A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Uptown Dandy in Barcelona

It must be true that the rain in Spain falls mainly in the Plains, because it has been all blue skies and wonderful weather since we landed here on Friday.

I was hoping to see Lionel Messi and the talented Barcelona football team in action, but unfortunately the team is away for the rest of the week. I had to settle for a trip to the local bar to watch the Sunday evening match against Real Racing - it seems like most of the neighborhood dropped in to see the match. It was a lot of fun and an experience in and of itself.

Sartorially speaking, there is quite a bit to see here. The Passeig de Gracia has a quite a few wonderful shops. Two that stood out were the Carmina store and Bel Y Cia. Carmina has a wonderful little shop here at the end of the Passeig, a quiet little refuge from the hustle and bustle on the street.

I have heard so much about the company's shell cordovan offerings that I thought this would be too good of an opportunity to pass up. I eventually left with a lovely split toe loafer on the Forest last. The shell cordovan is a rich dark brown with just a trace of burgundy called Burdios or Bordeaux. I'll post some pics once I'm back home.

Bel Y Cia is also a lovely shop at the other end of the Passeig, at No. 20. There were two store fronts with one shop for men and one for women. In keeping with a plaque on the street commemorating the shop's 150 years of service to residents of Barcelona, the store has an old world charm befitting its status.

 When I passed by, the doors were closed and the curtains were drawn - I thought perhaps it was closed for siesta. But when I tried to open the door, a buzzer rang and let me in. I'm glad it did because, among other things, the store's collection of Edward Green shoes were impressive to behold. B&C had a unique stock of F width shoes, which was impressive by itself, but the models were lovely and included leather, rubber, and something I'd never seen before called a "rain" sole - a thin vibram-like sole made by Edward Green on a few select models, presumably at B&C's request.

I also came across a lovely Sombreria, although at this point I could not even tell you where it was  - somewhere in the old city. An impressive collection of Stetson's and Borsalinos were on display there. I'll share some pictures next week.

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