Wednesday, 25 May 2011

in and out

I had a birthday last weekend.

In the past, I've said that celebrating into your birthday is the more elegant way to party. But now I'm a firm believer in rocking out of it as well.

The day before my birthday, we had a guerrilla gardening party. Everyone brought flowers, and we planted them in front of our apartment.

This is what it looked like before:
before garden

And this is what it looks like now.
garden after shot

Yes those are little, mini garden gnomes. I swear they are in a different position every morning. Idols (especially those with pointy hats) are a total "no no" in Caribbean culture, but they look adorable, so count this as yet another small step towards integration.

Some people didn't fully understand the concept and brought bouquets of flowers, which was just as lovely because a) my apartment now looks like a blooming oasis and b)"oh, sorry, I thought you meant..." is ususally my line here in Germany, and it was refreshing to be on the recieving end.

It was one of the best days of my life. I tell you, if you are not feeling like getting older, celebrate big, and ask for gifts that aren't for yourself. Nothing like taking the focus off your own existence to make you love life anew.

Since it was so awesome, I was so not planning to stay up past midnight on my birthday. But we went for dinner, and then someone suggested we have one last drink at the Kohlenquelle. Here are some fuzzy impressions of the bar. Lots of vintage-looking signs, sans serif fonts and stern warnings in German.




This is the barkeep. I'm going to just tell you his real name, because now he is my BFF.

Dirk told us he was closing, and I told him it was my birthday. We convinced him to serve us juice in bottles, and when they were half done, to mix cocktails directly in the bottle (no washing up!).

He found out it was my birthday, and told us we have to go to Roses. If we helped him close up, he would take us there. We closed the bar and I got to watch my best friend wipe tables and stack chairs while wearing Dior.

We danced until morning, and instead of the post-party blues, when I came home, I was welcomed by a growing reminder that this city is full of angels.

garden angels

Friday, 20 May 2011

fontastic friday: Rounders




Top to bottom, orthopedic shop on Chaussestrasse, delivery truck off of Weinmeisterstrasse, pub on Putbusser Str.

Rounders (1998) crime drama 121 mins.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

the perils of baking in a foreign language

There are many simple tasks that take on opus-like proportions for North Americans in Germany. Things like: visiting the post office, buying cheese, and baking.

The science of it means it needs to be precise, or else the sweet, delicious experiment won't work. Yet ther are so many stages where you can trip up.

One of these is flour, the other, breakfast cereal. Do you see the difference? I barely see the difference.

At home we have a yellow box and a manly bicep. Here it's a woman bent over a mop and pail.

After living here 4 years, I just learned that when Germans say "pfund" or "pound", they are referring to a measurement that actually amounts to half a pound. Needless to say, I have a lot of apples left over.

This is my European oven. Even if it did have temperatures on it, it would be in celcius. Instead, I get to guess, and every time I have a 1 in 8 chance of burning something.

This was the first time I got the muffins to raise and other people to eat them. One more step towards integration.

Monday, 9 May 2011

model role

I have a career crush on Suzanne Timmins.

Last fall, I was lucky enough to meet her at a great talk on trend research at the Toronto Fashion Incubator. I would have begged demanded asked for a card if I knew how hard it would be to meet her again.

Full of charm and style, she had a zig-zag trajectory to the fabulous job she has now: Fashion Director for the Hudson's Bay Company. You know how you kind of started loving The Bay again in the last few years? The must-have Team Canada 2010 Olympic gear? The Room showcasing high fashion and great designers? The end of calling it HBC? Yeah, all Timmins.

Friday, 6 May 2011

fontastic friday: Metropolis




Something about the words "technology" and "factory" that demands ALL CAPS in German.

Metropolis (1927) dir. Fritz Lang. 157 minutes of enchantment.

Monday, 2 May 2011


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