Shake it Up

25 Mar

Somewhere between wandering the streets of Paris’ Latin Quarter and getting lost in Barcelona’s La Rambla neighborhood, I realized that I had become a gluten intolerant replica of my dead grandpa. I couldn’t pinpoint when it had happened, but some time ago, I’d fallen asleep as 14 year old fun loving black kid in a baseball cap, and woken up a cheap, joyless, crotchety old man.


What tipped me off?


My penchant for inwardly vomiting at excessive displays of public affection. Every storefront felt like a tourist trap, and I found myself shaking my head at anything that cost more than 10 Euro. I’d worked, saved and done all kinds of legwork just so I could not spend my hard earned ducats.

I don’t mind spending money, but I want to feel like I got value for my dollar. There are not many places in Paris that make you feel like you’ve gotten equal value. The Euro in Spain didn’t take you much further, but you at least could walk away from a transaction with your pants still on and your rectum intact.


I doubt I will ever go to France again, and if I do it certainly will not be on my own dime. It is a shame that such a beautiful city like Paris is wasted on such lifeless, vapid,xenophobic malcontents like Parisians. I’m afraid that this is the city that New York City will turn into after all the young artists and brown and black people are pushed out—you know the people that make New York poppin’.

Give it 5-10 years. The wheels are already in motion.

Anyway the last memory I’ll have of Paris is seeing a white guy get pimpslapped by an Arab man. I had stopped long enough to consider getting closer to the show, when I saw the white man reach for something along the small of his back. I suddenly remembered that train I had to catch. Dude got smacked hard though. What a way to start the day.


I’m fascinated by Spain’s bizarre and violent history. As a city they’ve survived Moorish and Arab occupation, dictators, and ethnic cleansing to become the place it is today. Barcelona is a very beautiful city. Its clean (one of the cleanest cities I’ve ever been to), and the metro system is pretty straight forward.The food is fantastic and its easy to navigate.  You can seen the Spanish influence on american cities such as Mexico City, San Francisco, and New Orleans. And the abundance of beautiful women would give NYC a run for its money.

There is no way I’d live in Spain as an African,, Muslim, or Jew. Spaniards may have calmed down, but these are people who used to quarter people  and decapitate dogs. That kind of behavior just doesn’t dissipate into thin air. Historically, Spain is like the Boston Celtics of Imperialism. Their influence is far reaching when you think about how many countries in the world speak Spanish.

The French were either rude, or inconsiderate, but I found Spanish people to be  cold  and dismissive. Often times i’d make eye contact with a citizen and hold it, waiting for a nod or a hello. Often times, neither came. This started to become unnerving by  the 34rd or 4th time this happneed. Where i’m from, if you stare at a person longer than a couple of seconds, then its usually an act of agression or seduction. It put me on edge, and Spain’s attitude towards Africans became increasingly clear (God they must HATE the Moors). After a while i started mean mugging these staring people, my eyes screaming Buenos Fucking Tardes mufucka!


I have to say though, any place with late night eateries and cafes is in theory, alright with me. It was nice to not have to rush out my room at 22:30 in hopes of catching some tapas and espresso. There was one spot I walked into about an hour to midnight, and had one of the best meals I’d had that whole week; a plate of goat cheese covered in sliced veal that was so delicious that I got an erection from every bite.

Other notable things:

  •  Saw a bunch of grown ass men in full FC Barcelona garb throughout my stay in Spain. Interesting how fandom is so different over there. If a man over 21 is wearing a jersey with someone’s name on it, its considered kind of busterish (unless you are autistic of course). I mean you would have thought these cats were equipment managers the way they rock the FC Barcelona gear.
  • I went to the Picasso museum in both Barcelona and in Paris, and the one in Barcelona though slightly cheaper by a Euro; was far superior. There were 3600 pieces in the Spanish location. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me since the man was from Spain, but I was disappointed to find that the infamous Blue period( my favorite Picasso era) was not in the Paris collection. Something I realized though is my dude Picasso was a savage. I hadn’t seen that many uncircumcised penises since my YMCA membership was canceled.
  • The contemporary museum in Barcelona was a nice surprise (I did a bang-bang–going immediately there after seeing the Picasso exhibit). It was relatively inexpensive, but for every cool installation piece, there was some indulgent student art experiment that was supposed to be edgy and provocative, but ultimately could’ve been done by anyone (like a room full TV’s with live static). There were a lot of provocative pieces there that captured or mirrored the politics of the Franco regime .Made me realize that war doesn’t kill creativity, and that although art isn’t a high priority during times of war, there is a place for it. There is still an importance in someone keeping record of whatever is going on in society.
  • New York City has become the standard I judge other cities on. Though world class cities like Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, and Montreal may be socially more progressive, the diversity and culture in NYC is unlike anywhere else. New York is not only the epicenter of America’s pulse, but also of the world’s. I still haven’t been to a place that is as poppin’ as New York (not to mention it is the birthplace of Hip Hop).  It makes you understand why everyone wants to live there (despite the miserable winters and ridiculous rent). Probably the only place in the states worth living for my money.




profile pic b mick  Bobby Mickey is the alter ego of writer and poet Edward Austin Robertson. When he isn’t involved in some basketball related activity, actively looking for parties to deejay or venues to perform comedy, he can be found recording podcasts with Craig Stein at Fullsass Studios. Follow him on twitter @clickpicka79. For booking inquiries, send contact info to 


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