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Old 10-29-11, 04:51 AM   #1
Irina
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New Orleans
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Love Barcelona and Madrid (oct 2011 update)

I want to share my experience before I start forgetting - I am getting kinda senile and forget names of streets really fast...Here it goes.

BARCELONA.

La Rambla is closed for street performing without a licence. It got totally commercialised - there's just souvenier booths, tables for overpriced food and booze, and kiosks selling baby-animals!!!! (where are Spanish animal-rights activists?) The dumb managers put all caricature artists in one spot, and in the end closer to the beach they put stalls for crafters paying rent. There are 5-7 human statues proudly displaying their city permits....I saw Guardia Urbana (cops) closing the sweet puppetier from Raval - he had awesome small puppet show for kids, I saw him before near The Cat, but cops were kicking him out La Rambla because he did not have a permit. (I started to take pictures and they dissapared). There's also a ballon guy walking around - the first thing he said to me was "Policia problema?" ...I did not even try to work there - I was loooking for good memories, not hussle!

Portal D'Angel - (not sure about spelling) - pedastrian street starting at Plaza Catalunya at an angle from La Rambla - lots of space and large circle shows. I saw acrobats, dancing reggae band, opera singer, it seems it's OK to work there, but I do not know the relationship between buskers - how they share the space, they were all local, no international acts.

Plaza Catalunya - I worked there during La Merce, but it did nor work for me on a regular weekend...There are a lot of families with kids feeding pigeons, it may work for a circle show for kids.

Ciutadella Park/Zoo. No hussle, but no business either. Totally packed for La Merce, very little crowd on regular weekend.

Magic Fountain/Catalunya Art museum. Several muisicans near Museum. check Magic Fountain Scedule - it goes after dark and has loud music, but it is totally packed, may work for balloon-twister or "gypsy caricaturist"...

Metro. Musicians on every stop and betwem stations.

Park Gruell (Gaudi Park). Tonns of cops closing Middle Eastern men selling 1 euro fridge magnets. Band in the space behind the salamnder - under mosaic ceilings. Awesome acoustic.. Musicians here and there all over the place. Coolest living statue I saw in Barcelona - the guy has salamander mosaic costume and 2 mosaic hats on his hands, people take pictures with him, he sure has a permit - cops do not bother him...

Gothic Quarter. A lot of musicians, but I saw Guardia closing a magic bubble guy from Israel during La Merce at night. Tonns of cops. it seems like they tolerate musicians - but nobody else. Most of the streets are too narrow to work anyway...

Barcellonetta Beach. Musicians, tonns of illigal vendors, I have not seen any shows - but it is a possibility on weekends and during special events, there are a lot of folks there. Traders walk around the beach selling clothes and massages.

Sitges. This is a beach town near Barcelona, famous for gay/artsy scene and much better beaches then in the city. Traders and poi-spinning hippies. No hussles.

Figueres Dali Museum - 2 hour ride from Barcelona. Huge tourist crowds - and just a jazz-playing sax-guy and some really boring artists...Uncharted territory! This place is sooo in need of a surrealistic street show to please Dali Spirit! (he's burried there) Perfect for 1-time 'occupation" with video-cameras and getting arrested as a part of the show - they turned this place into a commercial tourist-trap, and it is supposed to be a spontaneous theatre...Great place to make a scandal and get a lot of publicity on youtube.
(Dali Spirit will applaud)

MADRID.

I was there for 2 days as a tourist, did not bring any props, and regretted it, as 1 day is enough for for sightseeing in Madrid - it is not as pretty as Barcelona... (I did the Tourist Bus, totally worth 20 euros and Prado is free after 5 pm)

The best pitch in Madrid for kids entertainers is Retrivo Park behind Prado - reminds me of Central Park Zoo in Dinkins Days - tonns of small shows, if you are a ballon-twister or face-painter - you'll make a killing...Lake is the best, Crystal House has big crowds too, musicians on the alleys - no hussle, great pitch.


Plaza Major. Really hot, no shade, huge crowds, no hussles. Amature balloon-twisters in Disney costumes (I heard it is some Russian mafia business, importing East European students to Europe and US) Guys dressed as babies in carridges making silly noises. Guys dressed as fuzzy creatures moving around and making silly noises. Flamenco costumes on sticks - "take a picture in a costume" for a tip...Tourist office behind the statue has free Internet but no bathrooms. They speak English and are very helpful. Cops do not speak English and do not bother buskers. To sell stuff or paint portraits you need a permit.

SOL. Huge square with pedastrian shopping streets coming out of it. All circle shows are on these streets during the day (shade), and they crawl into the SOL after sunset. You can't walk on SOL at night - wall to wall people. No hussles. Living statues, mariachi singers, jugglers etc etc

Embarjodero Market. Every Sunday 10- 3pm on Embarjodero street. Wall to wall people - 10 blocks of vendors selling cheap stuff. Tonns of kids.These are locals - not many tourists know about it. No place for circle shows, I would do really well if I had my paints. Do not work there for tips - this is cheap crowd, but huge traffic...

Royal Palace. I saw some musicians there at night - great harp-player in a beautiful costume, some jazz musicians...I do not know what's the deal, but there's a lot of security, i would not suggest juggling knives or doing anything threatening in any way - it is really Spanish King's Palace ( he does not live there, just uses it for formal occasions)...

If I remember more details, I will add - just want to share these places with folks who may be traveling in Spain, save you some time looking for places to workk.. Peace Yall.
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