Europe : (October – November) 2012 : Techno / Music

Berghain

Below is a list of all the techno clubs / club-nights / parties / music events etc. that I attended on my 2nd Europe trip this year (October – November 2012), listing only the DJs and live acts I saw play…

OCTOBER 2012…

02.10.2012 : O/V/R (Regis & James Ruskin), Cut Hands [Live], Vatican Shadow [Live], Surgeon, DJ Pete @ Downwards / Finest Tuesday – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
05.10.2012 : Die Jungen [Live], KVB [Live] @ Death # Disco & Modern Movement – King Kong Klub { Berlin, Germany }
05.10.2012 : Ancient Methods, Mack @ 3 Years Robot Army – Wysiwyg { Berlin, Germany }
05.10.2012 : S_W_Z_K, Psycatron @ Tresor Records 21st Birthday – Part I – Tresor { Berlin, Germany }
06.10.2012 : Norman Nodge, Ame & Henrik Schwarz [Live], Alex.Do, Mike Parker, ND_Baumecker, Rødhåd (Rodhad) @ Innervisions Uberall – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
13.10.2012 : Black Rain [Live], Conor Thomas & Brian Morrison (BEB DJs), Cut Hands [Live], Concrete Fence [Live] (Karl O’Connor (Regis) & Russell Haswell), Vatican Shadow [Live], Regis @ Blackest Ever Black – Corsica Studios { London, England }
14.10.2012 : Ben Klock @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
16.10.2012 : Rabih Beaini, Helm [Live], Ben Vida [Live], Kevin Drumm, Mika Vainio, Axel Dörner & Lucio Capece [Live] @ Elektroakustischer Salon: PAN – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }

Amsterdam Dance Event 2012 ~ ~

17.10.2012 : Jeff Mills @ I Am Techno Pres… Jeff Mills | Cine-Mix | “Woman In The Moon” – Eye Theatre { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
17.10.2012 : Sandrien, Ben Klock @ Late Night Society & Imprint – ADE Special – Trouw – De Verdieping { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
18.10.2012 : Thomas Martojo, Silent Servant, Sandwell District, P.A.S. [Live], Peter Van Hoesen, James Ruskin @ Co-Hosted By Kinetic AM. Dekmantel ADE – Blueprint, Sandwell District, Mote Evolver & Time To Express – MC Theatre { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
18.10.2012 : Joseph Capriati, Ben Sims, Adam Beyer Vs Ben Sims @ Awakenings ADE Special: Adam Beyer Pres… Drumcode – Gashouder { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
19.10.2012 : Marko Ciciliani: Wall Alphabet – K, Peter Van Hoesen [Live], Qindek [Live] @ ADE Festival: Listen To This 4D Sound – I.C.W. Gonzo (Circus – Entree Hall) { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
19.10.2012 : Gerd, Dexter [Live], A Made Up Sound, Delta Funktionen @ Clone x Delsin x Rush Hour ADE Special – Trouw { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
20.10.2012 : Surgeon @ ADE Festival: I Am Techno Secret Pop Up Party: The Resistance (Feat. Surgeon) – Bubblekid { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
20.10.2012 : Developer, DVS1, Xhin @ RA VS ADE Special – Trouw – De Verdieping { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
20.10.2012 : Surgeon, Juan Atkins @ I Am Techno Pres… Tresor Meets Deeply Rooted House – Hotel Arena { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }
21.10.2012 : Speedy J, ROD, Hans Bouffmyhre, Sandwell District, Nina Kraviz @ Electric Deluxe : ADE After Hour – Melkweg { Amsterdam, The Netherlands }

~ ~

24.10.2012 : Lucy, Third Side [Live] (Steffi & The Analogue Cops), Marcel Dettmann, Redshape [Live] @ http://bleep.com Pres… BLPGRN001 Launch – Boiler Room Berlin { Berlin, Germany }
24.10.2012 : Adam X Vs Dasha Rush @ Timewise After Show – Tresor { Berlin, Germany }
25.10.2012 : Ultravox [Live] @ Ultravox – Columbiahalle { Berlin, Germany }
25.10.2012 : Call Super, Metasplice [Live], Madteo [Live] @ The Lost Transmission – West Germany { Berlin, Germany }
26.10.2012 : Xhin, Pfirter @ Tuna Park – Tresor { Berlin, Germany }
26.10.2012 : A Cell Of One, Raime [Live], Miles Whittaker @ Polymorphism: Blackest Ever Black, Tri-Angle Records & Modern Love – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
26.10.2012 : Marcel Dettmann & Ben Klock, Ryan Elliot @ Finest Friday – Panorama Bar { Berlin, Germany }
27.10.2012 : Fiedel, Karenn [Live] (Blawan & Pariah), Robert Hood, Obtane [Live], Giorgio Gigli, Oliver Deutschmann @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
31.10.2012 : Anna Von Hausswolff [Live], Crime & The City Solution [Live] @ Crime & The City Solution – C-Club { Berlin, Germany }
31.10.2012 : Area Boy, Shackleton [Live], George Fitzgerald @ BerMuDa: Dimensions Reunion Party – Horst Kreuzberg { Berlin, Germany }

NOVEMBER 2012…

02.11.2012 : Simon Heartfield [Live A/V]. 65D Mavericks, Untold, Luke Handsfree, James Tec, Ugandan Methods [Live] (Ancient Methods & Regis), Ancient Methods Vs Regis, Regis, Ø (Phase) @ Plex / Colony / Machine – PCM Pt. II – Corsica Studios { London, England }
03.11.2012 : Pär Grindvik, Ben Sims, Adam Beyer, Joel Mull, Dustin Zahn @ Drumcode Total – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
03.11.2012 : Joel Mull @ Drumcode Total – Panorama Bar { Berlin, Germany }
04.11.2012 : Lower Order Ethics, Young Hunting [Live], Black Rain [Live], Bill Kouligas (PAN) @ Black Magick ≠ Vol. III – Mindpirates { Berlin, Germany }

Europe : (June – August) 2012 : Techno / Music

Below is a list of all the techno clubs / club-nights / parties / music events etc. that I attended on my Europe trip (June – August 2012), listing only the DJs and live acts I saw play…

JUNE 2012…

16.06.2012 : Marcel Dettmann, Skudge [Live], DJ Rolando @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
20.06.2012 : A Guy Called Gerald [Live] @ The LongPlayer #10 / Pre MIDI Acid House Workshop – Bar Saul { Berlin, Germany }
21.06,2012 : New Order [Live] @ New Order 2012 Tour – Berlin Tempodrom { Berlin, Germany }
22.06.2012 : _?_ @ Another Friday – Club Der Visionaere { Berlin, Germany }
22.06.2012 : Peter Van Hoesen [Live & DJ], Samuli Kemppi, Dario Zenker @ Tuna Park Pres… Time To Express – Tresor { Berlin, Germany }
23.06.2012 : Surgeon, Oscar Mulero, Takaaki Itoh & Go Hiyama, Mark Broom, Rumenige & Loktibrada @ Code 082: X Aniversario Warmup Recordings – Fabrik { Madrid, Spain }
27.06.2012 : Modeselektor [Live], Mouse On Mars, Lazer Sword, Phon.O @ Monkeytown – Boiler Room – Berlin { Berlin, Germany }
29.06.2012 : Lucy, Xhin, Dadub @ Stroboscopic Artefacts Label Night / Screening: “Paris / Berlin: 20 Years Of Underground Techno” – Suicide Circus { Berlin, Germany }

JULY 2012…

06.07.2012 : Xhin, Shakleton, Digital Mystikz @ Bloc. Festival 2012 – London Pleasure Gardens { London, England }
13.07.2012 : Mike Dehnert, Ed Davenport @ Tuna Park – Tresor { Berlin, Germany }
15.07.2012 : Len Faki, Boris @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
17.07.2012 : Surgeon, Comante, Detronic @ Camouflage Goes Crazy – Flex { Vienna, Austria }
20.07.2012 : Joel Mull, Pär Grindvik, Staffan Linzatti @ Swedish Tuna – Tresor { Berlin, Germany }
20.07.2012 : Barker, Lazer Sword [Live] @ Leisure System.16 / Finest Friday – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
21.07.2012 : Kiki, Thomas Muller [Live], DJ Red @ BPitch Control Nacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
21.07.2012 : Santiago Salazar, Vince Watson [Live], Heiko Laux @ Radio Drama – Tresor { Berlin, Germany }
22.07.2012 : Marcel Fengler, Jerome Sydenham @ BPitch Control Nacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
27.07.2012 : Bladerunnaz DJs @ Friday – A38 { Budapest, Hungary }
28.07.2012 : Peter Van Hoesen, DJ Flush & Mack @ Killekill Megahorst – Horst Kreuzberg { Berlin, Germany }
28.07.2012 : Dosem [Live], Renato Cohen @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
29.07.2012 : Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Ron Albrecht @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }

AUGUST 2012…

02.08.2012 : Regis, Gianni Sabato @ Crime Fest – Casablanca { Nardo, Italy }
03.08.2012 : Jesper Dahlbäck, Nihad Tule @ Suicide Techno Nacht – Suicide Circus { Berlin, Germany }
03.08.2012 : Margaret Dygas, Sammy Dee @ …Get Perlonized Sunshine! – Panorama Bar { Berlin, Germany }
04.08.2012 : Marcel Dettmann, Snuff Crew [Live] @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
05.08.2012 : Adam Beyer, DJ Pete, Rødhåd @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }
08.08.2012 : Perc [Live], Lucy [Live], Dadub [Live], Bill Youngman @ Stroboscopic Artefacts Pres… Stellate Series (Experimental Live Sets) – Berghain Kantine { Berlin, Germany }
09.08.2012 : Regis, Pär Grindvik, Doka & Loy @ Booch Outdoor – De Bongerd Heerlen { Heerlen, Netherlands }
09.08.2012 : DIR, Jeff Rushin & Nicole Rosie @ Booch Indoor – Poppodium De Nieuwe Nor { Heerlen, Netherlands }
10.08.2012 : Mr. Ties @ Finest Friday – Panorama Bar { Berlin, Germany }
11.08.2012 : _?_ @ Enough! Music – Club Der Visionaere { Berlin, Germany }
11.08.2012 : _?_ @ Sasomo – HipHop Festival / Half Baked / Zwölf / Strassen Musik Fest. / Vakant & Supernature – KaterHolzig { Berlin, Germany }
12.08.2012 : Sigha, Roman Lindau, Radio Slave @ Klubnacht – Berghain / Panorama Bar { Berlin, Germany }
12.08.2012 : Ben Klock @ Klubnacht – Berghain { Berlin, Germany }

Day 22 – Friday 1st August

Media total: 1.5 hours.

SOOOOOOOOOOO busy today. Doing training at work during month end. I was exhausted by lunch.

Tried to go to a nice cafe to eat, but there was nowhere to sit inside, and I didn’t want to sit outside. Had fish and chips, but it wasn’t that good today – this was strange.

Kept doing more training after lunch. More exhausted. You may not believe me, but I hate having to talk all day non-stop. IT IS TRUE! It’s tiring. And if I’m quiet, it doesn’t mean I’m in a bad mood. I like quiet too. YES IT IS TRUE!

Enough whining now.

After work, met up with Rowena, Charles, David J and Dean at The Green Park pub for a few drinks. Then we went to Phamish for a yummy dinner. I had salt and pepper squid (only a little too salty). You order at the counter, and there was a massive queue, so when everyone else ran out of rice, they decided not to bother. Would like to go back there another time when it’s not so packed.

Then it was off to The Hordern Pavillion for Regurgitator and Devo. Got to see 45 minutes of Regurgitator, which was a lot of fun. Their drummer was new – she had a haircut like my brother Chris had a few years ago. Maybe drummers like having hair in their faces whilst going nuts! They really got everyone into the mood for Devo.

Then it was a short wait for Devo, who were great, and a lot of fun too. Dave and I saw them in Barcelona last year, and they did a lot of the same tracks, just in quite a different order. They wore the yellow suits and lego hats again, and threw quite a few hats, suits, and little balls into the audience over the 1.5 hour show. I was hoping they’d play “Beautiful World” but they did it in quite an unusual way, which made me wish they hadn’t done it. But everything else suited me to a T.

The audience was mostly good. I felt quite young!!! A few knobs in front of us, and some people who don’t know when to shut up, but otherwise great. Ended up chatting to a few randoms as well, which doesn’t really happen as much. Nice friendly vibe.

I was dropped home by Rowena and Charles (THANKYOU!) and then tried to sleep. Too awake though. Watched an hour of “No Country for Old Men”, so got to bed way later than I should have. Bad move.

Dave, Friends, Food, High Tea, Shopping, DVDs.

After an awful Thursday night, partly my own fault and partly some bastard who let Dave down, I thought we were in for a crap weekend. Thankfully, we sorted things out, and ended up having a great time.

Friday night

* Dinner at Bravo in Crows Nest
Dave and I hadn’t been to Bravo in months, and the food was better than before. We both had spaghetti – Dave’s was with meatballs, and I had a spicy sauce. Followed by gelato – chocolate & lemon for me, and chocolate, lemon & pistachio for Dave. Which was not a very good idea as it was damn cold (probably 11 degrees YUCK!). On leaving Bravo and venturing to the bus stop, we felt like we were going to freeze both internally and externally!

* Nothing that exciting
The rest of Friday night was spent doing various things including:
– Watching some shows we’d recorded during the week
– Dave playing computer games

Saturday
* High Tea at Lilianfels in Katoomba.

Met Mark, Helen F and Stephanie at Central to get the “fast” train to Katoomba. “Fast” is in inverted commas due to the fact that the trip from Central takes 2 hours, and probably 3 in total including getting to Central. I think driving takes about 1.5 hours from my place.

We were made a little late by a medical issue at Strathfield, so instead of getting to Katoomba at 12.29, we got off at Leura at about 12.45 and got a taxi.

I didn’t realise until I got on the train that the annual “Katoomba Winter Festival” (or “Feral Festival as our friendly taxi driver called it) was going on in Katoomba, which explained all the unusually dressed people on the train. Also, the inappropriately dressed, being that the maximum temperature in Katoomba was going to be 11 degrees, and a girl wearing only a t-shirt and a small skirt (I think) was spotted on our train. This was not a great thing to find out, as there were 12 of us going to High Tea, and it may mean it would be harder to find seating.

Well we all found seating, but not together at first. Unfortunately you can’t book High Tea in Lilianfels, so we were told that as we were having high tea at 12.30, instead of later in the day, we would be fine. I think they forgot about the “Feral Festival”. The staff were extremely flat out.

As soon as we got there, poor Karen and Sean had to take their little boys (Matthew and Benjamin) elsewhere, as they’d been there for an hour and the kids were running riot. But we got to chat a bit to Juliet, John, Amy and Dave Gi.

It wasn’t the fabulous service I got last time I had high tea there, but I think the problem was mostly that they had loads of people there at a time much earlier than usual. But I will go back again, and make sure it doesn’t clash with any festival!

* Shopping in Leura
Afterwards, Amy & Dave Gi went up to Katoomba to check out the “Feral Fest” and the rest of us went to Leura for some shopping. We only had an hour before the train headed back to the city, so we made our ways to the shops we liked best, and then met up at Leura Station.

As usual, the first stop was Megalong Books, where I found “A guide to modern + conetmporary Art in the city Paris” , and “Stalin’s Nose” by Rory Maclean, which looks like a fiction travel book of the eastern parts of Europe. Yes, I liked the Trabi on the front cover (it reminds me of Berlin) ;). I also mentioned on the way in that I’d found a really good Berlin book last time I was in there, and someone overheard me and asked where they could find it. Unfortunately I took the last copy.

Then it was off to “Leura Whisk” to decide if I wanted the tea cups I found a few weeks ago. I yet again decided that I already had too many tea cups, and continued up the road.

I went into a great gallery, “Michael White Art” where I found a print I really liked, but left with cards when I found out the cost of the print. There were quite a few lovely prints. I must go back there next time.

And then it was quickly through a few other stores, a quick farewell to Juliet & John, and off to Cafe Josophan’s to get a hot chocolate, before heading up to the train station.

Thankfully we only had to wait about 5 minutes on the incredibly cold train station. The train ride on the way back went very quickly. Luckily we got seats, and we also got to see more unusual costumes of people returning to the city after the festival.

It was a very nice way to spend a day with friends, just felt so rushed!

* Dinner, DVDs and no clubbing

On the way home I picked up some DVDs and dinner for Davo and I. I was too tired to consider clubbing (although I did want to see Heiko Laux).

We watched “Rendition” which we really liked, but I think the ending was a bit abrupt. I always like to see movies with Peter Sarsgaard and Jake Gyllenhaal, as I think they are quite good actors. Their looks help too 🙂 Dave reckons I like Peter Sarsgaard as he’s like the Andrew McCarthy of the present day. I hadn’t picked up on that before, but definitely agree.

And then Davo decided more computer games were in order, while I tried to watch “Sweeney Todd”. It was hard to decide whether I wanted to watch it. I tend to despise muscials. They really drive me nuts. But a great cast and the fact that the director also hates musicals changed my mind. It’s not that bad, but I haven’t had time to watch the last hour. Will finish it tonight.

By this stage, it was time for some reading and then sleep. I thought we’d watch “3:10 to Yuma” on Sunday, but that went out the window!

Sunday

* Breakfast at Epitome
Another place we hadn’t been to in ages – Epitome in Lane Cove. Was acutally a good experience this time. Food was great and service was quick. Haven’t had a big fry-up for breakfast in sooooooooo long.

* Shopping in Crows Nest

We’d seen a book in the window of “The Constant Reader” that we wanted to check out. So we went, found it, didn’t want it, and I ended up leaving with a book on Chagall. How surprising!

Then we just ventured around Crows Nest checking out some shops, but didn’t find anything else we really wanted, apart from more gelato at Bravo (even better than yesterday – yum!) so headed home. I had a short nap, and Dave played more of GTA4!

* Balmain

Dave, Rowena, Charles, and I met up with Monica in Balmain. We found a cafe and spent a good 2.5 hours there catching up. Charles had KB beer, which I took a photo of, but has somehow magically disappeared off my phone 🙁

Then we decided to have dinner, and ventured up the street to “La Boheme”. It has all sorts of food – Bavarian, Belgian, European, German, Hungarian, Vegetarian. I love the layout of the restaurant too. Dave remembers being there before with Rowena and Charles, but we think it was called something else.

We had a great time – the food was excellent and we had a lot of laughs. For entree, I shared Escargot with Garlic Sauce with Rowena (yum), for main I had Hungarian goulash & dumplings (more yum) and for dessert had Belgian Chocolate Mousse with Berries (excellent way to finish off the meal!). Also drank Staropramen beer, although most of that was finished by Dave (I rarely drink beer, and when I do it has to be extremely cold or I can’t finish it). Everyone else had wine, the first bottle of which was called “Vampire”. They all seemed to enjoy the Australian wine better 🙂

Monica and I were almost in shock when we realised we both liked Foals. In 20 years, Monica and I have NEVER agreed on any music. It was very distressing and we must never admit this again 😛

It was a very entertaining evening, including a drunken Dave when we got home. I don’t think anyone else realised!

* Home

It was so cold last night. I thought we’d freeze. We both did a few things on the internet, and time got away from us. I got more engrossed in my book, and didn’t get to sleep until 11. Which was early considering the last week, but I want more!

We had a great week, so much of it being spontaneous. Dave and I would like more weekends like that!

Monday

I woke up feeling crapulous. So sick of getting colds constantly. Erika went home sick after lunch – she didn’t look too good. Had auditors hassling me all day. I wanna go home!!!!

Weeks blurring

I’ve not had much of a chance to blog recently. So I will do a summary of the few weeks since I went to the Blue Mountains:

* Got a promotion. Now am doing my old job as well as doing the Transactional Products area, and am responsible for training another staff member now. This has resulted in me being much busier than expected, as this was done just as we were getting ready just for year end.

* Have had many lovely work lunches with friends – Alisia at GPO, Michael T at David Jones Food Court and Helen F at Suminoya.

* Had a filling replaced, which means no more pain when having cold things.

* Jenny, Fiona, Fiona, Karen, Deborah and Christa came over for a night of nice smelly things and relaxation.

* Went to Ettalong with Sandra, on a beautiful and not too cold day. We had lunch at the RSL (!) and I got a little drunk on Smirnoff Double Blacks. Really enjoyed the ferry ride there and back from Palm Beach. Have to do this again.

* Missed the wedding of Dave & Valli in Brisbane. Have seen the photos and it looked gorgeous. Wish we could have gone.

* Lots of clubbing:
– Lost Baggage at The Cross, with Gaiser and Marc Houle. Gaiser is brilliant and hot, hot, hot 🙂 Marc Houle was the same as every other time I’ve seen him. Enjoyed hanging out with Dave, Tad, Liz, Lisa, Ant, Brad, Hayley, Wowk and Jarrad. But the crowd, as usual at those parties, was appalling.
– Arq, with Stephan Bodzin and Dubfire. Bodzin played live, was amusing (he wore rubber gloves and played with phallic looking things) and was nice to hear a few of my favourite tracks of his. Dubfire was not bad, but was too tired to stay for the whole set.
– We Love Sounds at the Hordern Pavillion, Royal Hall of Industries and The Forum, with Dave, Rowena, Charles and Tad. I had a lot of fun, especially getting to hear (and see 🙂 ) Gaiser again, enjoyed Ellen Alien’s set and thought Dubfire played 45 minutes of good stuff, which he could have mixed with a bit more interest. Was bored to death by Lindstrom, Steve Lawler and Marc Houle. Not too many crappy people. Not too cold. Was too tired to go to the after party at The Cross but wish I had. Dave, Ant and Tad all enjoyed it!

* Many lovely dinners with friends. Been lucky with restaurants lately. Will be going back to all of these:
– Atelier in Glebe with Josie. Excellent company, food, Cosmopolitans, decor and staff.
– RedOak in Clarence St for Vanessa’s birthday. Hadn’t seen Vanessa & Jason in over a year, and was great catching up. Excellent food there too. Lovely tasting plates, of which Dave had a meat one. Will be getting one next time!
– Catalonia in Kirribilli with Dave, Lisa and Ant. More excellent company, tapas to die for, Caprihini’s.
– Ainoya in Kirribilli for Brad’s birthday, with Dave, Brad, Hayley, Lisa, Ant, Sylvana, Ben, Verity and Brad. Even more excellent company, lots of laughs, excellent Japanese, great Lychee Cocktails, and our own private area. I think our noise scared everyone else off though!

* A relaxing facial.

* Sex & The City at The Entertainment Quarter with Tad and Liz. Unfortunately no Cosmopolitans were available at La Premiere, so I had to settle for Frangelico, followed by Smirnoff Black. We had yummy food too. Liked the movie a lot.

* Reminiscing over our late European trip. Right now, a year ago, Dave and I would have been in Barcelona. And tonight we would have been going to the Minus party, with Magda & Rebecca Aff playing. We’ve been missing the warmth of Barcelona, the brilliant tapas, and the fun times we had together and with our friends. Dave and I have since decided to go to as many Spanish restaurants as possible until we find Patatas Bravas EXACTLY like we had in Barcelona. So, after going to Catalonia last week, we went to Raquels in Darlinghurst this week. Excellent food, but we still have to search for the patatas bravas. Wonder where we shall go to next week?

* Met up with a very old friend, Samia. Had a great lunch out in Max Brenner at Parramatta. Got to meet Sam’s lovely children, Audrey and Marc-Antony too. We haven’t seen each other in about 15 years, and had a great catch up over waffles. Am looking forward to our next outing!

* The first lecture in the series of “Monet’s World The Cultural Background to Impressionism” at the NSW Art Gallery with Alisia. This is a brief description of the lectures today:

– The Paris of the Impressionists – Professor Roger Benjamin
Paris was a magnet for the artists of the 19th century. Roger Benjamin, research professor in the history of art at the University of Sydney, looks at how the cultural and intellectual ferment of the city influenced artistic practice.

– Literature and the modern city – Professor Margaret Sankey
In the age of Impressionism urban life formed the backdrop to the work of novelists and poets. Margaret Sankey, McCaughey Professor of French Studies at the University of Sydney and a specialist in the history of ideas, provides a map to literary Paris.

Professor Benjamin was brilliant. An excellent presentation, very amusing at times (Crikey!) and lots of lovely works to see. Professor Sankey basically read off her notes, and I didn’t take in a lot of what she was talking about. Not well prepared to use Powerpoint either. Overall though highly enjoyable.

Afterwards, we tried to find somewhere to eat, and it took us an hour to find something that wasn’t full or closed. High Tea at the NSW Art Gallery wasn’t available until 2pm, and the lunch menu didn’t grab us. We tried the cafeteria at the gallery (full), The Tea Rooms at the QVB (closed for a private function), Glass at The Hilton (closed), Ivy (closed), The Observatory for High Tea (full), and Swissotel for High Tea (full). We couldn’t believe it. We basically were ready to give up, but then I remembered Max Brenner at MetCentre. Thankfully it was open and had seating. We had lovely sweet lunch: Alisia had waffles, and I had Fondue. It was a lovely way to keep out of the cold.

After our experience of full places to eat, I wondered a couple of things. Is there really a recession coming? And what do tourists say when they can’t find a nice place to eat, on the spur of the moment, on a weekend. I tend to book things way in advance, as most of my friends know. But the one time I don’t, it’s almost impossible. A taxi driver we had today told us of a couple of ladies from Melbourne who had a similar problem recently. Why are so many places closed on a Sunday? After my experiences in Melbourne, I can see why they are now the tourism capital of Australia. I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble finding a good place to eat there. Do I have to go to a crappy food court even on the weekend, if it’s a spur of the moment thing?

Anyway, it’s been a mostly enjoyable few weeks, albeit a bit busy with work. I just wish it wasn’t so cold!

“The hardest bouncer of the city”

My favourite club in the entire world (so far) is Berghain/Panorama Bar in Berlin, my favourite city in the entire world. I’ve been to Berlin 3 times now (1991, 2005 and 2007), and have been to this club 3 times.

On attempting to gain entry the last time I went there, we were confronted by “Der härteste Türsteher der Stadtz” – The hardest bouncer of the city. It was 4am, we’d just been to Tresor and Maria, and wanted to go to Berghain/Panorama Bar as the last club we’d get to before leaving Berlin.

I’ve just found this thanks to someone on littledetroit.net:

Yes it’s him. I didn’t actually find him that scary. I was actually fascinated by him, as I usually don’t like a lot of face jewellrey and tatoos, but this guy looked amazing.

From all the clubs I’ve been to overseas, I’ve learnt that speaking English is not going to get you in any favour with anyone. So Dave and I kept quiet whilst queuing to get in. There were probably 20 people in front of us. When we got to the door, “Der härteste Türsteher der Stadtz” asked Dave something in German, which we had no idea how to answer (or understand). So I said “sorry we don’t speak German” (in German). He was obviously not pleased with this, as he proceeded to say something to the other bouncer in German, which included the word “English”. I said “Nein English – Australien!”. And with that, he let us in!!!!

Next year, I’m hoping to know a little more German. I love Berghain/Panorama Bar, and I wanna go back some more. And I hope he’s still working there.

PS. I have no idea what they are saying in the video. Someone on littledetroit has suggested that he’s saying “yeah, I work at Berghain on the weekend, scare the UK punters and stuff” 🙂

A weekend in the mountains with three of my favourite ladies

Juliet, Rowena, Liz and I ventured up to the Blue Mountains last weekend for some sightseeing, shops and food. It was all up very very pleasant, and now we are thinking of doing it again 🙂 Possibly the Hunter Valley next time?

Friday
* The long road trip
Got a taxi to Liz & Tad’s place in Darlinghurst. Got to catch up with Tad for a half hour or so, which was lovely as his work is limiting us seeing him for the next few months. After Liz finished getting ready, she drove us up to Wentworth Falls. It was a pleasant drive – not much traffic at all, except for one small spot turning onto Parramatta Road. We did a lot of talking, as you can imagine 🙂

* Lunch – Wentworth falls cafe in the old Post Office.
Juliet met us, after getting lost in Old Toongabbie, for a lovely lunch. I had very yummy chicken, but after so much good food on the weekend, have forgotten the rest of it! We discussed some of the upcoming activities and our adventures on the long road trip.

* The Blue House www.bluemts.com.au/bluehouse
Our place for the weekend. Four bedrooms – 3 upstairs with queen beds, 1 downstairs with 4 single beds (bunks). 2 bathrooms, 2 toilets, big kitchen, cozy lounge. Perfect for sitting and reading in front of the fake fire! No TV, and it was nice and quiet without it. Well, it would have been, but I think I made up for it!
I decided to take the room downstairs. Was great for putting all my stuff everywhere, as everyone who has travelled with me will know how lightly I pack (!) And it was closer to the heating.

* Shopping in Leura
Lots and lots of lovely shops to see and buy things in. Some of the ones we went to:
– Cafe Josophans www.josophans.com.au Excellent chocolates and chocolate cakes/pastries/etc. Can buy some of their own chocolates, or some lovely ones I have purchased before from Europe (Valrhona, Michael Cluizel). I bought some of the handmade chocolates, and quite enjoyed them.
– Megalong Books. Of course I found, and bought, a book on Berlin called “This is Berlin”.
– Leura Toy Shop. We ventured in there as they had cool looking wooden games in the front window. We didn’t end up buying games, but Liz and I decided to get the exact same gift for her husband and my boyfriend. Dave has been pleased by his. I can’t say what it is, as I don’t know if Tad has his yet. It’s bright and useful!
– Elizabeth Rosa Stationery. I didn’t buy anything in here today, as I couldn’t make up my mind. Brilliant place for purchasing writing things.
– Leura Whisk http://www.leurawhisk.com.au I wanted either the Dibbern tea cups and saucers, or the Jasper Conran Wedgewood Breakfast set. I left with neither.
– Ophelia’s Emporium (I think). Vintage clothing and accessories. Liz found some gloves and a new coat. Juliet refrained from making large purchases, opting for a few smaller items.

* Regular shopping in Katoomba
By this time it was 5pm, and the good shops were all shutting. So we ventured back to Coles in Katoomba to purchase some weekend necessities, and snacking requirements.

* Relaxing
An hour or so chatting, drinking Cosmopolitans, snacking, reading, and settling into The Blue House. Then we picked up Rowena from the station, and went onto dinner.

* Dinner – Zycca Indian Restaurant www.bluemountainswonderland.com.au/client_detail.php?id=608&type_id=2
Juliet had been here before, and was quite right how nice it is. I am very anti fast-food Indian (actually, I dislike a lot of fast food) for the reason that my stomach doesn’t appreciate it. This was so far from a North Indian Diner that you find on Oxford St! It was like a fine dining restaurant, without the prices. We had 2 chicken dishes and 2 vegie dishes between us. Lots of chatting involved. This was not the only time we scared the locals.

* The Three Sisters at night
Liz knew a good quiet spot from which to see the Three Sisters at night. And it was fabulous. Rowena, Juliet and I hadn’t seen them at night before, and were very pleased. Thanks Liz!

* More Relaxing
It was thought that we may venture to the Baroque Bar and hear Meem. This went out the window. We were all rather tired, and decided to go back for more chatting and reading.

* Early to bed

Saturday

* Late to rise
I didn’t expect to wake up at 8.30, when I’d been asleep since 10.30. But the heater ended up overheating the house. And me. So I didn’t sleep very well.

* Breakfast – Café at the Norman Lindsay Gallery http://www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au/properties/nlg/default.asp
Juliet had also been here before. The breakfast was awesome. I had a big breakfast, including chorizo. Yum! It’s a lovely and welcoming cafe, and the staff are very amusing. Yes, we continued to scare the locals.

* Art – Norman Lindsay Gallery http://www.nsw.nationaltrust.org.au/properties/nlg/default.asp
I really liked the tour of the studios, the tour guide, Lindsay’s brothers’ paintings, and the grounds (where I sat in the sun for a few minutes, to be told that I was taking a Granny Nap). I only actually appreciated a few of the paintings and sculptures by Norman Lindsay. Many of them looked demonic to me. And I have never seen such an obsession with mammaries! Apparently, even if his models had small mammaries, he gave them big ones. I think there may have been only 1 or 2 paintings where the women were actually clothed. I think we were all a bit surprised by his obsession – Maybe we shouldn’t have been! Norman Lindsay had quite an interesting life, which apparently was not reflected at all in the movies “Sirens”, so I bought a book by one of his daughters, Jane Lindsay, to read, called “Portrait of Pa”.

* Afternoon Tea in Leura
Back to Cafe Josophans www.josophans.com.au for afternoon tea. I had this awesome Mexican chocolate cake. YUM! Rowena loved her scones – cranberry and chocolate chip. And Juliet and Liz were pleased with their croissants.

* More Shopping in Leura
Two reasons: We didn’t go to everything yesterday, and Rowena hadn’t been with us yesterday.
– Elizabeth Rosa Stationery. Yes, I bought a journal. I couldn’t help myself
– The Loft. I got a lovely oil painting, that is now sitting on my bedside table. And Juliet bought a necklace that she eyed up there in January.

We didn’t do any more shopping there. Liz and I were both really tired, and Liz was driving. I had a quick look to the other side of the road (yes, we hadn’t gone through all the shops), and decided that I could do without seeing more. I forgot about the place where Dave and I found a great painting a few years ago, and The Candy Store. More stuff to do next time!

* Quiet afternoon
We dropped Rowena and Juliet in Katoomba for more shopping, and then Liz and I headed back to The Blue House. I had another Granny Nap, whilst Liz got some of her work done.
I was woken shortly before we left for dinner by the chatter going on in the lounge. I think Rowena got a lovely scarf. Or was it Juliet? But they didn’t spend much.
It was concerning that they couldn’t find the bakery that sold walnut bread. What happened to it? And now where do I find good walnut bread (no figs)?

* Early Dinner – The Avalon http://www.eatability.com.au/au/sydney/avalon.htm
We had seats right at the window, but unfortunately it’s too dark, even at 6pm. That’s what happens when it’s getting close to winter. The Avalon is a lovely older style restaurant, with a menu that hasn’t changed in years, and really lovely wait staff. The food was excellent too. Hardly any tables were in use when we got there at 6pm, but it was full when we left.
We had yummy spring rolls for entree. My main was Eye Fillet – yum – and my dessert was Chocolate Truffle Cake with Ice Cream – yum yum yum.
We all left feeling content. Lovely conversation. And we managed not to scare the locals!

* Movies – Indiana Jones at the Edge Cinema http://www.edgecinema.com.au/features.html
I had already seen this on Thursday (and liked it) and wanted to see it again.
We waited in the big line, where we saw Grant Dodwell from “A Country Practice”. Celebrity spotting in the Mountains!
The Edge Cinema has a screen like at IMAX. They didn’t use the entire screen for Indiana Jones, but it was definitely a lot bigger than normal cinemas. We had a lot of laughs, and a few jumps from my friends. It was a fun way to spend the evening – a good “no brainer” movie.

* Bed
We got home at 11, and all of us went straight to sleep. It was a very busy and fun day.

Sunday

* Not so late to rise.
But we had to farewell Liz, who was going back early to finish her paper for work. We wish you could have stayed, but we understood Liz 🙂

* Mermaid’s cave
Juliet drove us to Blackheath to go to Mermaid’s cave. It’s down a rather windy road, and you could miss the sign if you didn’t know where you were going. Luckily Juliet had been before. It was a short walk down some steep stairs, to a lovely small area with a tiny tiny waterfall. Juliet had been there in January, and said it was not so dry back then. But it was peaceful, quiet and very green. Then it was a longer walk back up the steep stairs, to the car.

* Megalong Tea rooms for Devonshire tea http://www.megalongtearooms.com/
This was much further down Megalong road. It was at this point that Juliet and I decided that we couldn’t face High Tea at Lilianfels in the afternoon. I think we’d had so much cake, scones and pastries over the past few days that we thought we’d just enjoy the Devonshire tea and leave it at that.
The hot scones and blueberry jam were yummy, and the hot chocolate was very good too. We had a lovely final chat with Rowena, before Juliet drove her back to Blackheath, just in time for the train back home. We also wish you could have stayed Rowena 🙂

* Shopping in Blackheath
More lovely shops to see and buy things in. I’d never actually shopped in Blackheath before, and was pleasantly surprised. Some of the ones we went to:
– Jewel Gallery http://www.jewelgallery.com.au/ Where I found a necklace that I just had to get. I got one just like it at Melt Festival (outside Berlin) last year, for only 2 euros, that broke a month later. I really liked it, and have been looking for something similar ever since. And I found it! Just wish it had been closer to 2 euros!
– Cafe Josophans www.josophans.com.au Found some Dolfins dark hot chocolate. Quite different from the cafe of the same name in Leura – it was definitely more of a chocolate shop than a cafe. Very good selections too, some of which I really wanted, but decided should wait for another time.
– Victory Theatre http://www.victorytheatre.com.au/ Lots and lots of stuff over 2 floors. I found a book called “The Making of Pride & Prejudice” by Sue Birtwistle & Susie Conklin http://www.amazon.com/Making-Pride-Prejudice-BBC/dp/014025157X. Which I bought. Mmmmmm…Mr Darcy 🙂 🙂
– Gallery Blackheath www.galleryblackheath.com Some lovely paintings & drawings by Blue Mountains artists. I’d spent too much by this stage though.

* Lunch – Victory Cafe http://www.eatability.com.au/au/sydney/victory_cafe.htm
Juliet had mushrooms and I had potato & chorizo soup. All very good. Very amusing waiter too.

* The long trip home
Well we left at 3.10. We didn’t want to go, but we knew that leaving later would be detrimental to going to work on Monday. There was quite a bit of traffic in the mountains, not that we were surprised, so I got home at 5.10. And Juliet shortly afterwards. We had a lovely chat in the car, which involved discussing a possible next trip.

Photos
Everyone took photos except me. You can see some of the photos here:

http://jeweliette.deviantart.com/gallery/
http://www.puppyhills.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=27175&id=565987156&ref=nf

Excellent Weekend
Apart from a small shower in Blackheath on Sunday afternoon whilst having lunch, it was very sunny and as cold as I expected. So no complaints there.

Thankyou very very much to both Liz and Juliet for volunteering their cars (even though I was happy to rent one!) and driving us everywhere.

I had a wonderful time with you all – Rowena, Juliet and Liz – and hope we can do it again in November.

More Leura Shopping

I just found a website to help my shopping in Leura further when I go back up there for High Tea at Lilianfels in June:
http://www.leurabluemountainsguide.com/leura-shopping.html
http://www.visitbluemountains.com.au/retail.php
http://www.lavenderbluemountains.com/attractions.htm

Enough now. Time for sleep.