by Jose Kevo
July 12, 2001
First, the huge monument centered in Placa de Espanya was heavily corroded, covered with pidgeon droppings and in severe need of a good cleaning. Just across is the "can't miss" local bullring which was built in 1900 but mostly used for concerts since Catalunyans pride themselves on not participating in bullfighting as do their fellow Spaniards. About the most notable fact of this place is it's where the Beatles played in 1966. Otherwise, it's rather shabby looking, overgrown and a sad neglect of space and history.
Directly behind the bullring without even realizing where I was, I stumbled on to PARC JOAN MIRO; a straight-up dustbowl without a blade of grass on the lot, though they did have some nice palm groves with shaded benches for a break...provided you didn't choke from the blowing dust. Decided to track down the famous Dona i Ocell statue and was disgusted by what I found. This tall, slender serpent looking creation is on the far end of the park in a pool polluted beyond description. Around the area was trash and filth with benches and walls broken up and heavily grafittied.
Decided since I was in the area to check out the PARC ESPANYA INDUSTRIAL, which turned out to be another mistake and disappointment. This was the ultimate showcase of urban decay! Neglect in every sense of maintenence had given way to a polluted, filthy waste of space. Stagnet smells were coming from the waters. Liter and refuse were everywhere. The once magnificent sculptures were badly vandalized; the space-like communication towers lining the promenade appearing to double as ArtDeco condos for street kids fresh off the rails from Estacio Sants across the street.
I don't know how old pictures are other guide books and even literature from the Spain Board of Tourism are using, but this is definitely a forewaring - DON'T PARK HERE!
From journal If I had to live in Europe...