Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jerry Sadowitz @ Leicester Square Theatre



Saw Jerry Sadowitz tonight at one of his last of a run of shows in Leicester Square. He was totally offensive but hilarious to boot. If you're offended by jokes about human misfortune e.g. the Haitian earthquake then you don't want to be here.

Like Stewart Lee a few weeks ago its nice to see some of the genuinely funny comedians who don't pander to the PC brigade. Stewart managed to get a BBC series last year. I doubt we'd ever get another one from Jerry (anyone else remember The Pall Bearers Review?). He's still way too wrong for TV, yet right to see live; its just a shame he doesn't play out more often.

Oh and he's a brilliant magician too, starting the show by making a piranha tank appear from nowhere (why bother with rabbits and doves) and ending by producing a suited Royal Flush chosen by the audience using sleight-of-various-body-parts.

Oh, and if you're Amanda Holden, don't be there for the start of the show :D

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bucharest

January 2010 saw me taking a long weekend to visit Bucharest in Romania. This was my 30th capital city (if you include San Marino and Vatican City) and as most of Western Europe has now been done it means longer flights and longer breaks to make the most of my time in Eastern Europe.

The city had a major public uprising in December 1989 where the Dictator Nicoleau Ceacescu was killed and became part of the EU a few years ago. So to the tourist it offers an interesting mix of West and East.

The view from the Intercontinental Hotel, which for a long time was the only hotel in the city.

This is Ceacescu's Palace which is the second biggest building in the world (after The Pentagon). It is an absolutely immense structure and an unwelcome reminder of his reign. He levelled more than 10% of the city to build this so its not too much of a surprise that its not well liked.

Aside from the Palace the city is home to some amazing architecture such as this building which is now home to a bank.

Bucharest is known as the Paris of the East and with its own Arc d'Triumph you can see why. There is a Champs Elysee equivalent leading up to the palace but there is no Eiffel Tower here.

For the tourist my favourite attraction was probably the Village Museum, which consists of a whole load of buildings relocated from around Romania into a single place. There's a great mix of stunning buildings such as this wooden church.

Another view of my hotel.

On the final day a blizzard came in and having seen London fail to cope with theirs it was a great surprise to see everything running here.

Be very careful of the taxi drivers that meet you at the airport. They are crooks! I managed to get past several and went to the official taxi booth but was met by a man who had the correct ID but even he managed to charge me five times the cost of the journey. For those that are going for the first say "no" to everyone until your sat in one of the fly taxi cabs that queue up outside the station. The correct fare is around 30-40 lei. If it helps remember that the official drivers won't come into the airport. Once you're in the city you're still exposed to crooks who paint their taxis to look like official ones. Your best bet there is to use the hotels to phone for one.

I had planned to travel to Bran Castle and the Peles Castle on the final day figuring seeing them covered in snow would make for some great photos but made a rather fundamental mistake in doing so on the day they were closed to the public. Ah well it does give me an excuse to use Bucharest as a stop over when my capital city hunt takes me further east.

The full set of photos are over on flickr.

The Elephants are Coming

We've had cows in the past and I've also been to cities that have featured bears but now it looks like this Summer the Elephant Parade is going to be hitting London. I love this sort of thing, I just hope I don't feel the urge to try to find all of them :)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Potato Salad



Stick with it. It gets weirder and weirder.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Banksy vs Robbo


First there was a Robbo piece on the Regents Canal. It remained there for 20+ years.


Then Banksy came along and made it look like this. This upset some of the Robbo camp.


Who got their own back by doing this :D

The second and third images are mine, the first comes courtesy of Citrus and his flickr page can be found here.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2009 in Review

A quick summary of where I managed to visit in 2009.

New Capitals
Athens
Ljubljana
San Marino
Seoul

Parks visited

Ireland
Funderland (temporary)

Greece
Allou Fun Park
International Luna Park
Ta Aidonakia Luna Park

Slovenia
Poletno Sankanje Straza

Italy
Movieland
Latemar
Meran 2000
Gardaland
Mirabilandia
Fiabilandia
Zoosafari Fasanolandia
Miragica

South Korea
Childrens Grand Park
Lotte World
Seoul Land
Doocoland
Everland
Kumdoriland
O-World
Suseong Land
Woobang Towerland
Gyeongju World
Tongdo Fantasia

Japan
Uminonakamichi Seaside Park
Kashiikaen
Dazaifu Yuenchi
Mitsui Greenland
Harmonyland
Kijima Amusement Park
Space World
Universal Studios Japan
Nagashima Spa Land
Japan Monkey Park
Fuji-Q
Sega Joypolis
Aqua Stadium
Tobu Zoo
Toshimaen
Tokyo Disneysea
Teine Olympia
Maruyama Kidland
Rusutsu Resort
Hokkaido Greenland

UK
Bayside Pleasure Park
Botton's Pleasure Beach
Fantasy Island
Flamingoland
Thorpe Park
Tulse Hill Park (temporary)
Winter Wonderland (temporary)
Neverland (temporary)


and totally tempting fate, this is what's on the cards for 2010


New capital cities
Bucharest
Warsaw
Beijing
Belfast
Ankara

Parks Visiting

Romania
Tineretului Park
Herastrau Park

Netherlands
Efteling

Belgium
Plopsaland

Poland
Luna Park Krakow
Sankodrom
Slaskie Wesole Miasteczko
Szczesliwice

USA
Carowinds
Freestyle Movie Park
Busch Gardens Europe
Kings Dominion
Six Flags America
Morey's Piers
Six Flags Great Adventure
Hersheypark
Knoebels
Waldameer Park
Seabreeze
Darien Lake
Marineland Theme Park
Canadas Wonderland

China
Beijing Carnival
Sun Park
Happy Valley Beijing
Beijing Amusement Park
Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park
Long Rainbow Park
Tianjin Water Park
Tianjin Zoological Gardens
Lertao Ocean Park
Nadaihe International Amusement Centre
Palm Beach Resort
Sun Sea Sand Water Park
Gongqing Senlin Park
Jin Jiang Action Park
Shanghai People's Park
Space City
Suzhou Giant Wheel Park
Suzhou Amusement Land
Hongshan Zoo
Nanjing Pearl Spring Tourist and Holiday Resort
Xuanwuhu Park
Fantawild Adventure
Zheshan Park
Happy Valley Shanghai

Turkey
Genclik Parki
Demetevler Luna Park
Altin Park
Basak Park
Luna Park
Goksu Park
Bostanci Luna Park
Cevahir Mall

UK
Alton Towers