As I stated in the “About” page, Barcelona (or technically Spain), was chosen via a face-off. I asked the question “If you could live for one month, in either Italy or Spain, which would you live in??” on Facebook, and waited for replies. The result was…an epic face-off for the ages, where Spain defeated Italy, 7 posts to 5. I had decided beforehand that Barcelona would be my city if Spain was chosen, so there I had it. (I really wanted to go to both Italy and Spain, but I had 5 cities in Europe, and that was already feeling like too much…sigh)
So why Barcelona? Like many of the other cities chosen in this project, Barcelona was a city that crossed my mind many times while growing up. Firstly, many of the NBA players from Spain were from the Catalonia region (and even a couple on my beloved Portland Trail Blazers!). Secondly, both Salvador Dali and Antonio Gaudi had ties with Barcelona. Thirdly, if I had to choose between Real Madrid and Barcelona, I would choose Barca 10 out of 10 times (and I wanted to see a futbol match).
There’s also another fact, which I doubt anybody has noticed, that most of the cities I’ve chosen for this project are facing an ocean. Only Paris and Munich aren’t near any major body of water, and where there was a choice (ex. Sao Paulo vs Rio, Madrid vs Barcelona), I have always chosen the one located along the coastline. I’ve never really thought of myself as an ocean-man, as they say in Japanese (example: Hemingway), but maybe there’s something subconscious, something Freudian about these choices.
Lastly, I would like to note as I’m writing this, Scotland has just voted and decided to stay a part of the United Kingdom. The whole incident has brought a new focus on Catalonia, which has long been trying to declare its independence from Spain. I believe Barcelona will still be a part of Spain when I arrive there, but this whole political and cultural phenomenon is something that I’d like to take a closer look at while I’m there.