A key component to a good park is if it has a playground. The second component is if it has a swing set large enough for my Argentinian butt to fit in. Lucky for me, Barcelona is home to some of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen.
One of my favorite parks in Barcelona, (besides the Parc de la Ciutadella which is basically Central Park on crack) is the Parc de Joan Miró. My roommate and I stumbled upon its glory while exploring our neighborhood, Eixample, and by exploring I mean walking three blocks down the street from our house.
As an ode to the park, I present to you these 10 compelling reasons for why you should visit the chillest spot (in the vicinity of my neighborhood).
1. The red jungle gym
This red web made up of sturdy metal is where the cool kids hang out. I met a couple of down bitches who were climbing on it after class, and I know they were chill because one of them was wearing polka dot leggings which is just so fashion forward. I didn’t get their number though because they were like eight and probably don’t have phones.
2. The dog park
If I were a dog the highlight of my day would be coming to this park in the afternoon. A sandy area is set aside for dogs of all ages to run around with/hump their friends while their owners smoke cigarettes and watch them play. The dogs in Spain are different than they are in America; they’re scruffier and more down to earth. Recommended for dog lovers.
3. The baby park
It’s like you have to either own a dog or a baby to enter the park, of which I have neither but am definitely open to. If you’re a social outcast and not a huge dog lo
ver, there’s various playgrounds for babies to toddle around that you can admire. The babies of Barcelona are so fucking cute, especially when they’re swaddled in sleeping bags in their stroller and nothing but their faces can be seen. To give you an idea of how cool the baby park is, if Timmy Turner went to Parc de Joan Miró in an episode of The Fairly Oddparents, he would wish to be a baby so he could play on their dope ass playground.
4. The public library
Attached to the park is a lovely public library surrounded by a moat. It’s free to join, but their hours are totally wack. They’re closed on Sundays, open Monday and Saturday from 10am-2pm, and open Tuesday – Friday from 10am – 2pm and 3pm – 6pm. How’s a girl supposed to be on that daily work grind with those obscure times?? Logistically speaking, the library is not live. It is nice to contemplate studying next to a gorgeous park, though.
5. Parc l’Escorxador
In 1979, post Franco’s death (you know, the tyrant whose death brought forth La Movida Madrileña, AKA the countercultural movement characterized by recreational drugs and freedom of expression?), Barcelona’s municipal slaughterhouse was destroyed to make way for the Parc de Joan Miró. The construction of the park and demolition of the meatwork facility was carried out to fill new social needs, but Catalans still refer to the landmark as Parc L’Escorxador to remember its origin.
6. Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird)
Spanish artist Joan Miró, to whom the park is dedicated to, collaborated with Joan Gardy Artigas, a famous ceramist, to create the 22-metre high sculpture located in the upper level of Parc de Joan Miró. The colorful, vibrant, abstract masterpiece stands in a pool of water and is a sight for sore eyes. The artists named the figure Woman and Bird so that there would be no confusion as to what it is supposed to depict. In my opinion, it’s a 22-metre high penis.
7. The bar
You can find approximately four coffee shops on every block in Barcelona, and the park is no exception. Spaniards love their wine and coffee, so it’s no surprise that Parc de Joan Miró includes a bar; and how convenient is it that it’s located right next to the library? After a few hours of being cooped up indoors you can have a study break and saunter back to the library post a beer or two (or three).
8. You never know what you’ll find..
Strolling around the park one fine afternoon I found empty bottles of alcohol that someone littered on a beautiful patch of grass. Appalled, I took it upon myself to act as a civil servant and throw away the glass. On the way to the garbage can a single file line of adorable nursery school kids passed by me, silently judging me for my perceived alcoholism. Ashamed, I threw out the bottles with my head hung low. Inside the trash was a large backpacked that looked like it was filled to the brim with treasure, so being the curious spirit that I am, I opened it. Instead of the bags of cocaine I hoped I would find upon unzipping it, I was instead greeted by a stale, sweaty-boy stench and old gym clothes. Moral of the story: not everyone’s garbage is another’s treasure. Pro tip: always bring purell with you – you never know when you’ll need to sanitize your hands after sifting through garbage cans.
9. The palm trees
Entering this park situated in the middle of a city is incredibly refreshing. The palm trees sprinkled across the sandy ground, and the vibrant flowers peeking out from every corner pulls you out from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona and allows you to self-reflect and appreciate nature. As Henry David Thorough said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” Whether it’s with a blunt in your hand or not, visit this incredible park and enjoy all the beauty it has to offer.
10. It’s absolutely free!
Some of the best things in this world are pricele$$ (but also a lot of the best things cost a lot of money – I hope I am successful and/or marry wealthy).