8 07, 2016

Catania Is Actually Really Weird and Here’s Why

The city is known for its traditional Sicilian food, bustling markets, and famous volcano. But it’s also a clusterfuck of weird and mind-blowing stuff. I present to you a small collection of the stranger phenomena I observed in Catania.   Guys think they’re cool for driving Smartcars. Maybe this is just my American ignorance leading me to believe that all men must compensate for their tiny you-know-whats by driving Hummers [...]

4 07, 2016
  • third man junior zithers

Zithering Heights

Although contemporary folk musicians (most famously Joanna Newsom) have recently revived popular interest in the harp, the zither hasn’t gotten much love. If you’re like me, your only exposure to the zither was a rushed introduction to the autoharp* in elementary school music class. It wasn’t always this way. In nineteenth-century Vienna, the zither was extraordinarily popular, in part due to the public performances of the virtuoso Johann Petzmayer. Responding to this popularity, [...]

20 06, 2016
  • werckmeister walk

Certain Higher Signatures

…so that a long moribund symmetry among this vastness might appear in the lost glance of some higher being, at the center of which, naturally, there would be a miniscule blind spot… —László Krasznahorkai, War and War. It rained in Budapest yesterday, which gave me an excuse to re-watch a favorite movie of mine, the Hungarian director Béla Tarr’s turn-of-the-millennium masterpiece Werckmeister Harmonies. Loosely centered around the arrival of a mysterious and destructive [...]

23 03, 2016
  • Stolpersteins are small, cobblestone-sized memorials for individual victims of Nazism. Dinkelsbühl, Germany

Just look down: the memorial you may never see in Europe

If you ever take the time to look down at the ground, which, if you are like any of others in the Millennial Generation, than you are already looking down at your phone. However, if you take time to look past the latest video of kittens on Facebook, you will see one of the largest and possibly underappreciated art projects in Europe. Stolperstein at Salzstraße 2, Münster The ‘Stolperstein’ is a [...]

1 12, 2015
  • Hilltop View from Vinohrady, Prague

Five Places to Ditch the Crowds in Vinohrady

1. Jiřího z Poděbrad Farmers Market         Mass production is for the masses – leave the packaged life behind for a day wandering rows and rows of a farmer’s market, picking your own damn avocadoes. Well, yes, not from actual trees, but from market stands, and that’s basically the same thing. Basic-ally. Open Wednesday & Friday 08:00-18:00, Saturday 08:00-14:00. 2. Baobab Why yes, baobab trees were referenced in The [...]

12 11, 2015
  • Madrid Breakfast

Cheapskate’s Guide to Madrid

It’s easy to get around for close to nothing in Madrid, as long as you have your student ID and use a bit of creativity. While vast and rich with endless streets and corners, it is fairly easy to explore by foot (no metro cost!). Here’s a day-in-the-life of a money-saving, pedestrian tourist. 1. Grab breakfast at your hostel: When booking hostels in Madrid, be on the look out for places that [...]

10 11, 2015
  • Taormina View

Art Spotlight: Taormina Film Fest

Taormina is full of wealthy, gorgeous people. But once a year, even this small town really outdoes itself with the Taormina Film Fest. If you’re around in Sicily in June, come here to rub shoulders with— or at the very least, breathe the same air as— visiting celebrities. As the oldest film festival in Italy, the Taormina Film Fest traces back to 1955. Great stars have graced it over the years, such [...]

8 11, 2015
  • Street art in Athens

Outdoor Galleries: Top 5 Places to Enjoy Street Art in Athens

Sari: Home to the Street Art Gallery and some gorgeous works. If you want the full hipster experience, get a cappuccino freddo at the Dada Rock Bar and sit outside across from the gallery— that is, in the street lined with graffiti. Pireos: This is right next to a busy street, so try not to get run over while admiring the panels of street art that Pireos. If you’re feeling more adventurous, [...]

18 10, 2015
  • Amsterdam Let's Go

Four Days in Amsterdam

I’m writing while sick, which is hopefully only my body telling me “eating a bunch of different foods in 5 hours that you haven’t eaten in a month and a half wasn’t your best idea”, and not something more insidious.* As with the Paris post, there are a lot of things to cover for a city I’m not supposed to be covering, so I’ll make a list again (in no particular order)! Our [...]

5 10, 2015
  • Santiago Let's Go

New Beginnings?

Moving on to Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. I've moved to the other side of the island for the second half of my stay, I have visited two more museums and two more national parks, and I have managed to study for and take my first midterm for the course I’m studying. (But I don’t really think I can as wholesomely capture the essence of my summer course on this blog, so [...]

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