Categories: Travel

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 6: Queens and Canal Tours

    Last day! Unreal how quickly time passes when you’re enjoying yourself. And when jet lag keeps you awake night after night. Nick’s work was done today so once more I had companionship for my jaunt through the city. The plan was to see the Catherine the Great exhibit at Amsterdam’s annex of the Hermitage and so we opted for a fairly quick breakfast at Bagels and Beans. I went there the day I visited the Rembrandt museum; it’s situated right [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 5: Napoleon, New Shirts and Nutella

    I write now with what’s left of my energy after six hours of walking and only four hours of sleep. Jet lag hit hard last night again and I didn’t get any sleep until around 4 am. Unwise as it is, once I’d had breakfast with Nick (A hopelessly burned pancake. They apologized but didn’t offer to take it off the bill.) and seen him off to work, I crashed out again – or tried to – until 12:45. Housekeeping [...]

  • Amsterdam Day 4: How to Die a Penniless Artist

    Before I begin, I forgot to post this before – one of the typical oddities I like to discover in strange cities: an ash tray awning. OK. Another day on my own. First on the solitary agenda, the Rembrandt House. Rembrandt bought the house for 13,000 guilders back in the day when the average person only earned 300 guilders a year. He paid for it though. Or rather, he didn’t. He financed the house and a number of years into [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 3.5: Stamppot!!

    Every day presents a new dinner dilemma. How not to waste another great opportunity for savory excellence? The evening bore witness to even more walking as we sought out traditional Dutch cuisine. We found it at a little alleyway joint near the Amsterdam museum called Tomaz. The specialty there is a bowl full of stodge called “Stamppot,” a mixture of Dutch beef stew, cabbage and mashed potatoes. It was definitely flavorful, although I prefer the Polish version of the dish [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 3: Checks Yourself Before you Rijks Yourself

    Rain! It was pouring this morning. Coming from the land of constant sun, we had no umbrellas and had to borrow one from the hotel. We walked to a little place called Omelegg, a rustic little bistro. Guess what they specialize in? I ate an omelette with Dutch spicy bacon (which it wasn’t), mushrooms and farmer’s cheese while 1920′s music played (“If you knew Susie like I know Susie…”) and Nick had a local dish called Shakira? Skapscrunch? Cap’n Crunch? [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 2: It’s pronounced “Van Hoe-gh”

    Did you know Van Gogh is pronounced “Van Hoe-gh?” Like, with as much phlegm at both ends as you can possibly muster? I didn’t know that until today. We walked to the Van Gogh–pardon me–Van Hoe-gh Museum and I’m amazed we made it alive. The bikes are out of control in Amsterdam. Thousands of bike riders all zooming along, whipping past pedestrians and one another, staring at their phones, indifferent to traffic rules. It’s like L.A. traffic without the pollution. [...]

  • Amsterdam Journal Day 1: Fancy cabs and Fetishes

    So after thirty years of waiting and many times passing through Schipol airport, I finally get to visit the storied city of Amsterdam. We landed at 9 a.m. on a warm, humid Sunday and caught a cab – one of the “fancy cabs” you’re not supposed to take. Ours was a Tesla with futuristic pop-out door handles. For such an ultra-modern car, its radio was incredibly out of date. “Summer Lovin’” from Grease was playing when we first got in. [...]

  • E3 2015 Day 3 – An Introvert’s Lament

    I slept till 9 today, and I could tell myself that was because I was tired out by yesterday’s work. What it really was though, was my subconscious trying to keep me away from the convention center. I finally dragged myself there around 2 pm (after going to breakfast in the floral district at Poppy & Rose) loitered in the press room for another hour, and at long last, decided to brave the game-crazed masses. It took me all of [...]

  • E3 2015 Day 2: Live Streams, Celebrities and Skingrafts

    Spent the entire day staring at a TV monitor watching press conferences via crappy live stream. Hooray! Aside from the official information I was asked to impart re: the pressers, here’s a couple of unsolicited observations: 1. Publishers must enjoy torturing us with embarrassing celebrity appearances. Ubisoft once again won the Awkward Silence Award by hiring Jason Derulo to screech out a tune. Please god, make it stop. Click here to suffer through Derulo’s ear-splitting performance. Angela Bassett’s appearance during [...]

  • E3 2015: Day 1 – United Airlines, official airline of the 9th Circle of Hell

    Today’s trip to LA was a total ordeal thanks to United Airlines’ exhaustive crew of apathetic clowns. They, along with a recalcitrant check-in kiosk started my journey to customer service Hell. Actually, that’s not entirely true. This memorable trip began this morning with my cab driver, who I found crashed out in my driveway. There he was, with the seat reclined all the way back, passed out in a dirty white t-shirt. I woke him up and he graciously popped [...]