From the Camera of Norman Nublowski

Photos by Norman Nublowski, German. Taken by him and edited by me.

Plaza Catalunya. This guy has taken being the king of his sh!tty domain to the max. Here he is waking up in the morning in his flannel robe and fanny pack, boldly surveying all of Plaza Catalunya, ready to defend his tent built on a foundation of pallets that he built with his own two hands.

probably in reference to how the police beat up people here earlier in the summer.

oh look a graphic design studio in Plaza Catalunya. This is creating work at its most basic.

another shot of what plaza catalunya has become.

somewhere near Jaume I station. these European tourists flooded our nice and quiet terraza and plopped right down in there next to us.

Plaza Espanya turned into a hip hop music filled NBA promotional land. Did you basketball is super popular in Spain? but not baseball.

the former FC Barcelona (soccer team) field on Montjuic.

banister detail at Casa Batllo

light detail at Casa Batll0

light detail at Casa Batll0

casa batllo glass barrier.

Festival de Sant Joan

Let's try the title card thing for a while. I think it looks pretty cool. I'm not a graphic designer so it takes a while for me to make these. Festival de San Juan (or Sant Joan in Catalan) celebrates the longest day of the year and is like the biggest beach party in Barcelona and many other cities along the coast. This means jumping over bonfires, drinking a lot, and dancing and partying until the sun comes up. Pretty much a usual day in Barcelona actually. All along the beach there were different stands with sound systems bumping different music. Everyone was in the best of spirits and were drinking and dancing the night away. It gets the highest recommendation.

this super charismatic donut vendor sold all his wares in like 30 minutes while spinning the tray around on his head, running with it on his head, and playing one of those brazilian triangles. and yes that girl is topless but this is a pg-13 rated blog.

Nublowski's last request before he died was to eat the CBO chicken burger at Mcdonald's. we were late to meet people for this huge beach party so we had no choice. I am not a Mcdonald's hater, I will admit that this CBO thing was good. I would later pay the penultimate price though. (the ultimate would be dying, or needing surgery or getting diabetes from it or something).

used nublowski's tripod to get some long exposures.

our base camp on the beach. by the end of the night it was just a pile of empty bottles of various alchohol, garbage, sand, and nublowski's. But it was out pile of bottles, sand and Nublowskis. what? nublowski's? you'll see if you keep scrolling.

Mr. cool guy albert palen.

and Jonathan the dancing machine from Tel Aviv

the tradition of San Juan is that you jump over bon fires at least a certain number of times (maybe 5?) for good luck. in other places in spain they make huge bon fires. They say Alicante is a more authentic San Juan Festival.

taken with a gorilla pod from that lifeguard chair.

I look like such an awesome badass Muy Thai kickboxer and my hand looks huge. Imagine getting slapped with that hand. Well you will find out if don't get in that kitchen and make me a bocadillo now!

Nublowski on the other hand looks a little German.

Albert with his phone, his bag, a cup of wine, and MY CAMERA!

This year we invited Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan to come jump over fires. Sorry Palen but you're Scottie Pippen because I am getting way more air than you. I also like how we are jumping over people making out in every photo.

after a lot of Jager Meister and wine and jumping over fires, lil' nublowski was all tuckered out. And like the good good friend that is always there to take pictures of you at your most embarrassing moment, I was there to take photos of him at his most vulnerable moment. At the time He had his bag on and his arm and hand around his camera so I let him sleep. In hind sight i should have taken the camera from him because someone could have easily gotten it from the drunk and sleepy German.

The price of eating that huge McDonald's meal before was coming to fruition. For about an hour the biggest nastiest deuce needed to come out. It hurt so bad. Thank god i had pocketed a few McDonald's napkins before. Finally towards the end of the night the line was really short so i went for it. The portapotty was full to the max from a night of partiers using it so it was super disgusting. And what I piled on was the most disgusting thing i can remember to date. I started to sweat imagining the next people waiting on line outside and what gruesomeness they would witness when they went in and how they would beg the lord to strike me down once they witnessed what I had done. I winced and went outside to find absolutely no one in line. I was saved! I seriously want to repent for whoever has to clean that porta potty. I am so ashamed :( After I wrote this i noticed there were a lot of religious references.

the aftermath as the sun comes up.

these police were in a perfect straight line and then they started marching forward telling people to move on so sanitation could clean the beach.

the sun comes up but the party continues! dance battle.

Here is a parting shot for you of an orangutan jumping over a fire. So if you can be in Barcelona for the San Juan festival then do it! It was an awesome beach party. This was nublowski's last night in Barcelona and what a night, and what a way to end it.

A little tidbit for Bob to enjoy: On the walk home someone lit a mini firecracker on the sidewalk and it went off right as i was walking past it so I couldn't really hear out of my left ear for 3 weeks. It still is ringing. enjoy bob.

The End of Nublowski

Sonar is the biggest electronic music festival in Europe and brings people from all over the world who love electronic music. And guess what, i'm american, so one of those people are not me. But everyone was going so I went anyway. You can go in the daytime or nighttime, day is cheaper. It was weird to party in the day so i couldn't get into it. Electronic music is huge here. For me I just can't get down with it. Maybe you could say the same of hip hop, that it is the simplest music in the world but at least it has lyrics, substance, and is rooted in a distinctly unique culture. Hip Hop to europeans is a joke and they dance to it all weird and in joke fashion and it's not their fault, it's unique to america because that's where the culture is and where all the ingredients for it are. I guess it would be hard to bump to music and a message that doesn't exist in your world. There was one hip hop act we saw and i never heard of them before.

forgot who this spanish joke band was but they're famous.

caught you promo girl!

this dude played/pre programmed some experimental music on sewing machines. I thought it was pretty cool.

There were tons and tons and tons of parties that weekend, all electronic music, all more beats per minute that i usually prefer. here is one secret party on someones rooftop.

The African guys have their counterfeit products rigged with a rope for when the police come.

Viena bocadillo shop on las ramblas was in the NY Times as highly recommended by the author. this is the famous bocadillo from there, forgot what it was. It was OK.

I saw this lady pushing one of those living statue things over to la ramblas and thought she was the owner and performer but then she crossed the street to get another one. Is there a company that rents these out to the performers for an expensive rate per day?

Montjuic. There is a cable car that goes not that far up to the castle. It looks like it's definitely not worth it.

Fundacio Miro, the Joan Miro Museum. Joan Miro influenced everyone from Mark Rothko and Alexander Calder to Jim Flora and Tim Biskup. He was Catalan, and I love his work.

terrace at fundacio miro

the giant cat statue

we went to a show called "WTF Jam sessions" at Jamboree in placa reial. It was billed at funk, hip hop, jazz. when we first got there they were playing traditional jazz and then 10 min later the lights came down and a very big boy started beat boxing and it lulled into beatboxing instrumental jazz and story rapping and was actually pretty cool. they brought on various rappers most of which sucked to different degrees. there were different drummers and instrumentalists too.

and then it was over, and immediately, i mean 2 seconds later the staff started collapsing the 4 to a row connected and collapsible chairs and the place turned into a hip hop club for mostly south americans and 18 year olds. I don't know how they flooded the dance floor area so quickly but they must have been waiting in the bullpen bucking and snorting and ready to go because it wasn't like a place that is slow and people gradually dance, they went for the gold immediately. seconds ago it was a jazz club and now it's the last place i want to be on earth (well if they were playing electronic music that would be the last place i want to be on earth). I guess being in placa reial you have to make revenue anyway you can.

Palau de la musica is a concert hall that is supposed to be super beautiful and it was but we soon found out there was no photography allowed for real, not even in this waiting area lobby. This angered me extremely as many things do, and it was especially sh!t for us photography enthusiasts. You have to go on a tour and it costs like 13 euros or something i think, or you can watch a concert which costs more. so p!ssed.

this is what it looks like in the main concert hall. natural light comes in from the sides and the sun stained glass skylight. sure i could have snapped sneaky shots but at that point i didn't want anything to do with it. photo taken from but i suspect he got it from somewhere else.

oh no am i going to spread photos of your beautiful concert hall on the internet sparking interest and tourism for you? Hsiang-wei Hsu

me punching the palau de la musica in the stomach. do not go on the tour for 13 euros it sucks. you might as well go to a concert for 20 euros and get something out of it.

if you go to boqueria in the late hours before it closes you can get awesome deals on the fresh fruit drinks that are usually 3 euros each. Marco and his classmates usually get 12 for 4 euros.

the indignants caused the park we wanted to go to to be closed by the police because of their shenanigans.

some small bar near escola massana, marco's school. we went there after their class one night and they had live jazz. cool

the door to the pipa club previously blogged about here.

a view of plaza reial from the 2nd floor of the pipa club makes you feel like you're in a secret bar, and you kind of are since most people don't know about it and could never find it.