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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

miceflyer2016

Continuing where I left off from MICE 2016 part one.

After setting up my table early in the a.m., I caught a bit of a local comic artist giving a small pep talk/lecture to the newer exhibitors.

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MICE Expo veteran giving a quick lecture to the newer exhibitors. Cambridge, MA. Oct. 2016. 

As the comic con unfolded, you couldn’t help but notice many attendees in costume or cosplay. It just happened that MICE 2016 was scheduled on the weekend before Halloween. Here’s a few photos.

Surprisingly I did good at MICE. To my left was an artist who I met for the first time at NYCC 2016. Had brought his comic at NYCC. Had no idea only two weeks later I would be sitting next to him at MICE. It’s a small world after all. He was a former school teacher who decided to follow his dream.

Also had a chance to meet someone I’ve been conversing online since the early 2000s. Michelle Kane came down to the comic con. After our conversation, she invited me for some karaoke in her area of Quincy, MA. Usually I hate karaoke, but this time the invite was accepted. Later on after MICE closed for the night, me and E.J. Barnes, who was gracious enough to let me stay at her place traveled over.

We arrived at a huge restaurant called Cathay Pacific. In my little black heart I have a soft spot for old school Chinese eateries with vintage Polynesian decor. It was love at first sight. Didn’t care how good or bad the food was. After Michelle introduced us to her buddy Stephen Jay “The Handyman” Spector, karaoke began. Have to say, all three, E.J., Michelle and Stephen all had good voices. As for me, I sat my out of tune ass down.

To be continued…

MICE 2018 fundraiser: http://fundraiser.micexpo.org/

 

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Before going to Salzburg back in April, I was told that Austria had some of the best dairy products. That advice did not disappoint. One of the first things I ordered, after settling into my hotel room was a glass of milk. Immediately you could tell the difference between the local Austrian milk, vs. the American factory mas-produced product. For starters, you didn’t taste any sort of chemicals. If there was, I couldn’t tell.

So besides the yogurt and the cheese, I checked out some of the local candy. Chocolate in particular. True, this entry isn’t proving to be very vegan friendly, but hey, when in Austria, right?  Although I did refrain from meat products.

Anyway, on one of the last days of my Austrian adventure, I ventured inside this confection store. It more or less catered to the tourist crowd, as tales of Mozart and the Sound of Music danced in their heads. For myself I picked a few marzipan pieces in the shape of bunnies. Then I stumbled upon this:

Austrian milk chocolate candy, complete with old fashioned graphics and retro artwork.

Kinda cute, huh? Here’s another photo…

Austrian milk chocolate candy with retro wrapping.

Of course, the main selling point of Salzburg is having been the birthplace of Mozart. So everywhere you go, you’ll see images of the Amadeus everywhere. Salzburg even has an annual classical musical festival, which I guess probably brings a good amount of revenue into the town. Since the composer is one of the main selling points, you’ll spot Mozart chocolates being hawked all over the place.

Near where I stayed was a small local supermarket chain called Bila. Trying to beat the tourist mark-ups, I brought a whole bunch of these products:

Mirabell Mozart kugeln. As of this blog entry, this is the last one left, reserve for my friend.

Mirabell Mozart kugeln chocolates comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, mostly round chocolate shapes. The ones I brought had a pistachio and chocolate mix, which I was told much about during my trip. My only disappointment was when I turned over the bar package, and discovered that Kraft was the manufacture of these products. Not that I have any against Kraft, but while I was in Austria, I wanted purely Austrian products. I wasn’t looking for anything connected to American companies.

Top lid packaging Reber Mozart Kugel chocolates.

There’s a few brands of Mozart chocolates, and the one I recommend is Reber. Mozart Kugel gourmet chocolates was lovely. With some of the ingredients such as sugar, almonds, cocoa, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, hazelnuts, pistachios, glucose, invertase (natural softener), lecithin (emulsifier), natural and artificial flavors, etc. Oh, and the milk chocolate contains min. 20% milk solids. For the most part it’s natural. Usually I hate getting chocolates as gifts, but maybe for next Valentine’s Day, I might make an exception for this.

Straight from Austria. Reber Mozart chocolates. Highly recommended.

My only regret with these purchases is that I had brought more of the Mirabella Mozart chocolates than the Reber ones.

Just found out that you can order more of these online. So maybe when I become nostalgic for Salzburg, perhaps I’ll just get these.

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Two days after my birthday, I left for my first ever trip to Europe. Austria to be exact and it was through a school scholarship. Although it’s been a month since the trip, I’m still processing my week in Austria. That’s probably due to the fact that finals are underway as this semester is winding down.

The purpose of the trip was to attend a seminar about Global Citizenship. I’ll probably make another blog post about what I learned during this trip, when school isn’t so busy. Before the trip though, my friend suggested doing a blog post about Austria when arriving back. In the meantime, here are a few photos from Easter Sunday, from the week of April 7 to April 14th 2012.

For the record I’m not a deeply religious person. Although I did explore a number of faiths, in the end I decided it was better to be spiritual than religious. Actually, no matter what you believe in, or even if you choose not to believe anything at all, in the end it’s better to be a good person.  It’s best to live life on your own terms.

On the morning of the snowy Easter Sunday, the visiting students were given the morning off. We had the choice of either heading into the old town, attend Easter Mass, or do whatever. At first I followed most of the group into town. Somehow because I started taking photographs with my manual film camera, suddenly I found myself, by myself. Joining another student who had also been left behind, we walked into town deciding to explore for ourselves.

We found ourselves walking inside one of the oldest churches in the town, St. Peter’s Abbey. The lovely scent of myrrh and frankincense permeated the air as we walked around the church. Normally one doesn’t take photos during mass, out of respect. Yet I knew though I would probably never have an opportunity such as this ever again. So I switched my iPad to silent mode as not to disturb anyone, and snapped these photos.

Despite the snow falling, I didn’t find the weather to be too cold. If anything, it just added to the overall beauty of that day.

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At this point, it was starting to feel as if an art history lesson had come to life.

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The above is my favorite out of the entire series.

Below are two photos after leaving the church. We didn’t stay for the entire service. Soon it was time to head back to the Schloss Leopoldskron, where we had been staying.

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I could’ve manipulated these pics in Photoshop. In the end I decided to let these untouched photographs speak for themselves.

Here’s a link about this church: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/austria/salzburg-st-peters-abbey-church

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Peter%27s_Archabbey,_Salzburg

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Everyone knows Simple Minds as that 1980s Alt band who did that song “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Yeah, the famous theme song from that seminal teen flick from the Reagan era “The Breakfast Club.” Now don’t get me wrong…both the song and the movie were okay. My fave character from that club was Ally Sheedy’s character, the sulky Allison Reynolds. Probably because I had liked her messy hair and brooding demeanor.

Anyhow, I didn’t come here to talk about the film. Prior to Simple Minds becoming a huge 80s rock/pop outfit, they actually put out some decent albums.  One song I’ve particularly loved was “Travel” from the 1980 release “Empires and Dance.”

With Simple Minds’ third album release, “Empires and Dance” mixed the post-punk/art rock atmospheric guitar effects with dark dance beats.  Hints of slight 1980 European political overtones blended right into the slightly Roxy Music influenced sound. The Scottish based Simple Minds continued to fine tune their own sound until the massive bubblegum hit exploded in the US. By the time “Alive and Kicking” was released, the band briefly transformed into US arena rock darlings.

For sometime I’ve been trying to find that particular early Simple Minds song as an MP3. Imagine my surprise when “Travel” appeared out of nowhere during my search for another song; “Being Boiled” by The Human League.

Proof that there is a god, and it comes in the form of YouTube. Dig hard enough, and you will find. Here I found a UK television appearance promoting this single. Since mercury is presently in retrograde, this blast from the past is fitting. Or shall I say a past from the blast?

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