Category Archives: Barcelona

Barrio boys

Plaça dels Àngels in El Raval, Barcelona is a perennial favourite of  skateboarders and street drinkers. Many of the skateboarders seem to be getting on a bit now – closer to 30 than to 18. It’s hard to say what age the street drinkers are, though I guess younger than they look. The combination of harsh Spanish sun and countless cartons of Don Simon would I’d imagine be unforgiving to the complexion. At night as the local shops close the two groups are joined by a third group made up, it seems exclusively, of Pakistani men who are there to sell cans of Estrella beer to the other users of the Plaça. They spend the night working whilst the skate boarders spend the night hurling themselves and their wheeled wooden boards at a low wall, and the street drinkers drink and shout. It’s a typically polarised Barcelona scene. The people with dark skin standing and waiting on those with paler skin; the street drinkers – somewhere out of the equation in a universe of their own making. I wonder if these independent beer vendors watching the skaters, like those other independent vendors who carefully pick their way through the pale skinned bodies attempting to become darker sprawled on beaches, ever feel that leisure time is wasted on those that have it.