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Oslo treasures: Henie-Onstad Art Centre

I will never stop ceasing people to go visit a museum of arts or an art collection.

It might be my degree in Arts, but I am firmly convinced that the time you invest visiting a museum or just watching artworks, graffitis, installations or just an exhibition allows your soul to recharge, be inspired to think and imagine but, simple as that, to have something to talk about: I deeply resent the only use of ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘emoji’ in these modern times, since there is a lot to see, think and share. Art is the boosting vehicle to do it.

Bar the lecture, Oslo is a vibrant city in term of arts, as the Wall Street Journal explains in this interesting article: online.wsj.com/news/.

If you have some spare time I recommend  the national museums -a daily ticket gets you to 4 museums! Sunday free entrance too!!-, the Stenersen Museum - Tuesday is the lucky day to get into for free!- and related to that the Munch Museum -mainly drawings and prints, highly promoted to tourists, anyway worth to go once. Keep in mind: ticket is average expensive than the other places, but if you buy it and then visit Stenersen Museum you will have a 50% discount on the Stenersen ticket (but not way round? d’oh)-. A new pearl at the end of Aker Brygge, in Tjuvholmen, is the Astrup Fearnley Museet. The structure is a pure jewel of the Fjord City urban renewal program, planned by architect Renzo Piano – tickets fairly pricey, but every Thursday they have interesting lectures if you fancy something more along-. #FYI Next to A.F.M. there is the Hotel ‘The Thief’, which has a lovely panorama rooftop bar!

These above were my suggestions for the city centre, but I have one more if you feel audacious: Henie-Onstad Art Center (HOK), in Høvikodden, South-West of Oslo.

Entrance

It is an art centre, meaning along with a collection there are also temporary exhibitions, concerts and more. The key-word for HOK is Location. At the top of a fjord, the building, a mix of wood, concrete and glass, is surrounded by woods and see. I found the collection quite limited, the ticket a bit expensive, but the combination art centre-location is the top. If this is not yet enough appealing, Frank Zappa played there. John Cage too. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Poster of the events at HOK

 

I took some pics with my mobile, and glued together for your infotainment (yeah yeah yeah, low quality pics resolution due to my crappy phone. Please feel free to invest in me, I always accept donations for a new one). Hope you like’em!

 

The Collection

The Collection

The Collection

The Collection

Architecture and View at Høvikodden

Casual Banana and U Sculptures

Oslo treasures: Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri

Raise your hand if you want a fresh cold beer right now!

For a quite unusual morning i went to visit Schous Bryggery (visit schouskjelleren.no/about/ to get more info about) in the lovely and “multikulti” neighbourhood of Grünerløkka , Oslo and I had the pleasure to see the entire plant and meet the people behind that great Beer. This before 8am. Call me devoted, please.

Brewery in Trondheimsveien 2, since 1873

Brewery in Trondheimsveien 2, since 1873

So Without further due

Here a selection of pictures I took with my low-quality, not-so-smart-at-the-end phone, cheers!

The simbolic front building

Entrance to the pub (it’s underground!)

Schous – brand

Draft Beers Selection

Draft Beers Selection

 

Details

Details

From water to beer... it is kinda magic!

From water to beer… it is kinda magic!

Malt Milling

Did you know that there is also chocolate malt?…yum!

A collage of machinery objects, some of them look like faces too :)

A collage of machinery objects, some of them look like faces too :)

A big thank you to brewers Luca and Michele. I highly suggest this place when in Oslo, it is open after 4 pm, for more information check their Website  or Facebook Page for news, events etc..

Ha det bra!

A weekend in Paris -what to do-

How long can a person brag about his special weekend in Paris?

I have no shame answering “As long as you find good picture to post”. I can also play the birthday card too, so I am more than qualified and allowed to publish this post and then move on to the next trip/topic.

I had almost two full days ‘dans la Ville Lumière’ that is quite a decent amount of time for a getaway weekend on a low, low budget.

The first good thing to do is to jot down some places to visit/revisit and a mental plan where to go during the day, 3-4 spots to see, and keep it quite open to discoveries and adventures.

1) Paris is a great city to become like a spirited errant, to walk around and have a great time. Try it the most your feet can. I highly recommend if it is the first time to find a free walking tour of the main tourist attraction, just to have an idea of what you’ll see. This is me repairing from the wind at Pont des Arts, victimised by hundreds of so-called Love padLocks: It’s a nice amount of colours but I know the story behind so I am not really into it (that doesn’t explain completely my silly sleepy face, sorry)

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2) In a weekend you have the huge possibility to have a great dinner and a great brunch. I suggest to fill the gaps trying out local things, baguette, croissants, crepes..there’s loads, especially on the streets, so don’t get cut on leash by big chains. I don’t personally know where to eat, the key is to choose a vibrant neighbourhood, where for sure there are lots of good places. My suggestion? Bastille, but because of my sake, nothing more.

Fondue

Dinner at Le Chalet Savoyard, 11eme. Delicious fondue!

 

Indulge in a great Sunday brunch!

Indulge in a great Sunday brunch!

 

3) Go artistic. If unfortunately you don’t have time to visit a museum remember, there are some great art galleries where to wander for free in Marais, or some temporary expositions that would love to see you there (I suggest to check Centre Pompidou’s website or the Palais de Tokyo). You can find online also areas where to see great graffitis!

Graffiti

Tourist bonus point: Place du Tertre and its “artists’ hangout, great for taking pictures, you won’t find great art masterpieces but above average quality  alternative postcard shaped on canvas (don’t make me call them painting).

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4) Find a panoramic point. Yes it is possible to find a panoramic point without paying. Paris is not really hilly, but I suggest über romantic top of Parc de Belleville… or the über über Sacré-Coeur Basilica at sunset or during a very sunny day

Lads

Lads

Another brilliant spot is at Trocadéro during night: you have la Tour Eiffel in front of you boosting everybody’s heart up, by blinking and intermitting that blue laser -that makes me think the Town Hall has been communicating with aliens, but this is just the pure bland truth, everybody knows and doesn’t say-.

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5) Enjoy the water! Nothing better for your soul to sit around a fountain in les Tuileries, or watch the boats or Jardin de Luxembourg. Quality time alert: hanging along the canals or river Seine is highly addictive! Pic-nic, or just a stroll, what’s better than this?

Seine

6) Endorse enjoying breaks on a Café. Take it slowly, watch the people passing by, enjoy the conversation with your mates, have a sip, have a laughter, another sip, another laughter. Repeat it n-times. LUSH.

Santé!

Santé!

March Highlights!

I have a kind of soft-spot for March.

Yeah you know, it’s the kind of month you start seeing the sun more, consequentially you start loving everything around you, to then realise you love everything except the fat that is partying hard in your weak, pale body since the frozen days back in December January and February but hey nevermind you still have 10-15 days to go out and get fit before rainy April start. Story of everybody’s in a continental climate’s life.

Oh, and for me March means business. Birthday business. So the list of favourites is pretty special, starting from the playlist. Spoiler, it gets super boosting-up:

Here’s the link to the full list, http://valanzo.com/playlist/ some juicy favourites to interact with (click on all the bold words and links to get more info). Highlights? True Detective, Stephen King, Macarons…

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.

Val

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Canal Saint-Martin, Paris

Mais oui Paris! Mais oui Canal Saint-Martin! Un de meilleur et unique lieu unique de Paris, j’ai laissé mon coeur dans le canal là.

As a convinced Kreuzbergerin I love open spaces with a quiet canal where to hang out in peace with a bunch of peeps, sipping a beer and soaking in sun and conversations. It is the ideal place for a spontaneous picnic too!

peeps along canal

Canal Saint-Martin is an exclusive place to find a piece of Berlin vibes in Paris, plus a bit of extravagant chich style in the area surrounding, full of graffitis, cool restaurants, bars and stunning ’800s-styled buildings.

What a difference makes a place like this. As Berlin-centred I think of Kreuzberg, but now that I think more of it, if you are a Londoner you can relate there with Regent’s Canal in Camden or the lovely Angel area. It is indeed a good living, especially on a sunny day.

Talking about geography, you can easily find this area between Republique and the beginning of La Villette. It’s a super easy walk from train station Gare de l’Est and it’s beyond well connected.

Directions

Why not visiting the next time you are in time?

… Just don’t forget to invite me, I’ll bring some red whine, cheese and crackers with me.

Please click here to see more pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157642967485263/

Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris

Cimetière du Père Lachaise is one of the most iconic and suggesting place to be when in Paris. Statement.

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This cemetery attracts me like a magnet and never stops to give me goose bumps. Walking along the graves, acknowledging the shape of time, the ruins, the broken stones: To be in there is like a live movie on a dead land, where life and death and emotions, vanities and hopes and expectations collide in a silent, eternal embrace.

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And there is a twist in the movie plot: I can find people who inspired and educated me in arts and science. Good good feelings. There are many I studied on manuals and book, enjoying eternal peace in Père Lachaise. The first one I think of is composer Frédéric Chopin. I always melt in his Nocturnes while visiting the cemetery. What I naturally imagine to hear is the sweet, powerful melancholic sound of a piano. Are you melting, you too?

Please visit the complete set of pictures I took, available here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjVgKD2t

February Highlights!

Hello friends!

It is now online on its special page the complete February section of my monthly favourites! Link for lazy bums here : http://valanzo.com/playlist/

We start as usual with a music compilation, quite referring love, hope and patience:

Furthermore, I spoke about flowers, movies, artist, and also the  dish of the month, a pretty healthy one this time.

Thanks to your suggestions I also included some new favourites: book, radio program/podcast, tv series and photography (well, the best, or most significant, photo I took during Feb.). I hope to keep it sharp, inspiring and relevant. Oh, keep in mind that every section has a link if you want to know more about the topic. :)

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.

Val

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Berlinale Mitte

February 9th 2014 was a windy Sunday, ruled by Berlinale and spinning clouds in an intense blue sky.

I love the effect a film festival provokes on a neighbourhood, Mitte, usually runs by offices, bureaucracy and mass of tourists. This Sunday was different, with an incredible amount of young people rushing to get to the screenings, less tourists, ice melting on the lakes and a genuine, quiet, positive vibe that Spring is coming soon.

The light in ‘der Himmel über Berlin‘ was too amazing not to do a cheeky photo-session, and results were beyond my expectations, so I posted a selection on my Flickr page, the best media for sharing photos without have to lose the quality.

Here’s the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157640746003013/

Bis bald.

January Highlights!

Hi!

It’s the end of the month, and as promised I started a new chapter of this blog, a monthly list I am going to post every 30 days from now on where I will tell you about my biggest favourites, starting with, as the name states, the music, but including also art, movies and more! (…suggestions are welcome too, if you want my opinionated fingers to write about something particular just leave your ideas in the comments below…)

You can start by looking at January on newly created section “The Playlist” that it’s next to “About” on the grid title above.

As a starter, I hope you will enjoy my virtual January mixtape, made with loads of love (and 8tracks).

Enjoy and bring joy with you, always.

Val

P.S. For my dear subscribed followers, the page is not actually a blog post so you won’t get a notification; I am working on moving my WordPress blog to somewhere more useful and open and funny but in the meantime I will post my favourites every end of the month so just pop over during those days if you feel in the mood, cheers!

bah

Leftovers ’013: Genova

Zena. Today I am writing about Genova, Genoa, Zena mainly because a songwriter, a musician called Fabrizio De André. 15 years ago he died..

A death anniversary is not the most pleasant way to introduce a city, so I beg you pardon for the unattractive start. But there are some cities that are incredibly tied with their history and peculiar citizens it is frankly difficult, I might say impossible, to tell about them without talking of inhabitants, present or past ones. De André described his city with devotion and sincerity: two great examples are “Via del Campo”, the street where a prostitute lived, or the album “Crêuza de mä”, entirely in dialect. Masterpieces to understand the rhythm and pace of Zena, its hard on the surface, sweet inside heart, moreover its pulsing, vivid blood.

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The other day there was the anniversary, and my mind was running free through his songs and I could feel like being back in Genova. I love the city; I love it because it’s nestled in hills ending in the sea; I love it because of there the grey turns in orange and light blue, and the light is fierce like the eyes of its citizens. There is a delicate balance between sight, perception and knowledge: multiple directions, infinite discoveries and, from time to time, the harbour and the see. Bliss.

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I thought of short descriptions to explain what Genova is, and I came out with:

- verbally violent (those walls has hosted an impressive quantity of swearing)

"WE don't give a 'flip' about the new Pope"

“WE don’t give a ‘flip’ about the new Pope”

- anarchist (800 years as indipendent sea Republic still count. A lot..) but full of churches everywhere

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- totally blunt (it’s not being rude, it’s being brutally honest and good, like a focaccia)

The most delicious thing your lips can ever touch.

The most delicious thing your lips can ever touch.

- multicultural (the harbour, the mix of cultures, the language so different and funny to hear)

Coloured mix

Coloured mix

- inspiring (Porto Vecchio, the harbour is peacefully active for every mindset)

Porto Antico

Porto Antico

I know I can’t fit in Genova, because I come from “the end of countryside” (P. Conte “Genova per noi”) but I fulfil my desire of Genoa by humbling walking up and downs and taking pictures of dark tight alleys becoming little squares of light. There, in my silences, I’ll be part of this particular city while laughing and observing the sun laying down beyond Magazzini del Cotone, when the lighthouse is already switching on.

More pics here! http://www.flickr.com/photos/60353299@N08/sets/72157639742599343/