Saturday, March 7, 2015

RED LIGHT SPECIAL

Dear Amsterdam,

Why must you always feel like home?  You are the point of the tour where everyone breathes.  You are where I know of the best laundry mats.  And while your Argentine steak houses are redundant, we've been able to find that ONE where only locals go.  The Italian restaurants know us by name.  We have the nerve to have our favorite smoke shop.

What?  A new one?  Indeed.  I'm there!  Amnesia....is a jewel on the Herengracht.  This uppity ass neighborhood where the walk ups are on fleek and everyone has all they damn windows open like I ain't supposed to look.  High ceilings and moldings and shit.  Think Montana Ave in Santa Monica.  Not Beverly Hills uppity, but them heiphas ain't got no jobs neither.  Which is probably why I found my NEW naked spa, Sauna Deco there.  Because jobless heiphas can take baths in public.

Favorite new fantastic store Kiki Niesten - this eccentric woman who's collected clothing for over 30 years.  She removes the label and sells the item at percentage of it's original cost.  I can't wait to find a spot to wear this Botega dress.  And the gloves...oh the gloves....they are truly too much.

Across from Miss Kiki's  shop is a wonderful store  Outras Coisas. This designer, David Simkanic, makes AMAZING leather goods. Then accents with towels, scarves, white plates...because I need more white plates.  These black candle holders I bought are the absolute TRUTH...dear GAWD.
It's the kind of store that has nothing you need but EVERYTHING you want.

And finally, The Canal House a JEWEL mind you....23 room boutique hotel of a 17th century house or 3 put together.  Rooms are good size.  Not cheap, but absolutely lovely.  Having the run of house there would be a bomb birthday party.  Courtyard, whisky, naked spa and weed?  What are we talking about here?

After leaving the Herengracht neighborhood we move a few blocks away...more boutiques, less uppity neighborhood called Jordaan.
Jordaan is where I found a cool spot, JD Williams Whisky Bar with a cooler Proprietor from San Francisco.  I already told him I'm biting.  Had nerve enough to go twice.  Couldn't help it.  They had Taco Tuesdays and Konge fried chicken bites.  Come on now!

All in all, I love me some Amsterdam. 2 shows left.  I'll be on US soil by Sunday.  Praise Him!

Monday, March 2, 2015

That one time we got strip searched in Sweden........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFkSENBFhy4


16 years.  16 years of border crossings....all sorts of borders....Canadian, Mexican, Algerian, Argentinian, Chinese..... hell I've even crossed into Cuba.  Never...NEVER in my life have I been asked to drop my drawers and take of my shirt.

Part of the tour manager crossing the border game is remaining calm and more often than not, keeping my "chip-on-shoulder" "stand-up-to-authority" brethren to keep their lips shut for the sake of getting through.  Let's say for the 30 plus times you've gotten away with carrying, you get caught once.  Shut the fuck up.  You had it coming.  No it ain't racist.  The white jawn had to strip too.  Agist maybe.  Whatever the fuck....the dog smelled the right people.  We got rid of it.  no harm no foul.  But please don't act ignorant at the border.  It's exhausting keeping myself in line let alone entitled ass American ass adults.


Planes, Trains and Uncircumcised Penis

So, if you didn't know, I like Naked Spas. Naked co-ed Spas. Naked, co-ed, European Spas. Naked, co-ed European Spas in Amsterdam in particular.  If you've been with me to the South of France, Portofino,  Morro do Sau Paulo, Corsica or may even the Mandalay Bay adult pool in Las Vegas, chances are you've seen my boobs.  I don't mind.  They are more like an accessory any way....like a really nice pair of cufflinks.  They are small and you notice them, but they aren't overwhelming and add just the right touch.

Any way, my boobs like to go to Naked co ed European Spas in Amsterdam.  So I took my partner in crime and visited a new one:

http://saunadeco.nl/    Tiny spa at the bottom of a brownstone with lovely Art Deco furniture and accents.  Not at all big and obnoxious like that last Naked co-ed European Spa in Amsterdam 20 minutes outside of town.  Although that was banging too.  This one was quaint and just enough.  I was only surrounded by like 10 or 12 uncircumcised peni vs 50 plus at the other spa.  There was even a pregnant lady there relaxing getting her sauna on.  The steam room was to die for and the cold plunge was refreshing.  Wasn't a freak nasty thing, just a spa.  Just people who like to sauna naked and pretend they aren't looking at each other.

You think any of the guys want to go?  hells to the no.  They get offended just asking.

I loved it.

The mint tea put me to sleep.
                                 

Monday, February 23, 2015

SHORT HAIR STRUGGLE - HAMBURG, GERMANY

My sisters my sisters. Almost 3 decades of visiting this continent and STILL...no one can lay a short cut.  Oh they can do extensions....eyelashes, skin dye....but short hair?  Edges?  May as well be the lost city of Atlantis.

Sounds to ME like a prime opportunity for someone to get to Germany and be the go to short hair layer.  That's just what I'm thinking.

Meanwhile...I'mma go in this girls shop with her broken hairdryer and some barber strips and see what I can do until I get to Amsterdam.....le sigh.....  come on sistas! We gotta do better!  (btw...I hate the word "sista/sistah" spelled out.  It sounds so , like, white...)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

No sleep til......East London

I'm Sleepy!

I can't do these go out at 1am nights!!  Cept I did.  And I have.  And why is London so gotdamn fun sometimes?

Schedule:

5:30 am - arrival to London
6:27 am - check in 3 busses/sort luggage
6:30 am - breakfast begins. Perfect!
6:35 am - breakfast not include fuck it I'll order the chorizo AND the pancakes AND grapefruit juice AND coffee = 35 GBP
7:30am - night night time.  Shades are drawn.  Wait is that Hyde Park outside my window?  So what. I'm sleepy.
2:00pm - draw the shades...because you HAVE to do something in London
3:00pm - Top Shop. Urban outfitters. Is that a Whole Foods across the street?  Wait, when did London get a Whole Foods?
5:00 pm - Wagamama.... it used to be so good....damnit Korean Town...you've ruined me!
6:30pm - cab to Prince of Wales Theater
7:27pm - someone comes out with a returned ticket (cuz we needed a 3rd). SCORE!  100 GBP on a front row seat.  I LOVE THE THEATER!!!
8:40pm - intermission.....laughing my ass of over how brilliant The Book of Mormon is and how I should have made that Matt Stone shit happen.  Slept.
10:00 pm - back to the hotel for 3 course dinner.  Underwhelming. But the Oban was popping.
11:30pm - work out
12:15am - that was stupid.
12:30am - head out to the Wellesley.  Turns out they have a humidor that rivals the Havana Room, Beverly Hills.  What the hell do I know?  They have a patio so my hair don't get funked up.
1:00am - I'm learning words like Behike.  I don't know what that means I just know I don't have the Pounds to pay for it.
2:30 am - I almost won the white ash contest.... Italian Margaritas, some cognac that happens to go with the Behike.
3:30am - next door hotel club.  So corny.  But ...I mean it was connected to the hotel, what do you want from meeeee?????
4:30 am - drag my ass into the hotel.....time to get my GOOD Skype on.
5:30 am - drooling.....

That was Thursday
 


LAST NIGHT.... I was only at the BEST SHOW.... okay, I don't know if it was the best yet....D and I still can't decide if it's Berlin or this one.  I have to believe it has to do with having a curfew.  He definitely came ready to give it to London...and he did IN FACT give it to London.  The audience was so happy, did not sit down and partied so hard.... infectious.  However...Berlin....oh Berlin.....I think that show was damn near 3 hours.... I'm a sucker for a 3 hour show. Clearly.

After party was supposed to happen, but after the VIP bar, and the long long wait for everyone to get their "act right".... I was catching up on my ABC Thursday Night line up and drooling by 3am....when they decided to go to the next club..... I'll get you back tonight LONDON!!! I'll get you yet!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mes Deux Amours

Whenever the Paris portion of the tour takes place people stand back.  They already know.  Ask Tina questions now, on this bus, in this airport, on this train - because once you get your hotel keys, I AM OUT!  People experienced the wake of my dust shortly after making sure the "suite" was actually a suite and my 30 hours in Paris wouldn't be cut short by finding a better hotel.

We started at Mama Shelter.  The only place in town with an actual brunch that goes until 4:30pm.  Do you see the conundrum.  I'm in Paris.  I'm eating AFTER 2:30 during the no FOOD zone - you may get a crepe or a moule from a chain restaurant but mostly you're dealing with coldcuts and cheese until dinner time.  And dinner on SUNDAY??? Could not start until 7pm.
2nd part of this conundrum....I said "brunch".  In my almost 3 decades of visiting my 2nd country, the concept of brunch has NEVER existed.  Like cranberry juice didn't exist in the 90's? Neither did brunch until good old Mama Shelter in the 20th....so far away yet so good, next to Pere Lachaise where you can grab a beer and a joint and hang out at Jim Morrison's grave with the rest of the hippies.  MAMA SHELTER has internet and pancakes and crepes and crispy bacon and Mimosas and horribly bloody marys but at least they try, and MUSIC....all the music I go on the road with.  Every song has Ahmir or Pino or even D playing in the background.






After this we hung at a Sunday tea party of sorts at this African marketplace called Le Comptoir.  Apparently Africans are now all the rage because the only ones there worked there.  To be en vogue.  Needless to say we moved on to the next spot....that I can't remember the name of, but I think they were Caribbean and West Africanish.  Whatevs.  The wings, plaintains and caiprinhas were banging.  The toilette was gross but what else is new in Paris.

We then wandered into some small bar that I want to replicate on Crenshaw or maybe on Jefferson just off of Crenshaw.  Max 50 people.  Cutest thing you've ever seen where we got hit on by a first generation Chinese girl with possibly the worst English EVER but had THE most fun singing all songs (all American of course) wish she and her friends.   We were crashing someones going away party...but they served Hibiki and so....ya know.  We had to stay.

The next morning I had to jump up for my traditional hair appointment at Polished Hair Care.  This gem of a spot is operated by Richmond, CA own Nicole Pembrook so you KNOW my edges are straight.   That's my problem out here.  Black hair care is so new.  My poor sistren been running around with half done weaves, dried out perms and fuzzy edges.  Edges STAY fuzzy.  Thank God Michelle Obama has shed some light on what an edge truly is.  I now have a reference when interviewing these hairdressers.  It's not a game this relaxed life out here on the road.  Not. A. Game.

After dipping from her shop in the thick of the Champs Elysees, I jump on the metro to head to my eyeglass spot who's name I can NEVER remember in Le Marais.  Except this time I get lost.  I get so entangled in the Marais that I NEVER find my shop, I did however find a cute and marginally expensive store called "Swildens" where the shopkeeper spoke to me in French , did not try to shade my French and we had a lovely hour of trying on clothes, getting directions and contacting my bank to get my card unblocked.  Pure communication.

After which I rushed back to the hotel to set up for the massive Palais des Congres where I met my juicy adorable Parisienne Niece who has never been to a big show.  She was so excited and so sweet my heart melts whenever I visit my Neela Vanilla.

Followed by the man who will forever call me his "future ex wife" yasin Bey.  Hilarity at its finest.  He brought the likes of Michelle Lamy - Rick Owens' wife who ROCKS it at 70..... I just love older women and younger men.  Go figure.

Followed by a FANTASTIC show filled with all the drama of going onstage late, needing to cut 2 songs and avoiding a 10k penalty if the clock strikes 11:01pm....Damned if he didn't end at 10:59:45.  Seriously.  I shouted like we won the lotto.  Because we did.

How does one fit all of that into 30 hours you ask?  Chiiiiile, I can't wait til my day off in London.