Mardi Gras? In Chicago, it’s Paczki Day!

I knew nothing of Paczki until we moved to the Chicago area years ago. For those who haven’t heard of them, think: filled donuts. Originally a Polish specialty, paczki are now deeply Chicagoan. Available all year round at certain bakeries, their big day is Mardi Gras, when everyone with or without Christian heritage can haveContinue reading “Mardi Gras? In Chicago, it’s Paczki Day!”

My favorite things, Monterey edition

In just under four weeks, we’ll set out from the Monterey Peninsula, where we’ve spent eight months sheltering from Covid and its aftermath. We’re not leaving the US yet, but moving on to Bainbridge Island, Washington, for the month of August. Much as we are looking forward to exploring a new region, and taking aContinue reading “My favorite things, Monterey edition”

Holiday Time at the beach

It’s almost Christmas and we’ve been watching the neighborhood get ready for the holidays. Decorations are not that extensive, though the city has installed a tableau including Santa along one street, and there’s a Christmas tree on the beach. Until the last weekend before Christmas there wasn’t much decoration. On the weekend, though, booths sellingContinue reading “Holiday Time at the beach”

Last 24 hours of the Merce festival/spectacle

We watched a projection called Awakening the Dragon, at the Casa Batlló, one of Antoni Gaudí’s bests known architectural works, the night before the end of the festival. It does look like a big lizard is crawling around the roof. The roof line, altered by Gaudi, is an undulating form that was said to beContinue reading “Last 24 hours of the Merce festival/spectacle”

Correfoc: A crack in the Gates of Hell

Barcelonans are fearless. They make human towers up to eight people high: Keep in mind that the people you see at the bottom of this photo are the second tier. They are all standing on people underneath.   Also note the size of the child climbing to the eighth level–the one wearing the helmet… BarcelonansContinue reading “Correfoc: A crack in the Gates of Hell”

La Mercé: Great big giant heads, parades, fireworks, music, dance…

From the title, you get the idea. La Mercé is the annual festival of Our Lady of Mercy, one of the patronesses of Barcelona. It spans a week, this year Sept. 18-24 and there are more events than one person could get to. We went to see the giants and the giant heads before theyContinue reading “La Mercé: Great big giant heads, parades, fireworks, music, dance…”