On The Road

Boyleing Points

Louie Pastina, who writes The Lazer Speaks column in this paper, is our unofficial travel writer. He offers wonderful detail when taking us to hidden or forgotten New York. He’s able to transport us to other places as well. His rich descriptions of Colorado, Italy, Canada, among other places, make you feel like you saved on air travel but got to those places yourself. Take it easy, Lazer, the compliments end there. I fell asleep during a Lazer recap of a yoga retreat. Maybe that’s a little harsh. I did breathe heavily and was quite relaxed two paragraphs in.

I’ve been on the road the past couple of weeks and realize I’m no Lazer. My descriptive powers are pretty much limited to “cool” and “great.” When I go negative or neutral, I’m limited to variations of suck. The lines at the airport sucked. But the line coming home didn’t suck.

Barcelona and Madrid were cool and great. The high-speed train between the two cities didn’t suck. I mean, it was kinda cool but the passing scenery wasn’t a blur. I don’t want to get too excited about something that I could only compare to the A Train.

You think Build-it-Back is bad? You think the courthouse is a never-ending project? Rockaway’s got nothing on Barcelona. They’re still building a Catholic church, a basilica, that they started in 1882.

Even unfinished, the Sagrada Familia is cool and great and makes you say, “Holy Sh-t,” which a church really shouldn’t make you do. But Holy Sh-t, the thing’s unreal.

The outside resembles a huge sand castle rolling down Bourbon Street as a Mardi Gras float. It’s eye-popping and spectacular (more than cool and great) but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The inside is worth the price of admission and more.

Which is probably why the church isn’t finished yet. They’re making way more than any Sunday Mass collection ever could. As it is, Mass is only offered a few times a year. Anyway, it’s about $30 to go inside and look around. Ten thousand people a day visit. It’s a tidy business and none of the 10,000 come away thinking they’ve overpaid.

And ha ha, wiseacres, no, I didn’t get hit by lightning upon entering. Though I was struck by awe.

Soaring towers on the outside only hint at the amazing upward view from the inside. The place makes St. Patrick’s Cathedral look like a roadside chapel.

When the place is finished, although it’ll never be, the central tower will reach more than 550 feet. Cool, great. Worth the trip to Barcelona. That’s right, I’m telling you what my mother told me: go to church. (At least one with 18 towers).

I’m running out of room and I never got to say that Madrid was also cool and great. The vermouth didn’t suck. And during the second leg of my recent travels, I ended up in rural South Carolina getting chased by a big, angry dog. That kinda sucked but it was kinda cool how I escaped on my electric bike.

Lazer, move over.

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