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Closing Time isn't Always Bad

Here in Barcelona, there is always a point in the day when stores, restaurants, and businesses close for about four hours in the afternoon. During those four hours, owners take time to grab food, run errands, and sometimes take a "siesta," or a short nap, before reopening later.

This week, my friends and I decided to explore the El Born neighborhood (my favorite neighborhood in Barcelona), which consists mainly of alleys, small restaurants, and tiny independent businesses. We strolled through El Born, only to realize we had arrived directly in the middle of the "siesta" time gap. We were somewhat disappointed until we realized the alleys had become an exposition for graffiti and murals. As we walked, I was able to photograph some interesting doors that would eventually fold back into the wall shortly after.

 Eerie eyeball.

Every door told a different story, some more than others. Some were creepy, like this eyeball, while others made my friends and I laugh or smile.
 Art at the end of the alley.

Each time we took a turn, another door would greet us with vibrant colors and shapes.
 A juxtaposition of graffiti style.

This door looked as if two artists had gone in on a joint-project. This was interesting and playful.
 A smile near la catedral de Santa Maria del Mar

Nearing the end of our exploration afternoon, we stumbled upon this beauty. Something that spoke to all of us in a way we couldn't describe. This little girl stared at us with the sweetest smile, so I snapped a quick shot to keep with me. The colors made the semi-gloomy afternoon bright and happy.
 A collage of paper sketches and paint.

The artistry and intention that went behind each of these doors made for an afternoon of more than just shopping and walking around. We were able to see a part of Barcelona that only reveals itself at certain times of the day, and spoke wonders of the creativity in this city. I challenge you to find a door during siesta that excites you in Barcelona, like these did for me or explore your city, and maybe you'll stumble upon something inspiring.

Kathleen McPherson is the Fall 2015 CEA MOJO Photographer in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a junior at University of Tennessee Knoxville.

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