My Favorites: Poblenou

I wanted to share my personal favorites for my favorite area of my beloved Barcelona, Poblenou. In the last seven years, I’ve lived in various parts of the city, but Poblenou is special. An old industrial neighborhood located in the north of the Mediterranean-facing city, Poblenou is rich with history, culture and home to lots of places to eat, drink, shop, and more. My list starts with my preferred spots, but at the bottom you can find places that I just haven’t got around to trying yet but seem promising!

ESPAÑOL: Quiero compartir mis sitios favoritos de mi barrio favorito, Poblenou. Durante los últimos siete años, he vivido en varias zonas de la ciudad, pero Poblenou (o Pueblo Nuevo) es especial. Antes un barrio totalmente industrial, Poblenou está en el norte de la ciudad condal con vistas al Mediterráneo. Lleno de historia, cultura y muchos sitios para donde comer, beber, comprar y más. Mi lista empieza con mis sitios favoritos, pero al final hay más sitios que todavía no he podido probar pero seguramente son buenos. 

Continue reading “My Favorites: Poblenou”

Quarantine Diary: Part 5 – The End?

Well, here we are… two months later, today marks day 57 in our “state of alarm” / stay at home order / official quarantine, etc. here in Barcelona, Spain. I don’t know about you, but I certainly never thought it would actually last this long. I remember back to early-mid March meeting with my friend Charlotte here at one of our favorite coffee shops, talking about how maybe the Spanish version of the lockdown would go for two-three weeks max… never 2 months like in China. Little did we know! The other night I was talking to Charlotte again and we discussed how, funnily enough, this season (now almost in hindsight) has seemed to fly by like most others. Even in quarantine, the “the days are long but the years are short” saying holds.Continue reading “Quarantine Diary: Part 5 – The End?”

Misconceptions About Living Abroad

I recently had the pleasure of going to a Jim Gaffigan comedy show in Barcelona with my good friend, Megan. The show, part of his international PALE TOURIST tour, took place at Club Capitol on Las Ramblas on a Saturday night in late February. It was hilarious – almost two hours of non-stop belly laughs as he compared Spain and the States, shared stories from traveling internationally with his family and poked at married life. One part we really busted a gut laughing from though, was when he talked about his family’s first time visiting Barcelona and the curious universal fact that no one wants to look like a tourist… it’s pretty commonly agreed to be uncool if you look like a tourist, do the cheesy, typical tourist things, etc. He recalled how his daughter had asked him, “Dad, where are all the locals? What do you think they’re doing?” Silence… then Jim blurted out, “They’re working! Just like we would be at home!” So obvious, yet so funny.Continue reading “Misconceptions About Living Abroad”

My First Podcast Appearance!

Over a week ago I was approached by Francisco, a chiropractor here who happens to go to my church, The International Church of Barcelona. He reached out over Instagram and said that after having read my blog, he was interested in featuring me on he & his wife’s new podcast, called IllumINNATE Barcelona Podcast. According to the international couple, their vision is “to shed light on the local leaders of our beautiful city! Barcelona is a huge city full of businesses and people from all over the world. We want to make our city just a little bit smaller by allowing you to connect with some of the most creative, innovative and interesting people who call Barcelona home.” I was honored to be invited to participate and share a bit of my story over this fun medium. Francisco and I chatted about misconceptions about living abroad, recommendations about when, where and how to travel Europe, and Barcelona expat life hacks. Continue reading “My First Podcast Appearance!”

Quarantine Diary: Part 4

{La versión del post en español está aquí}

Hello all – for me we are now on Day 28 of this official quarantine in Barcelona (and all of Spain). Since last Sunday we’ve known that the country’s “State of Alarm” aka the government-enforced stay-at-home order would be extended now until April 25th, at the earliest. The positive news is that it seems that we’ve perhaps passed the peak in terms of the rate of new cases of COVID-19, and now more recent days have shown a descending trend in number of new cases and there’s been less pressure in hospitals and ICUs in terms of the number of hospitalized cases.

We’ve been in this quarantine for nearly a month now (which for here means no going for a run, going on a walk, going for a bike ride, walking to a friend’s place, nor strolling the beach – nothing). Knowing that, it’s easier to understand how taking out the trash or recycling has become one of my favorite moments of the day – I get a bit of fresh air, sunshine and feel normal for 5 minutes walking in our lovely neighborhood like normal). Truthfully, I’m afraid that the quarantine here will get extended for a 3rd time and go through May (there is already talk that it will be extended again until May 10th), but for now I have to be positive and take things one day at a time, doing the best I can. Continue reading “Quarantine Diary: Part 4”

Diario de la cuarentena: parte 4

Hola a todos – para mi estamos en día 28 de confinamiento aquí en Barcelona. Desde el domingo pasado ya sabíamos que el estado de alarma oficial en España se extendería hasta el 25 de abril, por lo menos. Lo positivo es que parece que hemos pasado por el pico de ritmo de contagios de COVID-19, y ahora los datos muestran una tendencia descendente del número de casos y hay una menor presión en hospitales y UCI en cuanto a los casos hospitalizados.

Llevamos casi un mes de cuarentena (aquí eso significa que no puedes salir a correr ni andar en bici, ni caminar a casa de un amigo ni caminar por la playa – nada). Por eso, la hora de sacar la basura o el reciclaje se ha convertido en algunos de mis mejores momentos del día (caminar en la calle, sentirse un poco normal, tomar sol y aire fresco). La verdad es que tengo miedo de que la cuarentena se extenderá en mayo (ya están diciendo por allí que será hasta el 10 de mayo), pero ahora mismo sólo podemos enfocarnos en el día a día y hacer lo mejor posible. Continue reading “Diario de la cuarentena: parte 4”

Coronavirus Quarantine Diary: Part 3

{La versión del post en español está aquí}

Well it’s finally the last day of March 2020. This month has really felt like a year. I don’t know about you, but this whole experience has made me hyper-aware of everything I took for granted before, like getting a cup of coffee with friends, going for a run along the beach, going to my gym and being encouraged and pushed in person, riding my bike to run errands, all sorts of little things that now seem so luxurious.

To give you the Coronavirus updates, as of this morning, Spain has over 94,000 total confirmed cases with over 8,000 deaths and over 19,000 cured. Some days there are hopeful repots of day-to-day decreases, while other days it seems to be solely record-breaking news that makes you think why isn’t this quarantine helping more. That being said, it’s still crazy to me that the US is still not in an official nation-wide quarantine. We still stay inside our apartment (it’s roughly 100 m or 500 sq feet). I went to the grocery store last week and below is a photo I took whilst waiting in line for a while to get in. Once inside, there weren’t too many people, but there were several sections totally out of stock (think wine, tonic water, chips, etc). Most people I saw on my grocery run were also wearing gloves, a mask and glasses. Continue reading “Coronavirus Quarantine Diary: Part 3”

Diario de la cuarentena del coronavirus: parte 3

Bueno por fin es el último día de marzo 2020. Este mes ha parecido como un año entero. No sé para ti, pero para mi esta experiencia me ha hecho muy consciente de todo lo que tomaba por hecho antes, como ir a tomar un café con amigos, salir a correr por la playa, ir a mi gimnasio y estar animada en persona, andar en bici para hacer recados, todo tipo de cosas pequeñas que ahora me parecen cosas lujosas.

Por aquí, estas son las actualizaciones en cuanto al coronavirus a partir de esta mañana: España tiene más de 94K casos confirmados con más de 8K fallecidos y más de 19K curados. Algunos días hay noticias con datos esperanzadores, mientras que también hay muchos días todavía con datos que rompen records y te hace pensar por qué no funciona mejor esta cuarentena?! Dicho esto, es una locura pensar que en los EEUU todavía no han hecho una cuarentena nacional (obligatoria). Aquí nos quedamos en nuestro piso (tiene como 100m). Fui al supermercado la semana pasada y abajo está la foto que saque mientras hacía la cola para entrar. Una vez adentro, no había demasiada gente, pero sí que habían varias secciones que no tenían stock de cosas (como vino, tónica, patatas, etc.). La mayoría de las personas que vi cuando salí también llevaban puestos guantes, mascarilla y gafas. Continue reading “Diario de la cuarentena del coronavirus: parte 3”

Coronavirus Quarantine Diary: Part 2

{La versión del post en español está aquí}

The Part 1 of this series has been my most viewed post ever on the blog, which I am taking the liberty to interpret that it means that people are interested to know what quarantine is like here in Barcelona, how it’s affecting peoples’ lives and and any sort of tips or inspiration that I can offer during these trying times. 

I want to preface this post by saying that while my last post ended with lots of ideas on how to make this quarantine period easier or more fun or more productive, I also want to acknowledge that for many people this slowing down of normal life is not a welcomed sort of stay-cation, but rather plunges folks into being stuck between a rock and a hard spot. For example, my Aunt Lori is a hair stylist in Omaha and now is not sure of what she can expect for her income for the next several months (as her work is a no work, no pay set up), or my best friend here in Barcelona, Charlotte is a freelance photographer who has seen most projects wiped for the foreseeable future. Freelancers, self-employed, restaurant owners or employees, gym owners & staff, retail warriors – so many people continue to feel the coronavirus’ impact in a domino effect that has no signs of stopping anytime soon. I see you & feel for you. Continue reading “Coronavirus Quarantine Diary: Part 2”

Diario de la cuarentena del coronavirus: parte 2

La primera parte de esta serie ha sido mi post más visto en la historia del blog, lo que entiendo significa que la gente están interesados en como se vive la cuarentena aquí en Barcelona, como está afectando a las vidas de las personas, y cualquier tipo de consejo o inspiración durante estos tiempos difíciles. 

Quiero empezar este post al decir que aunque mi último post terminó con varios ideas de cómo hacer la cuarentena más llevadora o más divertida o productiva, también soy consciente de que por muchas personas este freno del ritmo normal de la vida no esté bienvenido, sino que mete a la gente en situaciones muy duros. Por ejemplo, mi tía Lori es una peluquera en Omaha, Nebraska y ahora no sabe bien cuanto ganará en los próximos meses (ya que está medio cerrado su tienda), o mi mejor amiga en Barcelona, Charlotte es una fotógrafa autónoma y muchos de sus proyectos están cancelados para el futuro previsible. Autónomos, dueños y empleados de restaurantes y gimnasios, trabajadores de retail- tantas personas siguen de sentir los impactos del coronavirus que no tiene señal de parar en un futuro cercano. Os veo y estoy con vosotros!  Continue reading “Diario de la cuarentena del coronavirus: parte 2”

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