Archive for January, 2009


The day after the party, Michka and me ar going nordic skiing. We step outside, -15 degrees Celsius (roundabout 5 degrees Fahrenheit), frozen ice on the sidewalks, and we carrying our long skies. We take the warm metro to Saint-Laurent, and with a bus from there all the way up to Mont Royal, the mountain inmidst Montreal. My hands are getting red and filled with needles, since I walked about 300 meters without gloves, and the deep temperatures make your fingers first full of pain and then slowly dozing off into the numbness of a frostbite.

Michka rotates his arms, and first I think he would do warm-up exercises but quickly realize that he does that to keep his fingers from getting cold: When you rotate your arms, the centrifugal force is pressing the blood outwards, namely in the tips of your fingers. Your blood has a decently warm temperature, too, so your fingers won’t fall off. The only problem: If your gloves are thin, they will let through the wind thats caused by the fast rotation…

We get our nordic skis on und start trampling up the hill. It’s beautiful: Everywhere snow, trees have frozen branches, the light scatters through the light forest .. “ooouch!”
This is the sound I make when I hurt a muscle on the sole of my feet that apparently was only constructed for Nordic skiing, but nothing else. After 300 meters I think I will just drop dead on this forest floor, and am close to simply give up and ask Michka to finish the tour on his own. Before I find the right words, I hear Michka approaching me “Toby, want to go to the top?!”
“Aaaaah yes, why not! Let’s go!”

Sometimes it is the best thing to continue even if you feel hurt, to overcome this temporary strip of pain in the long road of training for a sport. And “going to the top” means to go all the way to the belvedere. Our route looks something like this:

After an hour or more, my complete thighs feeling sore and the cold air rushing in and out of my lungs, we reach the top: A monumental lunch hall, right next to a huge plattform which gives you the most breathtaking view of Montreal available. Nordic skiing with a camera is not very good when you trip over your own legs every two minutes and have a layer of frozen snow all over your pants as a proof of ridiculous nordic skiing skills – a camera doesn’t like snow that much. So I try to describe what you can see from up there:

Montreals downtown skyscrapers are right in front of you, each emitting smoke or steam at the top. The rtooftops of all the buildings are nearly black, contrasting the orange shimmering from underneath, coming from the streetlights. There is a distant noise, as if someone turned on a humongeous radio and were between two stations in the wide wooshing nowhere. On the horizon all lights are dancing in the rising warmth of the city’s radiators, and everything seems so peacuful, untouched, icy.

We drank two cups of coffe from a vending machine – the most waterlike coffe ever made – inside the giantic, empty hall (which I guess is usually an extremely busy restaurant). No doubt that I’ll come there again without skis on my feet but with a camera in my hand.

I am standing in front of my Montreal apartment door. It’s about minus 15 degrees Celsius, and snow compressed by feet and tyres, is surrounding me. I rashly drag my hand through the maze of my pocket, and finally feel the keys. In that moment, a dark silhouette converges towards the door.

“TOBI BOND!”, exclaims Sandra, “you are are back?! Now? Wohooo!”
I actually expected to come back, put my luggage in my room, tell my roommates some remarks, and then talk to Lorena.
I didn’t even get the chance to put away my luggage – Sandra is joined by Jenny, then Michka and finally Yukkunn and his girlfriend. Everybody is standing in the little hallway, my shoes are full of snow and making everything dirty but nobody seems to care – the family is complete again…


The youngest in our family: Yukkunn

.

What follows, is a marathon photo session on our couch, taking endless group photographs which I now have to steal from Michkas computer to display them.
All of a sudden, there are two more people in the room who I don’t know, both coming from Columbia. We start talking about Columbia (“So … what do you know about Columbia, Toby?” – “Cocaine! Right?”), as two more people drop in. Before I can think of more things of Columbia – well, it’s in South America, and people there drive like crazy, and they dance salsa, and … did I mention Cocaine? – about twenty more people spill through the door, leaving a junkyard of old, rotten shoes in our hallway.
In Montreal, you need to know that, due to the extremely cold temperatures, the city administration puts so much salt on the street to clear it from snow that practically everything is eaten away by the acid. Shoes, car paint (especially on the wheel case), the bottom of everybody’s pants, even whole moose herds who regularly confuse parks with forests are completely consumed by the salt on Montreal’s tough streets.
That’s why shoes get rotten and ripped up here, and that’s why Sarah Palin doesn’t like Quebec – most of the moose melt together with the snow on the street here.

Back to the very French farewell party for Sandra and Jenny: There are two big pots full of boiling red wine and fruits soaked with alcohol on the stove, there is cheese, and I might have even seen some baguette. The only not-so-French things are Jelly Beans and beer. The party gets pretty outrageous, and the vibe seems to press our furniture out of the living room, making space for the dancing crowd.
Finally I can unglue myself from the shaking dancing heroes, stumble into my room and shut the door behind me before I as a renegade get trampled to death by the troops of electronic music.
“Hey Lorena!” – back to the good old relationship of ours, namely through Skype. Five minutes of storytelling what happened in New York, as … “TOBI BOND!”

Michka jumpos into my room, dressed in a tight bicycling suit, immediately joined by my former roommate Fabrice, styled in the same fashion. “Ola Lorena!”, rufen sie in den Bildschirm. “Come and dance, yay-yay-yay!”

.

.

The next morning, Michka and me wanted to go nordic skiing at 10AM – but wake up at 12, with the slowly degrading red wine sitting on our shoulders. Time for a wunderbar French-Canadian brunch with a lot of bagels, maple syrup and hot milk!

.

A last advice: If you ever happen to wish to immigrate into France, here are your requirements:

  1. Fresh baguette under your arm
  2. French newspaper wrapped around the baguette
  3. Glass of wine in your other hand
  4. Tight bicycling suit
  5. Tightly rolled moustache, exceeding the width of your face.

If you are a girl, replace number five with “light moustache, 120% red lipstick to distract from the ladybeard”

If you want to immigrate into Quebec, simply replace the glass of wine with a jar of maple syrup, half full (the other half must be munched with pancakes lying in your stomach) and instead of a baguette .

The Great Gatsby is one of many books on my reading list before I will start to write the book in March – with my E’s and F’s on my English exams in high school it would be quite a stupid idea. That’s the reason why, my European fellows, you will be introduced to American Classic literature by someone who has no idea about it as much as you do.

Lorena gave me a couple of books she read in school for Christmas, and one of them was…

.

The Great Gatsby

By Scott F. Fitzgerald

The story is narrated in first-person by a man named Nick Carraway. He is in his late twenties and comes from a West coast middle class family (I always imagined him, for some reason, as a teenager from a working class coal mine family).

He wants to stay a year on the East coast, rents a run-down minimalistic house at the seaside north of New York City and takes low-paid job opportunities. His shelter is located between two large mansions, one of which a mysterious man named Mr. Gatsby lives in. He gradually gets to know this rich young man who claims to have inherited most of his fortune from his family. Gatsby happens to know the second cousin of Nick, a beautiful girl named Daisy, who is the only reason Gatsby lives in this area.
During the book we find ourselves caught in numerous love affairs which involve a lot of adultery.

Our protagonist is acting like a bystander and observer throughout the whole book, his role in the story is more the one of an ambassador and facilitator. I am not very fond of the story, for me it’s one of those oldschool hookup-dramas where everybody has something with everybody and inevitably something goes wrong.

.

What makes this book unique is its writing style. Fitzgerald has an enormous vocabulary with splendid, innumerable ways of using it. His expressions and phrases to describe social situations are to a big part completely made up, but with such a wit that I was convinced and really entertained by it. The book is a pretty quick read and definitely never gets boring. F. Scottie’s balance of description, dialogue and action is solid like thousand Coca Cola cans munched into a dense aluminum cube by a shredder.

If you plan to supersize your vocabulary or want to find more eloquent ways to tell someone that he is a moron – then go and get that book!

Actually I planned to see New York like the last time, just rushing from John F. Kennedy Airport in East NYC by public transport all the way to mid-Manhattan and make it within two hours, catching the train heading north on Penn Station.
Stumbling with a fat suitcase full of dead rats (some people would actually identify them as rotten socks), a camera dangling from my throat and a backpack full of classic American literature – what could be more fun?

.

Four weeks ago:
On my flight from New York to Los Angeles, I had all three seats on my side for me, my laptop (that I didn’t touch a single time during the flight), my backpack, a book about poker and about half a dozen empty plastic cups which once contained airplane Coca Cola.
On the other side of the center aisle, there were two guys, seemingly knowing each other, chatting for ten seconds after sitting down and falling asleep before the airplane even started rolling.
Six hours later, approaching LAX, the airplane got into turbulences. “Fasten your seatbelts” was the command, and even the nice Virgin stewardesses had to obey this order. The two sleepers woke up, and even a blind person could see them clawing their fingers into the armrests.
I admit my fear at that time, but since it didn’t really help the pilot if I would suffocate my good shirt in sweat, I decided to feel joy.
“Better than a rollercoaster!”, I said across the aisle. Scratching motion and burnt armrest smell coming back. We started talking, exchanged emails, and since then I knew Andrey and Loyzo. Shortly before I left Los Angeles, Loyzo invited me to a film set in NYC, and so my plan changed.

.

This time I deposit my suitcase at Penn Station and walk around with my camera and my backpack, planning to meet Loyzo in the early afternoon. The battery of my camera goes dead all of a sudden, and the reserve battery’s energy is sucked out better than the blood vessels of my neck. I find a camera store online and, may it be coincidence, it is three blocks from Pennsylvania station. Upon entering my eyes exceed the size of my face. I have never been so flabbergasted by the features of a store.

  1. B&H Photo Video is as big as a Store like Ralphs or Food for less. Maybe bigger.
  2. It is filled with lenses instead of cucumbers, reflectors instead of pita bread, and
  3. The majority of employees, I guess more than 75%, wear little, flat black Kipas, important head covering in orthodox judaism.
  4. The number of shoppers equals the number of sellers. You remember those counters where you get advice on what to buy, and how they have numbers, like one to six? In that store, the numbers go from one to about fifty.
  5. On the ceiling, there is a huge system of conveyer bands, crossing like playmobil railroad tracks, transporting green boxes filled with ordered products. Everything is moving, endless amounts of boxes sailing above your head. If you would replace the kippahs with green hats, you would have no doubt that Santa Clause himself runs that store.

I walk out dazzled and amazed, with a nervous blinking eye that revolts again my decision not to buy anything. I finally hope for the goodwill of the guy at the Amtrak luggage storage counter to let me take out my battery charger of the suitcase, and I hope right.

.


Saving the city from fire: Batman


Nice lunch for a decent price right next to Penn Station in Jimmy’s BBQ., perfect place for male New Yorkers who want to talk business with some BBQ in their mouth.


3-man breakdance group doing a 2-minute performance in the subway including back- and sideflips.


A fake kitchen on the film set Loyzo invites me to; a couple of people from the neighborhood were already happily spreading the word that a new foreign cuisine had opened… too bad that its all masquerade


The holding area for the extras. Oh, how I love holding areas for extras.

Loyzo introduces me to the set, and meet Andrey again, and my hands grab as much of the film set food as they can hold. After an exhausting day (I spent 4 hours of it powernapping at Loyzo’s apartment – he seriously offered me to sleep in his living room an a really nice matress altough he barely knows me), we decide to go to a bar within Loyzo’s walkie range. The closest one is this softcore-stripclub named Coyote ugly (who saw the movie?), where the bar tender girls hop on the bar and dance in tight jeans with each other to get the business running.
I, if course not at the tender age of 21 but 19, present my Austrian driver license to the bouncer. There are a lot of numbers on it, and judging his look when giving it back to me, he has no idea which of those numbers my birth date are.


Loyzo left, Andrey right, old dusty bras in the back.


After Loyzo gets back to work, I go with Andrey and a guy named Chris into a super classic American bar. The bouncer is 150 years old and just waves us through the door. You can only order two beers, and they both have to be either light or dark.

Going to the subway in zig-zag lines, I want to thank Loyzo with some candy. I buy one “Good & Plenty” and an enormous lollypop, which unfortunately explodes on the kitchen floor after I attempt to put it in the fridge. So, only good and plenty left for Loyzo.
Next day, 6:30 in the morning, I take a shower and Loyzo gives me some of the smoked meat he brought back from Europe. Believe it or not, it resembles Speck. Speck, Schnitzel and friends in Vienna are probably the only things I really miss here in North America.


On the way back, we get out before approaching the border – my pubic hair immediately turns into ice crystals. That’s gonna be fun in Montreal!

Yes Man” is one of the movies that stays inĀ  your head after you leave the cinema. It is one of those that makes you think about your life. It’s basic principle is simple and derives from basic life philosophy: Say yes to everything you get offered, follow every opportunity that you get.

People who ask you to do something, always give you an opportunity to do something. This may seem trivial, but it has a deeper sense: By accepting others inquiries you always change your world, you always make experiences – instead of sitting at home you get up and out of your house. That is the basic philosophy of this movie, and only for that I already love it.
Jim Carrey finds himself in a huge world full of coincidences, and I see a parallel to my grown curiosity with which I went aborad: I wanted to explore the city, and if there was an opportunity to do something great or something bordering on stupidity, I usually went for it – and saw the world with other eyes.
Yes man, a great movie. Well, dear reader, let me ask you something:
Will you please watch it?

.

.


A building on Wilshire Blvd. which walls consist of little round plastic shapes which shake in the wind – from further away, you can see wave patterns as the wind hushes through this architectural detail.


Climbing in the car through the window is a hassle


Bum in Westwood Village


Brunch in Westwood

Now, nearly four weeks come to an end. A pretty harsh one, indeed. Lorena and me, packed with my last purchases at CVS, get into her car, the shamu shuttle, ready to make some goodbye banana shake. I am slowly getting out of the parking lot with this truck-sized monstrosity of a car, neatly decorated with a sticker in the back, ready to roll. A Mercedes comes from the left, a metal pole in front of me, behind some Lexus yacht-like car, and to the right some space to reverse, including a car with whit lights, signaling that it is getting out of the parking lot too. I turn left, taking care not to touch Mercedes or Lexus, cautiously on the brake…

“Wah! Toby!”

I jump on one of the pedals, aiming for the brake, not sure which one I finally hit – but too quick, too late: the Shamu hits the pretty solid CVS wall and jumps backwards with the impact of the crash next to the Mercedes and comes to a halt. Blood rushes in my face, forcing the stored sweat under my skin to an exodus through the pores of my forehead.

WHY THE HELL DO I CRASH CARS WITH SUCH PASSION?

Maybe it is because my first word as a baby was not “Auto”, maybe it is because I did not adore cars until hitting the tender age of 18, maybe it is some genetic defect, maybe I’m a girl deep inside and just bad at parking. I don’t know, but this time I am not alone, bathing in my sweat. This time, Lorena starts laughing, taps my head, and I can kiss her no matter how big the dent in the front bumper turns out to be. We make banana shake, I visit her mom at her office and tell her about my fatality, and everybody is nice to me, the only thing I have to worry about is paying for the damage.

.


This ad is really so bright.


Another homeless guy around Westwood


LAX during the night. Behind the tower you find the Encounter Restaurant

As we drive to the airport and dine in the exquisit Encounter restaurant, all car crashes are left behind. I am happy to get to see my Frenchies again, and happy to see Lorena again. At the security check I don’t have a lot of time for letting the tears run down my face – the security guards are entertained by my Austrian hat, laugh and one of my rare moments of melancholy goes by.
Well then, back to Canada!

But first, I think I should stop by in New York…

Connected Post: THE GROVE


Roly Poly = rolling a flaccid penis / bulging the back of my bald head


The Grove in twilight


Sunset over the Grove


Time – to – talk – business


The Sticker shop on Grove’s farmers market


The spicy sauce shop


Bottom of picture: Here you can spit

Edit: PICTURES FROM THE GROVE

Somewhere in Beverly Hills, around Fairfax Avenue – where I used to live for two weeks in a hostel – is a huge parking construction, bordering on a splendid shopping center, called The Grove. Similar to the Americana, but smaller. Its cute attempt to imitate European, edgy and unplanned downtown shopping alleys is pretty successful; the Grove definitely has a full-time demand of its customers.
Lorena and me park on the highest level available, since we realized the possible beauty of a view that we encountered that one meaningful sunset. It is one of our typical shopping trips – Lorena telling me what would look good on me, me trying on that stuff in front of her, and then abandoning 90% of the silkwear due to too high cost.
This time tough, one shirt convinces me and I wear it right away. Actually, Lorena and me were dressed up before, she indeed dressed up, and I in jeans, shirt and tie. We were about to go to an award, but could not get two tickets, so we went in the same attire that we would have worn to The Grove.
We see: Another beautiful swimming session of the sun in the sea of smog (which comes gradually back with the warm weather)…

.

…exquisit hats for the winter season (my bald head requires some additional insulation before all the warmth produced by brain activity vanishes into the outer space)…

.

…and again a circular fountain with a profound water show.

A sticker store where you can spend hundreds of dollars in action figure stickers, Disney stickers, car stickers and so on…

.

…and a store only made for hot sauces, and to my delightment also carrying “The Source” – the remarkedly “hottest sauce on earth”. In its nature it comes pretty close to a strong acid – one drop directly on your tongue and you can finally forget about the painful process of getting a hole made for a piercing; the source will do this service for no charge. Well, unfortunately, a couple of mililiters of The Source cost 129$ in this store. Let me give you a little insight in hotness of spices: There is a unit called Scoville, which measures the spicyness of a certain product.
Start off with 500 Scoville for a Pepperoncini, go ahead with medium Tabasco sauce at 5,000 Scoville, and at some point you’ll hit The Source with 7.1 million Scoville of spicyness.
.
For all our lovebirds – the grove is good for taking a girl on a shopping date.
When we are about to get into the car again, Lorena drags me to a kind of balcony that oversees the central plaza.
Not just that, it is also directly above a walkway and as I look down on the people passing by, a water drop spirals downwards six stories before hitting the ground.
“Let’s spit on the pedestrians!”
Just five minutes in the artificial rain business, Lorena exclaims “I think this policeman just saw us!”, and we grab each other like partners in crime and make a run for it. How much I love this girl for her craziness.

.

Brad moved out of his room and needs “my” couch for the next few weeks, so I had the obligation to find a new sleeping space. I desperately asked around and facebook-messageed people. For the first out-of-stoner-apartment night a friend named Mike let me crash in his place.
Mike is living in the basement of a close fraternity house, and for the first half hour hanging out there, we mostly talk about women, Europe and California and stare at a blue, blank screen on his TV. While watching some crappy movie about a wannabe-gangster in posh Malibu, I doze off.
The next day, I am quite sure that I will be able to sleep at Leif’s – another buddy that goes to UCLA and has a talent for math and nonsense humor – place on his couch.
The night I arrive, there is no Leif there tough – he is on a party and expects me there – and so I innocently plan to sleep on one of the 6 huge couches in the fraternity lobby. This fraternity was thrown out of the house for a couple of unknown reasons, and little by little, people are moving in that want to start the fraternity again.
Not everybody is out that night tough, and instead of falling asleep, I randomly meet a couple of people, go to a trashy sausagefest (the vast majority of a party crowd are men), learn about various French fish dishes and nearly manage to force three guys to the ground in their laughter about some transvestite remark that I make.

Leif doesn’t show up, and I want to hang out with Lorena the next day early in the morning, and as random as the rest of the night was, I meet one of the oldschool fraternity guys and he offers me room number 16 for th last couple of days I will stay in LA.

.

.

Schools starts again for Lorena, and so I have the choice of either sleeping into the day in room number 16 or getting up at 6 in the morning and spending my time at Starbucks. Due to the high working efficiency that I exprience in coffee places, I choose the latter one. So I meet Lorena for a couple of days with my laptop under my arm in front of the fraternity, and while she adjusts her school clothes, I race up Sunset Boulevard to drop myself off at Starbucks while she sits in school. In the last couple of weeks, I made random aquintances in Starbucks, out of which I handpick you the best:

.

Mr Ogidobodo-Rastafari
A man of maybe 50 years, with huge rasta dreads and a really talkative mouth that misses a couple of teeth. He is surly on of the candidates for medical Marijuana, and starts telling me stories how he had a TV show in Los Angeles every monday with more than 10,000 viewers, and how her interviewed all kinds of famous scientists for his show. He wants to put the show online and following to my answer “if I would be good with computers”, he asks me for assistance to buy a computer and get his show running online. The conversation gets pretty odd after he tells me about this tribe in Africa that has connections to extraterrestrial beings and that the world needs to accept wonders like that.

.

The guy in the blue shirt
He claims to not look his age – I guess him silently in his seventies, before he reveals to me that he is in his fifties. There are two cool stories that he tells me and everybody else: The first on is that he was once going to a boy school pretty much opposite of the girl school that Lorena goes to, and in those good old days where there were no security cameras, the good looking boys (he seemed to be one of them in his story, altough I couldn’t tell his handsomeness in young years) would sneak across the street over to the girls dorms and “kiss them” and “sometimes touch them, you know”. He is very good in telling that story with hand and feet, and even if you don’t requestit, hewill repeat it for you about four times in a row before he is finished.
The secondstroy is that he used to work for the fire fighters before he retired. Actually, he first worked for the fire fighters, then the ambulance, and then the police. I was amazed and asked him which was the most fun, and he chose the fire fighters as his favorite. On the question if he was on scene he objects and clarifies that he worked for all these departments in an office.
The guy in the blue shirt always wears his blue shirt, and seems to be in Starbucks every day. He sometimes just sits and stares straight ahead for more than an hour, and sometimes he approaches the people sitting next to him and telling them his story.

.

The Turk
I don’t know much about him, but one day I asked if I can sit on the same table, and he said yes. He was about 30 years old, three-day beard and business attire. After a couple of nonconversational minutes he produces a sandwhich in this typical hard plastic wrapping out of his business case and offers me to join him eating it. I thank him and take one of the halves that are in the box. Twenty minutes later, he puts his laptop away and says goodbye with a smile – and leaves the other tasty half of this sandwhich with me. The box sais something like “$6.55”.

.

Douglas
Actually, I met the Turk last, but Douglas was by far the most interesting one. First of all, I still have no idea wether Douglas is a legitimate person or not. Out of all my Starbucks-aquintances he is the only one whose email adress I keep, and the only one that really raises interest in me.
This particular day my cellphone is accidentally empty. I make myself dream about waking up and wake up at 3AM, 4AM, 5AM and 5:40AM in room number 16. After a shower, I still have a good amount of time left, so I start working on my paper for the Gedenkdienst. Completely in flow, I forget about time, and the next thing I know is that the watch on my laptop says 6:46 – and I have to be outside a 6:45. Accidentally, Lorena is still in the parking lot, and we drive to Hollywood.
By chance, none of the big chairs is free, so I have to plug my laptop in on this table where this one guy sits.
We really get going after I look after his laptop for a couple of minutes, where he opens a Word document and lets me read the first two chapters of his autobiography. Later I find out that he started off as a bush pilot in the US, then South America, the Russia and couple of more countries. He tells me about how he had a gold mine in the Amazon jungle and how he trained himself to wake up every day at 4 in the morning, with four hours of sleep, because if you want to be a global player, so he always tells his son, then you have to get up in Los Angeles when people in New York wake up.

The story of his rollercoaster carreer, which includes yacht companies, privatye jets, gold mines, and on the other side two times homelessness, is pretty fascinating and at the same time dubious.
He tells me about his recent project, an invention his brother made together with him, that shall be sold to General Motors; I tell him I would recommend him to do that whole thing in 3D and show him some of my portfolio.
He grabs his wallet, pulls out fourty dollars and says “Let’s get started then!”

While I work next to him in Cinema 4D, he tells me to ban words like “maybe”, “if”, “probably” from my vocabulary, and to stay away from dreamers.
“The people you want to meet are doers, not dreamers. Stay away from dreamers.”

At the end of our aquintance he gave me a business idea. Afterwards, I asked my dad for advice and he told me the idea had a couple of flaws. I think about realizing the idea any way, not because it is so good, but to get my mind started on thinking business.

We meet Eurie for a Sushi in Westwood after the first day of school after the enormously long winter break. The two girls are totally into Sushi, I’d prefer dry bread to raw fish. Fortunately, this Sushi place also offers a bowl full of candy at the front desk. And chicken on the menu.
To even out our cultural variety and extend the taste confusion – eating Japanese food and paying with American dollars – we go to catch something German. At least the name of this place sounds pretty German: Diddy Riese. Probably his name was Dietrich, and people got a clogged throat from saying the CH-sound, so they just started calling Ditrich Diddy. His idea is riesig: Two large cookies with ice cream in the middle. You can have brown cookies, cookies with chocolate chips, with M&Ms, combined with strawberry, chocolate-coffe, mint-chocolate, strawberry-cheesecake and so on. The best thing: One ice cream cookie sandwhich costs 1,50$.

As we wait in line – this place always has a line of at least ten people in front of it -, Lorena gets into a foodfight with me, looses and finally ends up curling up on the sidewalk with a face full of frozen joghurt. As we leave Diddy Riese again, I see a sky so splendid and beautiful as seldom. In a maniac attack of euphoria, a photographer is unstoppable like the hair loss of men in their midlife crisis; and the same way the white color eats from the sides to the top, I ran through westwood and rushed up the stairs of the parking lot we parked our cars on.

.

In General, since 9/11 it is completely impossible to visit the top floors of skyscrapers in the US, apart from attractions like the Rockerfeller center where you pay 20$ for a nice little elevator ride. The cheap version for everybody who likes to be on top, the last refugee for skyscape photographers, are those boxy, hollow buildings called parking structures. You can all walk them up without passing security controls, and since they are very flat, they give you a gorgeous option to overlook the city.








.

After a while I start taking group photographs, and end up having those two brats posing on the rooftop of shamu shuttle. Probably that happens because I am bald.