Barceloneta, beyond the beach
Barcelona is a puzzle of little villages, each piece is a district. Barceloneta is one of these piece. One of the most fascinating and one of the least known, at least with respect to the area beyond the beach and the restaurants touting for trade on Passeig de Joan de Borbó.
La Barceloneta was constructed during the 18th century for the residents of the Ribera neighborhood who had been displaced by the construction of the Ciudadela of Barcelona, where now there’s a park. The neighborhood is roughly triangular, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. La Barceloneta‘s beach gained notoriety as “the best urban beach in the world” and overall “third best beach in the world”, according 2005 Travel Channel show Worlds Best Beaches.
La Barceloneta is known for its sandy beach and its many restaurants and nightclubs along the boardwalk. Amongst the attractions on Barceloneta‘s beach are German artist Rebecca Horn’s “Homenatge a la Barceloneta” monument, and, where the beach gives way to the Port Olimpic, Frank Gehry’s modern “Peix d’Or” sculpture.
But inside the neighborhood there are many little treasures and an authentic atmosphere, made up of fishermen and port workers, which it’s difficult to breathe in others parts of the city.
Negra y Criminal, a book shop specializing in crime and Noir novels, is one of that treasures. Building on the inter¬national popularity of local crime writers such as Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, they organize the annual BCNegra festival taking place this year from February 1st through 9th, bringing international authors to Barcelona to celebrate the genre. Fans of the dark and grisly are well catered for here, and if a crime author isn’t available in this shop, they’re probably not worth reading. The owners are knowledgeable and passionate, and it’s everything a good bookstore should be. Every Saturday morning they offer fresh mussels and white wine to visitors.
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