Last post. Thanks

This is the last post in this blog. Please every one must leave the blog. You can follow my journey by connecting Òscar's Blog. I want to thank all the people that helped and supported me during all these "too short" months in the city. Thank you also for all your comments and I hope to keep each other in touch. Tomorrow I'm leaving New York back to Barcelona. I truthfully believe that this is not a "Good Bye" but hopefully just a "See you soon". Anyway, the purpose of this blog, as a Report of the Adventures of a Catalan Exchanger in New York, is over. I will continue posting directly in my personal blog and maybe I will open a new one, the next time I come. So shall it be!

Dinner for two at Mercat

Yesterday night we enjoyed the only real Catalan food served in New York city. It is in Mercat restaurant by Soho. Ham, cheese, wine and "pa amb tomàquet" just the way it would be served in Barcelona. Among other delicacy we found the "Rap amb romesco" was absolutely remarkable. I strongly & very honestly recommend this new establishment of the city. We were actually celebrating the joy to be together but also the hard duty to say good bye.



An evening at Shea Stadium

It all stared with a brief Gmail Talk in the afternoon: "Jodi: Dave is suggesting to go the Mets this evening. Vols anar-hi?" Obviously, my immediate and affirmative answer was a short "Visca!!!" That was all, a couple of hours after we were taking the 7 train express to the Shea. Since I'm in the city I never refuse any proposal for something new, more over, when we are accompanied with our friends Dave and Jen, stupendous people and always nice.

The NY Mets' Shea stadium is magnificent. I was expecting something smaller but it is really huge and surprisingly for a Thursday night It was pretty full. So Mets fans are truly loyal, I can tell! I loved keeping track of game's evolution through the score-board and following the fans directions like "Make noise" or "Let's go Mets!". Crazy!!!

In spite of the sad defeat of the locals, the game NY Mets vs SD Padres was exciting till the last minute. I enjoyed it a lot as I'm starting to fully understand the game bases and because I had lessons and real-time comments from Jodi and Dave, both experienced baseball fans.

Just a small note about the delightful American fast food you can taste on your seat while you watch the game. Sitting on the row we took the advantage of the moment to taste the delicious and already mythical Nathan's hot dogs with mustard and relish. By the way, I can not say the same about the disappointing beer and the fries.

So that was my wonderful baseball premiere, I can't wait for more magic nights at the Shea!


Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday and it was really a wonderful day. It started very sweet in our home at St. Marks. As finally ended my last academic assignment I decided to spent the day out enjoying the neighborhood. Between two grey and rainy days yesterday the weather was pretty sunny and I went to the Prospect Park to have fun reading my Sant Jordi's books and take the sun laying peacefully on its long meadow's grass.

In the lunch time, I started looking for a cheap place to eat out around the Park. I left it by its west side walking calmly. Then I happened to take the 3rd street in the Park Slope and I confess that I joyfully fell in love again with this city. Honestly, the 3rd street at 8th avenue in Brooklyn is one of the most beautiful and quite places to live I have ever seen in New York.

At the corner of the 3rd st. at 7th ave. I found a very cozy Italian restaurant called "Sette Enoteca e Cucina". They were offering a nice price-fixed menu for lunch and I took the advantage of the deal to have a fresh salad and a delicious dish of pasta in its quiet patio by the 7th ave.

I have to admit that after the scrumptious lunch I went back to the Park to have a short nap. But the sky slowly turned in a little but cloudy and I decided better to go back home to wait for Jodi to come from her office.

When she finally arrive the amazing presents' storm started. The bill of gifts was long and generous and they all were given wisely and deliberate in a rhythm able to create an in-crescendo of awesomeness and emotion. I sincerely ended astonished, excited and very emotional. The list, preceded by a private and fun card, went like this:
1. A Mad Libs Book - The world's greatest word game - Good
2. An American English Proverbs Book - Very useful - Very good
3. Common American Phrases Book - For everyday contexts, what I needed - Very nice
4. An ultra-cool Brooklyn Industries T-Shirt (See the photo) - Brutal
5. A delicious Nano iPod - 8GB in Black - Bestially flabbergasting
6. The sweetest Photo Scrap Book ever seen from our last 6 months together - Demolishing

After the gifts orgy we recovered energy at a fusion Japanese-Thai restaurant by the neighborhood.

The food was correct but not as remarkable as the night deserved, so we decided to culminate the feast with a sweet desert at The Chocolate Room. There we enjoyed one of the 10 best Chocolate Cakes in NYC (NYMagazine2006) and a real and tasty Coffee Espresso conveniently accompanied by "Death Cub for Cutie" music. The day ended as sweet as it started. And so, happy birthday!



Sometimes I receive flowers and it makes me feel so happy!!!


New home in Brooklyn

Today, coinciding with our 6th months of relationship we move together to a new place in Brooklyn. This will be our sublet home in Saint Marks Avenue just for the month of August. So, new sweet home...


Sunday in Connecticut - Lighthouse Park

Jen's Wedding

Discovering and enjoying the Smithwick's beer with new friends

Dinner with the Bride

Relaxing at the country club


4th July


Manu Chao Concert in Brooklyn

UN visit

UN Assembly

UN Security Council


Comedy Cellar

Yesterday night my boss, and though my friend, invited us to assist to a comedy show in the City. I went there expecting some smiles but too much fun. I was afraid about not to understand a simple word of the comedians, as my English is still quite elemental but I was wrong. The show was extremely fun. I indeed didn't understand most of that fast, clever and slangy English but more than I have expected. That guys are really good. Even only catching a few of their jokes you can have a nice time and enjoy laughing about every thing without any politically correct limit.


Stolen stones

We recently visited the Cloisters Exposition from MET. It is really a complete, interesting and amusing trip for a sunny Saturday morning. The exposition is sited at the top of the Manhattan uptown and you have to take a long journey to reach that extreme of the island. Once again you can find there another new city to discover. That solely is worth doing the travel but it's not all. The Cloisters are at the top of a hill rounded by a nice park. So you can enjoy the park as you climb the hill on foot. Once there you find a very nice views of New Jersey and the Hudson river from Manhattan.
I went to the Cloisters ready to stand the vexing contemplation of the stolen stones from the Sant Miquel de Cuixà Monastery in the North Catalonia. In fact the exposition is called cloisters because of precisely these robbed stones. However I did never expect major humiliation such as finding there the whole tomb of three Catalan counts of Urgell. Shame. Injustice.
Devolution right now!!!!


Memorial Day in Boston

Last Saturday we went to Boston taking advantage of the 3 days weekend. Boston is not a city like NY I'd rather talk about a town. But I happily found there the quiet environment i needed to rest from the NY hectic rhythm. It's a small and beautiful city full of historical spots that we visited following a very interesting tourist tour.


Some city views

Downtown from the Empire State Building
Uptown form Kimmel Building in Washington Square

Subway images

36th Street, Brooklyn

Wall Street, Manhatan

Lexington Ave, Manhatan


Global meme

My good friend Gerard sent me a meme from China by which I should reproduce a paragraph of the book i am currently reading. As I am taking a course on globalization at NYU I will quote a bit of one of my last readings on this multifaceted process.

My read come from "Governance in a Globalizing World" by professor Joseph S. Nye and John D. Donahue as editors. This is a very interesting book about globalization and global governance concerning to its political, cultural, economic, environmental aspects among others. The quote is in its 128 page and says;

“cultural globalization, a millennia-old series of phenomena, has not resulted in cultural homogenization but rather in a far more complex process of interchange that can be variously termed hybridization, unicity, glocalization, and the like.”

I would like to invite to follow the chain to Jodi, Salva, Oriol and Guifré and to celebrate this exciting initiative.


MET Opera

Wednesday night we went to the Metropolitan Opera. It was the first opera in my life-time, premiering at NY Met isn't too bad, right? :-). We enjoyed Verdi's La Traviata. The Met premises are really spectacular, orchestra accompaniment was brilliant, the scenes were gorgeous and the music was delicious and sentimental. I must confess that I spent half a play crying like a Magdalene. In fact, the "Amami Alfredo" aria sank me down and from that point I was moved the rest of the play. Unforgettable.


Salvador Espriu

The Ramon Llull Institute is organizing in New York a bunch of activities during the spring season, in order to show a little bit of the catalan culture. The program titled Made in Catalunya. Catalan Culture in New York embraces exhibitions, performing arts, symposiums and literary events. Last weekend Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, and Patti Smith read Catalan Poetry in the frame of this CataluNYa program. Among all the wonderfull poetries they told there is one of my favourites. You can get the translation here. Now that i'm gone away to the north while I read lamentable news from the catalan politics, I often remind Espriu and this poetry.

Oh, how tired I am of my
craven old brutish land,
and how I'd like to get away from it
to the north
where they say people are clean
and noble, learned, rich, free
wide-awake and happy.
Then in the congregation, the brothers would say
disapprovingly: "Like the bird who leaves the nest
is that man who forsakes his place,"
while I, now far away, would laugh
at the law and ancient wisdom
of this, my arid village.
But I must never follow my dream
and I'll stay here till I die.
For I'm craven and brutish too.
And what's more I love, with a
desperate grief,
this my poor,
dirty, sad, unlucky homeland.


Saint Patrick's day

Today we celebrate Saint Patrick's day all over the city.

The best way to enjoy this party is drinking beer even when it's not Irish.


Broadway Musical

As far as it's advisable to go to a Broadway musical if you visit New York, it is also indispensable to enjoy that one. It's new in the NY musical scene and I strongly recommend it.


Carnegie Hall

Yesterday we went to the most famous music hall in NYC. It was a trip organized by the OISS within the USFest program. The first premiere of Carnegie Hall was performed by Tchaikovsky and all the music celebrities of the last century played there. The hall has a little museum in which you can find among many other treasures, original programs signed by Pau Casals.