Many Baltimoreans declare that their morning commute only becomes bearable when tuned into the crazy antics of WWMX-FM morning radio host Reagan Warfield. He regularly interviews world-famous celebrities and rock stars and banters with a widespread listening audience, but his most popular calling card is being the largely undefeatable star of the show's pop-culture trivia game "Smarter Than Reagan."
While many DJs enjoy the faceless public anonymity of radio, Warfield is known for participating in a number of regional charity events while also finding time to teach at his alma mater, Loyola University Maryland. Becase the 32-year-old radio host is so widely recognized around town, we decided to ask him where he goes when he needs an escape. And since chat is Warfield's forte, he was only too happy to tell us all about it.
When you've needed a getaway, where have you ventured?
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Of the big trips, I've been to Iceland, Spain and also to Dominican Republic on my honeymoon.
Do you have a favorite?
What made you choose to visit Barcelona?
I was looking for someplace a little off the beaten path to visit, and my wife had a business trip in Barcelona, so I decided to tag along — and we turned it into a full-blown vacation.
What does your wife do?
[She is] director of public relations for [Baltimore's office of tourism] Visit Baltimore.
What time of year did you visit?
We went in November, right after Thanksgiving. It was beautiful. If you look at the globe, we are similar latitude-wise to Barcelona, so it wasn't very different than it is here that time of year — except that it still had the beautiful Mediterranean sun.
Where did you stay?
We stayed right in the city. Las Ramblas is the big touristy boulevard through the town, and we stayed in a hotel right off of there — Hotel 1898. It's an absolutely beautiful boutique hotel that was an old headquarters for a tobacco company. It reminds me a lot of Hotel Monaco here because it's a retrofitted hotel with a lot of cool architecture. Even though I loved the hotel, if I went back, now that I've seen the major sites, I might stay a little north of the city, because it does seem a little less touristy there. [Although the formal name for the central boulevard through the main tourist district of Barcelona is officially called La Rambla, the street contains a number of prominent arteries, each bearing a different name, and collectively is referred to as Las Ramblas.]
For how long were you there?
About a week.
What did you do?
We did a lot of the touristy stuff: La [Sagrada] Familia, a big beautiful church designed by [Spanish architect Antoni] Gaudi. We did all of the main Gaudi sites; in the northern part of the city there are a bunch of apartment buildings he designed that are just so different than anything else you've seen because there's so much curvature. We wandered around Las Ramblas, of course. We did all of the Olympic stuff — Olympic Park. A lot of eating, as well. I'm a foodie, so I do a lot of research about food when I travel.
What did you find for foodies?
A lot of authentic Catalan cuisine; delicious tapas and a lot of the flavors that really blend together for that distinctive cuisine that makes it different than Spanish cuisine — it has Mediterranean influences, a little bit of French as well. We found a place that [TV host and chef] Anthony Bourdain went to on [Food Network show] "No Reservations." Quimet & Quimet. It was this dinky, hole-in-the-wall tapas place; no seats or anything. It just had maybe a 10-foot bar. I walked up and said "make me whatever you can," which was a lot of fun.