>Quina Vergonya

>The “Rambla”, singular, “Las Rambles” or “Les Ramblas”, as they are collectively known, constitute perhaps the most famous street in Barcelona. Although to the naked eye there is simply one long street descending from mid-town Barcelona to the sea, in popular parlance there are different qualities and histories to each section. There is the “Rambla of the Students” for example, near the university, or the “Rambla of St. Monica” near the old convent of that name. The wide, central pedestrian section changes as one walks along, from newspaper kiosks to street performers, to bird sellers, etc.

Now the independent-socialist city counselor for the historic district, architect Itziar González, has helped to bring about several changes to the Ramblas which will change the character of the place permanently. Although moving the street performers down closer to the seafront is not necessarily a bad thing, 9 of the 10 bird stalls on the Ramblas – where birds have been sold for over 150 years – will be eliminated due to fears over cruelty to animals. This will have a detrimental effect on the character of the place, which has always attracted children, and have no impact whatsoever on the pickpocketing and crowding problem which has always plagued the Ramblas.

Unfortunately that is Barcelona, and indeed Spain, in today’s age, when as has often occurred in its past, sense and reason have parted company. No doubt soon enough Ms. Gonzalez, being a good leftist, will have contraceptive vending machines installed next to the Font de Canaletes and taxes herself for her own carbon emissions when she farts. So to those readers visiting Barcelona between now and the end of the year, make sure to photograph the bird sellers while you can, since come January they will all be gone but for a token representative.

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