‘Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder’ suggested E.B. White. Isn’t is the best advise both a fellow traveller and a casual urban dweller can get? Probably there isn’t any other city in Europe so rich in wonders like Barcelona. Madcap graffities, breath-taking bas-reliefs, tiny squares girded by the orange trees lit with sun, weird bars and galleries hide where you least expect them.

But the little city wonder I treasure the most is an ordinary grocery shop run by a Chinese family in el Born. At first sight there is nothing that would distinguish it from the tens of other grocery shops in the area – same earthy mountains of potatoes and green rows of artichokes. Now if you please stop gazing at the strawberries and take a look on the wall behind the cashier. Yep, that’s right, this is a huge picture of Woody Allen with the workers of the shop.

This is the time and the place – certainly unexpected – when life and art meet. The story has it that during the shooting of ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ Woody Allen was staying in the apartment nearby. He frequented the shop and was on a matey terms with the employees. According to the laws of every good story, the employees shared with funny strange American (whom they of course did not recognize!) that the store was about to close for good due to the financial troubles. And, as in every good story, Woody liked the store so much that he actually bought it from the owners only to give it back as a present.

When I first visited the shop and heard the story I could not stop thinking how awesome it could be to run into Woody Allen while doing grocery shopping. I think I would overcome the shyness and actually invite him for a borsch. And you know what, I think he would even come.

 

Anka
Film scholar and a tango fanatic, I was born in 1983 in the gloomy cold place called Estonia. I first visited Barcelona three years ago. The colors, the sounds, the smells, and the inimitable vibe of the city – it did not take long for Barcelona to put its spell on me! ‘This is a city I want to live in’, a thought kept spinning through my head while I was jostling through the endless flow of crowd at La Rambla. So now its your turn! Do yourself a favor, get on a plane/train/bus/car and let this city do its magics!

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