Humans Arise from Amsterdam Caves

Although my mind is on my journey to New Orleans, which is just one week away, it is impossible to ignore Amsterdam these days.

Yes, the city I call my wife is in bloom. I guess we skipped winter this year, because our first string of sunny and cool days is here, and it seems any human that can move on something or be moved in something is out on the town. They have emerged from the Dutch winter slumber, and by god… they’re everywhere.

As I rode to Krizu’s, to continue her new apartment painting, I zigzagged between runners, skaters, stoners, seniors, and wheelchair racers. Or so I think. Maybe they zigzagged around me as I struggled to snap shots from my fancy camera phone thing.

And of course, in the great tradition of Amsterdamers, I’ve also found time to work in the garden. Mostly cursing the neighborhood cat for using my garden as a litter box. Things are budding and Ive cut back the perrenials and shrubs. Now I can begin construction of a security system to scare the crap out of cats who are not welcome in my garden. Now the neighbor’s rabbits, they’re always welcome, cause they have nice attitudes.

Anyway what was I saying, oh… its suddenly spring and this is the part where you remember why you love this city and endure the bleak grey winter.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to global concerns and social justice… for now as I continue to plot the course from New Orleans to North Florida, here’s me covering the magical Lloyd hotel for

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From Zagreb with Love

Dear Zagreb, capital of Croatia,

I write you this letter yet I’ve barely known you for more than 12 hours. Yet the moment I met you there’s been a certain connection.

I couldn’t believe how far apart your buildings were, nor how big the houses are. But then Tom explained that we were near the airport and everything was different out there.

Still I sat in the back of the car and kept looking left and right at you… wide avenues, giant housing projects who’s lack of paint creates a depressive beauty.


Then we crossed into your heart, and the good Tom kept explaining the history, the culture, the changes. I knew about your Roman Catholic roots, and some details of the old days under the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. But I didn’t realize you weren’t damaged during the terrible war in the 90’s. Even knowing this I look at your very European majestic buildings and I find myself scanning for bulletholes. Silly habit.

Your people are what really caused me to want to write this letter… in only half-a-day I’ve encountered the nicest of people. Whether in shops, or getting luggage at the airport, or attending this crazy festival… your ladies especially, have a wonderful charm about them. I’m probably too easily charmed, but even the ladies at the pizzaria seemed to be giving me extra smiles and laughing about the little misunderstandings.

And so Zagreb, I write you this letter on my first night… exhausted but captivated but all you have to offer. You may be European at heart, but for me you’re in a class of your own, an exciting class.

So whatever may happen, bad or good, this letter is just to say.. on day number 1, dear Zagreb… you rock.


bicyclemark writing in a blogpost

ps- the funniest thing I saw on the flight over, Minnesota Stories doing the SOTU Drinking Game VLOG

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