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Barcelona Street Scenes

September 24, 2011

I’m a sucker for narrow cobbled pedestrian and cyclist streets.

Barcelona did not disappoint.

The vibrancy of a place is directly proportional to a few key elements:

1) Streets and lanes must be narrow to the point where pedestrian traffic takes precedence over alternate modes of transport.

Ideally, these narrow streets are peppered with small shops offering a wide span of goods and services.  If they are, one does not have to travel great distances to obtain the essentials of daily life.

2) In the event one has to travel more than a few miles, cycle transport should be both available and easy.

These Bicing stands were all over town – rent a bike for a one way trip.  Great idea!

3) Alfresco dining in quiet public squares, alternating with impromptu street entertainment.

4) Visual interest.

These basic elements, when put into play in any human settlement, generate and atmosphere which compels people to live outside and amongst each other.

Social intercourse enhances and enriches our lives.

Art flourishes in this environment, both planned

and impromptu.

Barcelona helped confirm the reason we like Key West, as it has many of the elements which make this Catalan city so attractive.  There are lessons to be learned here, and we’ve learned the pedestrian life is the preferred one – for us, at least.

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