Wednesday, October 1, 2014


It's a known fact that a vacation is an education as well as an escape. A recent trip to Barcelona underscored the realization that nobody has sole rights over anything—including an historical day.

For some of us in New York, September 11 is still raw. For others, it's so over. But for other citizens of the world, especially in Barcelona, Spain, 9/11 is National Day of Catalonia, commemorating September 11, 1714, when the Bourbons defeated the Catalans in the Siege of Barcelona. Three centuries later on 9/11 (11/9 in European parlance), Catalonians came out in full force, wearing tee shirts in the national colors and sporting flags as if they were capes.

As Catalonia's push for independence continues, we in the US continue to try to sift through the effects of our September 11. I wonder if it will take us 300 years.

The symbol of Catalonia appeared everywhere, including in pastry shops, this one in the Bari Gotik (Gothic Quarter).

Fashionable demonstrator (Bill Cunningham would have had a field day).

Buildings draped in Catalonia's arresting (and chic; see above) flag.

Crowds at Placa Sant Jaume, at the Palace of the Generalitat (the government of the Autonomous Community of Catalunya).

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