I am here in Barcelona on my way to Monte Carlo to meet with powerful art advisors. I almost didn’t make it as our new travel agent booked Gayle’s ticket as Mrs. Gladstone not realizing her passport still features the name Gayle Newhouse. Our marriage certificate has still not arrived so we have no way to prove that Gayle Newhouse is in fact now Gayle Gladstone. I am not sure exactly how we worked it out, but we had arrived early enough at the airport that we had the extra hour needed to get the ticket rewritten.
So here we are now in Barcelona. I love Barcelona. I lived here in 1966 as a young student as part of a program called School Year Abroad. It is an international school created by the Phillips Academy Andover and Exeter to facilitate language learning and an appreciation of other cultures. The program now has schools in France, Italy and China with thousands of alumni. I was among the first one hundred students to enroll and continue to support this amazing concept in education. I have degrees from Yale College, Harvard University and the University of Salamanca, but none of those educational experiences had as much impact on me as School Year Abroad and living in Barcelona for nine months at the age of sixteen.
Although Barcelona went through major redevelopment because of the 1992 Olympic Games, the center of the city has hardly changed. The city is as vibrant as ever with street life that goes until four in the morning. I love the food, the people and the opportunity to revive my Spanish. Even though Catalan is now the predominant language heard in many of the neighborhoods in Barcelona, everyone speaks and understands Spanish. My daughter married a wonderful Catalan architect this past June so on all my trips to Europe I will be stopping in Barcelona whenever possible. I encourage anyone who has not had the opportunity to visit Barcelona to do so. It truly is one of the best walking cities in the world and the architecture is amazing, not just the organic buildings created by Antonio Gaudi, but the renovated palaces that serve as homes, hotels and even restaurants.
My daughter Tara loves living here and we love having a new family to visit. Who knows, we met yesterday with the representative of one of the leading art galleries of Barcelona, perhaps my new activities representing the calligraphy of Dr. and Master Sha will create even more reasons to return to Barcelona.
Speaking of Dr. and Master Sha, I have two new updates regarding his new international recognition! First, September 21, 2014 is now Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha Day in Lahina Maui, Hawaii! Second, Dr. and Master Sha has received an invitation to become an honorary member of the Club of Budapest. The club works to develop global cultural consciousness to overcome the challenges that humanity is facing. (Learn more about the club of Budapest here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_of_Budapest). Together these new developments are wonderful international recognition for Dr. Sha.
Tags: art, Barcelona, Catalan, Club of Budapest, Dr. and Master Sha, Gaudi, Hawaii, Master Zhi Gang Sha Day in Lahina Maui, Monte Carlo, Phillips Academy Andover and Exeter, School Year Abroad, Spanish, walking