Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring on the Strip

George and I met our friend Margaret for lunch yesterday. We haven’t seen her in a while and since George has celebrated his birthday recently, we combined the get-together with a birthday lunch at one of our favorite restaurants on the Las Vegas “Strip.” We met outside Tamba, an Indian restaurant, to enjoy their lunch buffet. We talked about this and that, catching up on the latest news, ate a lot of yummified food and had a great time.

Afterwards we decided to walk on the Strip for a bit and “play tourists.” It was incredibly busy. No sign of a recession here. A lot of Europeans were in town visiting, apparently taking advantage of the currently very weak dollar. Las Vegas hasn’t seen such an influx of foreigners since the 9/11 terror attacks. Since the Bush Administration implemented stricter rules and regulations on foreigners entering the United States, foreign tourists simply stayed away. It’s interesting to see how one country’s deteriorating currency can sway someone from never setting foot in one particular country, due to one’s political convictions. Money does rule indeed.

In any case, one of the many stops along the way was the garden conservatory inside the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. They had their annual spring exhibition on display, including a special aviary for live exotic butterflies. Some of the species were just amazing. Thousands of spring flowers were used to create a little natural paradise. Oversized snails, frogs, cranes and ladybugs were created from real flowers and plants, such as roses, moss and coffee beans. Throw in ponds, dancing water fountains and giant watering cans, and you have a perfect spot for everyone to be “ooh-ing,” “aah-ing” and “Oh my god-ing” about.

Below are some sample pictures of the Bellagio conservatory. We took a ton more photos but we will post some of them in the near future.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


That's what George and I do. We do it, live it, breathe it and are it. This and graphic arts or any visual arts. Now, if only other "designers" at all these fancy schmancy agencies would know how to kern.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Hasi.

Alles Gute zum Gebstag.*

* Just for clarification, it's not spelled correctly. However, someone special will get the point :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter in L.A.

George and I spent the Easter weekend in Los Angeles. Not because it was Easter. That was just coincidence. Rather because we had tickets to see Margaret Cho at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A. She would have also performed at the Palms Hotel & Casino here in Las Vegas, but we had to get out of town for a change of scenery and this was a good opportunity.

We love going to Los Angeles. People always wonder why anyone would ever want to go there voluntarily, dealing with traffic, smog and those “weird” Angelinos.

Quite frankly, these things never bothered us. Granted, we can do without the smog, but that’s not a daily occurrence. And believe it or not, but the traffic in L.A. actually flows better than in Las Vegas. On the surface streets anyways.

We left home early Saturday morning and arrived in a sunny and pleasant Pasadena around noon, where we stopped for a nice cup of fresh coffee and a Dark Chocolate Mocha Freddo at Peet’s. After checking into our hotel in “Hollyweird” and resting for a while, we hopped on the subway and took it to the 7th Street/Metro Center station. Our plan was to re-discover this particular part of downtown L.A., since we haven’t been there in over ten years. We forgot about all the remaining beautiful old buildings, especially along Broadway. There are plans to revitalize the area but not much has happened yet with few exceptions. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of activity due to the hustle and bustle of the mostly Latino community doing business here.

We visited Pershing Square and the historic Biltmore Hotel and came across a film crew shooting a movie. Naturally, this is L.A. after all. Before heading to the Orpheum Theatre, we had dinner at one of the last of a dying breed of eating establishments, Clifton’s Cafeteria on Broadway.

There already was a long line of people waiting outside the theater, hoping to snap up tickets for that evening’s seemingly sold-out performance. This was our first time to the Orpheum Theatre. We are constantly astounded by the richness of older, established theater venues in Los Angeles. Many of these huge and ornate palace-like theaters were built during the silent movie era and were eventually converted to accompany stage productions. A great example is the Pantages in Hollywood, home to the ever popular and now our favorite musical “Wicked.”

Liam Sullivan opened for Margaret. He’s more known for his alter ego, Kelly. Who hasn’t seen the quirky videos of Kelly on You Tube, singing of “Shoes?” His contribution to the evening was fairly brief but funny. Margaret Cho and her stand-up comedy routine were absolutely hilarious. The audience was laughing their heads off. At times, we were laughing so hard that tears were running down our faces and we almost peed in our pants. Her views on domestic and international politics, religion, race and the LGBT community was to the point, but her delivery funny as hell. We just love her…and yes, WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!

The next day, Easter Sunday, brought us to our favorite coffee house in Brentwood. We always get our supply of fresh Peet’s coffee there and also enjoy freshly brewed cups of coffee and some delicious pastries. In our opinion, Peet’s serves the best coffee. Period!

After we stocked up on coffee to take back home, we headed over to the Pacific Palisades in Santa Monica. It was already unusual warm this early in the year. It is only March after all. It was rather cool in Las Vegas when we left. There was even a cold breeze in Baker when we stopped for a short break. We walked all the way along the ocean from San Vicente Boulevard down to Venice Beach. Luckily we brought sun screen lotion along. Otherwise we both would have ended up looking like red lobsters. The weather was perfect and the surf was great. Tons of people out, enjoying a Californian spring day. A lot of Europeans were out and about as well. The strong Euro makes it more reasonable for them to spend vacations here in the United States than in Italy or Spain. I had to chuckle at some Germans since I fully understand their language. Why do Germans always complain about the most trivial things?

Warscheinlich weil es hier nie etwas richtig deutsches zum Essen gibt. Aber Gott sei Dank, immerhin servieren die dort drueben Erdinger Weissbier. Nochmal Glueck gehabt. Der Urlaub ist gerettet.

In the early afternoon we started heading back home to Las Vegas. When we were driving through the typical Southern Californian hill country, which is typically dry and brown, one couldn’t miss the bursting of fresh green grass and lush vegetation. Millions of flowers were sprouting everywhere. The winter rains came late this year, but left a remarkable impression.
Another short weekend came to a close, but it was fun and sweet. We’ll be back soon for sure.

We love L.A.!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Slow Process

By now it seems obvious that I won't be able to post anything on a daily basis. In part it's due should I put We're just too busy with work, more work and yes, just a tad bit more work. In the little spare time that we do have, we're trying to catch up on things we can't get around to because guessed

I'm not complaining by any means. It is what it is.

But we're looking forward to this weekend, though. We'll be in Los Angeles to catch Margaret Cho doing her comedy thing at the Orpheum Theatre. It'll be fun. On Sunday you'll probably meet us somewhere along the Pacific Palisades. In any case, a well deserved time away from usual grind.

And on this happy note...Happy Easter, folks. Ein frohes Osterfest an alle.