Off-the-Beaten Path in Barcelona with cShashona

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Favorite Place to Stay in Barcelona:
There’s a reason Writers like Ernest Hemingway adored the Spanish way of life, and the Hotel Arts is the perfect expression of it. This 5-star seaside hotel has lush gardens, Frank Gehry sculptures and amazing cuisine and ambiance. Nothing has been overlooked, including the building’s iconic architecture, which took 20 years to complete transforming the city’s landscape.

What are the sights and sounds that inspire you as an Artist?  
It’s impossible not to feel sexy and ALIVE in Spain. Remember, this is a country where dinner doesn’t start until 10:00pm, and ends in the wee early hours. The quintessential night on the town means being with friends and family drinking wine; eating tapas; dancing; and listening to music. There’s a natural cool, be free vibe here, which makes it easy to get swept up in the joy of your evening. But don’t be deceived, this is just one aspect to Catalonia. It shouldn’t be overlooked that some of the world’s greatest artists and architects come from here, and the art scene, past and present, is a huge part of everyday city life. There are no shortage of museums celebrating Juan Miro; Antoni Tapeis; Ramon Casas; and of course, Salvador Dali.

If you’re like me and like to travel off-the-beaten path, and learn about the spiritual side of different cultures, you must visit Sant Pere de Besalu, a Benedictine Monastery, was originally founded in 977. It’s hard to describe the energy I felt there, but when I close my eyes and breathe in, I’m easily transported to another time and space.

What did you learn from spending time with the locals?
I had a great time visiting small artisan neighborhoods where the best advice I heard is: “Life is Beautiful. Dive In.”

What’s your go-to signature look while visiting here? 
Barcelona is a cutting-edge city like New York, so I like to experiment with different looks for day and night.  When I’m on-the-go touring museums and other venues I keep it simple in capris, colorful tops and dresses and a great pair of flats and sunglasses. But at night, you must be dressed, which for me means wearing pieces from eponymous jewelry collection blended with couture fashion and a great pair of Louboutins!

Nights in Barcelona inspired my Klaxon Espiègle Necklace, which is one of my signature pieces from my Black Diamond Collection.

It’s a hand-crafted oxidized silver cable chain necklace, which features the wood horn pendant with micro pave black diamonds. The necklace features a goddess charm in silver and pave black diamonds. The free spirit pendant symbolizes protection and love for the wearer. The horns crescent shape captures the illuminating passion and spirit of the moon.

Favorite Dish?
You know the expression, “When in Rome?  …” My favorite dish in Spain is Tapas… beautiful charcuterie, olives, bread, and cheese and other delicacies. I love the concept of sharing small dishes with family and friends, and enjoying it all night long with red wine.

Favorite Memory?
I’m a huge, huge fan of Architect Antoni Gaudi because he had such an appreciation for nature and broke all the rules in design. Although you can see his work throughout the city, I was deeply moved visiting the Basilica de la Familia Sagrada. The church is still under construction and has been for the last century. It actually won’t be finished until 2026.

When it’s completed, the Church will have 18 towers: 12 of the towers will represent the apostles, four of them will represent the evangelists, one will be designated for the Virgin Mary, and of course the last one, the highest one in the middle, will represent Jesus Christ. To date, there are only eight towers.

A fun fact worth noting is that it will take longer to complete Gaudi’s Basilica than the Egyptian Pyramids, and only fifty years less than the Great Wall of China.


Recipe
C Shashona’s Barcelona Style Lamb Chops 

Ingredients 
8 rib lamb chops 
2 eggs
Salt and pepper 
¾ cup unflavored bread crumbs- I prefer homemade 
½ cup olive oil 
Lemon wedge

Instructions:
Beat eggs in large bowl & place lamb chops 1 by 1 in bowl of beaten eggs
Let lamb chops marinate for 1 hour 
Remove the chops and bread them on both sides
Heat olive oil in fry pan and when pan is hot, pace lamb chops 1 by 1 in pan
Cook for 2-3 minute over high heat till brunette color (this is called: frying a brunette”, rather than a blonde color)
With a strainer, transfer chops to a serving dish, and remove paper towels 
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately 

Mike SlabyComment