Yippee Ki-yay Mother F**ker

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25, 2010 by taylorsaracuse

Sorry about the title of this blog… nothing was coming to mind. So, I’ll just start were I left off. Wednesday night I decided to make brownies and watch Die Hard 2 with Beni, thus that is what I proceeded to do. The brownies were amazing… so was DH2. At the same time Jasmine’s climber friend Aga came over and I managed to convince her to have some brownie after she had done two week without sweets. My brownie making skills won! The next night I went to a CSer’s house for a night of improv/German lessons. The CSer, Jens, was into theater and wanted to see if he could combine improvisation theater with the learning of the German language. It was fun, but I felt it was not too effective for actually learning German (and it happens on Museum Thursdays). It’s up in the air if I’ll go back or not.

On Friday Beni and I decided we needed to go on an adventure so we hopped on our bikes and made our way to a new undiscovered park. No recommendations, we just saw it on google maps and decided we’d bike to it. On the way we picked up some Döner, beverages & candy and enjoyed the sunshine. I tree climbed for a while and life was good. The next day Beni and I went to meet his friend Tobias and had some amazing falafel and gelato in Kreuzberg. I’ll definitely be going back to the gelato place. We then met up with Jas and Kaj and went bouldering. Bouldering is like rock climbing, but with no rope on tiny walls that are only about 3 meters high at the most. That night Beni’s bro Tobi arrived and Lukas also came back from Austria.

The nest day Jas and I explored a Turkish flee market we’ve never been to.  It was completely how a market should be. There was literally a woman with a table full of crap yelling “Everything 20 cent!” In German though. So cheap, so sketchy, so good. On Monday Tobi, Beni and I decided to go on another adventure. This time it was to the Berlin International Culture Festival. Pretty much FolkFest on speed. After enjoying some great world music and world food we took an hour and a half walk home through some really nice parts of Berlin. This brings us to today, which was a chill day. Beni and Tobi went back to Magdeburg, where Tobi lives to finish some business before they both move here, so the house was just the four roommates. This was quite nice.

One thing that I have neglected to talk about though which has been a part of my life for the last two weeks is that Templehof Airport, the airport that is two blocks from my house and has been closed since 2008 has been turned into a city park. The space which is roughly 3 times the size of the UVic campus (or bigger than Central Park in NY) is all a public park space now and forever. A space that could have been developed and sold for hundreds of millions of dollars (in a city which is billions of dollars in debt) has been turned into a space for the people. I tell you, only in Berlin. I have been spending many of my mornings getting up early and biking the 6km bike path that circles the park. I must say it truly an odd, but beautiful and surreal sight to see people running, rollerblading, and biking down a runway. Peace and Love, Taylor.

What Happened?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 19, 2010 by taylorsaracuse

Sorry team, I guess in my head I wrote an entry about a week ago and then I told myself I’d write a new one around this time, but truth be told I haven’t written anything since May 6th…. oh Taylor you crazy ass kid. Anywho I guess I owe the few readers I have an entry, so here it goes. As of Wednesday the 12th the craziness, which I spoke of in my last entry subsided. Jocelyne & Alanna continued their journey and Sam & Kevin found a place for, at least, the next month. Before that happened though Tuesday night occurred, which consisted of a nice relaxing dinner, a small in-home art show by Kate (über wonderful), and Lukas randomly leaving for Vienna. Okay we knew he was leaving for a while, but we didn’t know when he’d leave, or come back for that matter, but we’re sure he’s enjoying visiting Marisa in Vienna. So peeps left  Wednesday and there was a day and a half of rest… then more people came. Luckily these people were Jasmine’s mom, Kathy, her friend Greg, and Jasmine’s other friend Bean and his friend (note: I am honestly not worried with the structure of that last sentence). So due to circumstances there was a little less energy needed on my end since I had no hosting duties.

As for events of life, the night before new guests came I helped Jas’ dance company out and helped construct a stage and an audience for a show dance called “Not So” that Jasmine danced in on Friday night; the reason why her guests came. The setting up was quite great actually as our BC friend Beni, who is currently in the process of moving to Berlin, was there to keep me company (along with Kaj & Johannes, climbers) and the fact that I was in a theater setting. Oh theater, how I love thee. I show was super enjoyable and it was great to finally see Jasmine dance after living with her for 7 months and knowing her for longer. My opinion might be biased, but I though she was the best. We then all went out for drinks along with a bunch of other friends of Jasmine and mine who came to the show.

The next night was spent getting to know Kathy and Greg a bit after making a yummy batch of cookies. Jas and I went down the road to a bar with them and enjoyed drink as well as a great solo performance by a solo act by the name of Sarsaparilla. Kaj later met up with us and when K&G went back to the apartment Jas, Kaj, and I went out to an enjoyable house party.

Kathy and Greg left yesterday and I watch Die Hard for the first time and now you’re caught up in the life of Taylor. Peace and Love.

A Full Free Love

Posted in Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 by taylorsaracuse

Oh what a lack of updating there has been. I would like to say I have been busy, which I have been, but not enough to neglect this wonderful blog. Well here it goes then. The days after last entry were kind of quiet but I got somethings I have been meaning to do done; such as tuning up my bike at a donation self repair bike shop called Regenboganfabrik. Things started getting more uptempo as of Tuesday night when Sam (a Canadian friend who visited last year and decided to move to Berlin now) and his boyfriend Kevin arrived. They’re staying at Free Love until they find a place in Berlin. Oliver left the next day to the Netherlands and I wish him a great rest of his trip.

On Thursday Sam, Kevin, and I spent the first day hanging out and went and ran some errands like finding me a mattress constructed of stolen shipping pallets, getting Sam’s violin repaired, and looking at all the crazy second hand stores around Neukölln. Thing got even more quickly paced on Friday when Marisa and two friends arrived for the weekend just for a little visit. And then next day got even crazier when my cousin Jocelyn and her friend Alanna arrived to Berlin to finish up their Euro-journey together. They’re here until the 11th-12th. So on Sunday, with Kate’s boyfriend, Martin, and Jasmine having Ray over, the Free Love count of people sleeping over was 13. A new record for our 5 room apartment.

Having Jocelyn and Alanna over has meant a lot of great action. On the Saturday night they arrived we started strong by quickly coming back to the apartment and dropping off their backs and then quickly hitting the streets for May 1st Protest. May 1st across Europe and South America is a worker’s day protest, but in Berlin it’s more of a giant party in the streets of Kreuzberg… with 6000 police walking around just incase. These photo’s sum up the night if you can imagine stages set up everywhere with a lot of Electronic/Dance music blasting as well:

Photo by Yoad Ezra

Photo by Yoad Ezra

Needless to say it was a pretty mad introduction to Berlin for the girls.

The next day was a chill day in Mauerpark. The weather wasn’t as beautiful as last weekend, but it was still super. The girls and I sat and probably watch Bearpit Karaoke for two and a half hours. Some epic performances. That night was the night of many people and we also had a great time as José and a friend showed up for some drinks and we played music and told stories late into the night. A packed, but fun house.

Monday and Tuesday were work days for me as the girls went and discovered the city. Then last night after a day of busking the girls, Sam, and me met up at the Tee Haus for Vokü, saw some familiar faces and played some chess. We then wandered around F-shain for a while to eventually go to the house of Paula, Sam’s Canadian friend. We then met more people at this small bar, run by this hilarious Polish woman, to dance the night away, which brings us today. The weather’s miserable so we’re all taking a at home day and doing some baking. Hope all is well in the West. Peace and Love,  Taylor.

Quite Weekdays, Crazed Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2010 by taylorsaracuse

The title is pretty self explanatory really. During the week there was mainly Jeremie recovery because though we all love the guy, you manage to find yourself doing a lot of crazy things while in his presence. So quite frankly Wednesday, with the exception of one of my better busking days in a while, and Thursday were chill out days. Then the weekend hit.

Friday wasn’t actually too crazy. It was just mainly Oliver, Lukas, Phillip, and I staying up way to late watching youtube and drinking some beers. The next night was quite the late one though. Oli decided he needed to find a party and I would be his wing-man. I was okay with this as he wanted to go out the pervious night and I had kinda ditched him for my mattress. So off we went, first to the Tee Haus to chill, meet up with some people, and have some food. We were informed George, one of the “Tee Hausers” was having a house party. We first went down to Revalerstr. 99 to check out some clubs and explore a bit, but after that we met up with everyone else at George’s. It was a quiet party at George’s, but I got to see some people I haven’t seen in a while and have some really good conversations. Around 3:30 Oli wanted to find a club so we did. We hit up a club called Maria, which is normally good, but unfortunately on Saturday it had fairly bad DJ and the wrong crowd; the “touristy” kind. We survived until about 6 and then decided to bike home. I have to say though biking at that time of the day, especially on a good day (which it was), has to be one of my favorite things.

Of course we slept in on Sunday, but once we woke up around noon it was straight off the show Oli Mauerpark and oh what a day it was. Blue skies, 22ºc, music everywhere, 600 people at karaoke, pure love. Oli even joined in a sang at karaoke. he may of butchered The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations,” but at least he sang. The park was packed with hand drummers, lovers taking naps on each other, funk bands, people picnicking, D&B DJs, jugglers, and the usual great market. It was buzzing. Yes, Mauerpark was it’s usual brilliant self. Can’t wait till next Sunday. Peace and Love,  Taylor.

Oliver singing some tunes.

20ºC With A Chance Of Goodness

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2010 by taylorsaracuse

Okay lots to catch you up on. Lets start with the bad news and then work to all the cool stuff that has been happening. The bad news is I went to Mamas & Virgins on Monday to play for a fourth time. When I arrived there was a closed sign; needless to say I was somewhat confused. I noted people within the cafe so I poked my head in and after a “go-ahead” made my way into the cafe. It turns out the owners, who were there to explain, had to let the cafe project go as they had many other projects on the go and had no time for the cafe anymore. Unfortunately since it was only after two months of trying to run it. So for the time being, until they find a new owner, which they are currently in the process of doing, no M&Vs for Taylor. So that minorly sucks, but not to much of a downer; especially when this weather has emerged from its hiding place!

Along with great weather Lukas has returned. Thus, nearly after a month without Lukas, as I was in Barcelona and then he went back to Austria, Free Love finally is back to its four person roster. Yay! Last Tuesday I decided to do some exploring so I visited the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park that I have heard so much about. It truly is epic. Here is a picture for your enjoyment.

Note: 15m Soviet solider with babe in arms crushing a swastika!?!?!

After seeing this mighty statue, which by way by has 7000 Soviet soldiers buried underneath it, and reading up on its construction, I biked around the park a little more. I then made my way to a patch of grass to lie in the sunshine for a while. Pure bliss.

Wednesday I busked as I usually do. Thursday was my third Museum Thursday. This time I made my way up to Check Point Charlie, one of the biggest border crossing between East and West Berlin in the time of the wall, and visited the open air exhibit that covers the entire history of the wall. A lot of the information I already knew, but I did get some more in-depth individual stories surrounding the wall and it was a good refresher.

The weekend was a weekend of eating. On Friday Jasmine, Ray (one of the climbers) and myself prepared a huge dinner for the three of us and enjoyed a dinner that included meat in it. The first time in a while I’ve ate meat in Free Love. Saturday I ventured to Mitte and met up with my friend Sanne, who I visited in Holland during the winter, because she was visiting Berlin. We spent time hanging out in some parks listening to buskers with Gito and his other Dutch friend. Around 6 Sanne and I biked back down to Free Love and made  a very good dinner which we shared with Lukas. Around this time Jeremie returned to Berlin, with another Canadian friend from Jasper, Oliver. Jeremie and Oliver are currently staying with us right now. Once we finished dinner we met with Gito and friend again and visited another one their friends, a French guy named Ben. After a few drinks and good conversation at Ben’s place with a bunch of other people we all hit the streets looking for a good bar. After going to a few we finally settled on one. Uri, one of Jasmine’s dancing friends was coincidentally there. Around 4am Sanne and Gito decided it was time to go home, but Uri was leaving at the same time, Uri and I went out for another 2 hours at this great underground bar in my neighbourhood.

The next day was Sunday so I made my way to Mauerpark to meet up with Jasmine and her climbing friends and do some climbing at an outdoor wall. It quite fun and about midway through the climbing session we had a very nice picnic. We then went back home and made another big dinner and caught up with Jeremie and got to know Oliver’s story.

Yesterday I went a did a little bit of busking. The first time off license in a while. Jeremie, Oliver, and I later that night went to one of our friend’s projects and chilled and conversed over pretzels for a few hours. Us guys then hit a bar for a beer and headed back home after another late night. So I’ve been keeping busy and it seems like it will stay like this for the next few months and that thought excites me. Peace and Love, Taylor.

Bed To Desk To Bed

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2010 by taylorsaracuse

Hello all, the last week has been somewhat uneventful because I was busy trying to hand in a bunch of work for a deadline for the First Nation Studies (FNS) course. Luckily everything was handed in and marks were kept high. Despite some uneventfulness let me recall the week’s highlights.

Last Saturday I went out with Jasmine to a party and met the majority of her climbing friends, which I had heard so much about. It was night of dancing, chatting, & fun and I even had some of my spending money left over the next morning. Monday marked me making my way through the first, and only, season of Glee. I know it’s shameful, but I must admit I do quite enjoy it. What can I say, it’s lighthearted pleasant entertainment. With Glee out of way though it was nothing but FNS for most of the week.

On Thursday I attempted to participate in my second Museum Thursday, but since I was busy with the course I decided not to stray off too far from home so I decided to go to the Museum of Neukölln, a museum covering the history of the district I live in. I biked to the museum, but when I arrived there was a notice saying it was closed until May 1st. Noooooo. My second Museum Thursday failed already, but I do not fret. The hump in the schedule just means  have to go to another museum on a non-Thursday at some point to catch up, which I really don’t mind doing. Especially seeing as I now have a list of Museums to see.

The last exciting part of my week occurred yesterday when I met up with an old high school friend, Remy, who is currently doing a “Eurotrip” right now with her friend Robin. We met up after their free tour that they were on concluded and then went for a coffee, or my case a hot chocolate, to catch up. They’re here until Wednesday so we’ll probably meet up once more before they leave. So all is good in Berlin and life is still splendid. Peace and Love, Taylor.

Back Into The Swing Of Things… Sorta

Posted in Uncategorized on April 1, 2010 by taylorsaracuse

Dear follower, life back in Berlin has mainly been a mixture of doing my First Nations Studies [FNS] course and sadly getting wrapped up in the plot of Glee (Glee is a television show for those of you who don’t know. Keep up the good work and keep being oblivious to popular culture), but I’ll run over some of the highlights of this week.

Getting back to busking on Saturday was disastrous as I quickly discovered after a few notes that 12 days without singing, combined with a cold, can do “wonderful” things for your voice. I maybe only sang for half of the three hours I sat there in Potsdamerplatz. I didn’t want to use the subway station as a practice venue and I sure as hell didn’t want to subject people to bad music. Luckily a friend of mine happened to pass by and we sat down and talked for a while. After he left, yes, no name, I met in the subway station about a month ago and forgot his name (unfortunately he remembered mine), I continued to sing less difficult songs. I then decided to take advantage of by raspy, coughy voice and start singing some blues. The “event” got better eventually and I did end making some money.

I sang and learned songs the entire rest of the weekend in order for my 2nd appearance at Mamas & Virgins. All went well. There was a better turn out and I even got a few compliments after my set. I then continued with some FNS and Glee for a few more days until I hit Wednesday. Wednesday I met up with Billie for my last official day of the internship. Everything finished on good terms. So with the ending of the internship one could conclude the website was finally published, so without further adieu:

http://www.billieraymartin.com

In all honesty the banner is not my favorite and it is a little cluttered for my liking, but she wanted a lot of content so this was the final outcome. For the most part I am very pleased with my work and a enormous thank you to Rob for the help over the entire progress. He probably won’t read this, but I believe he knows how grateful I am. As a special treat here is the banner I wanted to use.

Martin and I worked so hard on the robot arm...

Today was a good day. I met up with Alex and Ami, two girl I met in North India. I have met up with Alex before, but Ami was visiting from South Germany so it was excellent to see her. Then I engaged in my first ‘Museum Thursday.’ I decided after visiting Barcelona that I really enjoy a well put together museum or gallery, thus I came to the conclusion that I should go to more. The fact that Berlin’s government run museum are free on Thursday made my plan easier, thus I decided to make Thursday my museum day, were I will visit a new museum or gallery every week naturally on Thursday. Today I visited an excellent photo exhibition by Nadav Kander, a British portrait and landscape photographer. It was quite splendid and should check out “Obama’s People” if you feel, just click the link.

Well that’s all for now folks. Might be adding some changes to the way I write this blog, instead of the weekly synopsis of my life. Don’t worry that won’t go, just more might be added, but this is yet to be set in stone. Peace and Love, Taylor.