Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Back, Briefly

Well hello there! It has been awhile (where does the time go???), and I'm only back briefly, as free time is limited these days, due to a certain little guy. However, I finally figured out how to transfer pictures from my cellphone camera, and so there's a few pics I'd like to share...

I loved the contrast of this one - the mannequin in the modest dress next to the crazy haired mannequin in the more revealing dress.

This is one of my favorites. It's the display from a store in town. I howled when I saw the window - I'm sure many Upper East Siders would be thrilled if this were actually true:

This one is just a nice fall picture from fall a couple of years ago; I loved the reflection in the water (it's a canal that runs along the Koenigsallee, the Fifth Avenue of Dusseldorf).And this last one is from this spring, a momma duck and her ducklings. Cause seriously, who doesn't love baby ducks??

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Finally, Dusseldorf has caught up with the rest of Europe and has banned smoking indoors in restaurants and bars!! The new law went into effect on 1 July, and I finally got to experience the pleasure of dining without the aftertaste of smoke the other night at our favorite Portuguese restaurant here.

Of course, many folks are not happy about this, and I believe the law is being appealed. I saw something on the news the other night about how some establishments are getting around the law by establishing Raucherclubs (smoking clubs) - a woman walked into a bar that had a sign outside reading 'Raucherclub', and threw down her pack of cigarettes and took out her little laminated Raucherclub membership card, and happily lit up. Clearly there is some kind of legal loophole they are exploiting.

You know, if Paris, Ireland and England could successfully do this, Dusseldorf should be able to as well!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Say What?

In Germany, every non-German movie and TV show is dubbed in German (with the rare exception MTV Germany, which shows some of the finer programming from the US, like Flavor of Love, FoL Charm School, I Love New York, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, Parental Control, X-Factor...etc. Not that I watch ALL of those...)

Anyway, this is frustrating, because there are lots of American programs that play here, but that I can't enjoy because of the language. Even though I have seen a good many Law & Order episodes, and know what's going to happen, it's still more fun to watch in English.

Where am I going with this? Well, one of my pet peeves has to do with dubbing and the marketing of American movies, both on the radio & on TV. Some months ago, Jerry Seinfeld's animated Bee Movie was opening here. So Jerry & Renee Zellweger appeared on a very popular variety show, Wetten Das?, to plug the movie. They showed a clip of the movie. Which was dubbed in German, by actors who WERE NOT Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger.

Um, why were Jerry & Renee there? They actually do not 'appear' in the movie over here. In fact, they have nothing to do with it here. For all intents & purposes, it is a German animated movie. This bugs me.

This is also the case with radio ads. One morning I was listening Einslive, the Rhein area pop/top40 radio station, and the DJs were talking about There Will Be Blood opening that weekend, and then they played a clip of Daniel Day Lewis from the movie. Which was actually a clip of the actor who dubs DDL's voice in the movie. NOT actually Daniel, eh?

The really funny thing is that most Germans don't want to see dubbed movies. When we go to the theater in Cologne that shows flicks only in original version (with and w/o subtitles), the theater is packed with a mostly German audience. Saw Be Kind, Rewind a couple of weeks ago here in D'dorf - theater also packed. Unfortunately, I don't think the dubbing will ever change here - there are too many jobs at stake. But one can hope...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Notes On a Scandal

Ok, the last thing the world needs right now is another commentary on the Spitzer mess, but I need to get something off my chest.

Since the real identity of 'Kristen' was revealed, I've seen the shift in the focus of the media coverage from Spitzer to Ms. Dupre. That is to be expected, of course - now that there is a face, everyone wants to see this woman who 'brought the governor down'.

That phrase is exactly what is making me fume (amongst other things).

Before anyone knew who 'Kristen' was, this was about Spitzer and his colossally stupid mistake. His ego, his sexual proclivities, his hypocrisy.

All of sudden, however, she has become the 'other' woman. The temptress who caused this sordid mess. All of a sudden, her MySpace page is being dissected for clues: she's an aspiring singer, loves Aretha & Sinatra, had a difficult childhood, but through it all she persevered to follow her dream to come to NYC and begin her music career. Her mom says that 'she's a very bright girl who could handle someone like the governor'.


People!!! She was not Spitzer's girlfriend. She was the woman he paid TO HAVE SEX. He was not having an affair with her. He wasn't going to leave his wife and daughters for her. Who she really is irrelevant - it is not going to make us all understand why Spitzer did this, and all it does is shift the focus and responsibility away from him. She did nothing wrong (except for working at a job that is illegal, and unfortunately for her, she got caught).

And frankly, if she wasn't pretty, do you really think anyone would care who she was?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

New York State of Mind

Since I've moved here, I've missed New York terribly. However, there are many reminders of NYC around here, which always make me smile. There was one time when I went into a sporting goods store and there was a wall (no seriously, a WALL) of Yankees merchandise (um, hello, they don't even play IN THIS COUNTRY, nor is baseball even a professional sport here).

They love NYC here, naming places after our fine city. There is a chain store that sells trashy clothes called New York, and below is a seedy hotel named Manhattan (note the sex shop conveniently located next door - so pre-Disney 42nd St). What I love is that this one also packs in a little Woody Allen connection. 2-for-1 nostalgia.
I almost peed my pants when I saw this ad. The translation is Law & Order Without End. Back-to-back episodes on Sundays, and another on Thursdays. I watch (when I remember) just so I can hear the opening notes. Of course it's dubbed in German, but seeing as I've seen most of the eps, I can follow along. This next one I caught at the tram stop on my way to school one rainy morning. I looked up from under my umbrella and when I saw the bag, I had to stop for a moment and look around to make sure I was actually in D'dorf, and not on Flatbush Avenue.

Thank goodness I'll be back in NYC in just a mere three weeks...


No, not the adorable Disney deer, but the esteemed (?) German version of the Oscars (well, sort of - the Bambis are given not just for film but for art, literature and TV). The awards ceremony was held here in Dusseldorf(!) on Thursday night. I did not know this until Friday morning, when I went online to (I know, shameful) and saw Katie & her new 'do with Tom Cruise, who had received an award for....courage.

What the f*ck??

I have heard two reasons for this award:
- having the courage to not make mainstream movies (?),
- having the courage to make a film about the German resistance to the Nazis.

Thank goodness there is finally an award for courageous actors like Tom Cruise. I hope the Oscars will follow suit and recognize the legions of actors who are out there in the trenches, being all courageous.

p.s. I am not sure if I spelled courageous correctly - I keep looking at it and thinking that it's not right. But I am too lazy to get up and get the dictionary and look.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I am in love...

...with this recipe.

I have made it three times, and each time it gets better and better. It's got a lot going for it:

- it's relatively quick
- it's really tasty
- it has protein (good to have in your dinner. Admittedly, it does also have the carbs, but at least they are not white refined carbs.)
- it is SO comforting
- if you have leftover polenta, just refrigerate it and fry/grill it up the next evening as part of your dinner

Pair it with a nice arugula salad and a glass of red and you are set.

I know that K will consider this next statement sacrilegious, but move over Mac 'n Cheese.

p.s. here's an article about the recipe, which i just found while looking for the recipe.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things are looking up

A Dunkin Donuts has just opened downtown.

Downtown Dusseldorf, that is.

I had some Munchkins tonight.

They were good.