University of Illinois at Chicago (Candace)

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    Musings from a B Student

    Candace Mountain
    Jan 24, '10 7:06 AM EST


    You can call it whatever you want… But, this is where I'll be living for the next three months. THANK GOD! Chicago is too harsh. I'll take stressful traveling, cracked mac pro screen, visa concerns, broken hot water heaters, 50degree weather, rainy days, cafe con leche and a meandering slow walk to IAAC over Chicago any day.

    We've been settling in this week, so we haven't seen much of the city yet, and somehow we keep ending up in the same area - it's strange. We have only one spanish speaker (and no catalan speakers) so figuring things out can be kind of difficult and takes much longer than expected. However, I'm enjoying myself at this point.

    The only problem is, I'm not a tourist (even though I am, technically... let me explain). So, running all over a city to see everything is not the way I do business.
    Heres why:
    1. I don't want to be rushed, shoved or kicked in crowds while going to see something I actually want to see (which isn't very much, typically).
    2. I don't wait in lines, (I've only seen the statue of liberty through a telescopic lens because the line was two hours long and filled with screaming, snot-covered prepubescents).
    3. I will only pay 5euro for a pint of beer if I'm desperate (like I was last night because we spent the day doing "touristy" things.)
    4. My tolerance for "touristy things" stops after about two locations.
    5. I hate standing outside buildings and looking at them. I know, I'm an architecture student, but come on

    So, the best touristy thing we've done so far:
    The Sagrada Familia. Why?
    It was on the way to somewhere else (therefore not one of our touristy destinations), no lines because we saw if from the corner in the off season. And, we only stood next to it for about five minutes because of the serious (and loud) construction happening.

    Anyways, I'll post photos now because I'm sure that they'll be much more interesting than anything else I've said.

    Rambla del Poblenou - where we're living.

    Jean Nouvel, you can see it everywhere - for better or for worse.

    This detail of the facade is more interesting, I think.

    Gaudi, duh.


    Gothic Quarter

    Enrique Miralles's Mercat Santa Caterina

    Street art is awesome, and everywhere.

    The headless fish were also present in Berlin, near the Badeschiff. Not sure if it's the same artist.

    We're also attending classes at IaaC, but I'll write about our courses later.



    • from a fellow architecture student studying abroad (florence), i get this. and your five points of anti-tourist tendencies is spot on. good luck in barcelona.

      Jan 24, 10 10:37 am  · 

      There's so much to do in Barcelona... but make sure you make it to the smaller cities. Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba.. I thought I've seen it all in Barc until going to those towns. And take advantage of the lunch specials. You get a starter, soup/salad, entree, and postre y cerveza (o cafe con leche is you wish), for about 5-6 euro!

      Also, rent a bike. Whole different experience.

      Jan 24, 10 11:12 am  · 

      from bcn, we took a trip to alicante and valencia that was amazing. we then left through olot/girona - which was also pretty amazing.

      i saw way too much crime barcelona to enjoy it.

      Jan 24, 10 1:18 pm  · 

      the ironic part is that architecturally Chicago is the single most important city on the planet.

      Jan 25, 10 9:49 am  · 

      I also vote for Cordoba, and breaking into Park Guell at night.

      Jan 26, 10 11:49 am  · 

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