Barcelona, Spain – Day 21

July 15, 2015

Today started off with class and then after an hour of regular Spanish, some local students came in and we had a language exchange. Two of us were paired up with two of them and we did four sessions of 15 minutes rotating between Spanish and English so we could both practice. I was pretty nervous about how it would go, but Brooke and I were paired up with two nice girls around our age and I think it went pretty well! I felt like I was understanding them really well and that I was doing a decent job communicating. Their English was good. They have been learning since they were nine years old.

Today I was signed up for another AICAP activity through CEA that I need for my classes thats on gentrification. I’m also writing a paper on gentrification for Contemporary Spain.

In the first part of the activity, the information session, I learned more about what gentrification means. Specifically that gentrification is a socio-spatial change where poor, deteriorated neighborhoods undergo a process of rebuilding and residents are displaced and replaced with middle to upper class, more affluent citizens. Savage and Warde define gentrification as a four step process of (1) displacement of current residents and replacement with higher social classes, (2) new local services and building of new features within the neighborhood, (3) gathering together of people of a certain lifestyle or “consumer preferences”, and lastly (4) private ownership of properties and increased economic value (87). They also state that gentrification can’t be explained purely in economic terms, but is also related to “social divisions of class, gender, and ethnicity” which I think is very key to realize about gentrification (Warde and Savage 71).

El Raval was cool and had a very hipster vibe to it with a lot of thrift type stores everywhere. We also went to the oldest building in Barcelona which is located in El Raval and is an old hospital. They used to keep the sick separated from the rest of Barcelona here. There are a lot of orange trees planted in the courtyard because apparently the smell that protruded from the hospital was horrible.

After the gentrification activity, Brooke and I decided to get some gelato on the way home from De La Creme. Maybe the best gelato I’ve ever had. It was so good! And this place is on the list of top four places for gelato in Barcelona.

Then we went home and changed and went to Pippermint and got some 13 and 6 liter drinks to share amongst a big group of CEA students. The 13 L one was so big!!!! Luckily we had a bunch of people!

Then we went to Opium to see Alesso. It was really fun and Alesso was super good. Since being in Barcelona I’ve been listening to and seeing a lot of EDM DJs, EDM has definitely grown on me. We left around 4 and headed home to get a little sleep before class.

xoxo J