Archive for category: Cities

Proud to be an American and to be in love with Balki

I am reminded of the cost of my freedom when I read the headlines of a young man giving his life for me, for you, for us. I have been all over the world, and I readily say that I am thankful for my country and grateful for where I live.
Touring with Biceps has afforded me the opportunity to see my country’s most valued treasures up close and personal, always grounding what I otherwise might take for granted.

I stood underneath Lady Liberty, our size comparison was that of:
me=flea, she=oak tree. From the bottom of her base to the tip of her torch, she is 305+ feet tall. That’s one huge statue. Those little white things in the bottom of the photo are sea gulls.
Given to us by the French in 1886; Lady Liberty has literally become the face of America.

She has seen many wars, diseases, presidents, terrorist attacks and pop stars.
Lady Liberty is a constant reminder to us Americans, that we are a strong and united country, craving our freedom and our Justin Bieber.

My ancestors, Biceps ancestors and many others held their breath, hoping to see her face as they approached New York and the New World.
I believe it was at this moment, Balki Bartokomous knew he had arrived, ready to find his Cousin Larry.

To every man and woman that has sacrificed their lives, their jobs, and their reputations to maintain my country’s freedom-thank you. Thank you Dad, Uncle Bill, Uncle Kelly, Keith, Jacob and countless others for joining the Armed forces and keeping me safe. And thank you, Balki, for changing the lives of my family every Friday night when you performed your dance of joy or your Bibi Babkas song.

America, Land of the Free and Home of the Brave and Balki.

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Falling in love with…Wichita, Kansas

I have a confession to make. I am a recovering Kansas snob.
Growing up in Manhattan (Kansas State) you weren’t supposed to like Lawrence (Kansas University).
You did your shopping on the Plaza in Kansas City. You visited Topeka to see the state capital of Kansas.
But, there was never, ever, ever any reason to visit Wichita. Ever. I didn’t even know anyone from Wichita. It was far away, mysterious and supposedly a ‘dirty cow town’.
But then, you meet people like this, who have the coolest house ever and your heart begins to open.
And you discover a section of Wichita you have never before seen with your own judgmental eyes-Old Town. And you fall in love.

The guys played two nights in a row in Wichita. The second night was at the Wichita Music Crawl in front of this building. The name alone, ‘Museum of World Treasures’ intrigues me.
So mysterious.

I love that both shows have been outdoor shows. There is much less of the body odor/beer stench mixing with cigarettes and Axe cologne.

Side note, if you ever see a man without a pony tail running sound, there’s a scam going on. Ok, back to how much I am in love with Wichita.

Last night, we sat up here on the second story patio, had a great, quirky waitress and a $2 ‘brewed on the spot’ beer. I was in heaven. The stars were aligning for me and Wichita. And then our drummer made a bold statement. He said the fish and chips were the best he’d ever had.

This ‘cow town’ had such a great charm to it. Tons of brick, tons of artsy independent business, tons of live music. Oh, Wichita. Where have you been all my life?

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Artsy Fartsy Marfa, Texas

In the middle of nowheres-ville, smack dab in the desert, lies Marfa, Tx. On the never ending drive to get there, I wondered, ‘What the heck kind’ve destination is this?’. There was nothing, NOTHING, on the way to this tiny town. It looked like this for hours.

We kept hearing about Marfa from other musician types, artist types, and generally the artsy fartsy’s that we like to hang out with.

We experienced why people were drawn to Marfa. This town is a haven for artists and those who enjoy being a part of the art community-sans the attitude. Gigantic warehouses are found on every corner that are either displaying amazing artwork or are venues for live music.

The ‘Food Shark’ was THE place in town to eat. I am sure there are other places, but once you’ve had a ‘Marfa-lafel’, you will never be the same.

We would have tried this place, but it wasn’t open the day we visited. It looked pretty cool, but I can’t vouch for it. I just loved the clouds so much I couldn’t resist snapping this.

This town is old, by US standards. Established in the 1880’s, the charm of the adobe structures made me want to buy a revolver and strap it to my leg, stroll down the middle of the street and give bad guys the ‘stink eye’.

This straw bale house needs a little work, but I think I could turn it around. Right, honey? Honey?

I loved this sign advertising the ‘Thunderbird’ motel.

There is a grouping of airstreams that make up a hotel community-El Cosmico. (This hotel was just featured in ReadyMade magazine). I highly recommend you click on this link. It will blow your mind. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think of the place.

There is something relaxing, serene and inspirational in Marfa, Tx.

Marfa has a history.

Unique beauty…

And a little part of my heart.

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Detroit: The #1 City to Leave

When the murder rate dropped 14% in 2008, the mayoral hopeful Stanley Christmas said, “I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but there just isn’t anyone left to kill.”
Yet in a small way….
Detroit, you have redeemed yourself.

This is the Guardian Building in a very vacant downtown Detroit. Amidst the boarded up windows, the abandoned buildings, and the enormous amount of poverty, we came upon this little gem. One word: Spectacular.

I thought I might get into trouble for taking pictures inside this building, so I shot from the hip. Tee hee. Subsequently, I did not get into trouble. The security guards just shook their heads and pointed to things I had missed taking photos of.
Secretly, I think they were happy to see ‘tourists’ in their town.

The lobby in the Guardian building was decorated from top to bottom with murals, tiles, mosaics and other pretty things. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

As I took this picture, I imagined Audrey Hepburn wearing a fancy hat and matching gloves, waiting for the elevator. A handsome man exits the elevator, taking notice of her. Of course, he sweeps her off her feet by saying something really snazzy, while a cigarette is perched on his bottom lip.
She swoons into his arms.
They kiss on the top floor of the Guardian Building just as the sun is setting. Audrey says really cute stuff, he laughs, etc.

Disregard the yellow caution cone in the center…

We left the Guardian Building and turned the corner to find this ice rink under construction.
Audrey sprang back into my mind; her new love sailing around on the ice with her. Her cheeks are a bright pink, his smile is big, and it begins to snow gently.
Then a not-so-nice man in very, very, very short blue running shorts broke through my daydream and said the rink wasn’t ready and to move away from the barricade, please. And just why was he wearing running shorts in the middle of winter in Detroit while on an ice rink? Who knows.
I hung my head, moved away from the ice rink and sighed. Reality is so harsh. But, reality also allows one to enjoy a nice steak dinner on the house at the Hard Rock Cafe while watching the band perform. Maybe reality isn’t harsh all the time.

Good job, Detroit. Way to bring it. But, I could have done without the man in blue running shorts.

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