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CITIZENS AND DISTRICTS
by Gabriel Pernau

Les Corts
Maria Dolors Borràs, Needlework teacher.

(…) Maria Dolors' family had lived in the Poble Sec district for some time. Her father had been born in an old farmhouse located where the municipal swimming pools now stand. His family earned its living from a quarry, also owned by them, located in Montjuïc. Her grandfather on her mother's side worked as a shipbuilder. His name was Pickering. "We reckon he was an English sailor who must have settled in Barceloneta", says Maria Dolors.

Les Corts, on the other hand, was a wealthy neighbourhood still under construction in 1973. Maria Dolors and her husband bought their flat for 2.5 million pesetas, just before the first property boom. At that time, after nightfall, the very idea of going down to the street made her uneasy. (…)


Eixample

Joan Múrria, owner of Queviures Múrria.

(…) The progression from candles and chick peas to more exquisite and expensive food was more than a case of intuition. It was the nineteen-seventies. It was clear to Joan Múrria that grocery shops would have to undergo a change just as those in Paris and London were then undergoing. And assuming it as a personal challenge, he began modernising the business which now, on the threshold of the year 2000, is a veritable institution. Queviures Múrria now features as a must for tourists in all guidebooks to the city. It even has its own web page.


Sant Andreu

Imma Planas Mateu, amateur theatre actress.

She cannot even remember the first time she appeared on stage. She must have been six or seven years old, or maybe eight. She used to accompany her mother to the theatre and when she saw her acting, she wanted to be up there acting beside her. As a child, she played all possible roles in the theatre in the lively, working class area which Sant Andreu was then and still is now. Among the parts she plated were a street urchin, a shepherd, an angel and Saint Michael.

(…) Imma Planas was captivated by the stage. "It has magic, a feeling which you either like or dislike. "I like the chance of being a person I would like to have been, or the opposite, a person I would never have wanted to resemble." (…)