A weekend in Copenhagen

Last weekend I made a short visit to Copenhagen. Favourite band tv-2 played a release concert for their new album in the Copenhagen Operahouse, so there were several reasons to hop over: a tv-2 concert in an incredible venue (have a look inside here).

I hadn’t been in Denmark for several years and it was both nice and weird to be back. It feels very familiar but yet it is no longer my home.

There are a couple of things I noticed (some of them I had missed):

Kaergarden with salt
There is nothing better than fresh baked bread with Kaergarden butter. The good thing is that they salt all butter in Denmark, which just gives it a much better taste.

Gullerodsbrod
Fresh carrotbread. And just the fact that all Danish bakeries are open on Sunday.

Cyclists with helmets
Everyone, children en grownups, is wearing a cycle helmet. I think we have as much cyclists in the Netherlands, and no one here is wearing one.

Great trains
The Danish trains remains one of the most comfortable trains to travel in.

TV-2
It had been a while (March 2009 to be precise) but one never can see enough tv-2 concerts. This one was entertaining too and it was also nice to meet some old Danish friends.

Great design everywhere
From fantastic buildings (Operahouse) to the clocks on the railwaystation to the furniture in the SAS lounge on the airport. The Danes are masters when it comes to beautiful design.

Backpacks
It seems the preferred way of carrying your goods around in Copenhagen.

Sandals with socks
Wrong. Especially in the winter and even worse with white socks. Just don’t do this.

I didn’t have that much time, but did have a walk around town, also to visit one of my favourite buildings in Copenhagen:
Rundertaarnet in Copenhagen

Records shops with Showtime sleeves
It's Showtime in Copenhagen shop windows too

tv-2
TV-2  in Copenhagen Opera House

and a great Danish breakfast.
Danish Breakfast

I stayed in the Cabinn City hotel, which is affordable and has a great location close to the trainstation and Tivoli. Recommended.

New York – the plan

Plans are there to go and do something completely different – but this is the basic idea I have.

As you can see, Sunday is still open for suggestions. I might need a quiet day there, but any suggestions on what to do there are appreciated. I might take the free IKEA ferry and go and visit a part of Brooklyn.

Some news from the job front:
I have my first non-recruiter interview on Wednesday (next week). I have had loads of interviews with recruiters the last couple of weeks, but this is the first concrete job interview. I am exited and look forward to it. My CV has also been send to a couple of other interesting companies, I am waiting to hear if they are interested to see me.

My biggest problem is to convince both recruiters and companies that my split back ground (I am 50% techie – 50% creative – but 100% nice) is in fact a good thing. Some of them seem to get it, and hopefully in the end the right (and open minded) company is going to offer me a job.

So it is not a bad time to have a short getaway trip. I can’t really force things to go faster, I have put an enormous amount of energy into job hunting the last weeks and I think it will be good for me to have a short break from it.

I will get back to the this-is-not-an-xmas-card exchange, but there seem people enough to have a go at it again so let’s do it! I have to admit that I currently have no idea for a card yet, but maybe I will find some ideas in New York (While watching Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman perhaps? Ok probably not …).

I will make the official announcement for the card exchange when I am back. And seeing as I am a bit late this year, I might move it to January. Hey it wasn’t a Christmas card anyway right?

I will take camera and laptop and such to New York, (I need to keep an eye on my job emails) so I might post from there. Be good while I am gone!

Los Angeles Day 1

Here are the photos: Los Angeles Day 1)

Ten things I did in Los Angeles on day 1:

  • I had a great pancake breakfast in the Metro Cafe. This lovely cafe is only 50m from my hotel and has the exact right cafe atmosphere.
  • I ran into a huge film shoot in downtown LA. A complete street was blocked, they had incredibly huge cranes, and there were 4 huge catering trucks standing there to make food for cast and crew. This is LA film making in a nutshell. And this is where film making money is. They warned us for fake bullet shootings.
  • I had a lovely veggie flatbread pizza on Hollywood Boulevard. Thought it would be insanely expensive, but $8.40 for pizza and drink is cheap for a Londoner.
  • I also saw the famous Walk of Fame stood on Kevin, Jack and Ingrid. It is very touristy but I actually quite liked it.
  • I noticed you can get any Oscar you want as long as you pay.
  • I drove on the LA subway and discovered the coolest subway station ever.
  • I realised how big LA is. And with BIG. Things are very far apart, if you don’t have a car expect to spent time on public transport. Public transport in LA is looked down on, you would never see a business man on the bus in LA, unlike London where public transport is used by all kinds of people.
  • I also drove on the longest public transport bus in the US. They are not bendy busses but just very long, and the good thing is – they are airconditioned. And they take bikes, on a frame on front of the bus.
  • And the thing that made the day unforgettable: I saw three dolphins! They were playing around in Santa Monica bay. They were a bit away so I didn’t catch them on photo, but I have good hopes I will see more of them when going on my whale watching trip in San Francisco.

(Note: the photos are as they are, no post processing – I don’t have time for it!)

Am off for breakfast now, today’s activity – cycling!

“I’ve bought a ticket to the States. I’m off in three weeks.”

US trip

(Coffee on me for the person recognizing the title quote without googling!)

I am not exactly off in three weeks, I am off in 10 days! And I am not prepared at all yet, so I better start working on that.

I have stripped off quite some bits from the draft plan and have decided to leave the East coast for another time.

I did try to put Chicago in, but I had trouble finding a reasonable priced place to stay so I dropped it in the end. Next time, baby.

The final plan is simple:

  1. I fly from London to Los Angeles.
  2. I spent a couple of days in LA.
  3. I take the Amtrak Coast Starlight train to San Francisco. This takes 11 h 17 minutes and is supposed to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the US. (You can continue to Seattle if you stay on the train, but I get off in San Francisco).
  4. I stay in San Francisco for 6-7 days and fly back to London.

That is roughly the plan. I have booked flights and hotels using Expedia, Tripadvisor and Hotelscombined. Now I just need to figure out what to see and do.

A couple of things I know I am going to do:

In San Francisco

  1. Rent a bike and bike the bridge.. It is not sure I will rent the bike there, am still investigating the possibilities, but am definitely going to bike the bridge.
  2. Take a ride on a San Francisco cable car
  3. Do a whale watch tour.

More ideas will popup I am sure, also for LA, but this is as far as I got.

I have to run now, I am off to a preview of Away We Go. (by Sam “American Beauty” Mendes).

Travel plans – version 1 – I need your help!

US trip

It has been a while since I have been on a far (ok further) away trip, so this year I have decided to cross some items of my “would love to see” list.

(Here is a bigger version of the map on Google)

But I need your help dear readers.

But first, the plan. Here are the places I want to visit:

1. Boston
I want to go to Boston to do a Whale watching boat trip. I have long been wanting to see whales from up close and Boston seems to be a perfect place for it.

I also want to do this Lighthouse tour, this area is about an hour north of Boston.

But apart from that, is Boston worth a visit?

2. Niagara Falls
I want to do the Maid of the Mist tour and just see these impressive falls. (Am planning to stay here for one day and then move on)

3. Chicago

I don’t know anything about Chicago, but it is just one of these places that sound so familiar.
Question to you reader: is it worth visiting? And what to see there?

4. San Francisco
I know what I want to see here: the Golden Gate bridge. And it is on the coast, so I am sure there is a beach too. And light houses.
And there is some more whale watching to do here as well. Wait a minute, do I actually need to go to Boston at all?

Has any of you ever been in San Francisco? What area is good to stay? And what to see and do there? How much time would you spend here?

5. Los Angeles
This is a bit the same thing as Chicago. I have heard the name so many times before. I know they have the “HOLLYWOOD” letters on the hill there. But is Los Angeles worth a visit? What to see and do there? How much time would you spend here?

Any tips and hints and comments are highly appreciated!

(I am planning on spending about 2 weeks in the US)

I can hear you think – where is New York on the map! I know, I know, but Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman did not have time to see me before November, so New York is scheduled then. Honestly, I am not even sure I will survive watching both Craig and Jackman on one stage.

New Boy, Trafalgar Studios – London and Paris preparations

New Boy

The story is a bit wobbly here and there but what great performances of especially Nicholas Hoult (from About a Boy with Hugh Grant/Skins) and Gregg Lowe. It’s refreshing to see great young actors like these, the future of British stage and theatre is looking good.

The play is both funny and serious (without ever becoming too serious) and makes for an enjoyable night out.

I can only highly recommend you to catch it, but it seems so popular that the complete run has already sold out. It’s performed in a very small (but intimate) theatre, and deserves to be extended, and maybe even moved to a bigger theatre.

I just checked my hotel booking for Paris and saw that I have booked a Superior Single room. I wonder what Superior means in this case.

And I prepared a quick Paris map. The camera icons are places I might go to snap some photos. And if you are wondering what the snow flakes are: Ice cream shops, don’t underestimate the importance of those.

And I know there is a lot of talk going on about Google Streetview, but thanks to the genius of it, I just checked out the front of my hotel···, so I know what it looks like (and what to look for) when I arrive. I also checked how to get there from Gare Du Nord, which turns out to be easy peasy as it is right opposite the station. And there is an Italian restuarant right beside it, handy!

I think that is all the preparation I need. Now I just need to pack and catch the train Saturday morning.

Two days in Paris

TV-2 in Paris

How to be impulsive and try something new in six easy steps:

  1. Read on facebook (and yes I want to be your friend too – I am known as Ingrid M van Vliet, the M standing for mad) that TV-2 (danish band extraordinaire) is playing a concert in Paris.
  2. Admit that taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris has long been on your todo list and that this might be a perfect reason to book it, like, now.
  3. Book a ticket for the TV-2 concert in ELYSEE-MONTMARTRE, Paris.
  4. Book your Eurostar ticket and realise that it is only 2 hours and 20 minutes from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord by train! Make sure to reserve a window seat.
  5. Visit tripadvisor.com, search for “cheap hotel Gare du Nord, Paris”, read reviews from other travellers, pick a hotel and book it. Realise after you booked it that the hotel is located on Rue de saint Quentin which put a smile on your face.
  6. Start looking forward to the trip and promise yourself to do things like this more often.

Voici, c’est simple!

Thanksgiving day in New York

A short New York report where it is cold but sunny.

Yesterday I did the circle line boat trip (from 42nd Street) around Manhattan, and I would say that it is definitely worth doing. The commentary is great, you will learn lots about New York, you will see the island from the other side with great views on all the high landmarks, the statue of Liberty (from close by) and we passed 20 bridges. We also passed the little red lighthouse, which saved me a trip going there, it looks cute, located under a huge bridge. Recommended this boat trip, it takes three hours.

Today is Thanksgiving day in the US. Most shops are closed, but there was the famous Thanksgiving parade going on in the centre of Manhattan. It was a long parade, and according to the news, thousands of people participated but the most impressive items where huge (and I mean huge) inflatables of well known characters like Snoopy, Shrek and Buzz lightyear. Quite entertaining to watch. Photos will come later.

The thing that is a little scary here at the moment is that there has been a terror threat on New York’s railway system. There is a lot of police on the stations, and let’s hope it remains a threat. I am not too worried about it.

Seeing as most people are eating turkey with their family tonight not much is going on in the city, but the cinema is open so I will go and watch a film.

Happy thanksgiving to everybody out there!

Snapshots of Ireland

Snapshots of Ireland

I am back in London after a wonderful long week in Ireland.

While Ireland is famous for its rainy weather, and I did in fact arrive in rainy weather, it all changed on Sunday and I had a week with marvelous weather, lots of sea, beautiful scenery, tea in bed and full english every morning, two lovely dogs to walk, light houses, yellow shells, sheep, black berries, seals, beautiful flowers, Davy Jones and the good company of my best friend.

It was incredibly peaceful and quiet and on our daily morning walk to the beach it was absolutely silent, no sounds at all. The step to a crowded London tube was nearly too big.

Ireland is to be recommended and some more photos are on their way. Now it’s back to working on my short film.