All That Jazz


Had a wonderful time at the legendary Blue Note jazz club on Saturday night. The placed was packed full and everyone could hardly wait for the band to come on the stage.

For the singer, it was a slow start. I kept thinking to myself (ok, may have commented on it out loud as well) how her voice was beautiful, the notes were all right, but there was no heart and soul in it. The piano melted my heart and the drummer made many of us tap our fingers and feet while shaking our heads rhythmically in an almost bird-like fashion. Cool.

The singer was Italian and I felt she wasn’t being sincere for the lack of a better description. I did not believe the stories she was telling and felt that these were not the words she would have used on her own. All correct, all beautiful, but empty. Until she sang in Italian. O dio mio, l’estate. She sang of summer love, its end, of snowflakes coming to soothe the pain, and I believed her. She touched my heart and gave me goose bumps. Yeah!

Even the best imitator can only hope to achieve the level of the artist they are trying to copy. But greatness comes from originality.

Just be yourself.

I (heart) NY


I’ve been here a week now and am finally getting a hang of Manhattan’s layout. Have walked around the better part of it, jogged in Central Park, discovered eggs florentine as breakfast that’ll keep you going till dinner, did some shopping, went to a live taping of a Comedy Central TV show production, attended the Bloomberg Media Summit in wonderful company where I learned quite a bit, I visited a few museums, but not enough, was surprised at how much smaller Wall Street is than I’d imagined, I admired the city from the Top of the Rock and the Brooklyn Bridge in glorious sunshine and walked in rain and wind that soaked my feet and legs. And the Broadway shows. Oh wow. Only managed to see three, each very different yet each pure joy.

The people have been wonderful. The Canadian who sat next to me in theater, the Bangladeshi lady serving breakfast, the elderly mechanical-engineer from Odessa who takes up any menial job that pays, the French retired banker who volunteers as a guide in the Carnegie Hall, the Romanian girl who sold me a handbag I probably couldn’t have lived without and absolutely had to come with a matching wallet, the Chinese in Chinatown who quoted facts on Yugoslavia for me. And yes, all the US-born Americans as well. Like the super-nice teacher working her second job at a store that’s closing down.

I feel good here. I really do.

That’s the way ah-hah ah-hah I Like it ah-hah ah-hah


I’m a happy camper now. In a diner next to the Late Show’s venue.

But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For


Getting closer, though 🙂

Baby It’s Cold Outside


…but there are ways to keep warm 🙂



Keep it up, guys! Rooting for you in Luxembourg…

News? Make mine dry.


(Photo by dr. fil: entrance into the building of Le Figaro, Paris)

Lord help me, but I like newspapers. Good old printed newspapers. And magazines. My dislike of televised news seems to be growing exponentially. I do own a TV set. A rather nice one, actually. But it always seems to either be off or connected to the computer for viewing the few shows I do enjoy or feel a need to keep track of.

I managed to leave my laptop’s battery charger behind in Paris. Which led me to turn on the TV and try watching the news on one of the many channels I pay for. The attempt failed miserably. Why is it that the news channels just make me feel nervous? Very little of the news they provide is of true significance, yet every piece is presented as the greatest story ever. Until the next one. I do not tune in for drama. I am looking for news. Information. Data. And good commentary. The pathos and unnecessary decor are distracting.

In contrast, I find some newspapers a pure joy to read as they offer both information and commentary by people whose little grey cells seem to be making that extra mile. So anywhere I go, that’s about the first thing I buy. So interesting to compare the way people reason. Especially on the same issues. It’s not about getting the news first, my dear fellow instant gratification generation members, for me it’s also about its presentation and accompanying background. With a commentary that requires time for reflection.

Enough with the rambling. I’m off to read the bit of Le Figaro on finance and finish the Scientific American magazine. The TV with its increasingly foxified news programming will stay turned off while the blackberry keeps preserving the illusion of my keeping up with events in the world. And, possibly more importantly, streams a nice jazz radio for me.

This, too, is Paris, part 3 1/3


This man was working out at that same spot every single morning during my two weeks in Paris. I walked by on my way to school. A number of hypotheses come to mind as I try to figure out who he is and what he does. His regular exercise, for exampe, was rolling a plastic water bottle half-filled with wet sand back and forth under his foot. So what do you think?

Paris was a fun learning experience in many respects. I do hope to return soon. A bientot!

This, Too is Paris, part deux


Just making a living by looking at the world upside down. At the moment, it probably makes more sense that way.

Bled Cake Run 33 1/3


Here we go again. Living the good life means gaining a few pounds and starting to acquire the shape of your average couch potato, but with two weeks of preparations I was – against my own expectations – able to complete the 10km scenic run in one hour and one minute. Thanks to the great organisers and my special supporter. See you next year!
PS: pictured is the traditional prize for the runners – the Bled cream cake or what’s left of it.

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