, ,

Fell asleep outside of the covers and woke up freezing. Grabbed my things and headed to the Guggenheim. I could see the back of it as I approached, climbing stairs up to a big green and red bridge. Before I went into the museum I wanted to take in this work of art and architecture. I studied architecture before education and loved it (besides failing my math courses and the BS of having to defend your work and provide answers to philosophical questions (art is art, do you like it? Would you buy it? What should I change to make you buy it? I designed what looked good to me… rant over.) I had seen this building and many of Frank Gehry’s other works in books but in real life it was much more impressive.

I found a bench across the river and sat down to sketch the building; a task proving quite challenging but relaxing. A few people came up and talked with me and wanted to see the sketch. After finishing it I entered and scored a sweet deal; 6 euros for students vs. the normal 13 plus they give you a “free” audio guide. I am not too big on the abstract paintings especially color field paintings so some of the museum was just so / so. But another surprise was seeing work by Richard Seera, a sculptor I really liked when I was studying architecture ( he inspired part of my final project for one class.) he works with creating spaces and moving you into and around his enormous Steel works. Seeing them is part of the trip but I am wondering if he intended you to explore sound too; some of them cause cool echos. When you enter one of the spiraling shapes your footsteps take on a different pitch as you enter further into it. There were some other famous sculptures of birds by a guy named … and then some really cool sculptures that trick your eye into thinking that objects are vibrating (Jesus Rafael Soto). There were also some really cool huge paintings with tons of texture by a German guy, Anselem Kiefer.

After the museum I wandered around looking for food and caved for my first taste of Americana; SubWay just like I remembered it! Only difference is they don’t say foot long since they are on the Metric system; its 15 cm or 30 cm.

I heard that there is a bridge designed by the guy who designed the Eifel tower along the river somewhere so I followed it for about an hour and never saw it so I went back home. The positive of that long walk is that along the railroad tracks along the edge of the mountain I found what looked like a community created by squatters; they had created some little shacks and had plots of land growing all kinds of vegetables. That’s the type of ingenuity that only economic hardship and resourcefulness can breed. Imagine how much food we could grow if we allowed people to farm unused public spaces (or if people just farmed their yards instead of having unproductive grass).

When I got back home I ran into Luis again; he said they were going to dinner and invited me along. After talking with him a few minutes I figured out that they weren’t together as more than friends. We hopped from one place to the next to get “diner” I wasn’t that hungry but tried a few Pintxos (Euskara for pinchos). One of the ones I tried had those mini eel looking things, Raw Salmon and some sheep cheese on a piece of bread, not bad but not good.

After filling up we wandered around and some guys were trying to talk to Luis so we stopped and met some sketchy characters; so sketchy that I said I was from Madrid and gave a fake name. They tried using “Ka-sho” as a way to get the conversation started but I said it back and told Andrea it’s like “hi/ how are you” in the local language and the guy was like oh you guys from around here? Although the guy said he was from Madrid I could tell he wasn’t Spanish. When he said he was Moroccan I gave my Arabic a try and was successful. After Luis realized how sketchy they were he said adios and we left them there propped against the wall.




December 9th