“She is lovely. She is flirtatious. She is passionate. Others call her Barna. Or, mistakenly, Barça, which only refers to the football club. Or, shortened, BCN. But I don’t call her by her nicknames. After several years of being together I began taking her beaches for granted, I got bored with her modernist buildings and I was not quite sure where things were heading. To beat the seven-year itch I moved to another part of town. There I discovered new eating-places. Barcelona knows the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
My perfect date in the city is on a sunny day in June. When I wake up in the morning some raindrops fall. Then the sun starts to shine like it is already summer and I have a late breakfast at Tarannà (c/ Viladomat, 23). Tarannà is the Catalan word for mood. And this place with a brick wall on one end, Parisian metro tiles on the other and vintage furniture certainly brings me in a good mood. I usually choose sweet muffins to accompany my glass of breakfast orange juice, but their savoury sandwiches are also really appetising.
After a stroll through the upcoming neighbourhood of Sant Antoni, I end up at Rekons (c/ Comte d’Urgell, 32) for lunch. This restaurant housed in an old grocery store is a perfect match between Buenos Aires and Barcelona. They not only serve Argentinean empanadas (pastries with fillings of meat, cheese or vegetables), but also enormous sandwiches and salads. Finished with lunch I head to the CaixaForum (Av. de Francesc Ferrer Guàrdia, 6-8) at the foot of the Montjuïc hill. At the beginning of this century this former textile factory in modernist style was restored and converted into a museum by the savings bank La Caixa. The art exhibits, which are often the most interesting in town, are free to visit. The book store café, library, and not to forget the rooftop are great places for me to kill time.
I love Barcelona, but I will always have a crush on Venice. For Venetian flavours at dinnertime I go to Xemei (Pg. de l’Exposició, 85), also close to the Montjuïc hill. Xemei, which is the word for twins in the Venetian dialect, is run by Stefano and Max, twins from the sinking city. They serve the most delicious burratta and after the main course I never can resist their home-made tiramisu. Their restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner, but also for an intimate dinner with friends or family.
Afterwards I order a drink and a small bowl of popcorn at La Confitería (c/ Sant Pau, 128). I really like the large windows and mirrors at the entrance of this one-time sweet shop. And I end up at a concert of Bomba Estereo in nightclub Sala Apolo (Av. Paral·lel, 61) on Barcelona’s Broadway. Dancing on electro tropical beats I know we will be together for many years to come.”
Ferenz studied cultural anthropology in Leiden and moved to Barcelona seven years ago. In June 2010, with his business partner Annebeth Vis, Ferenz founded the communications agency Jacobs&Vis. He handles communication for several Dutch companies in Spain and Spanish companies in the Netherlands.
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