woensdag, maart 15, 2006

Week 24-27: Berlin, London, Biarritz – Déjà vu all over again

So it’s been a while, but I’m starting to think no one even reads this blog anymore. Jonny is seriously gone….lost forever in Europe, and never coming back. Well, maybe none of that is true, so “here we go, again on the road, going down the only road I’ve only know, like a drifter, I was born to walk alone.” I won’t even tell you what song that is because it’s downright embarrassing. So I made it to Berlin, after chillin’ the night away drinking coffee in the Stanstead airport with this 24-year-old couple from Lisboa, Portugal, also on the early morning cheap flight, but they were heading back home. I arrived in Berlin early morning after maybe 45 minutes of sleep to a bleary snowy morning.

Snowy Tracks, Berlin.

My shoe had a nice hole in the toe, which isn’t such a big deal unless you’re pretending you can afford new shoes, but when it’s snowing, it’s a whole other
deal entirely. The week passed in a breezy blur, as traveling from place to place tends to do, but in that 1 week I climbed to the top of the highest peak in Berlin, Devil’s mountain,

Flowers and Barbed Wire, Berlin.
Teufelsberg [Devil's Mountain]

with my friend Kris, struggled to get tickets to one film from the Berlinale film festival, picked up a free pair of Nike shoes from the Carhartt/Nike store (thanks to Jürgen and a promised Concussion show review), worked on my underground artist’s website (haywirearts.com), skated the Berlin Bowl again (created a beautiful double swell-bow on the vert segment), ate falafel’s and walked around the city, quite a few times in the snow. Berlin was awesome as before, but I can never really put into words or thoughts what exactly it is I like so much about the city.

Before I knew it I was back in London, at Scott’s house, skating the Bay 66 skatepark for the Wednesday night session, and with my friend Whip at the Meanwhile cement 70s ‘waterfall’ bowl skatepark,

Meanwhile, London.

and Meanwhile 2 under the freeway, drainage ditch style. What else did I do in London? I stumbled upon a spoof on Monty Python's Holy Grail while looking for Scott's work to pick up his house keys.

Jeremey, rock to fakie at Stockwell

I also walked around Regent Park when I had 8 hours to kill after my early morning flight. I stumbled upon a bird sanctuary with birds from all over the world. The intermittent hail stopped, and the sunshine shone through the clouds as the birds dried themselves off. I hopped on the tube and then the train and was off to my friend Cornel’s in outer London for some more working, eating, and surviving on as little money as possible for one week.

Hawaiin Geese, Regent Park Wildlife Refuge, London

Unidentified species of duck, Regent Park, London

As luck would have it, a few more website jobs randomly appeared from outer-cyber space and I cranked them out as fast as I could eat a cheese pizza with fresh cut vegetables. I returned to Scott's for some more website work, Concussion new issue stuff, and general low-key schnanegans. My time ran out, I paid some overdue tabs, and I was off to my Uncle’s to drive through the Chunnel to Paris.

NEWS OF THE DAY: TUBE STABBING the night before and COLDPLAY breaks up

Sir Spamalot, Monty Python spoof theatrical production, SOHO, London

Sir Spamalot, Monty Python spoof theatrical production, SOHO, London

Sir Spamalot subscribes to Concussion, so should you!
"Get back here and fight like a man, I've still got one leg"

My uncle’s Jag pulled up in a dark alley at3:20am, Saturday morning, in the far east end of Paris. I unpacked the car with some help from my uncle and drug the stuff to the hostel door. He then headed off to La Souterraine in the center of France, to check on the progression of his barn. It was time to speak French again! I tried to barter for my acceptance to hang out in the lobby until the morning and then check-in for the following day. Nope. 2 paid nights later, after being ‘accosted’ by a French muslim guy in the hostel bar, who apologized to me about 9-11, and then smacked a wet one on my cheek after telling me he just got out of prison (after being there for 9 years for selling pot and LSD)…I could go on and on about the whole situation and ones to follow, but I’ll save that for another time. So I was off to my friend Alexis’ house, who owns the Nozbone skateshop. I spent a good week, working, skating, shooting skate photos, and

Roman de Paris bashing up and back down the corner brick wall, rocking his new Concussion hat
hanging out with French skater kids at Nozbone, learning French and French street slang. Of course, I attended the protest/manifestation that you can read about in the following blog entry if you are so inclined. One night I crossed town on the metro to watch Le Luidg (Luidgi from Nozbone) spin at this little bar/club in the 6th, near where I used to live. I somehow (ok well I know exactly how but I’m not telling) made it through the night, only buying one drink. The night crawled on into the morning and I took the first metro home, with all the other weirdoes, at 5:40am.

Roman Bertleman, Paris. March 2006.
After some more skating, working, and hanging out, I took the night train from Paris Austeralitz to Biarritz, and after only a few hours of sleep, arrived in my favorite place in France. My friend Marina picked me up at the station as the sun rose, before several days of rain led to a day trip, along with my 'housemates' Bertrand and Vince, to snowboard the Pyrenees. We schraped up the snow as best we could, and returned to the sunshine of Biarritz which would finally arrive, along with some rideable surf the following day. I will stay here for as long as possible on the couch at Bertrand and Vince’s house; work, surf, snowboard, skate, and photograph all these things as well as people, the woods and the sea. - JH

Martin. Noseslide to fakie. Paris. March, 2006.

maandag, maart 06, 2006

Political Rally in Paris goes Haywire

Manifestation: Paris (Nation) / February 28th, 2006
Subject: Protest of the murder of a Jew by a mostly Muslim extortionist group who claimed they held him for ransom because they assumed the stereotype of a rich jew to be true

I had just arrived at my friends apartment in Paris, when he explains to me the police are sealing off the roads because there will be a manifestation (protest) today. The topic of the protest is a jewish guy was kidnapped by this group of extortionists, that chose him because of the old stereotype that jews are rich. It as been turned into a anti-semetic hate crime and all the jewish groups, and muslim groups, took to the streets, with high ranking political and religious leaders, but the muslim groups joined the jewish groups in solidarity, so it was really a bit strange and hard to understand if they were with each other or against.

While running around with the pack of angry protestors, I took lots of photographs. I was told by many muslim youth and jewish youth not to take photos. There was supposedly a group of 'radical' jews who can get very violent and don't want to be photographed. People wanted to know what side I was on and sometimes when they found out I was NOT a journalist (that was the big question, which magazine I worked for), and found out I was an american, they were ok with me taking photos, but most warned me for my own safety. I was shaking taking some photos, due to half adrenalin overload and part fear of getting stabbed or punched, so hope they aren't too blurry. It was an intense situation, like war photography which I've always thought about doing, so this was a good taste for me. I also photographed a war 'peace riot' in SF, but that wasn't nearly as intense as this. So due to the fact that it was sketchy to take photos, I'd take one, and then move through the crowd. I'd also conceal my camera (but it's big and hard to do), and I think it looked like I was hiding a gun, black, metal, shiny, concealed. I think this may have caught the eyes of the police, and they had obviously been watching me, for hours.

La Police se prépare

As I left, I took some more photos of the police in riot gear, and taking over the little hills in the Nation park in the middle of a giant round-about (an area of many immigrants in Paris, where I have been staying for a week). The protest was winding down, and I was walking back to my friends apartment, when this guy in black asked me who I was photographing for and telling me it wasn't allowed and what was I doing, etc. He was not in police uniform, then he grabbed my shoulder and said come with me. I backed up to get out of this random guys grasp, as I was scared I was going to get robbed and beat up, etc. I backed up into another guy, then to the other side, another. I was surrounded by muslim/jewish guys who were not happy with my photography... But no, they were undercover cops. They questioned me, and turned me over to the riot police in uniforms (and battle gear) who took me (forcefully) to their vans, removed my backpack, hands against the van, searched through everything, very closely and invasively, and they went through my wallet and took my CA driver's licence, (and it turns out they stole 20 euros!). They said the way I took photos from one place then to the next was pas normal, very strange, and wanted to know who I was working for, what magazine, telling me it is not allowed, to which I questioned but no, I was not allowed to take photos. After 15 minutes of scaring me and saying they were going to arrest me, they gave me my stuff, and pushed me back towards the sidewalk. I walked back to the apartment, went to buy some fruit and vegetables and relax with a few beers, when I realized my id was gone (I still hadn't realized the 20 euros were gone). So I had to go back to the scene of the 'crime' and ask for my carte d'identification back, and they asked who took it, and I had been hassled by more than 10 police and couldn't remember. I finally got it back, and walked back to the apartment, looking over my shoulder the whole time, and even walking in a few shops and around a building to make sure I wasn't being followed. I heard the next day that the French judicial system is not to mess with, that you are guilty until proved innocent, and the judge has ALL the say in your case, so it's very possible for unjustice to be served.
Fuck the police of the world and every government. They're all corrupt and solely concerned with their interest, which is the interest of the people that pay them. They control the world. You are powerless in the grand scheme of things. That doesn't mean it's worthless to fight against. - jonny haywire

La manifestation

Les manifestants prennent le control

Ils tentent d'appaiser le conflit avec le Police

Les manifestants envahissent la bute

La Police vide la bute

Un groupe de Musulmans

Prise de le statue

Le police retablit le calme

Un groupe de Juifs