AudioMovies

After talking about it for a long time, I finally made (am making) my second podcast. AudioMovies is a series where I sit down with a guest and together we describe the action and perform the dialogue from that weeks movie. The catch… it’s all done from memory.

This first episode is just an introduction and is probably redundant of what I am writing here. However, there are currently three full length episodes on my Soundcloud* page. Head on over to check out the rest or go to iTunes** to download the episodes and listen to them on the go.

I’m excited to bring more content in the coming months. If this thing goes as planned I have some fun surprises in store so stay tuned to my blog, Instagram and now podcast for all the latest.

*On my Soundcloud you can listen to all 13 episodes of FaceWords, my first podcast.

**At the time of me writing this I am still waiting for this podcast to be verified. However, once it is, you’ll be able to find it in the iOS Podcast App and iTunes store. 

 

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June | July | August | September

Once again, here is another ‘catching up’ post where I give brief screen shots of what I’ve been doing the past few months that I haven’t posted anything.

Domino Park – June 17

Ever since reading about it in Time Out Magazine I wanted to check out Domino Park in Williamsburg. Well finally, when I got back from my vacation, it was open.

IMG_0327Fake cranes and elevated walkway at Domino Park in Williamsburg

Domino Park is basically just a chill hang out spot by the East River near where the old Domino Sugar Factory was/is located. The place has really nice theming, grassy areas to lay out, a playground area for kids and a taqueria. It’s basically a perfect park.

Moonstruck – July 13

As I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, Moonstruck is one of my favorite movies. One day I was looking through Time Out Magazine and I saw that there was going to be a free screening outside the Oculus building in lower Manhattan.

IMG_0366Outdoor screening of Moonstruck next to the Oculus in FiDi

So, immediately after work I headed to the Financial District and though I was not able to get a seat in the ‘official seating area’, I was able to find a seat across the street. Eventually, as the sun went down, I moved to the curb back on the other side as to not be blinded by the setting sun.

This was the first time I had seen it with a big audience. It reminded me just how good the movie is. People of all ages and were laughing at just the right parts. I couldn’t help myself from grinning ear-to-ear the whole time.

Formula E – July 14

Last year when Formula E came to Red Hook I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I certainly didn’t want to spend $80+ to check it out. This year however, one of my co-workers told me that I could score free tickets by going to one of the local business that had been given vouchers for free tickets.

IMG_0692The track and final race as seen from the rooftop across the street

It was super easy to do, you just went online and used the provided coupon code. Then you put in how many tickets you wanted (up to 4) and boom, you had PDF of tickets in your email. I used it to get myself and one of my friends into the event. It ended up being pretty fun, despite the heat.

Ironically, when it came time for the actual race, we found a spot on the rooftop across the street and watched from there, negating the need for tickets at all. However, being able to access the area with the food trucks and the sponsors was worth the “price” of admission.

Post Work Bike Ride to Coney Island – July 20

A month or so prior, one of my co-workers floated the idea of doing a post work bike ride to Coney Island. I thought it was a great idea as it’s a super easy ride and would be a great way to hang out/end the week.

IMG_20180720_200438Darryl, Carter, Xander and myself on the boardwalk at Coney Island

Eventually, after weeks of hounding the group, we finally got figured out a day that would work for everyone and went for it. It was the perfect way to forget about the week and just enjoy time with friends. We grabbed beers on the boardwalk, and, right before we left, got to see fireworks over the beach.

Ice Cream Pop Up Shop/Cooper Hewitt Museum – July 28

While scrolling through my Instagram feed I saw that one of my friends had posted a picture from The Pint pop-up shop.

IMG_0714The Pint pop-up ice cream and merchandise shop

Basically, this was a collaboration with The Museum of Ice Cream and Target. The pop-up consisted of very Instagrammable theming as well as free samples of ice cream, pints of various flavors for sale and colorful merchandise.

I had also heard about something interesting from a friend that was later confirmed in Time Out Magazine. This was that if you have a library card, you can use it to get a free ticket to a certain museum in the city.

IMG_0734Solari flip clock at the Cooper Hewitt Museum

The catch is that you’re only allow to do this once a year and that not every participating museum is available to visit at any given time. That said, I used mine to visit the Cooper Hewitt Museum. This museum is perfect for me as it is based around design. There was this one room filled with different pieces of industrial design that were impactful throughout history.

The Intrepid Museum – August 4

The Intrepid Museum is a place I had been wanting to visit ever since I lived in NY briefly in 2015. However, because entry is not free, I wanted to make the most of it and go with a friend.

IMG_0756British Airways Concorde G-BOAD at The Intrepid Museum

One of my friends expressed interest in going but was repeatedly too busy to join. Eventually I couldn’t wait anymore and decided to go on my own. I was able to save some money on admission as I have my NYC ID card.

The museum itself is just fine, most of it is housed on and in the Intrepid aircraft carrier. However, I basically got enjoyment out of three things, the A-12 reconnaissance plane (which from the ground I’d mistaken for an SR-71), the space shuttle Enterprise which is housed in a hanger on the flight deck and the Concorde.

The Enterprise was cool because I had never seen a space shuttle up close before. It was much larger than I expected it to be. The showstopper for me however was Concorde. I have been obsessed with Concorde for a long time and so to see one up close was a dream come true. I could have paid more money to do a tour of it but even just walking around it was good enough for me.

Late Night With Seth Meyers – August 16

The backstory to this is that one of my customer’s whom I’d helped to take delivery of his car is the bandleader for Late Night With Seth Meyers. When he took delivery, he told me that I was welcome to come to a taping and to just send him an email.

IMG_0774Jordan, Seth and myself in the green room

A few weeks later I took him up on his offer. I ended up taking my friend Jordan because I knew he’d actually appreciate it. We met up in Brooklyn and took the train into Manhattan. We then walked to 30 Rockefeller Center (NBC Studios) and went to the guest service center where we got our guest passes.

We then took the elevator to the 8th floor where we got checked in and waited in the green room. We sat quietly for a bit before getting more adventurous, taking some of the candy and veggies that were laid out. Jordan even opened one of the bottles of wine and had some of that.

Later Eli, my customer, came out to greet us and gave us a tour of the 8th floor. The first place he took us was the studio where they shoot SNL! I was blown away by how compact it was. It does not look that small on TV. Eli took a picture of Jordan and I in front of the stage and even pointed out Lorn Michaels office.

Back in the green room, Jordan had gone to the bathroom but Eli had brought out Fred Armisen. I shook his hand and chatted with him for a bit before they had to go get ready for the show. We were then taken to our tapped off/reserved seats and were entertained by the hype man who got us ready for the show.

Next the 8G Band came out and got us amped with a cover of Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash. After that, the show started. The guests that night were Jessica Biel, Akwafina and Matt Groening. There was a technical problem between the first and second guest so Seth came into the crowd and took audience questions.

After the show we were taken back to the green room where I saw Matt Groening and Seth Meyers. As Seth walked by, I tapped his arm and said good show. Then Eli came in and introduced us. I talked with Seth about his episode of The Getaway and how I went to some of the place he’d recommended in the episode.

Before we left, I walked over to Matt Groening who was giving out illustrations of his various characters. I didn’t want to “make the monkey dace for me” but just shook his hand and told him what a big fan of Futurama I am.

Governor’s Island/Longest Slide In New York – August 18

GI is one of my favorite places in NY so I biked there just to hang out for a bit. It’s such a nice/chill place to ride around.

IMG_0788The longest slide in New York… apparently

While there, I rode what is apparently the longest slide in New York. I had heard that it was there from a friend and, despite going to GI a few times before, had never known it was there. When I eventually found it, I felt like a kid again. I must have ridden it at least ten times.

Alyssa + Caitlin – August 19

That night I was supposed to meet up with my friend Alyssa to grab dinner but accidentally fell asleep (I was so tired from biking). Instead we met up for lunch the next day, ended up walking to The Pint pop-up shop, walked The High Line and met up with our friend Caitlin at Fat Cats to play some pool.

House of Yes – August 24

Ever since hearing about House of Yes I had wanted to visit it. HOY is a club in Brooklyn that is a hipster/modern day equivalent to Studio 54. They host theme nights and people get dressed up for these parties.

IMG_0802Burlesque dancer hanging from a metal crescent moon at House of Yes

In order to get into the club without having to pay to get in, I had to get my free entry ticket a month in advance. The theme for the night I went to was Casino Royal. Because I live far-ish away and there is no direct transit, I just barely made the 11pm entry time.

My ticket was checked by a drag queen and when I got inside, I was greeted by a bizarre mix of styles. The warehouse/club was pretty big and there is a lot going on. I didn’t stay super late because I was there by myself; it ended up being pretty ok.

Riis Beach Bike Ride – August 26

It was Sunday and I was out on a personal bike ride/errands run. I hit up my buddy Darryl because he’d mentioned going on a ride to Riis Beach. I didn’t have sunscreen, a bathing suit or a towel but foolishly decided to go.

We met up at Bergen and Eastern Parkway. I ended up waiting so long that I could have biked to my apartment, gotten some stuff and biked back in time to meet them. On the ride there I felt like such a noob, I couldn’t keep up. On top of that I wasn’t mentally prepared to ride that far.

I was super tired when we arrived and pounded a Gatorade. I then sat on the beach for a bit. Later I made my way into the water. On my way out I got caught in a big wave which knocked off my sunglasses.

I was so upset because I pride myself on being someone who doesn’t loose things. On top of that I had had those for 4 years and now they were gone. It felt like I had to reset the “days without an accident” clock, which I hate doing. It’s not that they were even expensive, but I really loved them. It also bothered me that I accidentally polluted the ocean.

To add insult to injury, because of my poor sunblock application, I got a terrible burn on my back and legs. I hate the sand and I hate the beach. The only silver lining for a nerd like me was that I got to see a Qantas 747 on it’s ferry flight from JFK to LAX.

Field Notes Adventure/Crazy Rich Asians – September 2

I ended up not planning any sort of trip on Labor Day Weekend this year unlike last year when I took a day-cation to Philadelphia. However, I had been itching the latest release of Field Notes as they came with paper-craft that I thought would make a fun rainy day activity.

I had made a list of stockists in Manhattan and planned a field trip only to find them at the second store I visited. After bumming around for a bit I went back to my apartment and later that night went to a screening of Crazy Rich Asians.

I had been wanting to see it ever since reading about it months ago in the Jimmy O. Yang book How to American. Unfortunately I had to actually pay for it as it was not listed as a movie I could see with MoviePass. I had seen The Happytime Murders the day previous using MP so I didn’t feel too bad actually paying for this one.

I really enjoyed the movie overall, however, there were three incessant cell phone puller outers that made for a bad moving going experience. It was so bad that at one point I yelled from the back, “Guy up front, put your fucking phone away!” I have never done anything like that before but I could not control myself.

AudioMovies Podcast – September 3

After weeks of trying I was finally able to lock down my buddy John to record Episode 3 of my AudioMovies podcast. AM is my idea for doing an audio book for a movie. Me and my guest describe the action and the dialogue that is happening in a movie. The catch is that we do it all from memory.

AudioMovies_Podcast_Art_Final2-01Artwork for the AudioMovies podcast

My ultimate goal is for it to get popular enough for me to have a monthly show at Videology and turn this apartment podcast into a live show. “Coming at you live from Videology in Brooklyn, New York…”

Perrotin Gallery – September 8

A month or two ago I had seen something cool pop up on my Instagram. There was an art installation in progress at the Perrotin Gallery in the lower east side. The exhibit was to be called “3018” and feature the artwork of Daniel Arsham.

Version 2Welcome To The Future by Daniel Arsham at the “3018” exhibit at the Perrotin Gallery

I had seen his work online before and loved his style and concepts. The idea of taking everyday/modern items and turning them into artifacts or fossils. The feature piece in th gallery was a Delorean DMC-12 that was made to look like it had turned to concrete and had begun to crystalize.

The work was really fascinating and I plan on going back to check it out again when it will hopefully be less crowded. There were plenty of hype-beasts there getting there posed Instagram photos. It was funny to see how they all dressed up for each other.

One cool thing was that the artist, Daniel Arsham, was actually there just walking around, talking to people and taking pictures. It wasn’t until I was leaving that I actually thought of a question to ask him. It was going to be about his process and if he recreated objects or uses found objects to make his art. I also wanted to ask how he gets things to look fossilized. Oh well, it was cool just to see everything in person.

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Mermaid Parade

Yesterday was my first real weekend day since getting back from my trip. I had been piling up with things I was not going to be able to do during the week as well as things that were specifically planned for the weekend. This led to a very long but very fulfilling day.

Computer

The day started out, as many of my days do, by going on my computer. I took the time to go through and edit some of the photos from my trip. Rather than use Photoshop, I actually made the adjustments in the Photos App on my Mac. It’s a fairly powerful tool and is good enough for the type of editing I needed to do; exposure, contrast, saturation, etc. This was a great way to start my morning which felt productive.

Mermaid Parade

After getting showered and dressed and texting my friend Alyssa, it was off to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade. Initially my plan was to swing by Alamo and watch one of the three movies on my watch list: Solo (which I saw in London but want to see again), Oceans 8 or Incredibles 2.

However, when I looked at the showtimes and when I got a text that said the parade started at 1pm (initially my plan was to leave my apartment at 1pm), my time table got pushed up. I got done with my morning routine in time to leave my apartment by 12pm.

I was going to bike to Coney Island from my apartment (7.5 miles) and I knew that would take 45 minutes to an hour to do. As I got to Ocean Parkway, the straight shot with a bike path which leads all the way to the beach, I saw a flock of rollerbladers followed by a cyclists dressed as a mermaid.

I soon caught up with them, started chatting with the cyclist -Page- and ended up riding with them all the way to the Cyclone. I hung out at the Cyclone for a bit before moving to an area further down Surf Ave with a clear view of the Wonder Wheel. Eventually Alyssa showed up (~1:30pm) and together we watched a bit of the parade.

We were both hungry however and wanted to get out of the direct sunlight so I waited in the shade around the corner with my bike (I hadn’t brought my lock) and she went into Carls Jr. to get us some chicken sandwiches and drinks.

We ate them sitting on the sidewalk in the shade and then walked back towards the Cyclone and waited in line to get onto the boardwalk. We then walked the very crowded boardwalk, me being the asshole with the bike, all the way down to the end of the parade.

We then made our way back out to the street and walked back (using the street behind Surf Ave, which runs parallel) to the subway. There we hugged and parted ways.

24 Hours of Le Mans

It was about 3:45pm and I knew my co-worker Xander was planning on watching the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I was interested in checking it out and texted him to see if he wouldn’t mind if I crashed his watching party for a bit.

I then proceeded the ride back up Ocean Parkway towards Prospect Park. I decided that if I didn’t hear back from him by the time I reached the park, that I would just go home. Sure enough however, when I checked my phone at a red light near the park, there was a response from Xander saying to come over.

I rode the rest of the way there and got to his apartment by 4:45pm (9 miles). I sat, had a beer and chatted with Xander while watching a bit of the race. I was a great way to just relax after biking and being out in the heat. Meanwhile in the background, another plan was being hatched.

I had seen in Time Out Magazine that the Metrograph was going to be playing a 35mm film print of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I had reached out to two of my friends about it and, amazingly, they not only wanted to go, but followed through with getting it organized.

Metrograph: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

At 6:30pm I left Xander’s apartment and biked back to mine to ditch my hat, denim vest and bike, and checked my computer to see when the next train was leaving. It was 7pm and the next train was to leave at 7:08pm. After a quick drink, I left my apartment for the subway.

I got to the station on time and despite a slow train, made my connection to the (6) at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall. I got to Canal Street at 7:56pm. The movie was set to start at 8:15pm so I sprinted the several blocks across town to the theatre.

When I got to the lobby, I texted tweedle dee and tweedle dumb only to find that I had beaten them there, my sprint had been for naught. On top of that, they insisted on buying drinks and chugging them before entering the theatre. Despite entering a couple of minutes late, we got there just in time to not miss the beginning of the movie.

The Last Crusade is my favorite of the Indy J films. It doesn’t hurt that it has Sean Connery and came out the year I was born. It was great to see it in theatres (I’d never seen it in the theatre before) as I had been having a craving for it for a while. After the movie was over (~10:20), we took the train up to Astor Place and ended up on St. Marks where we had a late dinner and drinks in a little Asian restaurant.

After dinner we parted ways, Guto and I needed the same train and John needed a different one. However, Guto and I found out that the trains we not stopping at Astor Place on the downtown track. So we walked up to Union Square where I got on the (5) -which came first- and he got on the next (4) train.

Apartment

I got back to my apartment at ~1:30am where I proceeded to find a live stream of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and watched it for 20 minutes or so before going to bed.

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Amsterdam to New York

Saturday – June 9, 2018

I woke without an alarm at 7:30am and though I was planning on leaving at around 9:30am, since I was ready earlier, I left. Before I walked out the door, the host of the Air BnB came down, asked if I’d had a good stay, and said goodbye to me.

Air BnB to Schiphol Airport via tram and train (~30 minutes)

I took the 5 tram (light rail) from Kronenburg Station to Station Zuid where I transferred to the commuter rain station. I tried to use my metro card to tap into the other station but it wouldn’t let me. I then asked at the information desk why it wouldn’t work and was directed to the ticket booth. There I purchased a second single use ticket for the nonstop 6 minute commute from Station Zuid to Schiphol Airport.

Schiphol Airport

The commuter rail train takes you right to the terminal. Apart from the Underground at LHR, I’ve never seen a metro connection that is more direct. Because I was fairly early for my flight, it was 9am and my flight was set to depart at 12:25pm, I decided to use the time to explore the terminal.

I grabbed a light breakfast before taking a few laps back and forth in the area outside of the security checkpoint. There were several shops and restaurants to check out. I was caught off guard by a clothing store called “America Today”.

However, what really interested me was a model airplane shop that had a KLM jet engine on one side, fuselage on the other and landing gear out front. There were models of aircraft from numerous airlines and several different sizes. Not only the scale of the model but anything from a B737 up to an A380. If this was the sort of thing I collected, I’d have spent the rest of my Euro there.

IMG_0258Planes @ Plaza model airplane shop

Eventually I moved on, self checked in at a kiosk and took the moving sidewalk up to the departure level. There I went through security. Once again Amsterdam proved to me that they just have their shit together.

Everything about how the security line was set up was vastly more efficient than any I’d dealt with before. What impressed me the most was the self replacing plastic trays that appeared as if from nowhere when you took one for your various bits of luggage.

After that was a quick automated customs checkpoint before moving on to more food and duty free shopping. Here I purchased some Dutch cheese as a snack for the flight. (As I learned from my first Norwegian flight, there would be no food or drink).

IMG_0266Where I bought some cheese before my flight

I then made my way to my gate to see where it was and if there were other food offerings there before making my way back to this main area to buy to sandwiches and two drinks; lunch and dinner on the plane.

I got back to my gate just as boarding began. It took about an hour and as it turned out, was not a gate at all, but rather a bus that drove us to our plane. The tail of every Norwegian Airlines airplane is adorned with a figure from history (or whatever) that has pushed boundaries. Our had, as luck would have it, Freddie Mercury! I was pumped as I’d seen a Norwegian 787 with Freddie on the tail as we were leaving JFK so I was hoping we’d get him and we did.

AMS to JFK via Norwegian Airlines B787-9 (~7 hours)

We pushed back from the gate, er, stairs a little after 12:30pm. As we were taxiing to the runway I watched an episode of Family Guy, as I had before, and had a slice of cheese. Once we were in the air and had leveled off I had my first sandwich and drink. I then started my first movie, Blade Runner 2049.

I’d seen Blade Runner in theaters and though I didn’t love it, I did want to give it a second chance. Additionally, being that the run time is nearly 3 hours, it would be a good way to eat up almost half of the flight.

IMG_0271 2Norwegian Boeing 787-9 as seen from the bus that took us to the plane

As was the case with The Shape of Water when I watched it on the flight from JFK to CDG, the movie was censored which was really lame. However, perhaps because I knew what to expect from the plot this time, I liked it a little more.

There was about 4 hours left in the flight and I used approximately 2 of them to watch Singin’ In the Rain. I’d seen it when I was a kid but this was the first time I really watched it and paid it my full attention. I didn’t realize all of the songs/references that are from the movie. It was simple but cute.

Half way through the movie I helped the couple next to me (I had the window seat again, score!) who spoke little english to fill out their landing card. After the movie was over there was about 2 hours left in the flight. I used the time to eat sandwich number 2 and drink drink number 2. I also filled out my landing card and watched some Big Bang Theory.

I then looked at the map for a bit, the last hour seemed the longest. I used the last ~50 minutes to listen to Abbey Road; I’d had a craving to listen to it ever since visiting the studio. We soon landed where we sat on the tarmac for about 30 minutes before finally pulling up to our gate.

JFK to Apartment via AirTrain and subway (~2 hours)

I got through customs as quickly as possible, got out to the curb and headed straight for the AirTrian only to find that it was not running. Instead there was a free shuttle bus to Howard Beach station. It was around 3pm and shortly after a quick call to my Mom to let her know I’d landed, a bus arrived.

There was an (A) train pulling in as we got to the station. I took the (A) from Howard Beach to Jay Street Metro Tech where I got out and switched to the (5) at Borough Hall. I got back to my apartment at ~5pm, just as I expected I would. I was finally home.

Top Five

This is based on the order in which these things happened, not on any sort of ranking system.

1. Monaco Grand Prix – as I said in the post, I have been wanting to go to this race for years and it did not disappoint.

2. Hamilton – a show I’ve been interested in seeing that lived up to the hype.

3. Alton Towers – a theme park I’ve wanted to go to for nearly 20 years and turned out to be a lot of fun.

4. Le Caveau de la Huchette – a fun night of jazz and dancing in Paris.

5. Moulin Rouge – one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had; the show was incredible.

Below is a visual itinerary of the different modes of transportation I took to get to each major location in my trip.

MyTrip

Lastly, I just wanted to give a shout out to MapWay app (not a sponsor). I used their maps of the London Underground and the Paris Metro in both cities respectively and the worked wonderfully. Whats great is that they work even if you don’t have internet so it make getting around very easy.

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Europe – Day 15: Amsterdam – Day 3

Friday – June 8, 2018

Today is the last day of my trip and though it’s been great, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to go home. I learned many little lessons on this trip, one of which is that if you’re going to do a two week vacation, do it with a friend. I think that’s what made Japan so tolerable, I had other people to talk to and bounce ideas off of.

Rijksmuseum

In any case, because the day was supposed to be crappy weather wise, I decided to try and do mostly indoor things, hence my saving the Rijksmuseum for today. After having another bagel sandwich at Bagels and Wraps, I made my way to the museum.

IMG_0211Porcelain (non-working) violin

I bought my ticket at around 10 or 10:30am. Though most of the artwork is not necessarily the style that I love, the museum itself is beautiful. It is well laid out and well curated. Additionally, unlike most museums, the walls were shades of grey, rather than white. This somehow helped make the artwork look even better, the presentation was nicer.

I will say that when I got to the top floor with the more modern artwork (1900 to 2000), I really hit my stride. I ended up staying until around 2 or 2:30pm after which I strolled around Museumplein before heading to my next stop.

Heineken Experience

Next I went to the Heineken Experience, located at the former site of the Heineken brewery. (It ceased operation in 1988). The brewery is more of a museum now with different historical artifacts from the company’s history and interactive little exhibits.

There are people in different sections of the building who give little talks about their particular section and answer any questions. There are also a few short films you can watch along the way. Eventually, you make it to the “bottling ride” where you watch a little movie that makes it seem like you’re beer being bottled.

IMG_0228The original Heineken Brewery

After that is a tasting room followed by these weird little interactive sections and eventually the bar where you can get up to two beers. You can even compete with three other people to see who can pour a perfect Heineken.

I ended up staying until ~5pm before walking through the city. I happened up on a flea market, different from the one I’d found the other day, and strolled through it. I stumbled into a cheese store and had a few samples before continuing on my way.

IMG_0252More canal stuff

As luck would have it, I eventually made my way to the restaurant I wanted to eat at. I knew roughly where it was having visited it the other day, but I didn’t realize I knew Amsterdam so well already that I could so easily find it again.

It was a bit too early to eat, plus they weren’t open yet, so I walked to Centraal Station to once again use their restroom. I then doubled back and by the time I got to the restaurant, it was 6:20pm.

Gebr. Hartering

This was one of the places from the show The Getaway. The restaurant is pretty fancy however, and they either do expensive a la carte or expensive pre fix meals. I went for the latter which was a bad idea because a) it was pretty expensive and b) half the time I didn’t know what I was eating or how I should be eating it.

IMG_0141Gebr. Hartering restaurant

It made for an embarrassing and uncomfortable experience. I knew I wanted the charcuterie, why didn’t I just go for that and then have a real meal elsewhere!? That said, the last two courses were excellent and the dessert was good too.

I just know that moving forward I need to stay in my own lane and continue to be a middle class bum. Oh well, it was an experience and a way, good or bad, to send off my trip.

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Europe – Day 14: Amsterdam – Day 2

Thursday – June 7, 2018

Because I knew that I didn’t have a ton on my “To Do” list today, I decided to take my time getting ready for the day.

Bagels and Wraps

I got into town at around 10am, got off the bus at Leidseplein and immediately headed for Bagels and Wraps, a small breakfast spot I’d seen yesterday. I had the “New York” bagel sandwich and ate by the window while watching the army of city workers go through their various roles to keep the city clean; it was fascinating.

Blue Boat Tour

At around 10:45am I finished up and headed the short distance to the Blue Boat Company. Blue Boat is one of several companies that runs canal tours. Being that I’d seen it yesterday and knew it was close by, I decided to try it out.

IMG_0114

I bought a ticket for the 11am tour and got right in and boarded the boat. It was pretty empty so I sat in the shade (on the boat) and waited for the tour to start. We were given ear buds and a sheet to show which channel was for which language for the audio guided portion.

I could have been boring and chosen English but when I saw the option for Freshwater Pirate, I knew which one I wanted. Before the tour started I ran back into the ticket office and bought a drink.

As it turned out, the Freshwater Pirate audio guide was basically fo kids. I’m sure it gave all of the same information as the other tours, but added some childish color to the whole thing and was hosted by a water vole and a cat.

IMG_0179Dancing houses

There were some interesting facts that our captain told us while on board. One being that there is a service, a special boat that goes through the canal to scoop out bicycles that have fallen in the Amster. Also, apparently cars accidentally fall into the canal all of the time.

Additionally, I think he said that the water is only 3 meters deep and that despite it’s look, if you scooped some out into a cup, it would be clear and drinkable. Apparently, unlike Venice, Amsterdam cleans the canal every few months to make sure it never gets too dirty. I’m sure there were more cool facts but I can’t remember them now. The tour ended at ~12:15 and after it was done, I moved on to my third stop.

Add the bit about the 800k Euro House boat and the fact that the canal tour boats are all electric 

Mac Bike

Someone like me can’t come to Amsterdam and not ride a bicycle. I went to the ubiquitous Mac Bike, a rental shop nearby, and rented bicycle for the day.

I set off at 12:30 and dove right in to the organized chaos that is Amsterdam bicycle traffic. This city does it right in terms of having dedicated bike paths on most major streets that are actually part of the sidewalk. There is a separate set of traffic lights for cyclists and most people follow it pretty strictly.

There is a liberal use of right-of-way, which is given and taken on sort of a case-by-case basis. However, if, like me, you kind of just follow the crowd and don’t panic, you’ll be ok. The only part of all this I disagreed with was the fact that motorized scooters are also allowed to use these paths. This seemed dangerous as they are much faster than bikes but I never got hit so I guess it works fine.

I started off by riding past the old Heineken brewery, then doubled back and rode to flea market that had been pointed out during the canal tour. I then got on a path that ended up taking me all the way out to Westerpark.

IMG_0191More canal goodness

I then consulted the map I’d been given and figured out how to make my way back to the city. I ended up on this cool shopping street and eventually made my way to and through Voldelpark. After stopping on a bench for a minute, I made my way to Sarphatipark where I sat and chilled again before heading to Cafe Piper.

This was one of the other bars suggested by Seth Meyers in the Amsterdam episode of The Getaway. However, when the bartender told me that they did not serve food, I decided to eat at the place next door. I had a burger and a beer and just chilled. I chatted a bit with the older women next to me who were from Savanah, GA.

Reenergized, I rode to Museumplein where I contemplated going into the Moco Museum. It was ~5pm and the place was set to close at 6pm. Despite the fact that it looked small enough to tackle in an hour or less, I moved on.

IMG_0192Museumplein with I AMSTERDAM and the Rijksmuseum

I ended up biking all the way to Oosterpark before turning back to drop off the bike. I returned it at ~6pm. Then I popped into a shop to by two drinks. I was super hot and tired from all the riding.

I then hopped on a bus back to my Air BnB where I took a shower and a (bad idea) nap. I then got up and wrote this before going to bed.

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Europe – Day 13: Amsterdam – Day 1

Wednesday – June 6, 2018

I woke up and did my morning routine of getting showered and dressed. I got everything packed then headed out into the early morning rain. I took the Metro to Gare L’Est as there were no trains running to Gare du Nord.

Eventually, after running around for a while I found a map. I went out into the rain and, after asking an attendant for directions, walked the 7 minutes to Gare du Nord. Once there I went looking for what platform my train would be on. I the went looking for food and ended up getting a ham and cheese on a croissant with ice tea. When I got back to the departure board, I found that may train was boarding at the platform I assumed it would be.

Paris to Amsterdam

Gare du Nord to Centraal Station via Thalys train (~3 hours)

Once on the train I wrote a bit of a post. At one of the first stations, there was an announcement that we were delayed by 10 minutes; such has been my luck with trains. At the Brussels station there was a bit of a confusion with some passengers who said that there seat was the same as a passenger already in that seat.

A woman told me she was supposed to have my seat. However, I showed her my ticket and she went to find another seat. Apparently there was a glitch in the system where seats were supposed to be reassigned but never were and thus some sections appeared to be overbooked.

The trip continues without a problem and I arrived at Amsterdam Centraal at ~11am. I was expecting to have to go through customs/boarder control in either Paris or Amsterdam but I never did.

Once at the main terminal I was a bit of confused finding my way out of the station. Then, once I did find an exit, I wasn’t sure how to buy a metro card. I asked for help and was told to go to the store across the street. There I got a metro card and was told where to get the train I needed.

I’d Googled how to get to my Air BnB but the train they told me was different than the one I was expecting to take. I nervously rode to my destination but then found out that the light rail (what I was expecting to take) and the subway stop at the same station.

The walk to the Air BnB was very easy and though this one is by far the most out of the way, it is also the nicest. The Air BnB was an actual house so my host simply answered the door when I rang the doorbell.

My room was on the top floor and was bigger by sq ft than the entire apartment I’d just come from. As the BnB implies she even had tea and biscuits for me. When I asked where I could do my laundry, my host offered to do it for me. I then sat, wrote, did my hair, got and settled in ie. organized the room. I left for the city at 1:30pm.

I Amsterdam

Rather than walk back to the train, I took my hosts recommendation and walked to the nearby bus stop. The only problem was that due to construction, the first bus drove right past me to stop at a makeshift stop a little ways down the road. Luckily the next bus was only 4 minutes away (there is an electronic sign that tells you the bus number and its arrival time).

IMG_0102I AMSTERDAM

The ride into the city was fast and easy. I ended up getting off the bus one stop earlier than I planned to because this stop, Rikjsmuseum, seemed to be in the middle of everything. On top of that, standing right in front is the famous I Amsterdam sign which was too mobbed to get a picture in front of, so I just got a picture of the sign with a bunch of random other people in front of it.

Vondelpark

Next I made my way to nearby Vondelpark. Along the way I passed a small Tesla showroom and though it wasn’t on my to see list, I had to stop in. There was only one woman working there but once she was done teaching people about the Model X I went over and chatted with her for a bit. I told her that I work at the Brooklyn showroom and she told me a little about how they operate over there before I continued on my way.

IMG_0108Be sure not to get Vondeled in the park

Vondelpark was super chill, people were biking everywhere, in fact bikes got the main path and pedestrians had paths off to either side. People were laying out, drinking and smoking. I basically just walked around and took it all in. Everything was super clean and the grass was very well kept.

One thing that stood out to me was how the grass went right up the water. There was no fence or boundary blocking you from going in if you wanted to. I feel like you don’t really see that in the states.

The Grasshopper

Next I walked through Leidseplein and popped into an Apple store to use their internet and figure out the best way to The Grasshopper (restaurant). I figured out what tram I needed just as it rolled by the storefront and ran outside to catch it.

IMG_0120The Grasshopper

The stop I got off at was only a short walk from The Grasshopper. The Grasshopper is a super chill restaurant right on the water. To be fair, most things are right on the water. I had a beer and a schnitzel. For dessert I had some ice cream.

Dam Square

IMG_0125The best Dam(n) Square I’ve ever seen

I then backtracked a bit and walked up the street to Dam Square. I took a few pictures of it before continuing to walk. I did a lot of walking and ended up near the main canal. I was headed to a restaurant I’d seen featured on the show The Getaway on Esquire Network.

Gebr. Hartering

Though I’d just eaten and this spot didn’t open until 6pm (it was only ~5:40pm), I just wanted to see it so that if I am able to get it in before I leave, I’ll know where to find it.

After, finding it, I found a nearby bench where I sat and rested my feet for a bit. I also gameplanned my evening before continuing on my way.

Centraal Station

I ended up accidentally doing a full loop, beginning where I started at Centraal Station. I knew there would be a restroom in there, however, what I didn’t realize was that, as was the case in Cannes, you had to pay a small fee to use it.

IMG_0136Amsterdam in a nutshell

I only had big bills so I went into the I Amsterdam Store because a) it looked like a classy (not cheesy) souvenir store and b) to see if they could break my 10 Euro note. Unfortunately/to my surprise, they only accepted credit cards. I then went to the ticket office where they were able to make change for me and I was able to use the WC.

Free Ferry

As I had been walking through the station, I noticed that the entire back section was open to the elements and I could see the big river that divides North Amsterdam from South Amsterdam. While on the train, the man sitting next to me told me about a free ferry that takes you across to the other side.

So, I exited out the back of station and quickly found the ferry he was talking about. There was a huge queue of cyclists (Amsterdam truly is a bike-centric city) but I was still able to just make it on the ferry.

IMG_0147A’DAM Lookout

Upon reaching the other side I passed a chill bar with hammocks on the front lawn, the A’DAM Lookout* which is apparently one of the tallest buildings in Amsterdam, but that’s not saying much, I passed a second I Amsterdam sign and the Eye Film Museum.

IMG_0158Eye Film Museum

Nestled in back of everything was a round building called This Is Holland. It was a tourism building that had everything from maps to souvenirs to food and drinks. There was even a movie ride thing (it seemed, from what I could tell, like the Soarin’ ride at Disney) that was a tourism video of Amsterdam.

Like the I Amsterdam Shop, this store was not filled with low rent cheesy bullshit, but rather was well designed, very clean, and classy. It felt like an IKEA or something. I grabbed a drink and sat and rested for a bit before taking the ferry back.

*Side Note: there were swings at the edge at the top where, presumably, you could pay to swing over the edge of the building.

Ferry Back

Once on the other side I found the tram I had been initially planning on taking to get me to the Air BnB. Because of the route it took, the tram was like a tour of the city. Once back I organized my newly washed clothes, showered and shaved, and wrote this before heading to bed.

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Europe – Day 12: Paris – Day 4

Tuesday – June 5, 2018

I had a pretty solid gameplan going into today so after getting a bit of writing done, I was off to my first stop.

La Grande Arche de la Défense

I took the 1 train all the way to the end of the line to see a building/structure called La Grande Arche. To be honest, I didn’t know and still kind of don’t know what La Grande Arche is. I just remember seeing it in my French textbook, thinking it looked cool and wanting to see it in person.

IMG_0014La Grande Arche

Upon exiting the station it is the first thing you see and the first thing that you notice is that it’s massive. According to wikipedia it stands 361 feet tall! For a non-conventional building, that is huge. Standing at the base and looking up is simply staggering. I walked around the area for a bit and took a few pics before heading to my next stop.

L’Arc de Triomphe

I hopped back on the train and took it a few stops back in the other direction to L’Arc de Triomphe. This was the first time I noticed that this particular train (this is not the case for every line) was autonomous.

IMG_0030L’Arc de Triomphe with a Citroen 2CV; does it get much more French than that?

I got out of the subway and took a few pictures before taking the underpass to the center of the rotary. The last time I was in Paris I didn’t go to the top of L’Arc because the line to go up was extremely long. This time however, despite the fact that the weather was nicer and I was prepared to wait, there was no line at all.

I paid my 12 Euro to climb to spiral staircase to the top of the 164 foot tower. At the top I took a few time lapse videos of the traffic going around the bottom as well as a few photos of Le Champs-Elysées and La Tour Eiffel. After getting my fill of that I walked back down to the bottom and took a few more pictures before heading to my next stop.

Hotel Raphael

I then walked a few blocks over to check out the Hotel Raphael aka “Hotel Chevalier” from The Darjeeling Limited. I basically just took a few pictures of it and dipped a toe in the lobby before moving on.

IMG_0062You talk like Marlene Dietrich And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire Your clothes are all made by Balmain And there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair…

I will add that across the street was the Peninsula Hotel which had a green Rolls Royce Phantom, as well as a green 7-series BMW. The green Rolls is another movie connection, though unintentional and I was in the wrong city.

“That’s right Goodnight, a green Rolls Royce.” “…James, all green Rolls Royces belong to the Peninsula Hotel.” Quotes from The Man With The Golden Gun.

Le Champs-Elysées

I walked a few blocks back over to the Le Champs-Elysées and began to make my way down it, all the while having the song, also featured in The Darjeeling Limited stuck in my head.

IMG_0068Le Champs-Elysées

It was around noon and I hadn’t eaten anything yet so I kept my eyes peeled for a restaurant. All the ones I came across were too fancy or too McDonalds. Eventually however, I found one that was a cross between to two. It was still a fast food spot but it was a French fast food spot so the food was actually good. I stopped and ate for a bit before I continued walking all the way to the Musee d’Orsay.

Musee d’Orsay (fail)

However, upon my arrival I found that there was a super long line to get in. My legs were already tired from walking from L’Arc de Triomphe so I knew that waiting in a long line and walking through a museum would leave me and my feet cranky.

Plus, of the things I had left on my “to do” list, I knew I wanted to do the Catacombs more. So, I gave up on the museum and walked to the nearby Metro station.

Catacombs (fail)

I took the Metro all the way to the Catacombs only to find out that they were closed due to the construction going on in the area. This really bummed me out as I don’t know when or even if I’ll ever be in Paris again. I decided it would be best to go back to my Air BnB to relax, regroup, and do a bit of writing.

After coming back to the Air BnB, organizing my things for my departure tomorrow and doing a bit of writing, I headed back out to hit a couple more things.

Sorbonne

IMG_0072Sorbonne

The first thing I did was to find and walk around the area surrounding the Sorbonne University. I remember passing by it on the tour bus the last time I was in Paris so I figured I might as well see it in person. I did a lap around the block before eventually stumbling into the next thing I wanted to hit.

Panthéon

To be honest, I don’t really know what the Panthéon is but I know you’re supposed to think it’s cool or whatever so I took some pictures and then moved on.

IMG_0077Panthéon

I backtracked my way to the Sorbonne and was looking for somewhere to eat. I found a spot I thought would work, but when I realized how close I was to stop number 3, I pressed on.

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Le Jardin du Luxembourg is also something that I don’t really know why it’s there or why it matters. My guess is that perhaps it used to be a private home, but again, I’ve done zero research.

IMG_0093Le Jardin du Luxembourg

All I can say is that it is very beautiful. It felt like a miniature Versailles or something. Also, there was a little spot where you could get food, so that is where I ended up eating. I basically just walked around for a bit and took some pictures before heading back to the Metro and going back to the Air BnB for the evening.

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Europe – Day 11: Paris – Day 3

Monday – June 4, 2018

Today is my 29th birthday. My initial plan was to start my day with death for breakfast. I took the Metro directly to The Catacombs.

Catacombs (fail)

Upon arriving there I found the area where I thought them to be but was not able to find an entrance. I stumbled around walking back and forth in the area until I came across an older couple who were also looking for the entrance. Eventually we found it only to see there was a sign saying that it is not open on Mondays.

Bummed, I then crossed the street and had a long slow breakfast outside at a corner cafe. After finally finishing and finally paying my bill I hopped back on the Metro and took it to Passay.

Pont de Bir-Hakeim

I got off the train and walked along Pont de Bir-Hakeim and underneath the bridge the train had just crossed over. This area is relevant to me because it is used for a location in the movie Inception. Despite the fact that is was supposed to rain, the weather was sunny and pretty warm.

IMG_9920Pont de Bir-Hakeim

I walked over to the area directly across from the Eiffel Tower where there is a fountain and stairs for a good elevated view of the tower. I climbed the stairs and got a bunch of pictures of the tower. I then grabbed an ice tea before walking back to the Metro

IMG_9945Eiffel Tower

I took the Metro to Concorde where I walked the short distance to the Musée de l’Orangerie.

Musée de l’Orangerie

There was a bit of a line to get into the museum but it moved pretty quickly. Once inside, I made a dash for the thing this museum is famous for housing, Monet’s Water Lilies.

IMG_9953Monet’s Water Lilies

There are several iterations of these paintings but these ones are the most famous. It’s difficult to really appreciate the size of these paintings until you see them up close. After finishing the first room, I moved on to the second to find that this room contained even more water lilies.

After getting lilied out, I moved on to the rest of the museum. To be honest it was pretty small and without rushing I’d say I got the whole thing done in an hour or an hour and a half.

Musée d’Orsay (fail)

Once done I walked the short distance over the bridge to the Musée d’Orsay. Only to find that it too was closed. Being that I have plans to see a show this evening, I decided to go back to my Air BnB to regroup, figure out the rest of my day and figure out my tomorrow.

After getting everything together I decided that despite the fact that it was closing at 6pm and it was already 4pm, and since it was not going to be open tomorrow (closed on Tuesdays, wtf?) I’d make a run for it, hop on the Metro and head for the Louvre.

Musée du Louvre

I got off the subway and walked the underground mall to the ticket booth, got a ticket and headed into the museum. The place was a mob scene. Realistically if one wants to do this museum justice they’ll need an entire day, maybe two days and they’ll need to get there first thing in the morning to try and avoid as much crowd as possible.

Because I had been to the museum the last time I was in Paris, nearly 10 years ago, I initially wasn’t going to do it. But, because I had time to kill and because how can you not, I went. Luckily, once I got into the museum, I sort of remembered where to go. There were really just two things I wanted to see but ended up seeing 4 of the big things.

The first one I ran into was the Venus de Milo. Next, making my way up the stairs, I saw Winged Victory. Then, funnily enough, I made the exact same mistake I had made the last time I went, going left at the top of the stairs instead of right. Eventually I backtracked and I eventually found her and her sly smile, the Mona Lisa.

IMG_9962Winged Victory

Lisa has a wall to herself in the middle of one of the gallery rooms and, unfortunately, every other paining in that room gets ignored. I myself fell victim of photo fervor, getting caught in the crowd clamoring to get a shot. Small and stuck behind several inches of bullet-proof glass, it’s hilarious to me (as it was last time I was there) that the massive painting on the opposite wall gets no love and yet is arguably a much more masterful achievement.

When the fever had passed, I made my way to the last stop. It took me 17 minutes to find it but eventually I found her, 28 Juillet – La Liberté Guidant le Peuple. This famous painting had been moved from it’s regular spot in the museum to be part of a special exhibit.

IMG_9976La Liberté Guidant le Peuple

I had been seeing it on bus ads and so I was compelled to see it in person. Something about the neo-feminist movement which has been sweeping the nation made this image depicting a woman taking charge of a prison break even more compelling.

After looking at it and the rest of the images in the exhibit, it was about time for the museum to close so I exited through the glass pyramid.

Le Mulin Rouge

I then made my way to the red light district so that I’d be ready for my 8pm entrance into the theatre. It was only around 6pm or a little after so I strolled up and down the road on which Le Moulin resides to see what food options were available.

Unless it moved, I had remembered (obviously incorrectly) that the Hard Rock Cafe was right near Le Moulin. I didn’t necessarily want to eat there, put it would make a fine back up choice. However, despite my laps up and down the main strip, I was unable to find it. I did however find Le Chat Noir.

IMG_9995Le Chat Noir

Now, to be fair I’m pretty sure this was not the real place but merely a new restaurant claiming the name (more research is required on my end) but either way it looked cool and would make for a good story, so I stopped in.

I had the pasta bolognese with some bread and butter. I ate slowly and by the time I was done it was around 7:30pm. I then walked up and down the strip a bit more and before I knew it, it was time to go in.

When I got to the check in desk the man behind the counter took a while to find me my seat, then, as I was about to enter, he grabbed my arm, “There’s a  message for you, from your sister. She wishes you a happy birthday.” I was so shocked. “How did she… ?” I asked. “She called the office.”

I could not believe it, I was so stunned. This may seem like a small thing but I thought it was such a fantastic way of sneaking in a birthday wish. It was the most thoughtful birthday wish I’d ever received and I got a bit choked up.

Moving into the theater I was taken to my seat. Along the way I took in every detail. Le Moulin is like a Disney Attraction, no detail is too small. The walls have theming with hints of Paris like the entrance to the Metro and old posters of past shows that have gone on there.

It wasn’t until I got to my seat, that I realized how close I was to the stage, I was basically in the front row. There were a lot of people already inside. Presumably if you ordered a meal you were seated earlier in order to eat it before the show.

IMG_0003Le Moulin Rouge

The group of people I was sitting with were all considerably older than me. Additionally, the the server noted that I had a bottle of champagne coming my way, when it didn’t arrive right away, I got a bit nervous. Eventually it did come and it was quite good.

There was a house band playing a warming up the crowd for the show. Eventually I got to chatting with the people around me and when I said I was there for my birthday they all wished me a happy birthday.

At one point, perhaps when I was turned around trying to take everything in, the dance floor that had been right in front of us had raised up to be the same hight as the rest of the stage. At 9pm all the lights went out, the opening announcements were made and then the show started.

To be honest, there is too much to remember to even begin to describe it. All I can say is that it is part burlesque show, part circus, part vaudeville, there are live animals, in short it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The show went through different era’s and movements highlighting different costumes of the times.

The parts that stuck out to me were the roller-skaters, the drummer/juggler/comedian, the woman who swam with snakes, the two acrobats that performed to Singin’ In The Rain and the part towards the end where they performed the Can Can as I hoped they would. It was a fantastic show and an excellent way to end the evening.

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Europe – Day 10: Paris – Day 2

Sunday – June 3, 2018

Today I was off to a bit of a slow start due to a late night last night and because I was busy getting things in order for today, figuring out my gameplan, etc. The first thing I did was to take the Metro to Montmartre.

IMG_9847Le Sacre Coeur at Montmartre

Chez Eugene

I got off the train and nearly passed out from walking all of the stairs up to Le Sacre Coeur. Once at the top it took me a bit of getting lost in order to eventually double back  to Chez Eugene.

Chez Eugene was, I think, the first restaurant I ever ate at in Paris when I was there in 2009. Because it was not winter, I wanted to eat outside along the street and people watch. Despite the fact that it was already 11am, it wasn’t super busy. Though every outside table was filled, every indoor table was empty.

IMG_9850Chez Eugene; restaurant where I ate breakfast

A table shortly freed up and I had a long slow breakfast of crêpes covered in Nutella and bananas. (I also had a full/untouched croissant that was left at the table next to me. They were going to throw it out, why let it go to waste?) The service was very slow and I’m not used to taking my time and enjoying my food. Especially when I have a bunch of things to see.

Despite making eye contact with my waiter several times and giving him the “check” sign, I ended up getting up, going into the restaurant and paying at the counter. I then walked back down to the streets below and hopped on the Metro.

Centre Pompidou/Stravinsky Fountain

I took the Metro to the area near the Centre Pompidou. However, the screen shot of the directions I had taken was not super clear and I ended up at a park near Les Halles Metro station. I re-routed but went in the wrong direction. However, I found a map that was helpful and, re-routed again and, found the Centre.

IMG_9859Centre Pompidou

I took a few pictures of it and in my walking around, stumbled into the nearby Stravinsky Fountain; also on my to see list. I got a few pictures of that as well and decided not to go into the Centre. I then chilled in the area for a bit before doubling back to my next destination.

Duluc Detective/The Louvre

IMG_9872Duluc Detective

While heading to my next stop, I stopped into a grocery store and grabbed a desperately needed ice tea. Moving on, I easily found the street I was looking for and easily found the location as well. The Duluc Detective agency is one of the location’s featured in the movie Midnight In Paris.

IMG_9877The Louvre museum

After basking in it’s glory and taking a few pictures I continued on my way. I had other sights to see but being that it was right there I walked through the courtyard area of the Louvre. I took a few pictures of the exterior before continuing on my way.

Notre Dame/Shakespeare and Company

I continued walking, now I was along the water (I even went down a ramp that took me along the bank) and eventually made my way to Point Neuf. I strolled through and soon ended up in Place Dauphine where I passed and took pictures of two restaurants also featured in Midnight In Paris.

IMG_9890Notre Dame

This was an unexpected surprise as, though I did have them on my “to see” list, I had omitted them from today’s itinerary due to their lack of importance to me. Eventually, after continuing to walk, I made my way to Notre Dame. I got a few pictures of the front, side and back before sitting on a bench to figure out my next move.

IMG_9895Shakespeare and Company book store

As it so happened, as I sort of expected, I was right near the Shakespeare and Company book store. So, I got off my ass and walked the relatively short distance there. This is yet another location from Midnight In Paris. However, there was a line to get in so I just took pictures of it.

Bastille

I then walked to the nearby Metro station and took the subway to Bastille. Upon exiting the station there were subway police and I almost got fined again because I hadn’t written my name on my Metro card.

IMG_9897Bastille

Luckily he just brushed me off and I exited the station to get my pictures of the Bastille. I then found a nearby gift shop where I “tested” a pen by writing my name on my metro card. Afterwards I walked back to the Metro  and took it to Gare de Lyon. There I was to switch to the 14 train, however, it was not running.

After a bit of looking at the Metro map and the station map, I found that there was a station nearby which connected to a train that took me to where I wanted to go. So I exited the station and walked to 5 train. Took the 5 to the 6 and the 6 to Bercy.

Bercy

Now, Bercy is not a place anyone would go to just to go. It is a stadium so unless you have a concert or event to see. However, I am me. I am a nerd and this is the venue (or one of the venues) where Daft Punk performed their Alive 2007 concert. I know, I know, totally nerd, BUT, I was here, I wanted to see it and I did. Plus, I’m sure you’ve never see an arena like this:

IMG_9900Bercy arena

I then walked over to a nearby skatepark to watch some cool tricks before taking the Metro back to my Air BnB. It was a long day with a lot of walking and despite the fact that it was only ~5pm, I decided to call it quits for the day.

My initial plan was to go out to another jazz club, however, the one I thought had a show which started at 7:30, actually had one that ends at 7pm. I was not going to trek out there to see maybe an hour of showtime, so I wrote this and planned my next few days instead.

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