Countess Mona Bismarck - barefoot and dressed in black rags.
September 26, 2011 |
BARCELONA, Spain - Matadors drove the killing sword into bulls for the last time yesterday in Spain's powerful northeastern region of Catalonia. Three of Spain's top bullfighters, including No. 1 Jose Tomas, starred in the sold-out show at Barcelona's 20,000-seat Monumental ring. Many fans then invaded the ring to grab handfuls of sand to keep as souvenirs. The bullfighters were later carried shoulder high from the ring into the streets outside the bullring while the crowd chanted slogans in favor of freedom and against the prohibition.
August 15, 2008 |
Here's a pickup line for you: "Life is short. Life is dull. Life is full of pain. " That's how Javier Bardem, as a painter named Juan Antonio, propositions a pair of young Americans in a Barcelona boite one night. Come with me for the weekend, he suggests to the two girlfriends, prescribing an antidote to his bleak existential assessment of things. We'll laugh, we'll dine, we'll drink, we'll make love. Why not? Well, it doesn't quite happen that way. But it's to Woody Allen's credit - writer and director of the lovely, loping Vicky Cristina Barcelona - and to that of Bardem, and Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson as Vicky and Cristina, respectively, that this crucial, and perhaps improbable scene, works so convincingly.
August 22, 2007 |
Ah, France. the land of cultural enlightenment and sophistication, the birthplace of Diderot and Voltaire, home to haute cuisine and haute couture. Where the inhabitants are known for their social formality and chilling snobbery. When I moved here last year from South Philly, I thought I might learn to distinguish between chenin blanc and sauvignon blanc, discover a fabulous recipe for gateau au chocolat, maybe even read Proust en francais. Then at the end of July my husband took me to a cargolade - a snail barbecue - at the self-proclaimed Snail Capital of the World, where a reported 160,000 snails were consumed.
June 13, 1999 |
The rain in Spain fell mainly on our plane as we descended into Barcelona. Well, fell isn't the right word. It poured in buckets as we ran out of the plane, across the tarmac and into a bus that took us to the terminal. This was not an auspicious beginning to a week along the Mediterranean coast with the kids in tow. It's hard enough to keep the girls amused on a rainy day in Pennsylvania, much less Spain, where we spoke neither Spanish nor Catalan and where Nickelodeon had not yet established an insidious toehold on local television.
April 11, 1993 |
If you missed a visit to Spain last year for the Summer Olympics in Barcelona or the world's fair in Seville, you still can savor the flavor of the land - and much more inexpensively - with a copy of The Taste of Spain (Flammarion, $45), by Xavier Domingo. Domingo has been described as a "cuisinologist. " He also is a historian, novelist, journalist, linguist and a Catalan cosmopolitan who enjoys a good cigar. "In the domain of intellectual activity, whose noblest and most arduous manifestation is gastronomy," writes his friend Jean-Francois Revel, "Xavier Domingo is an inexhaustible and completely original source.
July 26, 1992 |
A disabled archer launched a flaming arrow on a long arcing flight into the caldron of the Olympic torch and the Summer Games burst to life last night in a splendid old stadium on a wind-swept mountaintop. The arrow fired by Antonio Rebollo climaxed a night that was in part an unfathomable surrealist pageant in which Barcelona seemed intent on overloading all the senses. In the span of three hours, hundreds of performers became the Mediterranean Sea, golden Hercules rode atop two bicycles, sea monsters fought with Roman galleys, civilization was born, Barcelona founded.
July 24, 1992 |
Not since George Orwell gathered his thoughts on the Spanish Civil War in 1938 has the literary world paid such homage to Catalonia. The 25th Olympiad begins tomorrow in Barcelona, culture-laden capital of the autonomous Spanish state and the largest city on the Mediterranean. Publishers, traditionally among the most careful readers of calendars, long ago started preparing a generous bookbag of companions. Whether you're a Barcelona-bound egghead, or a couch potato who'd like his TV experience burnished by a feeling of You Are There culture, the industry is ready to help you "Just Say Si!"
July 23, 1992 |
For this most self-conscious of cities, the coming of the Olympics marks the end of one mission and the beginning of another. The first, now completed, was a $9 billion, Olympics-inspired urban face lift, the realization of plans that had piled up on drawing boards for half a century. The second, now beginning, is to make others see Barcelona as it already sees itself, as the quintessential metropolis of the new Europe. Barcelona, the capital of the region known as Catalonia, would much rather be thought of as European than Spanish.