Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Expert's Favorites - New section

Do you love those features in magazines that show what a famous person carries in their bag or where they shop? Are you just plain curious about other people? In that nosy yet admiring spirit we decided that from time to time we would consult experts, of one kind or another, about where they like to shop in Barcelona.

José Antonio Millán, author of the hilarious yet poignant Quasibolo, as well as 21 other works, pioneer at the crossroads of new technologies and linguistics, man of innumerable interests and innate curiosity, graciously accepted the invitation to be the inaugural guest shopper.

1) His favorite stores:

Casa Gispert – “The store with nuts that’s next to Santa Maria del Mar, down a little street. It has a coffee roaster and smells like almonds and olive oil too… I like the drawers, the burlap sacks, the jars where they keep things. It’s a trip back in time.”
c/Sombreres 23
tel 93 319 7535

Caelum – “The Sweet shop (and tea room) specializing in sweets made by nuns, near Banys Nous: just reading the names of the sweets is a voyage: piononos (named for the Pope Pio IX) de Santa Fe, yemas (egg yolks preserved in sugar) de Santa Teresa. And if you try them …”
c/ de la Palla 8
tel 302 6993

“Jordi Casademunt’s butchers stall at the Sarria Market. Not only is it a pleasure (warning, not for vegetarians) to see him cut the meat, but he is also capable of reconstructing the genealogy of each steer he sells, including age, place of birth, where it was raised and even where it was eventually butchered.”
Mercat de Sarrià
Stall 18-19
tel 93 205 2253

2) Where he takes people from out of town:

“I show them both the nut shop and that sweet shop that I just mentioned but a stroll through the Boqueria is obligatory…”

3) What he misses in Barcelona:

“In general I lament the disappearance of many stores, generally substituted by anonymous and vulgar franchises. Official propaganda speaks of “Barcelona: the best shop in the world,” but a multitude of traditional shops are being lost.”