A Rambla Bench is a Second Home

Something that we’re slowly losing in the US is the public space. San Francisco is a gleaming example of how architecture and public works projects are being themed around not allowing the homeless to sleep in them, as opposed to being used for the public at large. This is part of the reason that the current iteration of Union Square looks like little more than the roof of a parking lot, which it basically is.
But in Europe, the public space is only increasing if anything. While in places like the UK, security cameras are becoming more commonplace and oppressive, in Spain it is still the watchful eye of the senior on a bench, keeping track of the goings on in the neighborhood. They’re really there all day, just gossiping with each other about new construction, troublesome grandchildren, and as one trio of old men in Parc Güell put it, “cabrones”. They all have their spots that they cling on to, until there is too much sun, when they move to their “other” spot they will cling on to. If you try to casually occupy one of these spots of theirs, they will indeed chase you off. More power to them. My big hope is that when I’m that age, I can still type, wifi will be even more ubiquitous in some form, and that I’ll have my own bench spot to call my own.
In Figueres, I wrote about how I spend my time. The old folks there spend it on La Rambla. This is not to be confused with the one in Barcelona which is much bigger and much more touristic. As you can see on that map link, the one in Figueres is calm, small and quite relaxing despite the constant thrash of cars that drive on the road that rings it. It’s there you’ll see all the old folks having their day. In a great many ways, I do envy them, even the bitter ones, because a spot on a bench in a place like La Rambla, Figueres is some sign of a life properly lived.
A Rambla Bench is a Second Home