city in space - locations


Bars and their traditions say quite a bit about a city - and in this respect Barcelona speaks volumes. There are tiny cafés to be found everywhere, frequented by locals at every hour of the day and night for a quick sherry, or the delicious snacks known as tapas, or a coffee. The fact that these establishments are open the whole day increases their popularity. The daily ordering routine hardly ever varies, binding regular customers to the attentive waiters. The little bars are used on a very casual basis, and their anonymous yet still charming interiors are no reason to visit them regularly. It would be wrong to assume that their guests are unconcerned about the appearance of this extension of their private living space, however. Take the Centrico, for instance: from 1862 it was run as a bodega, in 1939 it was converted into a café, and last renovated in the mid-1950s - just the place for a trip back in time lasting as long as a cigarette or a bocadillo. The Bar Piera is another place where time seems to have stood still. Entering this outwardly rather inconspicuous-looking establishment one is hit by an orange- brown wave: even the lamps imitate Werner Panton, in the provocative style so reminiscent of the '70s. Imitation- leather upholstery, formica flooring in large squares, mirrors, and even Señor Ortiz who runs the Bar Altamira - they all seem timelocked in the early '70s.