I knew coming to a different country would look and feel different but I didn’t know how different. After the many hours of traveling, everyone arrived to our amazing apartments in the neighborhood called L’ Eixample. After everyone settled in, we set off for an adventure through our neighborhood. The day we arrived was a holiday in Barcelona called Whit Monday so the city was pretty empty. Many shops and restaurants were closed due to the holiday. After walking several blocks I was starting to notice many things around me. For instance, the city of Barcelona has a lot of greenery. It is filled with trees that look as if they were painted, drinking fountains that look like fire hydrants to refill water bottles, intimate areas with tables and chairs, and cozy little patios in front of cafes and restaurants for people. In Chicago, we have some parks and open plazas but are far and few between. In addition, an over whelming majority of cafes and restaurants in Barcelona have seating areas outside, unlike Chicago. The patio areas also include all different ages and groups of people like young and old couples, groups of friends, and families. While walking through the neighborhood there were many little grocery stores and pharmacies and a significant amount of them were open 24 hours a day. In Chicago, not much is open 24 hours and if it is, it’s either a Walgreen’s or CVS and/ or fast food restaurants. More interestingly, these stores are like mini versions of fully stocked grocery store. We can purchase freshly baked bread, fruits, and veggies. With most places in Chicago you typically cannot find anything like that in a Walgreen’s or CVS. Barcelona is set up for people in the community come together healthy and happily. Seeing all the residents of the city use all the green spaces, eat fresh foods, and enjoy it together with each other on a patio lifts my mood tremendously. Growing up my family never liked to eat outside in our beautiful backyard or on a patio in a restaurant. When I return back to the United States I want embrace and use more of my local green spaces. In addition to, making memories of exploring more of my neighborhood and find my favorite restaurants, cafes, and markets.
Click here to see the website for the restaurant CASA JAMIE.