Friday, January 30, 2009

It sooooooo quiet ….

Barcelona appears to be subsiding into a crisis-induced slumber.

We have driven down the main thoroughfare of Avenida Diagonal at 8pm on the last two consecutive evenings. This is rush hour time in Barcelona and normally one of fearful traffic jams– people work late here; yet on both nights, we have sailed down a clear road in minutes.

The economic activity of the city and the region is slowing down rapidly. The car industry is coming to a halt; tourism is down and with it takings in bars and restaurants; construction is finished.

Another major leg of the economy – fairs, conventions and congresses – are also in big trouble. Bread & Butter, the fashion tradeshow is returning to Berlin while the Barcelona car salon has been axed – it’s very much a second tier event, the type that get the chop in a climate like this.

It’s not all gloom. We celebrated Rebecca’s 16th last night in the bar of the Omm Hotel and at El Japones restaurant. Both were humming.

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