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Monday, August 13, 2012

Guten Abend :)



First, I took Orlando...

Now, I take BERLIN!

What can I say? I like my striped dress.

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Photo: Mona Salem


Guten Abend :) This past week I had my first public performance, with the wonderful Coco Clownesse, at the Eschschloraque, here in Berlin. The Eschschloraque is something special. It exists in the Hackesher Markt area of Mitte, a now higher end tourist area, but it holds true to it's punk roots. It's an original, and a special landmark.






Coco Clownesse and I, back stage at the Eschschloraque!
I admit, I have NEVER played my Guerrini accordion in a smoking environment. Smoke machines and cigarette smoke is terrible for the instrument, and in Berlin there is a 50/50 chance that you will be in a smokey bar or club when you go out. This was one of them. Luckily, I didn't find the stage environment full of smoke, and I'm happy to report that my accordion is in good health.

The audience was fantastic, they were very engaged and loving the entertainment. I had a great time, and performing with Coco was a pleasure :)



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So, after heaving my accordion around in it's soft gig bag, on my back, I decided it was time to get a rolling cart for it. I had a simple one back in North America, cost me about $10 at Walmart, but have discovered them to be quite pricey here in Berlin. I finally got one, biting the bullet at Karstadt for 35€. There were ones at Ikea for 9€, but I didn't really want to make the trip to Ikea, so I spent too much money out of laziness.

My friend Jamie made a comment on a Facebook post I made - when I was asking Berliners where I could buy one of these, about how I should opt for the one with shock absorption (around 75€!!) for the sake of the accordion being up against the rocky sidewalks of Berlin. They're are many charming cobble-stoned sidewalks here, which are ever so tricky to maneuver in high heels, and I manage to avoid falling on my face - at least once a week if I don't watch where I'm stepping - while I'm wearing simple flats.

I got my cart on the road one day, and oh my GAWD was it more brutal than just carrying my accordion. Navigating over the sidewalks, the VERY bumpy stoned sidewalks. Didn't I just blow 200€ on repairs after bringing her over on a plane? YA. So I then became extremely paranoid that I would do MORE damage, thinking about Jamie's comment about shock absorption, and so I returned the rolly-cart.

Carry the beast. End of story.

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I moved all the way to Germany to find a Canadian photographer, from Whistler, British Columbia, to do a photo shoot with!

Matt Walker had scouted out an outstanding location to do a photo shoot at. It was at this abandoned warehouse in east Berlin, which was once an ice factory. It's now drenched in graffiti, broken glass, random junk spread out everywhere, and even though it's 'abandoned' it has a few squatters living in it and seems to be on a tourist map of some kind, since quite a few hipsters passed through this massive building while we were there.




 

Matt was awesome to work with, and very understanding about me getting quite squeamish in the environment we were in. I have a feeling we got some great shots out of the shoot! He has now left Berlin, and is spending a week traveling a little bit before he returns to British Columbia. I wish him the best of luck with his photography, and he'd better return to Berlin at some point! There are curry wurst and Ernuss Flips waiting for ya!

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Yesterday I performed at my first wedding reception here in Berlin. It took place in the Volkspark Friedrichain, at the Friedrichain Pavilion.


Photo from www.yelp.de
The parks in Berlin are so enchanting, and this venue was perfect for a wedding reception. Friends of the bride and groom got in touch with me and hired me to perform, and I was honored to be there :)

I came in full cabaret/sexpot attire (as requested), had a Grandma check out my butt, and was tickled to see the little kids flock to me and my accordion. I guess the sequin booty shorts can't disguise the children's performer within?

At one point the entire wedding party and guests gathered on a big grassy area, just beyond the Pavilion for a big group wedding shot. It reminded me of some of the old family photographs I've seen in my German Grandmother's photo albums. Everyone gathered around the bride and groom, sitting, standing, here and there. It was classic.

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Living in Schöneberg has many perks. It's a beautiful part of Berlin, I'm situated near the necessities like u-bahn stations, my bank, grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, great new friends that live nearby and the Greek Party night at Prinzknecht. This bar has theme parties, which many clubs and bars do here in Berlin. This night consisted of fake 50€ strewn about, a parade of Nana Mouskouri's marching through the place, and a mass plate smashing extravaganza. I will return soon enough.

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One more thing before I end this week's blog:




Who ever invented these incredibly joyful wafers of caramel heaven will receive a punch in the face from me. They're beyond delicious.

When I bring these insane cookies up to people, they say, "Mmm ya, they're Dutch hey?"

The Dutch have a secret weapon: KARAMELL WAFFELN

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