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November 12, 2007


David Oakes

No wonder we are so afraid of letting foreigners into our country. I mean, buildings that are more than utilitarian boxes, arches that - gasp! - have more than a single curve to them? Once begun, who knows where this madness would end? Gum chewing? *Dancing?*

Ken Lowery


Jones, one of the Jones boys

Is that blue mosaic donut thing from the Parc Guell? This probably just shows what a philistine I am, but Gaudi seems so kitsch to me. I mean, the Sagrada Familia is definitely something to behold, but in a campy sort of way.

That said, everywhere other than Barcelona looks amazing and I am green with envy.


Yeah, that's the Parc Guell--you can get the place names by scrolling your mouse pointer over the photos. It's not the best picture, either, but I like the unintended three-level composition with the people up on top of the colonnade looking down.

Gaudi's definitely kitsch, but he's a kind of individual, artisanal kitsch that's fascinating to behold (especially on the completely mad scale of Parc Guell or the Sagrada Familia), not the sort of mass-produced affirmations of mediocrity that term usually describes.

If Barcelona doesn't look amazing then my selection of photos is to blame. It reminded me a lot of Los Angeles, another great city for preserved modernist kitsch, if Los Angeles had a bustling medieval city and a decent subway system.

Jones, one of the Jones boys

Oh no, it's not your photos. I spent some time in Barcelona two years ago and felt pretty underwhelmed by Gaudi's architecture, at least. But, you know, de gustibus and all that.


No, I meant that I must have overloaded on the Gaudi, because there's so much more to Barcelona. Although I appreciated Gaudi's work even more after visiting the Espai Gaudi up in the loft of La Pedrera and seeing all the natural and mathematical forms he'd worked with. I wish I'd done that first, rather than last...

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