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drive-change-maple-drizzled-grilled-cheese-food-truck-nycThe Drive Change NYC food truck promotes social justice for formerly incarcerated youths while providing amazing maple-based foods. Image via Drive Change.

New York

The first-ever food truck for social change is about to begin its rounds around Manhattan and Brooklyn. According to Brooklyn Based, founder Jordyn Lexton saw an opportunity to promote social empowerment using food trucks. Drive Change NYC trains and employs formerly incarcerated youths in an effort to combat the high rate (66 percent) of youth offenders who return to prison within a year of release. Drive Change’s first truck––Snow Day––is set to launch the first week of November. With goods including maple-drizzled grilled cheese sandwiches and maple-bacon donuts, Snow Day is a truck worth actively searching for.

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new york city-canned air-daily what-untapped cities-002Canned Air from New York City – on sale on Etsy for $10 (by photographer Kirill Rudenko)

With all the talk of the guy selling rocks from Brooklyn, we were reminded of this Etsy listing by Prague-based photographer Kirill Rudenko selling Canned Air from various cities. These $10 cans of air have various positive effects, as the listing describes, each can “relieves stress, cures homesickness 
and helps fighting nostalgia.”

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Some of the most exciting cities are those that have their own unique aesthetic, adopting a feel at odds with the rest of their country. Barcelona for us is such a place, wildly individual and almost visually overwhelming. Famously inspired by Antoni Gaudí’s creations as well as influenced by its Catalan history, it walks its own pioneering path.

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Untapped Cities - City Diaries by Lapin - Mercat dels Encants Barcelona

Mercat dels Encants is one of the oldest markets in Europe. Certain references set its origin in the fourteenth century, being a testimony of the commercial dynamic of Barcelona.

When you start walking around this flea market you cross among the nice dusty smell of old books, sizzling sounds of old vinyl, old clothes, shoes, toys and furniture with lots of stories behind them – and this famous old salesman standing there for years with his own stories.  (more…)

Untapped Cities - Lapin - Plaza Catalunya - Barcelona

Plaça de Catalunya is the “center” of Barcelona. At least when you arrive at the airport all the signs lead you there, and the aerobus will drop you off at Plaza Catalunya as well. As it is perceived so touristic and hectic, local Barcelona people mostly avoid being there.  (more…)

Roller Dancer: Barcelona

11/01/2012 at 11:00 am

 

Roller dancer, Skate Lisa, at Barcelona’s Hotel W Spot. Photo by photographYeah.

Michelle Barrios spent her weekends from the age of around eight or nine at El Patà­ ­n Dorado (The Golden Skate), a giant lit up roller-skating rink in Panama City, Panama. There she taught herself to roller dance (a combination of skating and dancing). She didn’t have a teacher, but instead used the passion her parents had given her for dance–they were always the first on any dance floor, anywhere, when the music was good–along with moves she picked up in dance class with her sister Indra. “The feeling of sliding the wheels to the music is indescribable,”  says Barrios. El Patà­ ­n Dorado closed when Barrios was 16 and it wasn’t until later in life that she returned to her roller dancing roots.

Michelle Barrios, BCN Roller Dancer creator, manager and brand ambassador. Photo by Juan Novakosky Photography.

The 41-year-old visual designer, who moved from Panama to Madrid and then to Barcelona, is creator, manager and brand ambassador of BCN Roller Dancer, a company she started in July 2011 to promote roller dance culture in the Catalan capital. “This is completely new for almost everybody here, as this is not part of the culture. This [roller dance] is a strong culture in cities in the USA (Venice Beach, NYC, Detroit…) and in Europe the strongest community is in London,”  Barrios says.

Curious to see what the world outside Central America had to offer, Barrios moved to Madrid in 1999. In 2001, while exploring the streets of Spain’s capital, she got back into roller-skating. She opened a MySpace account in 2004 under the name “Roller Girl” -the account is now called Rizadeira/Michelle Roller Dancer, after Barrios realized that Roller Girl was the name of a porn star. Through the page she made connections with skaters throughout the world, but mostly those living in the U.S.

Roller dance was made popular during the ’70s and early ’80s in the U.S. thanks to skilled skaters like Bill Butler. Butler is known as the Godfather of Roller Boogie and started funky soul skating at Brooklyn’s Empire Skate Rink. He now hosts The Bill Butler Jammin’ Show online and has been described by Barrios as “incredible and unstoppable.” 

Barrios moved to Barcelona in 2006 after falling for the city and its sportier lifestyle and skater friendly pavement while at a weekend design conference there. “Barcelona is a paradise for wheels: Long boards, skateboards, bicycles,”  she says. From June 2010 to 2011 she worked, without remuneration, with the Roller Disco BCN project, which organized roller skate parties. Due to differences that arose within the group, she left and started her own venture, BCN Roller Dancer.

Roller dancers Medeleine Waalkens and Leonie Hoebe in Barcelona. Photo courtesy of BCN Roller Dancer.

With BCN Roller Dancer she’s organized interactive entertainment events like Movies & Groove. For this event, a roller-skating themed film is shown, followed by a roller dance party to the tune of funk, soul and hip-hop music.

Fiesta Roller Dance, which Barrios hopes to host monthly, is a roller-skating dance party for kids and adults. The next party will be held on November 3 in cultural space Nau Ivanow, with DJ Roger C supplying funk, soul, R&B, boogie and dub tracks. Barrios hosted the first Fiesta Roller Dance in September and since then she has revamped the logo and opened a new online shop with roller dance wears.

BCN Roller Dancer’s new logo.

BCN Roller Dancer continues to use social media platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and their website to grow its community. Meetups at one of two choice roller dancing spots   – the Hotel W Spot and Garcà­ ­a Faria Spot – are organized for out-of-towners and locals. Barrios personally prefers the vibe of the W spot, to the perfect pavement of Garcà­ ­a Faria.What’s needed to roller dance?  Barrios says: “Simply a love for dance and music. It doesn’t matter if you’re on quads or inline skates.” 

Fiesta Roller Dance with DJ Roger C
Nau Ivanow: c/Hondures 28-30, Barcelona, Spain
November 3; 7 p.m. ”” 11 p.m.
Door Fee: 7€ ($9) (includes a drink thanks to Moritz)
The first 100 attendees will get BCN Roller Dancer buttons compliments of Chapalandia.

Get in touch with the author @wanderlustwrtng.