At the Rhein Fall, Outside Zürich (City Proper)

I went to the Rhein Fall (oh, man am I spelling that right? I always forget how to spell things here) on my last day in Zürich because I’d heard it was worth it. I deduced from some promotional photos that it’s a bit more impressive in the spring and summer when it’s less depress-y, but it was still fun to see. And then there was a weird sculpture. And that path led up to a hostel! Crazy, right? What a random place to stay, but f.y.i, you can stay in a hostel at the Rhein Fall if you wanna.

P.S. I got some q’s about what exactly it is I do with my images. It depends. I’m not a trained photographer, my background’s in videography, so basically I do whatever I think makes the image look like what it feels like? For the top two I sort of made them look like sleepy hollow because the day was gray and yucky. Eww. (Then it started raining, man, the rest of the day after this waterfall really was notso htoso).

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Getting Vintage-y in Florence

These are some supplementary pictures for an article I wrote. Click here for all the vintage shopping goodness!

P.S. What do we think of the text on the pictures? I think I like it better than just putting little subtitles under the pics…but does it twerk or is it bussa bussed?(I never knew what Busta Rhymes meant when he said that but it probably isn’t healthy).

P.P.S. click on the “Street Doing” picture and take the chance to really relish those shoulder pads. You know you want to.

Zürich ist Cool und Sexy, Ya?

So these are my favorite pictures I took this weekend. I really like shooting people the best and I think/hope these give a good sense of what {at least} some of the people are like ’round Zürich. I particularly like the Winstons in the Louis bag…you stay classy, Switzerland (that girl was like, 14, btw)[I wanted to take her picture while she was smoking but…creepy]. This is just a “preview” of the trip, i.e. I’m too lazy right now to write (agh, write write write) so I’ll be back later with more of the actual city and a rundown of how the trip went!

One is the Loveliest Number

Ugh I’m feeling sick today, achey all overrr. This is bad because 1) I’m not getting out on some of the last warmish days when the trees still have leaves on them and 2) tomorrow I’m headed to Zurich! I’m going to be Couchsurfing again, which is exciting. I’m supposed to be doing a ghost walk on Friday evening followed by a a night on the town (the first chance the Swiss have to show me How They Do). Luckily my aunt has an exhaustive supply of tea and is a great cook (I love good things that run in the family) so being bedridden with the ouches isn’t so bad as it could be.

P.S. My friend Ariel is going to Hong Kong for a few days and then Japan, which makes me jealous although not too jealous because, well, you know. Check it out, see how it compares to my experience! (I loved HK, have fuuunnnn Ari…)

P.P.S. Vintage shopping in Antwerp, Belgium. Looks amazing. I recently purchased my Eurail pass to France, Benelux*, and Germany, which means I’ll be heading to Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin sometime in the next month anda half. *(Benelux is an acronym for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg…did you know that? I had no idea. I was ordering my pass and freaking out like, “I need to meet my friend in Amsterdam! Why can’t I get to the Netherlands? Did they secede? And what the hell is Benelux? How did I not know about this country?)[also I sort of didn’t realize Luxembourg was a country. Oops.]

P.P.S.S. Oh, right. FYI I’m headed to Amsterdam (and maybe briefly Rotterdam?) in December to meet up with this lady. Weeeee!

Px3S(?) Oh, right! I almost forgot, I didn’t take that picture! It’s from Florence and my friend Jeremy took it. Go Jeremy!

(I Want to Live in) Freiburg, Germany

The other day we went to Freiburg, Germany, a small college town where my aunt knows some folks (who have a baby) [I WANT A BABY]{I mean what?}. So that was adorable and then I spent some time wandering the streets on my own. Basically Freiburg is amazing. This was my first time in Germany and honestly I imagined something like gray skies all the time and people who were sort of walking but also marching because they couldn’t help it and maybe some rain. But Germany actually isn’t like my offensive and uneducated preconception, who knew? Freiburg was actually so cool, that, as the title of this post indicates, I wanna live there. It’s gorgeous and funky and has an interesting energy. It reminded me of my hometown of Charlottesville, simply because Cville is also a small scenic college town, but the similarities sort of end there. Cville tries to be artsy but is waaay to Southern Conservative to really pull it off, whereas you can see in the pictures above, Freiburg is like, 100% hippified (hippie-fied?). And not even in a gross way! In a really cool way. (People are SO into dreads in Europe, btw). Oh, and they have really good PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Oh MAN I was so jazzed by that, you don’t even know. Thinking about Charlottesville’s lack of public transport makes me dread having to return to there if I ever wanna see my family again. I had my ‘rents sell my car so now it’s gonna be me on my bike fending off a bunch of entitled WASPs and  dudes on tractors driving down a major highway if I ever wanna get into the city proper. Crisis. But check out Freiburg if you have a chance and get ready to be jealous. (You can take a TRAIN there and then BIKE around the city and then never have to kill my unborn children [who are now German? eh, pollution is global] with your car exhaust! Ooh so fun).

Oh, my Lady Gaga!

For the past three months in a row I’ve gotten over 1,000 pageviews a month! I think this is exciting, even though I probably get about as many pageviews as the Obama’s dog’s blog divided by five, and I heard that’s ghost written anyway. (The Obama’s dog does not really have a blog.)[That I know of]. Anyway, it’s important to keep in mind that a pageview isn’t a visitor, it’s just one view of one page – so all of these “views” could be coming from one person. (Thanks Mom!)

Somehow I wasn’t included on CollegeScholarships.org’s list of the best 150 travel blogs for students (which I found here which I heard about from this ladyfriend of mine Oh my god the internet!), which included a bunch of blogs with tips on saving money and traveling smart. You mean you want me to save for a trip like a poor person and not charge the whole thing to my AmEx and pay the bills using monopoly money? You mean you want travel advice on planning for things instead of listening to the magic pony who comes to you in your dream and tells you which destinations are in Sparkle Motion? You don’t even have a magic pony? How do you expect to get anywhere? A unicorn? Don’t be ridiculous.

So I’m not gonna win any awards for being the world’s most insightful/competent traveler (but maybe the most egregiously incapable?) This blog is really more of my story and I truly appreciate those of you who come back for more (12 subscribers!) and I just wanted to say that. And also to say, tell your friends about me! I’m on Twitter and Facebook and this thing and Tumblr. But also also, if you know anyone who’s going to China or wants to read about my time there, go to the bottom of the page and click on the month of December in the “Travel Memories” menu to start from the beginning. Check it out! I did.

There’s no Hand Like a Secondhand: Vintage Shopping in Basel

I passed by this place on the tram on like, the first day I got to Basel. The sign – all I saw was “Music and Art” so I knew I wanted to head back and go esplorin’. It’s actually called Graf Seismo and it’s got this interesting mixture of tons and tons of vintage and tons and tons of musical instruments. And loads of other interesting stuff. They don’t have a website, but in case anyone is planning a trip to Basel I’ll tell you it’s right off the Messeplatz tram stop and you can call the guy at 061 681 89 26 if you’d like. When I whipped out my camera I asked him if I could take a few photos and he said I wasn’t the first one to ask. And then, you know, he let me take the above photographs. The shop was really something special – it had a nice funky energy unlike some secondhand stores you go into and you’re like…in your grandma’s basement in rural Pennsylvania and it smells a bit and it’s hard to see if there’s anything special…but not this place! The owner was blasting the Buena Vista Social Club soundtrack from these two lousy speakers up front and I spent a ton of time trying on a lot of stuff, but to no avail. I found that great leather bomber in a size too big (it was way too expensive anyway) and also that amazing fringe coat that everyone who reads this will obviously be shocked and dismayed to learn I didn’t buy. He also had a lot of hats, but again, stuff in Switzerland is just hands-down too expensive. Across the board. Bar none. Death to your wallet. (Oh, except for this one amazing find that I have to blog about later. Stay tuned!)

The Kunstmuseum, Basel

I went to Basel’s big fancy contemporary art museum, the Kunstmuseum (Museum of Fine Arts) the other day. They had a Warhol exhibition going on (the early years). I walked through it, didn’t understand the big deal, got one of the headsets, and walked through again. I returned the headset maybe ten minutes later. “Did it work?” asked the attendant. “Yeah,” I smiled, “it was just really boring,” I didn’t say. Warhol…if you understand the fascination, you’ll have to explain it to me. I guess the big deal is that he was the first one to do all that crap he did that now eight-year-olds can do on their iPads. Anyway, I was perturbed the entire time because some tranny devil hooker masquerading as a security guard told me that my not-that-big messenger bag was just-too-big to be taken into the exhibition areas. So I coatchecked it and got upstairs and saw some woman with a giant hobo. ANGER. Sex discrimination. It was just like that one time I worked at Banana Republic and Kimberly got to wear shorts because her shorts were “bloomers” or some lame alternative hippie designer name for shorts and my shorts could only be shorts because they were for dudes. Oppression. I think I’m going to go make art about this. I also saw some Alberto Giacometti sculptures that brought to mind the sculptures Jerri’s classmates are all making in the episode of Strangers With Candy about anorexia. Good thing I have a such a firm grounding in modern art and can really appreciate all this crap.

Bettingen & Riehen, Switzerland

I hate the way it looks to have captions on all the pics, so lemme give you a rundown of what you’re looking at right here: the first pic is of Bettingen, the tiny town I live in just outside of Basel (that my gracious aunt and uncle live in, natch). The first picture of a building you see? That building is an elementary school. Doesn’t that blow your mindgrapes? The second pic of a building is of Fondation Beyeler, a museum designed by Renzo Piano that is situated in picturesque Riehen. It’s another one you’ll lose some mindgrapes over – used to be some rich guy’s private collection and now it’s some dead rich guy’s public collection (plus some). I went in there to check out the current Klimt exhibition (which, now that I look at their site, I see was actually a Vienna exhibit…oops), but couldn’t wait to get back outside. Uh, all the other pictures are from me walking around Riehen. It’s GoRgeOUs, to say the least, and really reminds me of the Charlottesville area from some angles.

You and Me and Everyone We Know

So I don’t actually know any of these people, these are just the last “portraits” I have from Florence.

P.S. Jeremy named the woman in the picture at the top “Hilga.” I told him there is no “Hilga”, just “Hilda” and “Helga”. He didn’t care.