Easter Weekend in Germany and Netherlands

26 04 2011

On Good Fridee we hopped on a plane from Edinburgh to Cologne, what’s in Germany.  We was staying with Kardy’s relatives who live at a British Military Base, west of Dusseldorf.  Here we was looked after embarrassingly well by Richard, Sarah, Tom and Harry.  We must return the favour one day in Australia!

We spent Saturday checking out Roermond in the Netherlands with Richard, Sarah, Tom and Harry before heading back over the German border for ice cream and lemonades at a Bruggen ‘biergarten’.  It was perfect lemonade weather the whole time we were away and what better places to drink lemonade than in the Netherlands and Germany.

Sunday we did a ‘reci’ to Amsterdam, which is bang on two hour’s drive away from the German border.  Good times in Amsterdam.  The Dutch have it figured right out.  While in Amsterdam we had a boat ride on the canals and soaked up the sun and the atmosphere.  We’ll definitely be back here some time soon.

Mondee morning we did breakfast with Richard, Sarah, Tom and Harry and Ned, very generously, got to a do an Easter egg hunt.  After saying our goodbyes we drove to Liège in Belgium for another quick reci before heading back across to Cologne in Germany.  We hung about Cologne and checked out the amazing cathedral here before flying ‘home’ to Edinburgh.  Good times.

Driving around on the right hand side of the road was easier than I’d imagined but this afternoon while driving home from work I turned into a street here in Scotland and started heading down the right hand side.  Um, Riles… you idiot.


Video of our April 6 brush with El Presidente

17 04 2011

Here’s the moving picture what I took when we was minding our own business on 7th Avenue in New York City when we happened upon El Presidente of the an United States of Amerique.

The film goes for about 5 minutes and most of it is tedious stuff but it does culminate in the Prez pulling up, albeit into a tent what gets shut off before he gets out.

This cinematic piece is also a window into how much resource goes into moving Barack from Point A to a tent, innit.  Enjoy…

Spring has Sprunged, April 17, 2011

17 04 2011

After 10 days away, Scotland was noticeably warmer and more colourful on our return.  Here’s some pics from this weekend…

Paul Dempsey, East Village 12 April, 2011

13 04 2011

So last night me Aussie New Yorker mate, Catherine, took me out for a bit of a wee night on the town.  We started at Eight Mile Creek, a bar in SoHo what’s owned by an Aussie.  We had a few lemonades there before heading over to an East Village bar what’s called Marshall Stacks (check out the pic from the men’s).  After a couple of more lemonades there, we had to p*ss bolt it in the rain, what was chucking down hard, to Rockwood Music Hall to see Paul Dempsey and his newly assembled band.

‘Twas a great show.  Paul’s set was made up entirely of his current record.  The sound was great and was awesome having the opportunity to catch him in such a small room.

We had some lemonades afterwards with Paul and this other bloke what’s called Andy White.  Andy is a songwriter in his own right (although he used to play in Tim Finn’s band) from Belfast but currently lives in Upwey in the Dandenongs.

After the Rockwood, Catherine and I went for one more lemonade back at Marshall Stacks before catching a cab ‘ome.  Good times.

I now sit, feeling a little dusty, contemplating packing and getting out of New York and heading back to balmy Scotland.  Strangely enough, Scotland now feels like home.

Not sure where our next adventure will be.  We have two 4 day weekends in a row – one for Easter and one for the Royal Wedding/May Day.  Bring it.

Farewell to the city and the love of my life at least we left before we had to go… ‘Til next time New York!

Brooklyn Zoo & Prospect Park, April 11, 2011

12 04 2011

Today the bloke what controls the temperature adjusted the thermostat to give us our first plus 20 day since we left Malaysia back in very early January.  In fact, it hit 27 degrees today so we made the most of it and walked down to Prospect Park (Brooklyn’s version of Manhattan’s Central Park), taking a visit to the Brooklyn Zoo.  It was real.  Here’s some pics…

Sundee, April 10

10 04 2011

Today we took the subway to Harlem, the northern most bit of Manhattan Island, to experience church, Harlem-stylee.  It was pretty sweet – a great experience recommended by me NYC mate, Catherine.  The singing from the African-American choir and all the church members was stuff like what’s right out of a movie.

Much like the dentist, a visit to a church is something of a rarity but is worth the effort if you know a good one.   And like me teeth, me soul is now cleansed for the next wee while.

After a bit of Harlem action we made our way to Greenwich Village to see what goes on there before strolling down to Lower Manhattan to do a bit of window shopping and to check out the 9/11 Memorial Preview.  On our stroll we came across the Ghost Busters Headquarters (what’s actually an active Fire Department).  Good times.

Tomorrow is meant to be 28 degrees which is quite a jump from the low teens we’ve mostly had here thus far so I’ll believe it when I see it but bloody hope it gets there.  ‘Twill be the first time we’ve experienced plus 20 temps since we left Australia.

Here’s some pics…

I ❤ BK, April 8 and 9

9 04 2011

Well on Friday morning we woke to discover that Toby (bless ‘is ‘eart) had a nasty, nasty case of conjunctivitis.  So I put me brown underwear on, took a deep breath and made an appointment with the American health system.  Luckily, we got in almost immediately to a clinic just around the corner here in Fort Greene.  As we were signing in we had to tick the boxes what said we were ‘Self Pay’ and at this point I was thinking the brown underwear were about to come in to their own.

Amazingly, however, the consultation cost US$60 which at the moment is only about AU50c –  what a beauty!  Toby was on the mend and me wallet didn’t have to suffer too much at all.  We laid pretty low for the rest of Friday and just hung about in Fort Greene and ate too much Japanese for dinner.

Saturday we went to the Brooklyn Flea Market on Lafayette Ave, just around the corner from us.  Easily the best flea market what I’ve ever seen and, to top it off, one of the stalls had quasadillas what you’d kill a man for.

After hanging at the flea market and picking up a couple of local wares to send back to Australia, we hiked on down to Bedford Ave, Williamsburg in Brooklyn, which is where the hippest of the hip hipsters in the world like to hang about.  It’s like a Windsor end of Chapel Street times about fifty ten.  Pretty cool neighbourhood to be honest.

The sun came out whilst we were there so we went to a local park at the end of Bedford Ave to soak up the rays with all the other sun loving hipsters.  Here we watched some softball, drank organic (hey, we were in Williamsburg) cranberry and apple juice from the local farmers market.

It is an interesting walk between Williamsburg and Fort Greene.  Williamsburg is superhip but head just a few blocks out and you pass through an industrial/Jewish area, with everyone out in their sabbath getup.  A few blocks from here and you start heading through a ‘project’ housing area, with ladies of the night hanging about in the afternoon, before winding back into the more middle class Fort Greene.  Here’s a shed load of pics…