Amarre 69

One of my favorite restaurants here in Barcelona is one that I feel is often overlooked. I actually stumbled upon Amarre 69 by accident with some friends back in March. We had spent a majority of the day at the beach and after watching the sunset, we were all starving after having lost track of time. We opted for a restaurant right by the beach that  looked warm and inviting, and had displayed a menu with a lot of different options for our varying tastes.

We sat at a comfortable table outside and even though it was a bit chilly, the outside heaters, along with the complimentary blankets and seat cushions made it more than comfortable and toasty enough for our meal. The outside sitting area was decorated with plants and soft lighting to tie in the inside and outdoor area and was extremely pleasant, and aesthetically pleasing, and ultimately led us to the restaurant in the first place. After all, there are a row of what seems like endless restaurants by Barceloneta, but Amarre 69 stood out. With it’s vibrant sign, lit candles, and funky furniture, it caught our eye.

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I was with three of my friends from America, who were visiting me for their Spring Break. Although the menu had a variety of delicious options, I decided we first needed a pitcher of Sangria, and some Patatas Bravas to start us off, after all, we are in Barcelona.

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My friends, of course, loved both of my choices. Then, it was time for entrees. Two of the girls ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, that came complete with avocado, mozzarella, and basil, and raved about it. My other friend, Nicole, ordered just the nachos as her entree! It may seem a bit strange to order as a meal, but she is a nacho fanatic and when her large dish arrived topped with cheddar cheese, jalapeños, fried beans, spicy sauce and guacamole she could not hide her excitement. According to her, they tasted even better than they looked! Lastly, I ordered the Cheeseburger.Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

And I can honestly say, IT WAS THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER HAD. The
cheeseburger was almost the size of my head, stacked with gooey cheese, onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato and finally topped with an egg, with the yolk runny, my mouth, along with everyone else’s at the table completely dropped when it was put in front of me. Although I had a lot difficulty trying to fit the monstrosity into my mouth, it was more than worth it. The burger was juicy, perfectly seasoned, and the numerous toppings only added to it. I made my friends try it too; and it was, in fact, the best burger they had ever had as well.

 

 

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We enjoyed Amarre69 so much we ended up going inside to grab some drinks at the bar, and spotted a comfortable sectional in the back corner which we lounged at while a live guitarist performed in the corner! It was quite a unique, fun, and young atmosphere, and would highly recommend it to anyone, especially after a day at the beach!

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Ana Lopez

According to Ana Lopez’s twitter bio, she describes her occupation as “Communication, Marketing, and PR at Lopez Nosey, journalist and anthropologist” As if that description isn’t enough in itself, it only grazes the surface of who she is and what she does.

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Ana Lopez visited our class on Wednesday April Fourth to discuss who she is and what she does, and I was thoroughly impressed. In her years she has been a part of some of the largest campaigns and succeeded in various fields.

What was especially interesting about Ana’s career is that she was at the forefront of digital media essentially. When she began at her first company, Estrella Damm, in 2009, social media was barely in use. She had learned essentially to do PR “the old fashioned”, or traditional way and without the use of websites such as Facebook, or Twitter. However, she was just in that time slot when social media began to get more popular and she used it to her advantage to market Estrella in a way it had never been done before. The times were changing, and instead of falling behind Ana Lopez made it her goal to bring Estrella Damm forward with it.

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In 2009, there was “no digital marketing department, or digital team” at Estrella Damm, it was just her, alone, as the Digital Manager. She decided to take a leap and create a three minute long music video for their Estrella’s 2009 campaign that perfectly exemplified the company’s brand territories such as “music and culture, friendship, gastronomy, party time” The video was shot in a beautiful location, Formentera, which was an excellent background for the fun filled video portraying the partying, friendly, and fun experience their drink accompanies.

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The campaign was an amazing success. Just after one video, the company’s brand awareness went up by 225% in the summer of 2009 alone. The video reached 2,500,000 views that summer, strictly on the newly created Estrella Damm Youtube Channel. The song used in the video, “Summercat” by Billie The Vision & The Dancers-a once unheard of Swedish group became the number one most downloaded song in Spain that summer. And the location of the video, Formentera became the preferred destination that year. And all of this mass reach and influence was the result of one single three minute long video, created, directed, and formed by the one and only, Ana Lopez.

Ana’s approach was absolutely genius. She saw the opportunity that the newly created social media sites gave their company and all companies frankly in terms of advertising.  Ana was the first person, and Estrella Damm, the first company which used the internet, specifically Youtube, to make a music video to entice customers. It was a complete smash, and it was only the beginning.

Following the 2009 video, Estrella Damm realized the incredible effect and impact that social media could have for their company. Estrella Damm began growing their social media presence, and in addition of expanding Estella Damm’s Youtube channel, Ana Lopez created the company’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram amongst many others-from the ground up, completely by herself. Essentially, Ms. Lopez created Estrella Damm’s entire social media personality in Spain in the years following 2009.

In 2015, Estrella Damm created another video, this time a 10 minute long short film. Ana, who had always worked alone, became in charge of a team of thirty plus individuals inside and outside the company. The video had 6,500,000 in 2015 alone; was awarded by Youtube as the best campaign in Spain, and increased brand awareness by 5% in Spain, and 30% in Spain.

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The figures are impressive enough, but what is truly incredible is all that Ana Lopez was able to accomplish for Estrella Damm and for herself, in such a short period of time simply through the use of social media. 2009 offered the new opportunities that social media websites such as Youtube offered, and Ms. Lopez saw this and used it for her and the company’s advantage incredibly.

After her many accomplishments and much success, Ana Lopez left Estrella Damm and began her own digital agency, La Lopez, as well as opened La Lopez Cafe, a “cafe to enjoy homemade food…a place for creativity and culture…and a network itself.” It seems that the possibilities for Ms. Lopez are endless, and I look forward to see what else she does in her career!

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Ana Lopez and company enjoying some homemade food at La Lopez Cafe

Valenti Sanjuan

Valenti Sanjuan is a multifaceted with many interest and uses social media to broadcast just that. Originally beginning with short comedy shows on Youtube, Valenti Sanjuan had a great presence on screen and his comic bits received a lot of attention and praise. Having been one of the first people to live steam a comedy show, Valenti saw an opportunity for mass viewing via a free server that people used everyday. He was quoted during a presentation in front of our class saying one of his goals was to be one of the “Best storytellers on Youtube”

With more praise, and his continuously growing Youtube personality, Valenti began using his channel to expand it to include other interests. He began doing extreme athletically strenuous competitions such as “iron man” and documented it via his Youtube channel. He established himself, and his brand “Valenti Sanjuan” as an entertaining, lively, energetic, adventurous, and passionate storyteller.

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He became so successful in what he did that large brands actually pay him to endorse their products and use them in various parts of his videos. Hence, the brand continued.

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And that was only the beginning. Valenti continuously finds new material to keep viewers entertained, and I believe one of the reasons for his success is the authenticity which he has with his work. One project he showed us that I found especially powerful was his documentation of him pushing a woman in  Barcelona Marathon who suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Not only was the video touching in itself, the way he described it in class was what really struck me. He didn’t talk about her condition or how difficult it was to physically push someone 26 miles, he talked about her as a person, how beautiful she was and how amazing it was to get to know her during their journey together.  And that’s one of the best things about his job, the people you meet and the stories you hear, and being able to share them and broadcast to thousands of people around the world.

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Valenti is extremely interesting in that he’s truly one of a kind. He took what he was passionate about and what he enjoyed-comedy and sports-two completely unrelated topics and combined them to make it work for him. The underlying passion and interest is the same in everything he does which is what makes it so entertaining. However, he was able to create this own “brand” or image which supports all facets of his life and that’s what makes him truly unique. He loves what he does and it is seen in his work. I look forward to seeing what else he comes out with. I may have to make a Youtube account just to follow him!

 

Da Greco

I found a little piece of Italy right here in Barcelona, and it is called Da Greco. Upon my family’s arrival this past weekend, I was looking into new restaurants to try in Barcelona. My mom, brother, and myself, all love Italian food so I figured I would narrow down my search with that. While looking online, I stumbled upon a restaurant called Da Greco, and although they didn’t have an official website, it was continuously talked about extremely positively on Yelp, Facebook and other restaurant review sites. I decided to look up the menu and found some of their popular dishes on Foodspotting. They all looked delicious so I called and made a reservation for Friday night.

My family and I arrived at nine pm, to an intimate, white furnished building, completed with pleasant mood lighting, and elegant Italian decor. We were sat almost immediately despite the crowded, business of the restaurant, and I was evidently pleased with myself for making a reservation ahead of time.

Our waiter was both friendly and attentive, and spoke English very well which helped a lot. Everything on the menu sounded absolutely delicious, and I struggled to make a decision. I was torn between the  Gnocci al la sorretina, Fettucine al gorgonzola, and Spaguetti a la putanesca originally. However, I continued to change my mind before finally  deciding upon the Risotto al parmigiano.

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I realized my earlier struggle to decide what to order was unnecessary once our waiter brought us our food; and this was for two reasons. One, upon trying my parmesan risotto, I knew I had make the right decision. And secondly, Da Greco does an incredible thing that makes it unlike any restaurant I have ever been to before.  For each entree the table orders, a plate is brought to each person with samples of everyone else’s dish. Having to ask people to try their food, and then awkwardly attempting to transport a bit of your food to another or vice versa, was no longer an issue. I got to try every member of my family’s food and it was arranged neatly on a plate personal prepared just for me.

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My mom ordered Raviolis con setas ceps y queso parmigiano (top left), my brother ordered the Spaghetti putanesca, and my dad not much of a foodie, simply ordered Spaghetti with pesto. Although all distinct and delicious in their own sense, my risotto was by far the best, and both my brother and mom agreed. The creamy, thick parmesan sauce of the risotto was so rich, I had trouble finishing it all. Luckily, my family was more than willing to help out. Although extremely full from our entrees, we all decided to split one dessert, and ordered per suggestion of our waiter, the Tiramusi. It, just like everything else was absolutely wonderful, stacked high with light whipped cream that complimented the coffee flavoring perfectly, the dessert was a great  ending to an already memorable meal.

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