new slang

30 07 2007

I started a strange list of things to do or make when I get home. It began with food but is now turning into other activities and will soon become vague ideas such as “walk more.”

1. Eat some good rice. 2. Make some good deviled eggs (good as in, sin atún.) 3. Play racquetball. 4. Listen to the Shins.

I just added that last one after hearing “New Slang.” It has been a long time since I’ve heard the Shins. Fall 2004, to be exact.

bilbao guggenheim bilbao; i can only assume this is by jeff koons. bilbao, bilbao, park bilbao, fountain in the mirror, i have a siamese twin.

I uploaded a few more photos from Bilbao and plan to upload a few more in the near future. I took a total of 468 photos on Friday, about 400 in Bilbao and then the rest back in Burgos since it was the first time I was out in the city when it was dark; it is never dark any earlier than 10:30pm. I uploaded a few of those as well and would love to take more night photos if I get a chance to before we leave. Only 5 more days and so much more studying to do!

As for Bilbao, I loved it and should probably just let the photos speak for themselves. I will note, however, that to me, the most appealing aspect was that it was a place that did not seem afraid of creativity, likely because of the revival the city encountered after the addition of the Guggenheim museum. The Guggenheim’s external artworks also feel like a part of the city, not just the museum. (I was the nerd that introduced the group to “Puppy” by Jeff Koons and actually knew to look around and find “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois.) One of the photos I have waiting to be resized and uploaded is of the Zubizuri bridge, a pedestrian bridge down the river from the Guggenheim and one of the examples that I feel is representative of this somewhat avant-garde attitude the city possesses. Something that certainly needs further analysis but is nonetheless interesting. Medieval cities like Burgos are great; Bilbao was unique.

arch of santa maria

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paper writing

29 07 2007

paperpiece1.jpg

I finally went to Bilbao on Friday, two days ago, and it quickly became my new favorite city. Nevermind what my old favorite city was… because I don’t know. However, before I can elaborate on the trip, I must write a paper about the piece seen above from the Museo de Burgos, seen below.

museo de burgos





candy

24 07 2007

lacasitos

I volunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Erie County and am a big sister to a sweet 11-year old girl in Buffalo. I’ve been thinking about what I could possibly bring back for her from Spain as a souvenir that she would be sure to love. It was a candy store in Salamanca that first gave me the idea. Spanish candy, of course! To first try them out for myself to see if they were any good, I bought the candy above, lacasitos. They seem like a Spanish version of M&Ms. I recalled a time when I was younger when my aunt went to Montreal and brought back Smarties for my sister and I, only they weren’t Smarties as we know and love them in the US, they were chocolate! I remember thinking at the time that they were the coolest thing ever. Inspired by both the cute candy store and my aunt, I’m going to see if Spanish candy has the same effect on my little sister that Canadian candy had on me when I was younger.

salamanca136





salamanca (and hair)

22 07 2007

salamanca34

Universidad de Salamanca, a photo taken during Friday’s trip to the city- be sure to note the Mozarabic ceiling! I have a lot of art history studying to do today for our second test which will be tomorrow. Appropriately, this one is on the topic of Mozarabic and Asturian art. After that, there is one more test and a paper due next Monday and then the final on Wednesday, the last day of class.

san sebastian8

This photo is from San Sebastian, at a cafe in the Plaza Mayor. Yes, it is cool looking, but what I want to point out is the hair color of the woman sitting at another cafe table. It is purple. There is definitely a Spanish/European style and it is very different from the United States. It is less conservative, more creative and fun, whether it means to be or not. There seems to be no apprehension about appearing youthful. I have seen more than a few older ladies with bright red, pink or purple hair. I find that inspiring. The same goes for hair styles, they are all different and creative and worn with such confidence that they look cute no matter what. So to make a long story short, I cut my hair. So far, people seem to think it is unfathomable that I cut my own hair without being a professional hairstylist, but the way I view it is this: since I am an art student (dare I call myself an artist?) who works with all different kinds of mediums, why it is so improbable that one of the mediums I can work with is hair? It is similar to sculpting or cutting or designing any other project I may work on. I even used the same scissors!

haircut04.jpg

In short (pun intended) both me and my hair are happier when it is shorter. It actually curls itself nicely, isn’t too dry or frizzy, I can go to bed with it wet and wake up and get ready without ever having to do anything to it!  What was I waiting for to cut it short again?  I don’t know.  I think this is another case of “girl afraid,” I didn’t have enough faith in myself to think I could do a good job again.  I’d like to thank the ladies of Spain for inadvertently inspiring me.





simple things

19 07 2007

dinner

Spanish Chinese food. Or maybe it is Chinese Spanish food. Either way, we ate there the other night. Not bad and certainly interesting. I finished writing out my postcards there and finally sent them out.

In general, I like to take time to observe things when I am doing something, even if it is a trip to the supermarket, or here in Spain, the supermercado. I finally went there by myself for the first time yesterday and had to chance to stroll up and down every aisle. I like noticing both the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in products, prices, presentation, et cetera. It may seem silly but I find it interesting to treat unexpected places as if they were museums.  There is a lot out there to be learned.

Yesterday we visited las Huelgas monastery, I don’t really have photos of it because photography is forbidden at almost all museums and tourist places here, it seems. I did get one good photo before they told us that it was forbidden though.  monastery





el camino de santiago

15 07 2007

camino de santiago

Before coming here, I honestly didn’t know what el Camino de Santiago was… in Burgos, there are shells on the ground like the one above that are there for the pilgrims, to guide them along their route to Santiago de Compostela. I’ve actually seen people with backpacks walking through here on their pilgrimage. Burgos is about halfway through Spain on the way there. In front of the cathedral in Burgos is a sculpture of a resting pilgrim (who for some odd reason appears to be doing the pilgrimage sans clothing.)

pilgrim sculpture





extra onduladas!

9 07 2007

Here in Spain, I have encountered some strange yet interesting flavors of chips:

york’esojamon

So of course, like any other normal person, I have to try them. Jamon! Ham flavored chips?! Indeed, they taste like ham… which is so strange when you think about it, a ham flavored fried potato slice… The other ones, york’eso, are like a croque monsieur… I think the Spanish name for that is just “york.” I think the best thing I have eaten here so far is gazpacho. Even though it came from the cafeteria of the residencia which is not exactly famous for its quality food, it was still really good.