colin bossen: preacher, writer, organizer

A FOOLISH CONSISTENCY IS THE HOBGOBLIN OF LITTLE MINDS… ~ RALPH WALDO EMERSON

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Mas Comtal

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Last weekend, Sadé and I went wine tasting at a vineyard called Mas Comtal in Penedes. I have been to a couple of different wine tastings before. When I was in Spain about 9 years ago when I visited to a big corporate cava producer. It was fairly unimpressive. It felt like a commercial venture–wine Disneyland. And when I was in France in the summer of 2019, I went to a couple of small...

Walking the CNT’s Streets (or a Tour of Spanish Civil War Barcelona)

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Last week we went into Barcelona and went on a Spanish Civil War walking tour organized by Nick Lloyd and Catherine Howley. It’s been reviewed in the Guardian and other places. In many ways, it has been the best thing we’ve done in Spain: by turns educational, provocative, and emotional. The tour took place almost entirely along Las Ramblas and in the Gothic quarter. It started in Plaça de...

An Accidental Day in Tarragona

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Today was a day that it was a good to have a back-up plan. We went to Barcelona with the intention of taking the train to Zaragoza. Once we got there I found out that we needed to have our passports with us in order to buy non-regional train tickets. Of course, we didn’t have our passports on us so we had to change plans. We ended up taking a regional train to Tarragona, which is where we were...

Sitges

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We are Sitges. We got here last week and we’ll be here for another eleven days or so. We are using it as a homebase while I write and we take a variety of day trips around Catalonia. Sitges is one of those places that’s been described as “the crown jewel of the Mediterranean.” It is a beautiful beach town about 40 minutes South of the center of Barcelona by train (the train leaves every 15...

Kew Gardens

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Kew Gardens has long been one of my favorite places in the world. They are the Royal Botanical Gardens started by George III and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As I mentioned in my post about walking around Oxford, I have always had a soft spot for English gardens. The oldest, like Kew or the Oxford Botanical Gardens, are magical multiple generational projects where the power of what humans can...

London Libraries

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Since my purpose in visiting London was to conduct research, it only seems reasonable that I offer a blog post about the city’s libraries. I spent time at only a fraction of them. There’s probably well over a half dozen libraries that I could have made use of if I had had more time. But, because I was in the city for only two weeks of archival research, I focused my time on two places, the...

Perugia

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I spent last weekend visiting my friend from graduate school Zach Nowak. Zach’s now the Director of the Umbra Institute and invited me to come stay with him. I had never been to Italy before and the combination of seeing an old friend and free housing seemed like a great idea. Zach’s an Italian citizen but he’s originally from Rochester, New York and has a deep love for, and deep knowledge of...

Out and About in Manchester

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While I was in Manchester I was pretty focused on my research and didn’t get to explore the city as much as I would have liked. Several nights, I ate simple meals of jacket (i.e. baked) potatoes in the studio apartment I was renting and either worked on FotoFest or prepared for the further archival research. That didn’t mean that I stayed in the entire time. I also consistently ate lunch out, so...

A Side Trip to Saltaire (or the Commoners Choir)

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The British punk collective Chumbawamba has long been one of my favorite musical groups. While they’re best known for a pop hit they had in the 1990s they actually have an extraordinary range that spans from hard core punk to various kinds of house and techno pop to traditional folk music. I never got a chance to see them live. They broke up about a decade ago so that their members could pursue...

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