Archive for February, 2010

My ‘dam Pit Stop

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

The European Summer Adventure pauses for business in Amsterdam.  Well, not work-like business, but business.  My ATM card was set to be delivered to the hostel and I really needed to do some laundry!  I know the geography of Amsterdam pretty well and it is really easy to get around and find conveniences.  All this put together made Amsterdam the perfect 2 day pit stop on my whirlwind adventure.

Now that's my kind of bag

Between laundry and banking, I did manage to wander around and enjoy the beautiful summer sights and sounds.  I did buy myself a new purse and a new wallet and formally made the Zurich wallet theft incident a thing of the past.

Anti-facist monument at museumplein

Covered? Uncovered? Covered? at Vondelpark

Name that Bird, Elise (or anyone)

Graffiti and Bicycles

And some night shots.

More photos here.

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Peacocks and Dragons

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

The date is 30 July 2009. I arrive in Poland. My European Summer Adventure is half-way finished.

My Favorite Part of the Trip - Peacocks in the Park

First Stop – Warsaw

A good friend of mine from high school (Maggie) was in Warsaw visiting her family.  It was great to catch up with her, her mom and to meet the rest of her family.

I was still without credit cards or ATM access due to the wallet theft in Zurich and was therefore greatful that the Polish cost of living is somewhat lower than that in Switzerland.  We did some shopping and sightseeing and drank a lot of iced coffee.  Our visit coincided with the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

At the Uprising Monument

silence

A Moment of Silence for the Uprising Anniversary

I also got to visit another one of my acrobats, Kris

Maggie outside her father's old apartment building

Two famous Poles that I never knew were Poles: Chopin and Copernicus

Chopin in the Park

Copernicus in the Square

Next Stop – Krakow

After a few days in Warsaw, Maggie and I and her family hopped on a train and headed to Krakow for a few days.  Unlike Warsaw and many other cities, Krakow managed to avoid the mass destruction of WWII.  Much of the original architecture is still intact and quite impressive.

Auschwitz

On our first day, we went to the Auschwitz Memorial site.  Unlike my trip to Dachau, the sun was shining and the grass was green.  The whole camp seemed oddly beautiful and peaceful.  This was slightly disturbing given the brutal history of the place.

The Gate at Auschwitz

At the Birkenau site

Dorms at Birkenau

Talking is Silver, Silence is Gold

Inside a dorm

I highly recommend visiting Auschwitz (or any concentration camp memorial site) if you are ever nearby.  I think it is an important reminder of our past and an inspiration to create a future where such atrocities need never be repeated.

Wawel Castle

Our next day took a considerably lighter tone, though not a lighter amount of activity.  We spent the day seeing the many exhibits at Wawel Castle.

We toured the Wawel Cathedral.

The Clock Tower

Pope John Paul (Jan Pawel) II used to minister here

We saw a hot air balloon (but did not go for a ride).

Too far away to take a ride

Photos were not allowed in most of the exhibits but highlights included: the Cathedral and bell tower, the private quarters tour, and the Smok (Dragon)!

Krakow Center

On our last day, we set off on foot in the city center.

St. Mary's Square

A Tiny Church

Entrance to the Medieval Market - dates from the 13th Century

Memories from the Past: An Old School Desk

Another Smok!

See more of my photos here.

See Maggie’s photos here. (She’s a better photographer than me, so you should definitely check her pictures out.)

Zurich and Other Swiss Cities

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

European Summer Adventure Continues!

After a week and a half of total relaxation in the south of France, I re-joined Marshall in Zurich.  We spent the week visiting Aya (dancer from our show) and her friends.  The week had its ups and its downs.  We had many great adventures, but my wallet did get pick-pocketed.

Feeding a Swan on Lake Neuchatel

Aya’s house was really cool.  It was a wooden house with a huge garden in the back.

They grow lots of flowers and vegetables

Marshall and I enjoyed the high-speed wireless (a rarity on the Summer Adventure)

In Zurich, we did a little bit of local sightseeing and shopping.  Marshall agonized over the cute recycled bags from Freitag.  I, unfortunately, I had to curtail the spending (due to wallet theft).

Marshall, Me and Aya at the University

At the Kunsthaus

Reflections at Freitag

Aya and I ended up participating in a public performance art experiment called Z’s by the C.  One day, we headed into the grocery store to eat lunch at the buffet and were approached by a man saying, “I want to ask you ladies to sleep with me.”  Luckily, he quickly followed with a description of the project.  The Z’s by the C gang reclaim public spaces as safe zones and ask participants to “sleep” in the open, thus taking a breather for themselves and reminding those around to also slow down.  We made our own sleep masks from the craft items provided and “slept” under the watchful eye of the host “nap guards”.  At first, it was slightly disturbing to be blindfolded and sitting at the entrance to a grocery store, but then it turned out to be quite relaxing and I was able to tune out the surrounding bustle.

Sign reads: Do Not Sit

We went sailing on Lake Neuchatel with Aya’s boyfriend, Gab.

Marshall diving

Me swimming (or rather floating)

More diving from Gab and Marshall

We took a day trip driving around the Alps stopping at the Jungfrau to visit a spectacular series of waterfalls inside the mountain, the Trummelbachfallen.

We visited the Trummelbachfallen

We visited the lakes around Interlochen

Pedestrian Bridge in Lausanne

A stunning view

And a few more for good luck.

And a fun(ny) German to English translation.

Notfallstation = Emergency Room (get it?)

More photos can be seen here.

Happy New Year

Posted in new york with tags , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Happy (belated) 2010!  And Happy Lunar New Year (Year of the Tiger)

<click for a cool article>

I spent the evening of 31 December 2009 with my friend BMo at a party on the Upper West Side.  The apartment had a big balcony with a great view of Central Park (and the fireworks!)  The hosts also had a Wii!  (Believe it or not, I am good at Wii sword fighting)

Party People

Me and BMo

A Collection of Random

Posted in Arts and Crafts, Music, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

Here are a couple of recent crochet projects.

 

 

Marshall in his new hat

 

 

A green hat for Suzy

 

 

Flower detail

 

I haven’t painted in a while but here is one I did in December.

 

 

An untitled painting

 

 

The song I can’t stop listening to right now is “Karma Police” by Radiohead.

and as covered by The Bad Plus

My friend Saram’s rocket launch video (She provided this link in her latest comment, but I want to display it front and center because it’s so cool.)

 

 

I’m so jealous.  So jealous.

 

Lastly, I leave you with a photo of the Antwerpen Centraal Railway Station.  Named 4th most beautiful train station in the world in 2009.

Aix

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

A moment from current life:  I am in Belgium, still.  We are leaving for Macau in just about 4 weeks.  No more delay.  Things are going well here but we are very eager to move and start Creation in the theater.

Rainbow Zebra in Avignon

Ok, enough of now, let’s go back to the summer.  It is the middle of July, I have just taken a night train(s) from Malaga, Spain to Aix-en-Provence, France.

I hoofed it to Le Grand Theatre de Provence to meet another NYC friend, Scott.  He was in town designing lights for a production of The Magic Flute at the [opera] Festival’Aix.  We then went to his apartment to let me in.  Then he rushed back to the theater.

I have to say, my week in Aix was pretty mellow.  I slept a lot to recover for Beach Tour 09.  I read a lot and walked around town eating lots of yummy French crepes.  I hung out with Scott and his co-workers after their rehearsals.  And funnily enough, several of them were Belgian!

Lionel (one of my acrobats at Dragone) came for a few days to visit as well.  I got to catch up with him and Patrice and meet several more of his friends.

On Scott’s day off, we took a day trip.  Lionel, Scott and I drove to nearby Avignon to see a friend‘s show in the Festival d’Avignon Off.  We spent the afternoon sightseeing and then saw the NoFitState Circus  show tabu that evening.

The castle in Avignon

Sunflowers

All in all, it was a great week.  I got to catch up on my sleep in the hammock (hung on the back porch) and catch up on my reading and just relax, relax, relax.  It was brilliant.

A bird to keep me company in the hammock - What is it Elise?

More pictures here.

Now imagine catching another series of trains to Zürich, Switzerland . . .

Beach Tour 09

Posted in European Summer Adventure 2009, Travel Europe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2010 by Yarn Over New York

The European Summer Adventure Continues!

Day One

After almost two full weeks in Spain, Marshall and I collected my NYC friend BMo and rented a cute blue car for our week of wildness on the road.  We christened the car Petunia, said good-bye to Ana and set out on the road to Portugal.

BMo, Me and Marshall - clean (still sweaty but clean) and ready to go

I must confess, we had no real plan for the days to come.  We knew that we needed to return the car in Malaga in 7 days.  We knew we wanted to spend a lot of time at the beach(es).  We decided to “camp” on the beach(es) to save money and increase the “adventure” factor.  Please note my hair in the photo above.  You may notice that as the days wear on, it will change.  Also notice my tan.   Not too shabby in the photo above, but it too will change.

Spanish countryside (or are we in Portugal already?)

First stop - Lagos, Portugal - What a sunset!

After a long drive, we arrived in the beautiful town of Lagos.  The sea there is so flat, it looks like a lake, hence the name “Lagos.”  We found parking, changed clothes in the street and strolled into town.  I believe it was a Friday night (technically the day after Marshall’s birthday) and we were celebrating Marshall’s 33rd birthday!  We got dinner and hopped a couple of bars.

We drove a little out of town to the beach and parked the car.  We frolicked on the beach and Marshall took some amazing photos (see below).  We also stared at the sky and talked about “deep thoughts.”  It was the perfect first night of the Beach Tour 09.  Happy Birthday, Marshall.

Day Two

No sleeping on the beach Night One;  it was far too chilly.  We piled into the car with the windows cracked.  Not too bad.  Not great.  But not too bad.  Awake with the sun and off to the beach.  Ultimate destination, for the moment: Sagres – The End of the World (the Southwestern-most point of Europe).

On the way, we had to stop by this gorgeous gorgeous beach to sunbathe and take a dip.

Photo Shoot at the End of the World

In the evening we had dinner, drinks and some entertainment in Faro.

A Bird for Elise

Another beautiful sunset

Street Performance

Live Animated Interactive Projections

Finding a quiet beach to sleep on (or near) proved to be a little more difficult this night.  We drove around a lot and even attempted (unsuccessfully) to cross the border into Spain.  (The roads were blocked for construction).  Eventually we found a spot and spent another night with the three of us in the car.

Day Three

With daylight on our side, crossing into Spain proved much easier.  We spent most of Sunday in the beautiful (but extremely hot) city of Seville (Sevilla).  The architecture in this city is gorgeous and there are plenty of shady spots to find some relief from the sun.

BMo on the Bridge

Alcazar

The Cathedral - with a line of visitors wrapping around half the building. We settled for am outdoor view only.

That evening, we headed back for the coast to visit Cadiz.

Notice the hair, notice the tan, 3 days in

Marshall wears a hat (no bad hair days for him)

On this night, we were feeling particularly adventurous and decided to actually sleep ON the beach.  We bundled up and picked a nice spot and curled up for the night.  After an hour or so BMo gave up and headed back to the car.  Marshall and I managed to stick it out the whole night.  But let me just say, it was COLD.  Cold, frio, cold.  Even in the middle of the summer, it was still cold at night.

Day Four

After a quick shower on the beach, we set off again, exploring the Spanish coastline in search of a sunny spot filled with beautiful naked vacationers.

Along the way, we found an awesome dried up riverbed with old boats, anchors and lots of crabs!

Old Boat

Dirty rusty anchors

Crabs!

Beach for Rich People

Sunflowers and Windmills

Another beautiful beach

That night, we visited two more points of interest, Tarifa and Gilbratar.  Tarifa marks the southern point of Spain closest to Africa with the coast of Morocco only 14km away.  Gibraltar is a little part of Great Britain guarding the coast of Europe.  (Basically, it’s a big rock).

Another gorgeous sunset, our last time to see the sun sink into the sea

It's really just a big rock with a nice view from the top

That night we slept in the car again.  We had a brief visit from the police, but in the end, there was no trouble.  Oops.

Day Five

Still going strong.  Dirty, bad hair, sun tan.

We made a quick trip to the caves of Nerja.  Didn’t actually go into the caves, but took in the surrounding greenery.

Monument at Nerja

Roman Bridge

Canon on the Beach at Almunecar - Check out the hair!

Our New Friend in Nerja

Now would be a good time to mention that we discovered a wonderful new (to us) drink called Tinto de Verano.  It is cheap, it is plentiful and it is good.  It is red wine mixed with lemon Fanta.  I know, I know, it sounds terrible but you can buy it for about 60 cents per 2 liter bottle.  It’s like sangria without the fruit or the juice or the class.

cheap and tasty

We spent the night (in the car of course) at a serene beach called Maro.  It was so dark and secluded we sat for a long time on the beach watching the stars.  Gorgeous.

Day Six

Inland again, breakfast in Granada.

Churros y Chocolate

We wandered the town for fun souvenirs and hiked our way up the hill to the Alhambra.  (Due to insanely long lines and a craving to be seaside again, we did not actually go in, but just enjoyed the surrounding park area.)

Me in a Tree

BMo tries to get closer to God at the Alhambra

In the evening we re-visited the beach where we had slept the night before.

Maro- Serene at night - Beautiful by day

Three on the Beach

Day Seven

Our last day!  BMo and Marshall were ready to head to Berlin and I was setting off for Aix-en-Provence, France to visit my friend Scott.

But none of this would happen without a bit more adventure first.  We returned the rental car on time and just under our mileage limit in Malaga.  We found the hostel were the boys would stay that night and got directions to the bus station for me.

Malaga - one last city

The Roman Theatre

Nothing Makes You Read This, But You Do - as seen in the ladies' toilet

There was a beach and we did visit it.  But for some odd reason, none of us took any photos of it.  Believe me, it was quite nice.

Check the tan, and the hair and the glass of tinto de verano

What a happy end to an awesome week of adventure.  See more photos here.  Read about more European Summer Adventure in past blogs and in more blogs to come.