My name is James Whitaker. I'm 28. I have been traveling around the world since November 2006. I run my internet business from my laptop. My friends think I'm crazy. I think it's crazy to sit a cubicle for more than 5 minutes in a single lifetime. These are my adventures.
My name is James Whitaker. I'm 29. I am back in America, running my internet business and ready to go back on the road for summer 09. These are my adventures.
My name is James Whitaker. I'm 30. I am back in San Luis Obispo for a few months while I decide what to do when I grow up. I still play and work with websites.
My name is James Whitaker. I'm 34.Looks like I decided to stay in SLO and ended up opening some restaurants on accident. Life is unpredictable. Not sure what is next....
January 18, 2014
No trip to Berlin is complete without going on the pubcrawl with Simone!!!
Andre and I completed the BauHaus circuit today by hitting the third and final archive and exhibition in Berlin, after already visiting the archives in Weimar and the campus at Dessau. Pretty sure we are the only guys nerdy enough to see all 3 in the same week. For a school that was only around for 15 years or so, the BauHaus pretty much invented modernity and the world we see around us today.
Stassi prison is Hohenschonhauser, now a memorial and museum. The place is sooo East German, right down to the shitty wallpaper in the interrogation rooms. Best confess quick and hope they don’t murder your mother. Check the delivery van, really a grab and go with 5 inner cells for swooping activists on the West.
Our hotel in Dresden had an excellent view of the Frauenkirche, or Women’s Church. This church was damaged badly and the dome fell in on itself during the firebombing in Feb 1945. It’s debris sat in a pile for 50 years because the GDR didn’t spend money to rebuild churches or palaces (Communism doesn’t play nice with religion or monarchy). Was finally restored in 2005 using patchwork of new and old brick. Was a trip for Andre because he remembers the rubble from a GDR road trip his parents took him on as a kid. Heading to opera tonight at Semper Opera!
check the communist social propaganda art still left in the square!
6 months ago
Someone named Verdi made an opera called La Traviata from the Moulin Rouge story. What a biter. Here’s some footage of the interior of the Semper Opera in Dresden. The Germans lose their shit for opera; get dressed up in bow ties and ballroom gowns and everything. I didn’t even think to start filming till the ovation was going for like 10 mins already. People behind me were shouting out Bravo! like you see in movies!! The opera itself was beautiful of course. It ended like all operas end; with the girl unexpectedly dying onstage in a crescendo of brass and strings right before the curtain smashes closed and the audience is like WTF!!! We got our tickets for €11 right before show time but they were so shitty they actually said “hearing tickets”, since they were so far up you couldn’t see shit. Once it got dark we snuck down into some slightly less shitty €20 tickets.
On the way back to Berlin we checked out Tropical Islands, a giant resort inside an abandoned blimp hangar. It has hotels, restaurants, spa’s, is open 24 hours, serves full booze, and seems like pretty much the perfect place for a weekend getaway date. We didn’t go in, but I’m committed to coming back and splashing around some day.
So Weimar is the seat of German Classicism and Andre and I tried to soak it up as much as possible. We spent our days engrossed in the works of Goethe, Schiller, Bach, Listz, and learned as much as we could about the academic brilliance of the Duke Carl Augusts’ court. We even scoured the events board and found ourselves some options for after dinner; a piano concerto, a student symphony performance at the music academy. I was even up for a German play with no subtitles to sharpen up the listening comprehension. But…., instead of any of that, we shut down El Burrito and got drunk on Screaming Orgasms cocktails.
That said, Goethe was quite a cool dude. His house is what you’d imagine the Dos Equis guy’s would be like, filled with artifacts and legit classical art and sculptures. He threw massive parties all the time, discovered important scientific theories on plants and light, played the piano, collected porn, was Secretary of State, had love affairs, was total BFF with the King of Saxony, was a loving Father, had great hair, traveled the world, spoke 5 languages…all the while writing like 2 of the top 10 novels ever, one of which was so drippy and emo and honest that pretty much the entire Reich loved the guy and wanted him to be their cool older brother. Plus he married a boring and unsophisticated woman just because he truly loved her and told Court to deal with it or fuck off. Probably the coolest German ever born.