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I just got back from a week in Berlin. I travelled there with a group of artists from UMaine and Syracuse. I stayed for cheap in their hostel, and they constructed some installation art in the Skulpturenpark. I met some cool people (Hi Ira! Hi Syracusers! Hi Cyclists!), and saw some cool things (Reich-stag, sculptures, walls, wacky architecture) and marveled at their clean, efficient and safe transportation infrastructure.
Berlin's a great city, but I'd say go there in the summer. Soo rainy in the spring. Also be sure to try biking around, it's very bike friendly. It was an interesting place, very easy to navigate, and a very strong US influence which made most interactions very easy considering I know 5 words in German.
Below are some pictures, but Click here for the whole set.
Snowboarding at Killington
I just returned from a 3 day trip to Killington for some sweet snowboarding. Kierie, Andras, Andrea and myself reduced the entire Killington Mountain area to a smoldering crater. We shredded that thing so hard that 200 years from now children will be singing songs about our deeds. Andras drove us up and we all stayed at a B&B called Snowed Inn. One thing I must mention about Snowed Inn: They served Log Cabin MAPLE FLAVORED SYRUP at breakfast. This is UNACCEPTABLE and probably illegal to do at a Vermont bed and breakfast. I went down the street to a market/deli to purchase some real VT maple syrup for the remainder of the trip.
Everything else was great about the trip. It was mad cold on Friday, with a high of 6 degrees. It was also Kierie and mine 2nd time snowboarding. But it was amazing, our skills grew each day. We started the trip on slow Green learning runs, and by the end of the trip we were making full runs down from the peak of Killington mountain on "tough" intermediate Blue trails. The photos tell the rest of the story.
Pony Up! The Report
I just got back from Pony Up 2 in Boston. Here's the run down on events. Alex, Jody and myself caught the Fung-Wah bus from Chinatown NYC to downtown Boston. I feel like I should mention that I ate almost an entire bag (10 of 12 servings) of Ranch/Pizza Doritos on the 5 hour bus ride. Once in Boston we headed to the Middle East for fries and to meet up with Ian. Ian's a Boston based custom bike builder and good friend of Jody. He was kind enough to put us up at his place for a night, and his girlfriend Sara was kind enough to put us up at her place for another night.
On Saturday we all convened at Diesel Cafe, and killed some time until registration opened. Although betting was scheduled to start at 3, we knew stuff really wouldn't get rolling until 6, and the race probably wouldn't start till 7 or 8. We were joined by Joel who I know from Bangor and now rooms with Beth in Boston. We got to the old coffin factory at 4, and almost nobody was there yet. Since we were unfashionably on time we left for tacos with two new companions and resident Bostonians Patrick and Francesca. Joel and I formed an alliance with Pat and Francesca to work (read: follow) them for the race, since the only thing I knew how to find in Boston was this taco place. Jody, Ian, and Alex decided to pass on the race, citing concerns over darkness, the impending snow-storm, and a desire to concentrate on evening's later roller-races "Boldsprints".
How the race worked is each rider paid $10 to race, and that counted as two $5 bets on yourself. You could also place $5 bets on any other registered racer. Whoever won would get split the $500 with those that had placed bets on them. The race started at 8:45, right when the snow started to come down steadily. Patrick, Francesca, Joel, myself, and one other rider did practically the whole race together. I wish I knew the names of sections of Boston so I could describe where we went, but alas, I don't. I figure our route was about 20, maybe 22 miles, and took us 1 hour 45 minutes to make all the pick-ups and drop offs. The snow was steady the whole time, and by the time the race was over 2ish inches had built up. Was very cold, and slightly hazardous, but bike handled very well, and I never felt terribly out of control. I had opted to bring the McBain running 48x17 gearing and 23c slick tires, instead of the Schwinn that has studded snow tires. Oh well, it made for a fun night. A fender would have also been good as I ended up so encrusted with salt that my pants could stand up on their own in the morning.
New Yorker's took the top 3 spots in the race (Austin, Kennedy, Dan), and I came in 20th out of about 40 riders. After the race there was an after party ($1 PBR), and supposedly indoor roller races put on by Chris Kim, but we headed out before they got started. Over night there was a total accumulation of 6-8 inches of snow. This morning we met some people for brunch, and then Alex, Jody and I hopped on the Fung Wah and returned to NYC. Thanks for the good times and the slush Boston. Nice to see you, and I'll keep in touch!
Here's the photos from my recent trip to upstate NY. I went with my friend's Jody, Alex, Dana, Ian, and Nikola. Jody's friends have a tradition of having a mini burning-man style event at their home each fall. You bring something you'd like to purge by fire and throw it in. Sadly I'm pretty content with my life right now so couldn't think of anything to burn. Very nice of them to put up six scraggly bikers at short notice. Fall in upstate NY is great. Make sure you get ample apple cider donuts.
Bike Kill 666
Finally got around to posting the pics from Bike Kill. This year's version was particularly dirty. The event was fueled by beer and filled with bikes and mayhem. Here's the pics. I brought out my old Fujica 36mm camera for this, and I think it took some great shots.
Summer Visits NYC
My sister just visited me in NYC. She came to the city the week after her birthday. Happy Birthday Summ! While here we did much wandering, eating and touristy stuff. She also go to visit with her good friends Jenn and mark in Brooklyn. We visited PS1 in Long Island City Queens, which sadly was between shows. We also had an opportunity to visit Ellis Island and see where our old family members came to the United States in the early 1900's. Here's a link to a whole series of pics that she took.
I'm in Washington DC!
I'm actually not in Washington D.C. Dirty little secret about this site is that I post things very infrequently. Then I login to the server, run a "Touch" command to alter the timestamp, and POOF! The pics have been here all along. I'm actually writing this January 8th, 2009. Precisely 6 months after returning from D.C. Boy how time flies! Starting in the next paragraph I'm going to pretend that I'm blogging about it the day after I returned...
I just got back from D.C! It was my first time ever spending time in our nation's capitol. Kierie and I drove down and brought our bikes. D.C. is a very bike friendly town. Mostly flat, gridded, and has courteous drivers. There's even a weekly cupcake ride. Sadly we learned about the cupcake ride 30 minutes after it departed. I did have a bit of a problem bringing my bike back on Amtrak though. Only other problem was that it was a billion degrees. Somehow there were people wearing pants and long sleeve shirts. In all these pictures keep in mind that I am about to burst into flames from the heat.
We visited numerous galleries, and memorials. The National Gallery just keeps on going and going and going with great art. The Washinton Monument is really quite phallic and looks best at night. The Lincoln Memorial was my favorite, Abe just looks so huge, wise, and inspiring. We also met up with my cousin Laura and her BF, and ate some excellent Ethiopian food. Congress wasn't in session, so we didn't see many obvious politicians about.
4th of July
What a rainy 4th of July. Perfect weather for a race. "Bombin Broadway" started at 218th st, and went all the way to Battery Park. I knew it was going to rain, but had no idea what exactly I was in for. It rained a bit, but let up as about 90 of us waited for the race to start at 8pm. The route was 13.5 miles, and took me 44 minutes, which is probably as fast as anything can get from top to bottom of manhattan unless you take the highway or helicopter. I was in position to do really well, but in the pouring rain and darkness I missed the last checkpoint by 1 block, and in the time it took me to turn around I slipped from 9th place to 19th. Doh!
The race ended in a good spot to see the fireworks, and they were pretty cool. But you know, fireworks are pretty much all the same, there's not too much you can do to make them different except have more of them. From there everyone went to a bar in Bushwick Brooklyn, where at 1am it started POURING. Me and Andres who lives further out in Queens kept going outside, checking on the rain, then going back in for a beer. We repeated this till about 4am when we finally conceded that the rain wasn't going to let up. Got soo wet on the ride back. I've been drier after going for a swim.
Pictures are courtesy of Grant from fixed.gr/nyc
April Fools Alley Cat
I just got back from Philly. The $20 round trip Chinatown bus is a good thing. I stayed at Brian's place in South Philly, an interesting part of town where it seems anything goes. Most notably you don't have to stop at stop signs and you can park pretty much anywhere you want, like on the striped center divider between lanes.
Allison and I raced in the April Fools Alley Cat. There were about 300 bikers, mostly riding fixed gears but a good amount of road bikes, and a few tandem and mountain bikes thrown in too. Race started at 3, and there was a list of about 40 locations/tasks. Each place on the list was worth a certain point value. Further locations would be worth more points, and the person that got the most points in 3 hours wins. Since the theme of the race was "April Fools", some of the checkpoints were fake and you wouldn't know it until you got there and there was nothing there. Allison and I got spoofed by a couple fake checkpoints, and rode fairly cautiously as we were in it for the good times not the victory. At some of the stops you had to do a task, like do a ring toss over a beer bottle, write an essay while being held captive by some hotties, do a chain of leapfrog with a group of people, make a shot with a basketball, or just buy someone a beer. Toughest part about riding in Philly crossing is the road trolly tracks scattered around town, that and there's more cobble stone streets.
We survived the race and made it to the afterparty. The after-party was held in a big warehouse in North Philly in Germantown. Tons of free PBR, a big Caddy to chill in, good music, and an ice cream truck stopped by. The winner got a whole lot of free stuff like a new Fuji track race frame, a messenger bag from RE Load. There were prizes for first female, first out of towner, lightest bike, heaviest bike and more.
The next day in the pouring rain I took the bus back to NYC. Took a bit longer then normal as there were several rain induced detours. Also the Queens bound subways weren't making local stops, so I decided to ride my bike half way. Man that was wet! Like riding in the shower. Amazingly all my gear/electronics stayed dry. Basically, a really good trip and fun time in Philly. Here's some pics.
posted at: 22:06 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Visitor from PA
We had a 3 day weekend to celebrate the rising of Zombie Christ. Mila is now back in Russia for six months, so my old pal/roomie Allison came up to get me drunk and buy me cupcakes. Here's some pics from the weekend.
posted at: 22:14 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Long Lost New Years pics
Last New Years Allison took 144 pics at our New Years Eve party. The memory card was corrupted by my junk memory card reader. Fortunatly I set it aside and cryogenicaly preserved it, waiting a for a future technology to develop that could cure its disease. That future technology came around in June, when our trusty sidekick AJ from IT resurrected the data. These pictures languished on my lappy's hard drive until I moved the web server and felt like putting them online. Here they are! Just in time for the next New Years Eve!
posted at: 12:14 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Return of the Photos
Now that I am no longer hunting for a job I can put my photo section back up. Wanted to look squeaky clean and professional for potential employers doing Google searches. The first photos going back up are from the final party at Penobscot Street. The photo section will have its own header on the site soon, but I'm retooling behind the scenes and that will take some time for all the photos to be updated.
posted at: 21:08 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
VJ'ing with Miss Lisa @ Ushuaia
Last Friday I VJ'd at Ushuaia's with the headlining DJ of Miss Lisa. I must say, I had low expectations for the show. Its summer time, school is out, there aren't many people that have attended Ushi's techno shows lately, I wasn't too stoked about Miss Lisa as I had never heard much of her before, and I didn't have a good time the last time I VJ'd with Raphael's equipment. So, I was going pretty much because I said I would.
To my surprise the show was really good! O'Shea started the night off well with his usual loud and full of energy set that I always enjoy. He has a way of bumping up the levels in a way that makes things loud enough that they almost hurt, but somehow sounds really good and satisfying. Fortunately Ushuaia's has the best sound system in the area so it can handle O'Shea.
Miss Lisa came on around 12:30, and she was much better then I had anticipated. The crowd had been dancing all night, but went crazy when she went on. I figured out some new tricks with my b/w security cam to get some good shots of dancers on screen and silhouetted/colorized. I saved some of the better graphics, clips, and tricks for her set and I think it looked pretty sweet. Plus the first hour of VJ'ing is always figuring stuff out again, and by the time she went on I was in my groove. I would say this was one of my better solo sets, and its too bad I didn't record it. Miss Lisa is a good live performer who's not just a pretty face with no talent, check her out if she's in a club in your area.
Here's some pics courtesy of Allison, disregard all the crotch shots of Tyler, I don't
know what she was thinking but I decided to leave them in the album just cuz.
posted at: 10:23 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
3rd Annual May Day Party
Pics are here. Party was sweet. No problems with the police, and plenty of guests all having a blast. Thanks go to Beth, DJ Clarity, for spinning again.
posted at: 07:23 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Bike and Bar 2
Last night we did the 2nd Orono to Old Town Bike rally/booze fest. This time we had a peak attendance of 20 people. We left our house, and Kevin crashed about 100 feet down the street. He was OK, and that was the only incident of the evening so that was good. Our first stop was the Bear Brew, then we went to the Bear's Den. Then we biked the 5ish miles to Old Town, hit the River View, and then did a line of shots at Number 10. We diverted from our bike and bar plan, and stopped by 2 keg parties on Rt. 2 in Old Town. After the keg parties our group was fairly fragmented, but the main part of the group went to Ushuaia's and then to the Staar Club. Next stop was the Blues Cafe, and finally we ended the night at Woodman's. Pics are here.
posted at: 19:54 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
In The Road Show and Parties
The In The Road art show went very well. There was a good band, some free food, and lots of cool art. Sadly I lost my silent auction bid on a huge red thing. I would say it was possibly the best student art show I've seen.
I did streaming video from the show, and from the after party at my house. I went to the New Media party at Mike Scott's before our party, and it was
quite fun watching the streaming video from my house at Mike's. The pictures from the after
posted at: 08:29 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Mark Seiler Sonic Memorial
Thanks to everyone for coming and helping with the Mark Seiler Sonic Memorial. It was great to see so many of Mark's friends together. Also thanks for donating to the the charities. We raised a total of $436.55 to split among the Beth Abraham Institute, Hope Line and The Powell House.
Again, thanks to all the friends and musicians who came or performed, and thanks to everyone that helped in organizing. Most of all, thank you Mark.
posted at: 11:27 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Halloween @ 37 Penobscot St.
Halloween Rocked! Thanks to Bonzey, and Allison for helping throw a rockin partay. Pics are now up. More later, now its time for food and Skawabunga.
posted at: 20:12 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry
Red Party @ Tracy's
Last night was the Red Party at Tracy, Stacy, and Aaron's house. It was pretty swee all around. We a ride there from Nate Haskell, who has turned his VW Corrado into the Corrado of Doom (huge supercharger, but the loudest, most uncomfortable, gassy smelling car ever). The party was excellent and very well attended. We most drunk partaking of various mixed concoctions out of big containers. The pictures speak for themselves.
posted at: 17:52 | path: /blog/photo | permanent link to this entry