New deck for new travels. Prague, Czech Rep.
So much has happened… New experiences, exploring, skating, art, films, history, life lessons. More amazing people. Laughs, conversations. some stories. Berlin was truly amazing. I like this city so much I could live there. I felt inspired just walking down the street. This city is full of art. Art everywhere. Please go at some point in your life if you can. Check out Tacheles an art squat space. Wow. I would love to work in there. The place is covered in paint from ceiling to floor with all styles. It’s an artist collective where people squat and make art. Big fan. I got some great vibes as I walked around Berlin even with all the rainy weather. This doesn’t even begin to touch the art scene interns of what’s for the looking pleasure. You’ve got everything. Museums, The East Side gallery. Heaps of street art with some really big names in the game. A lot of everything really… Please go if you can.
While in Berlin I ate Currywurst like it was my job. Pretty much everyday. Cheap and good breakfast, lunch & or dinner. I miss the Wurst.
I checked some underground bunkers where people would rush for safety or in some cases sleep during air raids of WW2. Sitting in these places makes you realize how different life was for some people in some places. To relive just a fraction of nothing of what some people have experienced blows my fucking mind. Things are different now. I feel fortunate for a lot in my life after visiting things like this. I think you should too. Be grateful for what you have and don’t have.
Tried out my first Couch Surfing experience in Berlin, went well. I had a great host named Nora. A couple brief funny sarcastic emails on CS and this girl told me I could stay as long as I wanted in her flat. Hilarious how a complete stranger can say this to me. Mind blown, people are amazing. After seven hours on a train I arrive in Berlin. So I sort out some metro’s and directions with some locals, make my way to Pauls Boutique in Prenzlauer Berg to pick up some keys from a guy called Paul who’s name isn’t actually Paul. Get the keys skate/find my way to Nora’s and let my self into her place. It’s an interesting feeling letting yourself into a complete strangers house, let me tell you. Once inside I put but stuff down and wandered the walls of the flat, looking at some artwork & photos. Of which I presumed some of these photos had my host in them who I was about to meet (Whoa!?). Her flat was exceptionally nice with some real character. After a few minutes I sit down to write and sort photos for an hour, I hear the keys enter the door lock over my quiet music. Nora greats me with a smile, hug and kiss on the cheek… Hey, I’m the stranger who’s been in your house for an hour. Nice to meet you! She then made me dinner and we chatted over some wine. She told me about the city, things to do & see. Some dudes to skate with. Some basic German words. Whoa, Couchsurfing experience number one, success! Check it out if your thinking of doing some traveling, it’s better than hostel life in most ways.
A few days later, I met another guy at Nora’s who was staying via CouchSurfing too. Daniel from Australia an artist with some interesting concepts and work. I spent a couple weeks at Nora’s and then stayed on the couch with Daniel & his mate Setu for a few days. Both great dudes, I was grateful to spend some time staying with them in thier cozy rented flat. I spent Christmas Eve having a quiet night in getting some rest while the guys went to a dinner. Christmas day Daniel was having some guests arriving so I left and grabbed a hostel on Christmas day had a quick chat with a couple people at the hostel and retired to my empty 10 bedroom dorm (sweet-rest) for some more relaxing. I’m getting up early to see some more sights and sounds of Berlin.
While I was in Berlin, my friend from home Justine told me I should chill with her friend named Neill who’s from Toronto and living in Berlin. He skated & shoots photos she told me. Makes perfect sense when I heard the news, so we met up a few days later. Neill’s a good dude, we had some good shooting/skating/chilling/chatting sessions with him & his lovely girlfriend Anna. A few days later Neill introduced me to his friend Marton a super friendly Leipzig local living in Berlin for quite a few years. Marton along with Neill shoot beautiful photographs, I’ll link homies blog’s soon. My Tuque’s off to you & your work fella’s. Good recipe for chilling with these lads. Next I would meet another local Jeffrey, through Marton. Jeffrey had bags of tricks on th’ old skateboard. The four of us had some great sessions at ICC. One local ripper joined us on our second sesh and destroyed everything. The best part.. ICC is an amazing winter skate spot for the Berliners and the passing through of others like myself. All these guys were rad. I really find it amazing how much of a common bond skateboarding is all around the world. It can put you all on the same page. Surprising how much I can find in common with another skaters life values after a chat, alot of the time it runs deeper than skating.
Skateboarding shaped my life in so many ways and I’m grateful for this passion I developed as a kid. I could rant about skating for days but I’ll keep on topic here. From all the sessions I’ve had with random kids on the side walk with a borrowed board, to the dudes Lenny & Ryan who asked to borrow Neill’s & my board one night in Berlin while we were skating outside a small fair going on not to far from Alexander Platz station. We had a shared deck session on the smooth sidewalk. Nice guys as well. We ended up chilling for the evening after the hour and a half sidewalk session. After we had a smoke and checked out the fair for a bit and had some good laughs. Some hilarious moments with these two. Later we got out of the cold and warmed up with some coffee and cake courtesy of Lenny, Thanks man.
A couple days later I meet Dave from the Dude’s Factory, met him in the shop while drooling over a small gallery of original McBess pieces (“Google that shit!”). Ended up having some good chats over a few beers & smokes at the Dude’s Factory. Cheers guys. Might do a collaboration project with Dave at some point in the future. Amazing how easy it is to meet good people sometimes.
These are all just a few of the good people I’ve met while I was in Berlin. Thanks to you guys and everyone else I met for the good times. I love Berlin.
Photo’s to follow in the near future.
So I’m a bit hung over, chilling in tonight sipping some beers and decided to write another post. I think this blogging is interesting now, it’s a great way for me to document my memories for myself and if other people enjoy it, bonus.
After ten days here I feel comfortable, I was skating back to Dori’s place tonight and bumped into two different locals (I’ve met recently) randomly on the streets. I’m learning my way around Pest quite nicely. Now if I could only get a grasp on the language…
The other day I met a local girl on the street named Farago, she invited me to an underground party. So I wandered down to this party which was in an old factory a little outside of town around 1am and had a great time, a couple DJ’s one inside one out, some interesting projection graphics up around the party. Old couches and chairs inside made for a rad ambiance. Found Farago and chatted a bit, met a couple nice girls from England who I ended up hanging out with for the night. Some old hiphop made for a great night. Shimmy shimmy ya!
It’s design week in Budapest, great timing for me to be passing through. I decided to check out a exhibition opening at FISE. It was high quality designed objects for sale. Some beauty work.
So after viewing the peices in the gallery and sipping some nice Hungarian wine I grabbed my pack & board and went outside where I ended up chatting with three Polish peeps Michal, Monika & Anita. They invited me for some drinks at Godor square. Rad spot where all the locals hang out and chill. Downstairs they have a club with free live bands every night and it’s all right next to the skatepark. So we grabbed some beers at the supermarket and chatted over some drinks. All three peeps were super friendly and told me if I need a place to stay I could stay at there flat in Pest and also if I make it up to Wroclaw in Poland I could stay with they’re friends at there flat. Shit! How great is it to have places to stay and peeps to visit with all around the world! I picked the right people to chill with! I’ve had some serious luck on this trip with connecting with the right people. So after a few big bottles of beer we decided to go check out this bar called Szimpla. Pretty cool joint, after I finished my beer at the table I went to grab another beer from the bar, randomly Michael’s standing there with his buddy. YO! So him and his friend come join us at our table, I grabbed a shisha for us all to smoke. Super tasty. Another guy from England joins out table at this point. It was an international night of drinks. I couldn’t get a hold of Dori (Where I was staying) so I crashed at the Pol’s place and woke up to a nice breakfast with Charlotte Gainsbourg playing in the background and some hilarious recapping of the night. It was a bit of a slow start to the day, I left the Pol’s and headed to the skatepark to break in the new setup. A random series of events led to a great evening, good laughs, new friends and new places to stay.
Today I woke up in “Homemade Hostel” in Budapest, I’ve been in Budapest for about 9 days exploring this beautiful city. Technically I’m not even allowed in Hungry at the moment, but some how I’m here. As a Canadian citizen I’m only allowed in the Schengen states for three months from date of entry, then you must leave for three months in order to re-enter. I was in Europe for my full three months and then spent two and a half months in Croatia. (Check my post on getting to Croatia here - https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150793827725705) Then one night I well I was staying with my friends Martina, Maja & Pinky in Zagreb, Croatia we were having some drinks and speaking about L.B.S. who was playing at a club in Buda, Budapest. I told the girls I wasn’t allowed back into Europe yet. We drank a few more beers, I decided we should give it a try, really what is the worst thing that could happen, I spend a night in the train station at the border waiting to catch a train back to Zagreb. Thats fine. So there was a train leaving Zagreb in a few hours at four AM. So I packed a couple pairs of pants, tees, droors, shorts, socks, toothbrush & Suzy (my camera). The next thing I know we all wake up to border patrol knocking on the door of our cabin, Pink and the girls passed over there passports, I was last. He scanned my passport (I think) and looked at me, looked at my passport and handed it back. Relief… Everyone went back to sleep. I snagged some pics with Suzy on our way into the train station. We partied that night and had an amazing night.
Some amazing times with some good peeps around a few different hostels up until now. But jumping ahead to today.
One day in Budapest
Today. I woke up had breakfast with Kate & Cesar. Then I wandered around the streets of Pest with Suzy. As I’m walking down a side street, I hear some good hiphop coming from behind a gated door. I peeked in for a closer look, inside was some amazing paintings! Really good stuff! And I saw the artist painting away. I yelled in hello, he came to the door to see what the hell I wanted. I asked him If I could come inside to check out his work. He welcomed me. We spoke a bit and I asked him if I could roam around and shoot some photos, he agreed. The studio space where he was working was a perfect enviorment. It was an old textile shop within this old building rammed full of character. Sketches, paintings, spray cans, markers, brushes lined the space. Looking around the space I asked him if I could wander through the old building. He took me through some old hallways to a door that led into the basement and turned the light on for me. “Go ahead” he said. Suzy & I went down the stairs to the cobweb infested basement. This place was rad! A gold mine for Suzy! After chewing on cobwebs for a while I went back up stairs and “Fatheat” (Graff name) gave me a coffee and we had a couple smokes and chatted while he painted away on his big canvas which he was preparing for the upcoming Graffiti exhibition on Saturday. Ghostface was hammering away in the background. He told me about some parties to check out and the exhibition on Saturday. I asked him where I could find a skate shop so I could pick up a new complete. After chilling out for a while in the studio we exchanged contact info and headed down the street.
I’m walking down the street towards the skate shop and I see a guy chilling on a bench with a board beside him. I walked by and decided to turn around and ask him about some local skate spots. He introduced himself as Michael. We chatted a bit and exchanged info and I left on my way to the shop where I would pick out the perfect setup. After eye-fucking and groping all the decks on the wall and the wheels in the display, I put it together and chatted with the shop keep. After the bushings where just right I paid up and pushed down the street back by the spot where I had met Michael. He was working inside a mexican resturant. I went inside to tell him I got my new deck and set up a skate date. He hooked me up with some cheep eats. Burrito & Horchata! I was happy to have some Horchata as I haven’t had any for about 4 months since I was back in Spain. Delicious drink! So refreshing on a hot day. Tonight I will stay with a Hungarian girl Dori, I met on the metro about a week ago. We had a couple drinks last night and she invited me to stay at her place for a bit while I’m around. Good bye Homemade Hostel. Today was a good day full of randomness. Kind of a typical thing these days. I’m so glad I quit my job.