Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bonn: Christmas Time

Our Christmas tree.

Another christmas tradition: Meeting some of my long time friends on the second Christmas day. We are now living in Bonn, Frankfurt, Berlin and Atlanta.

Bonn's market place in winter. It has been snowing a lot but getting warmer now. The historic town hall on the left is being renovated and covered in this funny foil well suited for the season.

Posted by Sharms.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Atlanta: Critical Mass

Sharms, Hernan, and I had great fun on Friday night riding with the Critical Mass through Atlanta in rush hour traffic. Sharms thinks I am taking a photo of her here, but I am actually targeting the girl with the green terricloth short shorts, who appears to be cramming her bicycle seat up her ass.

Friday, July 9, 2010

London - Here We Are Again

We are having one of our Friday after work drinks - for some reason it has been a long time since we had our last drinks at the White Horse. Here in London we had this year's hottest day, it was about 30 degrees Celsius (compared to Atlanta that is probably not that much) so everyone was outside.

Posted by Sharms

Monday, June 21, 2010

Atlanta - Robert Jr.'s Graduation Party

My neighbor Robert Jr. recently graduated from mechanic's school (and his younger brother Sug from high school) and because I was happy for them, I spoke with their father, Robert Sr., early one morning about contributing some beer for their party. With a 1000 watt smile and a "tha'd be real nice" he seemed to like my idea quite a bit.

So, the evening of the party last friday I came by with a bunch of Budweiser (Jackson Sr.'s favorite brand - Robert Jr. doesn't really even drink). I found that Jackson Sr. and his many offspring were still at the ceremony, so I hung out with the extended Jackson family and friends for a while:

After putting on quite a buzz trying to hold my own with these guys, and trying to keep conversation going, I commented that this small stage in their "courtyard" appeared to be new, and pretty cool:

After which, one dude from the Jackson clan that I see out back every once in a while responds "yeah its new... so when are y'all goin' on?"

I'm like "wait... WHAT!?!?".

With an eyebrow raised he says, "Ole Man Jackson was on his hands and knees all day in the hot sun building this for y'all... man, he looked like he was about to die... what?.... y'all ain't comin'?.... DAMN!"

In a slight panic and laughing to myself nervously, I take this same photo of the stage and text it to my band mates saying, essentially, "be down on Chester and Kirkwood in 45 mins with your instruments, we're playing on this stage for Robert Jr.", assuming they'd all have Friday night plans and each would tell me to fuck off in their own way...

But amazingly, enough guys showed up with their gear, and we played a sparse but a really fun set of music - with just one horn (trombone) and no keys - and the Jackson clan young and old had a blast. Especially these little guys, who could not stop climbing on stage and making a racket (but it was also cute):

Robert Sr. loaded us up with ribs, collard greens, and some other delightful soul food, and, touchingly promised to make little statuettes of each band member if we just give him a photograph (sculpting is his new hobby)!

Another crazy fun night that could only happen in Reynoldstown (and maybe Brixton)!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Georgia: Jekyll Island

Last weekend Jen and I went down to Jekyll Island at the Southeast corner of Georgia and participated in our first Triathlon. The hardest part was swimming in the Ocean for 600 meters, as there were strong currents and generally rough conditions making it hard to keep in form. Cycling the 14 miles was amazing as the island is flat and very pretty, with some of the oldest structures in Georgia dating from the 1740s. The 5K run was along the ocean and also nice.

Later that evening, after taking a short nap, we end up at a seafood place at the end of a pier called Rah Bar. We hated the name, but their shellfish were tasty and the western view from their deck, shown here, was pretty fantastic!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

London: Breaking Convention

Michelle, Jo and I went to the Breaking convention on Bank Holiday Monday. Breaking convention is a hip hop dance festival which takes place in Sadler's Wells every year. Last year I missed it because I was in Atlanta. Not only the official performances were quite diverse and impressive, also the dancing which was going on outside was amazing. Two examples:

London: On A Boat

One of these stylish young men celebrated his birthday on the weekend. The party took place on a boat on the Thames with a great view on the Houses of Parliament. The maritime theme tied in very well with one current London fashion trend - you can see stripey shirts everywhere.

Do these two people look familiar?

Team Photo.

Posted by Sharms.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Atlanta: Inman Park Fest 2010

One of the lovely things about Atlanta is that between April and October, almost every neighborhood in town has a festival.  Last weekend was the Inman Park Festival, which may be my favorite of these events.  On Saturday, heavy rains pretty much drowned out the day, so the Sunday crowds were pretty heavy.  Here's a shot looking down Euclid Avenue, into the throngs:

After a nice walk, our crew landed on a nice grassy spot where we happened upon some other friends, imbibed a beverage or two, and generally enjoyed the day.  As you can see, Ramon and Jared sported jaunty chapeaus and, along with Henry, wore attire that occupied a remarkably narrow band of the color spectrum.  (Where exactly on the continuum of ROY G BIV does "earth tone" fall?):

As I was not on the distribution list of the memo instructing everyone to wear olive drab, I felt slightly excluded.  So, my navy blue shirt and I took a brief snooze:

The day's festivities ended with a walk to an old church near the intersection of Euclid and Edgewood Avenues where several local art curators had put together a pretty cool multi-media installation complete with film, sculpture and sound art.  (Read more here.)  Pictured below are Ramon and an unidentified festival-goer enjoying a big concave drum at the entrance to the installation that caused our voices to sound as though they were coming from all directions.  (For you 1970s film lovers out there, the term "Sensurround" came to mind.):

Intrepid LACE founder Hutch was not able to make the Inman Park Festival this year due to job duties that required him to be in Los Angeles for the weekend.  However, I would be remiss if this post failed to mention that Hutch's band Cadillac Jones recently celebrated their 10th Anniversary with a SIZZLING show at The Earl.  My band, Jupiter Watts, were honored to have the chance to open the show.  Below is a shot of me and Hutch hanging out at the merchandise booth before the show got underway:

This photo was taken on an iPhone -- not known for its stellar picture quality -- but something about this shot (taken by our friend Clay) really seems to capture the vibe of The Earl.  Good times all around!

Monday, April 12, 2010

London: After Work Drinks

We are celebrating our first after work drinks in spring, David joining the team and Aurea's first night out since about a year in front of the Market Bar near Oxford Circus.

Posted by Sharms.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bonn: Easter Break

John, I took this photo especially for you while walking through Bonn. As you can see it is Beethoven's birthhouse. I hope you accept this as a proof that he was indeed born in Germany and not in the US as has been claimed.

While waiting for the Easter Bunny, our neighbors' cat came over for a visit. To distract her from sharpening her claws on the carpet I promissed her a photo shoot for the blog.

A view on the "Siebengebirge" - seven mountains - during one of our Easter walks. The mountains are slightly smaller (in fact they consist of only fourty hills) than the Appalachian Mountains but still very nice.

On one of our walks I found this old chewing gum machine. When I was growing up, this was a usual sight. Nowadays chewing gum machines seem to have died out. Does something like this still exist in Atlanta?

Posted by Sharms.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Atlanta: Moka Express

This little coffee maker has changed our lives! We first used a similar one when visiting our dear friend Sharms in London. In an effort to reproduce the rich, delicious coffee back home we purchased a Bialetti Moka Express for our place in Atlanta. Subsequently the drip coffee maker has been packed up and permanently stored in the pantry. The best thing about it...Hutch enjoys making the coffee so much he prepares it every morning and brings it to me as I'm getting ready for work. The 10oz. one suits the two of us just fine, but we've also purchased the 25oz. one for when we have guests. So come on by, we'll make you a cup!

Monday, March 22, 2010

London: Spring Visits

Sunday afternoon tea: to my delight the wholefood in Camden is no stocking vegan cupcakes.

Walk down Tufnell Park: view on London on Sunday afternoon.

I wonder why I have never made it to Columbia flower market before. It is a lovely road with many very cute shops (see above) and a great opportunity to buy all kinds of plants from orchids to olive trees in a real East End atmosphere.

The interior of the Modern Tate. Currently a whole new building is being under construction on the south side of the former power station which will provide new gallery and learning space (

My friend Dagmar while passing the Regent's Canal in Camden.

Posted by Sharms.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bonn: Karneval 2010

After missing Carnival last year while being in Atlanta ( I manged to take part in the festivities ( at least for one day this year: Rosenmontag ("Rose Monday") is the day when a big parade takes place in Bonn and other towns which are mainly situated in the Rhineland (but also in some other places in Germany). During the parade the participants give away sweets and other things to people on the street. The last wagon in the parade is always that of the Carnival Princess (pictured) and Prince, who are elected each year.

Some inventive clowns.

A traditional group of town soldiers. There are many different soldier groups participating in the parade - the uniforms are based on traditional uniforms from the 18th century. Most people on the streets are wearing a fancy dress. Rather than wearing a perfect costume, the point of the fancy dress is more to look as ridiculous as possible - my friend Constanze (Superman) and I (bluebell) before going into town

After the parade is over, people go to bars and pubs and dance to traditional Karneval Music. The texts are usually in the local dialect and very funny. However people are also dancing on the streets everywhere - e.g. at the Zionation sound system, which I always like to visit (

Posted by Sharms.