I (LOVE) Barceloneta By Casey Giesler. Captain Maritime

EB-From your native Florida to Barceloneta, and travelling around the world for quite a while in the middle. Tell us more about you.

CG-The last twenty-five years of my life have been focused on the sea. Working aboard motor yachts, as well as various commercial vessels, traditional sailing ships, and performance sailing yachts. A paid wanderer or professional vagabond. As a crew member, we are able to spend time in some of the most wonderful places both well-known and completely obscure. Yachties as we are colloquially known tend to live in areas rich with a yachting culture: Antibes, Monaco, Palma, Fort Lauderdale. None of those, or the many other areas felt right. Eventually, I found myself regularly visiting Barcelona with the yacht for work at MB92 or stopping at Port Vell. The city grabbed me immediately and felt like the place to be. A vibrant, historical city with a strong tie to the maritime history. As yacht crew, we tend to frequent the restaurants, bars, and attractions within a short walk of the yacht, which in this case is of course La Barceloneta. Over time I decided this was an area I wanted to base in.

EB-La Barceloneta, what inspires you?. Was this love at first sight?

CG- Haha, I can’t say that all aspects of Barceloneta allowed me to feel love at first sight. Initially, it can be a bit overwhelming with the tourist crowds around the parameters of the barrio. Once I worked my way past the crowds into the heart of the neighborhood, I fell in love with how unique it is. In ways, it feels like a small village amongst the larger city. A very local feeling to many of the businesses, squares, bars, and cafes. And I love that aspect of it. In other parts of the city, one can just feel as though they are just another member of the crowd. In Barceloneta, everyone seems to have a story and belong.

EB-  Did you know that La Barceloneta was sea before being land?

CG- The expansion of Barcelona is a fascination of mine. From the expansion beyond the old city walls to the development of what was a few rocks into a large peninsula which is now Barceloneta, the ports, and a majority of the city’s seafront. If you spend too much time in Barceloneta, it is hard to imagine that Barcelona is actually a city built amongst the hills.

EB- How would be your ideal day in the neighborhood?

CG- A brief swim to start the day, especially in the winter when the water is much more invigorating. A coffee down at Baluard Cafe. Later some time down on the beach. A beer and snacks at Bodega Fermin And an evening eating at one of the many great restaurants.

EB- Describe where you live by using only one sentence.

CG- Recently moved to Eixample, but I miss living off Plaza Del Mar every day!

EB- 3 things to improve.

CG- 1. Cleanliness of the beach and water. / 2. Sense of petty crime. / 3. Beach salesmen.

EB- 3 things that are unbeatable.

CG- 1. The immediate connection to the sea. /2. Variety of high-quality small restaurants, bars, cafes, etc in such a small area. / 3. The people of Barceloneta.

EB- None in the neighborhood is a foreigner but all of us are descendants from foreigners. Did you notice this?

CG- Yes, this must be why it is such an accepting community. Everyone has a story and still feels that they belong.

EB- Do you think we value enough what we have here? Quite often Spanish people feel less but I believe is because we don´t travel enough so we can appreciate what we have here. What do you think?

CG- I would say that the heart of La Barceloneta can be easily overlooked, which also allows it to retain a certain charm. Many people, both locals and tourists venture down to the beach and return to the city afterwards without fully exploring what the barrio offers. I am sure that those in Barceloneta appreciate what they have.

EB- Where would you take me to have a good paella?

CG- We aren’t going for paella. But I will gladly meet for a Fideua at Can Ross!

…. let’s go then!

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