Monday, December 28, 2009

Fear and Loathing in Arizona

We were somewhere near Cottonwood on the edge of Yavapai County when the dread began to take hold.
Unfortunately, the Burgs did not have a well-equipped trunk.

Erik Realizes Snow is Fun . . .

Especially when throwing it against solid objects. Look how the snow flies upon impact! Pretty awesome . . .

Death Stairs

AKA our walk up from the subway after a delightful Christmas Party. I suppose this is what we get for going to a party in the middle of a blizzard. What can I say? We will do anything for free food and drinks.

Best. Day. Ever.

We enjoyed the snow and general Holiday festivities of Manhattan the day before departing for Arizona.

First Stop: Museum of Natural History.
The decorations? Adorable.
The snow? Beautiful.
The Tourists? Just Awful.
Overall? One of the best days since we've arrived to NYC.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Erik Realizes Snow is Wet . . .

. .  . but he totally stuck the landing, so he's pretty excited at this moment. Upon further reflection, the cold wet jeans were worth the win. 


This was our first experience with snow together and we were doing our best to make the most of it.  So like any normal adults, we took turns seeing who could jump the furthest into the snow from our back steps.* Clearly, Erik won. Look at the height on the approach!

*Karen would've preferred making snowmen as she feels the above challenge was skewed to the height-privileged. Unfortunately, it was that stupid powdery snow that is completely useless for a proper Frosty homage.

What's Cold, White and Up to Karen's Shins?

Give up?

It's snow! We had our first real snow storm last night and it covered the city in a blanket of snow. Karen thought she'd put on a little outfit and investigate our backyard.

You're no King's Head, guvnah!

On Sunday, Karen and Erik went Ceol for lunch. Erik had the fish and chips, Karen had the Irish breakfast. The "chips" were french fries, they had NO HP sauce and the breakfast was pretty much inedible. I know we're partial to English breakfast, but this wasn't even funny . . .

A sign outside advertised unlimited drinks with brunch. In retrospect, we should've taken them up on this offer.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This is what 4 am looks like.

Last Friday, Erik had to be at work at 5am. Look at that empty train. Looks nice, right? All of this can be yours if you leave the house at 3:45 am. Act now!

Witness Protection Anyone?

This may be true but I'm not sure why after 30+ years, some poor citizen of Manhattan can't let this go . . . Did Karen Hill move back to NY?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out, Mr. Stieglitz!

I was so impressed with Erik's skills that I begged him to post this photo. I have nothing clever to say, it's just a gorgeous shot of a rain slicked city on a cold November afternoon.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Commerce . . .

Everywhere we go, the Christmas decorations are in full bloom. Erik took this picture on a break the morning of Black Friday* at Columbus Circle. It was a lot busier than it looks, trust us.

*Contrary to popular belief, this it is not named Black Friday because people tend to die during crazy early bird stampedes at local electronics stores. Rather, it is named Black Friday because traditionally companies ran such tight margins all year that this is the first day they were "in the black." Karen only expects fellow business d-bags to get this reference. Sorry to everyone who is cool and not enslaved by "The Man."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nobody beats the Whiz!

We both cheated a bit and had our first  Philly Cheesesteaks at Jim's (thanks Alison) without Whiz. But they were still very, very tasty. Next time Karen is going to be brave enough to go for it . . . honest.*

*Erik would like everyone to know that she said the same thing seconds before ordering her first cheesesteak, but upon viewing the big giant can of Whiz, she promptly chickened out.

The City of Brotherly "love"

They make a big freakin' deal out of LOVE park in Philly. It's on a lot of signs, all the tourist maps, five billion souvenirs, etc. Turns out, it's the smallest LOVE sign that I've ever seen that "artist" Robert Indiana (not his real last name) turn out. I guess it makes sense. Philly was recently named the Murder Capital of the U.S.A., so maybe he was trying to make a statement.*

*Spoiler Alert: He wasn't.

Today was a good day . . .

Karen! Watch out! There's a huge domino falling on . . . oh wait, you needed a seven? OK, yeah, take it. It might be a little heavy so watch out. You got it? You sure? NO! Karen, it's heavier than it looks!!

A Bell by Any Other Name

Would be just as broken. It would not, however, have as many old tourists hanging around it . . .

Show Off . . .

I'll admit, Ben Franklin is a pretty cool guy . . . and he invented a lot of pretty cool things. But one thing he did not get around to inventing is the automobile. Nonetheless, I'm pretty sure that he's sneering at the car below and thinking to himself "Seriously? They don't have flying cars yet? I discovered electricity like a billion years ago, what are these idiots doing all day?"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Autumn in New York

I bet you thought we were going to make a Winona Ryder aging joke, right? Well . . . you were wrong. (But I did think about it.)

It's pretty hard to take a bad picture in Central Park, and Erik keeps turning out pretty great ones. We thought it'd be nice to share one with you.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Run, Forrest! Run!

The New York marathon was held this weekend. Sundays at Columbus Circle are normally bad but this was was all teeming masses of humanity, gawking spectators and police barricades. Participants get a foil blanket after they complete the thing and they walk slow in front of you when all you want to do is to get to the train.
Congratulations to everyone! You're all winners!

Karen would like to acknowledge the incredible accomplishment of all these runners. And, for the record, she does NOT approve of this photo's title.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hip of Glass

Many of you may be wondering, "Hmmm...why did Karen and Erik go see Joan Collins sing....on Mars?" But no. Karen and Erik recently became members of the Brooklyn Museum. Thursday night, they attended the member preview of "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present." The night included a performance by Blondie. Debbie Harry was not blonde but she still sounded good.
In related news, Karen and Erik felt very young.

Monday, October 19, 2009

No Flash!

If Karen was independently wealthy, she'd get a job working at an art museum. Her entire job would consist of yelling at people for taking flash photographs and touching the artwork.

Erik used to think she was a little crazy, but about halfway through the Vatican Museum he found himself saying "Scusi! No flash!" and wagging his finger at a scared tourist. I'm not kidding, he seriously wagged his finger.

Karen was never more proud to be his wife.

Gatti + Graves = Cimitero Acattolico

This is the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome (also known as the Protestant Cemetery). It's also a cat sanctuary with roughly 3 thousand cats running around at all times. It's kind of nice. It gives the place a Pet Cemetery vibe that one rarely finds outside of haunted houses and nightmares.

Honestly, it's a beautiful place that too many people miss on their trips to Rome. But the cats jumping out from behind headstones and bushes was a bit unsettling.

Caught the tram to Giza. . .

Just kidding . . . . but there is a pyramid in Rome near the cemetery containing the Earthly remains of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Gregory Corso among others.
Cats prowl the cemetery letting visitors know they are unwelcome. Lots of cats. (See next photo).

Very Funny . . .

Picture yourself as an Italian living in Rome. You go to the grocery in search of a frozen pizza (apparently this happens?). You find one: "BIG AMERICANS: PIZZA AMERICAN STYLE." What do you do?
You laugh, suppress that gag reflex, and buy something...oh god, anything...else.

I think Erik's being watched . . .

As Karen and Erik were walking down an alley in Rome, they saw this on a wall.
Devotees will remember that Jack Torrance was in Red Hook as well.

Memories of Mesa

A long time ago, Erik and I used to sit out on his balcony in Mesa, AZ and watch the scenic view from his apartment. It usually involved someone getting arrested or the soft glow of a searchlight and the delicate hum of a police helicopter as it searched for a fugitive on the run.

While taking a long walk one day, we stopped and looked over the wall down into the Piazza del Popolo. For a minute, as a siren blared in the distance we were reminded of those fond times in Mesa, only for a minute.

Where's Karen? Italian Edition: CANCELLED

We had this great idea to take a shot of Karen on the wooden stage of the Coliseum. Unfortunately, Rome had other plans. Like 30% of the Coliseum was closed and foiled our well laid plans.  (Same story at the Vatican, don't ask about it unless you want a 30 minute rant from Mrs. Burg.)

The Demon God of Pasta: Arrabbiatamos

While we are quite familiar with his brother, Gary, the Demon God of Pizza, (We were big fans of his work while in Los Angeles) this statue was new to us.

Granted, the guy in the lower right corner is scary in his own right.

Where in the world are the Burgs?

Downtown Scottsdale perhaps?

Unfortunately, this was taken in Rome. There's a contemporary sculpture exhibit all over the Roman Forum and Colosseum and it's totally killing the view.

To add insult to injury, this thing is titled Canto a la Vida. Yeah, that's not helping one bit.

(For the record, I would be 100% fine with these sculptures in a more appropriate setting. Erik would not.)

Free Mineral Water!

All over Rome are spouts to fill up your empty bottles with clean, delicious water. These aquifers have been in place since 312 B.C.
In Santa Monica, if you filled up a glass from your tap it looked like a snowglobe.*  This seems like a problem.

* We used a Brita filter pitcher.

I Gaudius

It's hard to see from this shot of the Roman Forum, but behind it sits one of the gaudiest and most obnoxious buildings in Italy. Sadly for you, we chose not to post a front shot of a statue that has a 5 foot mustache, no joke.

(It's not just us, it's a pretty unpopular sight to Romans.)

Feelings of inadequacy

Kiddie Pool?

Why is no one in the pool? Well, it's actually the Trevi Fountain. Erik would've gotten a shot of the actual fountain, but there were roughly 10,000 idiots in the way and they all refused to move when asked. Tourists can be real jerks.

2 for 1!

A bar called Mister Boom with a hand grenade in one of the o's seemed pretty sweet in and of itself. But on further inspection, you may notice another treat to the left of the door.

That's right, all over the city someone wrote "Burgi" on the walls. We decided to consider it an affectionate greeting just for us.

Circus - Clowns = Happy Karen

Ok, technically this isn't a real "circus". But it is the remains of Circus Maximus. Initially, Karen was a bit nervous, but Erik assured her there were no clowns.

For once, he wasn't lying.

Turns out, we walk fast . . .


Quite possibly the cutest dog ever created. I don't usually go for small dogs, but this one had the face of a Schnauzer and the body of a Dachshund. Erik's pretty sure he's called a Schneizer. Nonetheless, I want one.

Friends of G.O.B.

Apparently they're from the future, brought back to fight gladiators in Ancient Rome.

(Arrested Development fans will get this one . . .)

Karen's Birthday Present

Yes, that's right folks. For the first time in 6 years of friendship and 4 years of marriage, Erik D. Burg allowed someone else to touch one of our cameras* to take this picture.

It was my birthday present, and worth every minute of begging. Thanks again Erik!

*Note: it was my camera, but it's still a step in the right direction.

And Again. . .

Again sometimes it's just a pretty picture we want to share with not much to say.

Dangerous Territory

A window full of plaster baby Jesuses (Jesi?) for sale in a shop window can flood ones mind with inappropriate and potentially sacrilegious jokes. Then you remember that you're pretty much standing at the Pope's back door and the fear of a lighting bolt straightens you right out.

Holy Soles

These are the actual shoes Karen wore to visit the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica. She walked amongst some of the most holy of religious artifacts known to Christians worldwide.

We're pretty sure these shoes can kill Vampires now . . .

Again. . .

Yes. Again, we don't really have anything witty to say about this picture. But, look at that sky! After the first day of slight rain, it was beautiful all week in Rome and gave our pictures a ridiculous sun-dappled feel.

An aside: On Sunday, Karen and Erik, on their return from Rome, stood on line for a taxi in 50 degrees and drizzle.

Live From St. Peter's!

It's Sabbath night live!
It's the Pope's jumbotron . . . less popular acts use it when they're in town.
Bon Jovi. This means you.

At least we got some background in this one . . . right?

Sadly, Karen had to pose Erik's hand and then run back to take this photo. There were roughly ten police officers within picture taking distance from us, but apparently they looked "shifty".

In Erik's defense, they all have guns. So if they did want to steal our camera, we'd kind of be screwed.

Someone forgot their hardhat.

Don't worry, Karen was able to find one with a picture of the Pope on it from a vendor down the street. They also had one with a close-up shot of David's, ahem, well, you can figure it out.

We've got nothing . . .

What can we say? We were in Rome for a week and took a combined 361 photos. Some of these photos were just really, really pretty and we wanted to share them with you. This is one of them.

Sometimes guidebooks lie.

It's not that this was a "bad" restaurant, because frankly even frozen pizzas made in Italy taste pretty good (Karen knows, don't ask.) It's just not good enough to talk about. And not 1, but 2 guidebooks mentioned this as a place to eat near the Vatican.

View? Awesome.
Atmosphere? Pretty fabulous.
Food? Meh.

Karen is taking this as further evidence for a need for her to start a travel magazine/book series/blog. You'd read that, right?

Spot the Italian

Hmmm, orange haired old lady? No . . . Pink Hoodie? No, look at those jeans! Shutterbug? He's a little too svelte to be a local. The smart money is on the guy with the leather bag and well-cut suit, I'm just sayin'.

Lunch Break

The gladiators outside the Colosseum (they take pictures with tourists in exchange for anywhere from 5 to 100 euros depending on the stupidity level of said tourist) occasionally need to take a break now and then. You know, to smoke a cigarette, have a sandwich,  or maybe to change  socks. Yes, apparently gladiators wore socks. . . well, these "gladiators" did.