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By Gabriel Pernau and Carmen Luque

They come from the United States of America, the kingdom of Coca-Cola, skyscrapers and Monica Lewinsky. Theirs is the most powerful country on the face of the planet, an El Dorado yearned for by millions of workers all over the world who would leap at the chance to emigrate to that promised land. Yet sometimes the great empire of the twentieth century fails to live up to the expectations of all its citizens. For one reason or another, thousands of artists, students, entrepreneurs, engineers and business directors seek to satisfy their deepest needs far away from the Stars and Stripes. There are some 4,000 Americans living in our midst.

by Gabriel Pernau

Barcelona boasts a number of large marketplaces, such as Sant Antoni, each of them occupying the area of a whole city block. However, the real Marketplace - with a capital M - of Barcelona is located on the outskirts of the city, in the "Zona Franca". It covers ninety hectares, which equals the roughly square area contained by Casanova, Girona, C˛rsega and Gran VÝa streets. "Mercabana" is the great wholesale marketplace that supplies goods to the shopkeepers of Barcelona as well as those of a large part of Catalonia. Practically all the fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish that we consume have passed through - even if only a few hours - that macro-market. Where the fish trade alone is concerned, the current volume of sales reaches 100.000 tons per year, an amount that accounts for some 80 per cent of the total consumption.

By Anatxu Zabalbeascoa

With his own architecture, Miralles is an excessive man. Brilliant and daring for some, overdone and unnecessary for others, his buildings leave no one indifferent. This 43-year-old Catalan has achieved what all pursue and very few manage to attain: to construct one’s own idiom. He has defeated established architects such as Richard Meier, Michael Wilford and Rafael Vi˝oly. This Barcelona architect has won international renown with the commission to design the future Scottish Parliament.