Just before I went to Barcelona, one of my readers gave me a list of things to see. At the top of the list was La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, two famous landmarks that the architect Gaudi never managed to finish. Slightly further down the list was "Beach," immediately followed by "Titties at Beach."
Los Altos can learn a lot from Barcelona. For instance, Lincoln Green ought to be topless. We can work out the details later, but I think it's an idea that at least needs some studying.
(The same reader, who has requested to remain anonymous, saw the photo and right and suggested that 18-year-old Brazilian girls are likely more sexually experienced than I'll ever be, so I shouldn't worry about looking like a pervert.)
In addition to titties, Barcelona features its very own separatist movement, not too surprising considering that Spain was fighting off military coups as recently as the 1980s. In fact, the city does a pretty good impression of the third world -- the grocery stores are sorely lacking, the locals speak a strange dialect, and the place is crawling with sex tourists. Sure, they don't call themselves that, but how else do you explain the popularity of Porto Olimpico -- the strip of tourist clubs at the site of the 1992 Olympic Village. It is a place where you can memorize the words to Shakira's latest song in the course of 20 minutes even if you're not paying attention, and people freely sing along to The Weather Girls. While I was there, I couldn't help thinking of Hunter S. Thompson's description of Circus Circus from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: "what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis has won the war. This is the Sixth Reich."
Of course, the subway system still puts anything in the U.S. to shame -- cars are air conditioned, run frequently, and arrival times are displayed on an electronic screen. You gotta hand it to those fascists, they did public transit very well.