Jeffrey Swartz

Acerca de Jeffrey Swartz

Art and design critic, part-time university prof, though probably spends more time watching football than anything else. Every so often he goes back to home town Vancouver where they let him do exactly the same thing. Lately he’s been researching and writing on the nexus between anarchy and culture: if you’re interested, just ask.

Our streets

Por |2019-11-12T12:38:04+01:00noviembre 11th, 2019|

"Barcelona is a city where residents are emboldened to walk down the middle streets" Intrigued by what we look like to those looking in, I have spent time in the wake of the draconian sentencing of Catalan ...

Four Quartets

Por |2020-01-30T16:40:28+01:00octubre 9th, 2019|

Ciutat Vella is sharply sectioned into four similar-sized parts, like an airline food tray. Ciutat Vella, the old city, is a permeable urban core that can be easily entered from any point along its perimete ...

Full of Grace

Por |2019-09-26T11:15:05+02:00septiembre 3rd, 2019|

Gràcia, full of grace, is the city’s happy median, Barcelona in its most adequate state Barcelona does not really have a “best place to live”, a part of town people would move to if they could afford it. If ...

Maragallades

Por |2019-06-06T11:40:21+02:00junio 6th, 2019|

During this past election campaign for Barcelona City Council, Esquerra Republicana mayoralty candidate Ernest Maragall insisted his political rivals make no mention of his brother, former mayor Pasqual. It ...

The Metro

Por |2019-05-07T12:49:50+02:00mayo 7th, 2019|

When it comes to moving about Barcelona, some prefer the bus so as “to see the city”. Others prefer the metro, presumably to avoid having to look at it. This, of course, is not what they say—they’ll cite mor ...

Green Space

Por |2019-03-05T23:09:42+01:00marzo 5th, 2019|

Looking down on Barcelona from Montjuïc or Collserola, all you see is a solid mass of buildings. Depending on your angle, the odd avenue cuts through. And maybe that avenue is lined with trees, whose leafy cr ...

Nobody Loves Gaudí

Por |2019-01-07T13:04:57+01:00diciembre 10th, 2018|

Part 1: On the hypocrisy behind the Gaudí aura. The architecture of Antoni Gaudí is, along with the seafront, one of the few unarguable features of Barcelona. Few Barcelonans would say they’d prefer the city ...

Walking to Barcelona

Por |2018-11-05T10:44:39+01:00noviembre 5th, 2018|

I have walked to many cities in my life, but I have never walked to Barcelona. What I mean is that I have never found myself in some outlying town, like Sant Cugat or Montcada, and from there set out on foot ...

Barcelona from the Air

Por |2018-10-10T10:45:42+02:00octubre 4th, 2018|

¿Does it make sense to look at a city from a birds-eye perspective? There’s not a country in the world that hasn’t produced a tv program of images of its landscapes and cities from the air. Once perfected the ...

The Port

Por |2018-09-14T12:18:38+02:00septiembre 14th, 2018|

Barcelona is one of many seaside towns with a booming port and no natural harbour. The two need not always go together, since modern ports are the stuff of megalithic breakwaters, enthusiastic landfills and p ...

Tourists & Andorrans

Por |2018-05-08T13:19:19+02:00mayo 7th, 2018|

There are four kinds of foreigners in Barcelona: tourists, guiris, immigrants and Andorrans. The first are just visiting, so they sightsee. The second are foreigners who are here for other reasons, like work ...

Mediocrity in the Middle

Por |2018-04-11T12:44:45+02:00abril 11th, 2018|

A Barcelona guidebook once asked me to review every museum in the city, large or small, prominent or obscure. This atypical experience (as guidebooks are usually selective rather than exhaustive) taught me a ...

Dusk Glow in Winter

Por |2017-12-10T19:11:56+01:00diciembre 10th, 2017|

There are only two good things about ending Daylight Saving Time and going back to Standard, where the days are shorter and the nights are stronger than moonshine. One warms my heart: farm kids get to walk to ...

Why do we have to run?

Por |2017-07-13T15:37:39+02:00julio 13th, 2017|

Every society does irrational things unthinkingly, holding them dear and stubbornly refusing to change. When they are big things, like sending armies off to war or letting the defenseless suffer at home, a sl ...

Together, forever

Por |2015-10-22T10:46:57+02:00octubre 22nd, 2015|

For decades the success of the Spanish democratic transition was widely attributed to the ability of so many divergent parts to agree. Instead of digging up the past, setting up tribunals to take the perpetra ...

Pedagogically displeased

Por |2015-09-25T12:35:04+02:00septiembre 25th, 2015|

[quote align="left"]"The mystery is how Barcelonans can be so anxious about innovation, so quick to take up new causes, when they themselves were educated to sit still and fill in the blanks."While Barcelonan ...

City of design

Por |2015-07-10T14:04:36+02:00junio 25th, 2015|Etiquetas: |

[quote align="left"]It does not help that tourists seem to agree, giving their highest rating when polled to the city’s architecture and urban spaceLong-time Barcelona residents are shocked to discover that n ...

Part I. Eixamplism

Por |2015-05-19T12:25:51+02:00mayo 19th, 2015|

“To every outworn shibboleth...he clung with fanatic tenacity.” Robert Boothby A shibboleth, in its original biblical use, refers to a variation in pronunciation used to differentiate between people; once ide ...