...where distraction is the main attraction.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Where in the world is thekrav?

Hey, whoa! A post!

I’ve been getting a lot requests for pictures so here are two.

That must be what you're looking for, right?

To review the last four weeks: I’ve been doing a lot of working for The Man. I keep going to the gym and keep injuring myself in unique ways, though I’ve now gone two days without new hurts.

Let’s see, what else has gone on? I’ve shared my zombie script with a German director-buddy. It’s been so effective that he’s stopped talking to me.

Actually, that’s probably not entirely true.

I’ve been sitting in a lot of traffic, listening to a lot of good music. Not watching too many movies. Not much writing going on. The neighborhood is still annoying. It’s Mothers’ Day next Sunday. I ate pancakes this morning.

Hmm, nothing exciting.

I wonder what I should post…

Wait a sec. I WENT TO EUROPE!

Ah yes, the land of the metric-system. (Have to keep in mind mL, cL, and L when buying liquor.) The weather was largely predictable, London was gloomy, but not that much rain. Amsterdam was rain-free.

London is fantastic. Like NYC, the city has a never-ending, over-whelming, roller-coaster, edge-of-your-seat, feel-good-romp, hyphenated-hyperbole amount of things to do. And most of them are free! Like LA, the place is humongous. If I hadn’t already been to Scotland, then I’d wonder if there’s more to UK than London. Of course Londoners don’t think so.

Lots of great food: Italian, Greek, French, Middle-Eastern, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and American. Note the missing “British” listing. Speaking of which, when you’re in London go to Paul, the French bakery next to St. Paul’s Cathedral. No I’m not asking you to go. I’m telling you. It’s a real French bakery, do you need any other reason to go?

Amsterdam, easy to get to lost, easy to get hit by girls on bikes, difficult to get any sleep. Jason and I stayed in a “hotel” that’s likely a nominee for one of the worst in the world. At least one of the worst in Europe. Hotel Rembrandt Square.

It’s probably not the fact that the water-heater shakes the entire floor every time someone in the building washes their hands that affects my opinion. Nor that the staff unlocked our door to let the next sucker into our room an hour before check out. Nor that the guy at the counter offered me four other people’s drivers’ licenses during checkout before he found mine. Maybe, we held it in such low esteem was because of its location. Maybe? I dunno.

See, the building was built somewhere around the 18th century or so. And though sometimes a business has to go with whatever structure currently exists, who thought it was a good idea to put A CLUB on the ground floor of an old wood building? And who the crap thought to put A HOTEL on top of the club in the 200+ year old building? This is what I thought about that person:

The club spins tunes from midnight to 3am during the week. We stayed on the top (5th) floor. We could have held the dance party in our room it was so bloody loud. Like someone had their stereo speakers right up against our windows. So there was no sleeping until 3:30ish and in the morning-ish we had to share a shower with a half dozen other people. Not literally of course, because that would actually be kinda fun. But it becomes an issue when a stranger is planted on the toilet, powering out their morning constitutional, then takes a steamy shower and then…one probably would decide to skip the whole morning shower idea. Hey it’s the Dutch, so who needs to bathe? You can’t smell much in the coffeeshops…….er…library in the early afternoon anyway.

Oh yeah, Jason and I went into Club Smokey (the 1st floor club) and guess what? IT SUCKS. Yeah that’s right Club Smokey. You suck. Stop playing your music loud. You’re nothing but a low rent over-priced cigarette-smoke-filled straight sausage festival that scares off any female standing upright. Jerks.

Okay, I’m done with that. Amsterdam was really fun aside from the hotel debacle. The food was awesome, including some great Turkish/Lebanese grub. The architecture is lovely, but occasionally tilted sideways when close to the canals. Maybe the buildings took too many trips to the coffeeshops. Not that I would know anything about Amsterdam coffeeshops, besides the fine music that they seem to have played inside.

The Van Gogh Museum was excellent and, actually, very moving. Its design leads visitors through Vince’s life and by the end one gets a really good idea about what was coursing through that amazing noggin of his. In one of the Old Kerks (or New Kerks, there are a lot Kerks in that town) there was an amazing Afghani art exhibit that was smuggled out under the Taliban’s metaphorical nose.

The Red Light District is still there and was a real highlight. Don’t take any preconceived notions to that place. Just see it and take it in for what it is, fellas.

Overall, it was great. The dollar sucks, but we should all just get used to that now. I had a lot of great drinks, including the sweet nectar of Absinthe (yum) and killing Scotch with JK (that was a separate night and don’t mix Absinthe and Scotch, I’m serious and lucky to still be typing. This happened on a separate trip to Scotland, but I’m going to stop typing now because that is a tangent and this parenthetical has gone on way too long). Heard some good dance tunes, including at 2:55am when I was trying to sleep and…okay, I’ll stop. We attended a great play, The God of Carnage. We attended great dinners and Passover Seders that went on for hours. Got to sightsee and be idiot tourists, while ogling women from foreign lands – I mean, c’mon we’re Americans. I was able to be far away from home, but so close to the pulsing breathing World. And I got to hang with my ultimate homey, my bro.

That’s it. Here are some more selected pics.

Sometimes Amsterdam looks like this:

Often Amsterdam looks more like this:

Journeys can sometimes be sources of wisdom:

We like the night life. We've got to boogie. With Greeks.

London is beautiful. I'd like to go back there someday.

And more pics:

I'm ready to go back. Who's coming with me?