Friday, June 23, 2006

The Quest for Brown Ale

June 23, 2006

The Quest for Brown Ale

So, it's my last day at Sumo. I fooled around a bit with more History of York stuff. Website, T-shirts, banners, etc. There's a meeting on Monday to present this stuff. I hope it all goes well.

Anyway, what better way to say "goodbye" on a Friday night than by going out for happy hour with friends!

This isn't any ol' happy hour, though. It's a Quest for Brown Ale.

Just so you'll know, the entire time I've been in Newcastle, I've only had Newcastle Brown Ale once. I'm not sure why, but most places I've been to in town don't serve it. That's why, tonight, we were all on a quest. We need to find a pub that serves Newcastle before I leave everyone for good.

The night started out at "The Forth." It's right around the corner, and it's a SUMO favorite. We found Kenny (Jens' husband) but no Brown Ale. That didn't keep us from staying of course.

Alright, I'll make this short and sweet. We went from pub to pub to pub, with no luck finding Newcastle. We of course sampled what each pub had to offer, but we didn't lose sight of the goal. We probably visited 5 or 6 places.

Later that night. someone hypothesized that the "old people's" bar might have brown ale. For such a Newcastle-less night, it was our only hope.

As luck would have it, these folks know what good beer is.

Next? Food. Hmm... looks like a Chinese buffet again. What's this? Another warning about being charged for the buffet? This is weird. Is it that common for Chinese buffet places to charge you for sitting in a chair... even with no food in your vicinity? Sheesh!

It was a great night going out with my new friends and fellow workmates from the previous two weeks. Thanks guys for making me feel welcome and for showing me a good time.

Let's keep in touch.

I wanted to mention to you all that Kenny is one of my kindred music spirits. One casual mentioning of Pan Sonic made each of us realize who we'd stumbled upon. I only mention this because it's hard for me to find people who share my musical tastes.


So, today's my last day with SUMO. I'm still hanging around for the weekend, so I'll let you all know what happens.

Thanks again, Jim, Suzanne and the SUMO crew. It's been great being a part of your team for the past two weeks. I'm sure we'll cross paths again.

Keep in touch.

Until then... BYE!

I'll see you all in the States early next week.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm a slacker.

June 22, 2006

Sorry folks, I'm a bit "blogged-out." I didn't document a single event from yesterday.

The SUMO workday went well. I just continued with work on the History of York website, helped with Cenamps materials, and helped a bit with Springfield Packaging letterhead and stuff.

Outside of work, I didn't do too much. Met some folks for dinner, walked the streets, and stopped in a pub for a while. No details, no photos, no problem.

Since you are all accustom to new photos every day, I'll just share some other pics you haven't seen yet.

Also, here are some goofy observations from the past couple of weeks:

- The adult XL T-shirts from "Super-Dry" brand designer shirts fit more like a children's small.

- Only pubs provide places for you to sit and enjoy a meal (more or less). Most places provide only "take-away."

- Even bums on the street are metrosexual. I'm exaggerating a bit, but most folks I've encountered are well presented and are "fashionable" in some way.

- Everyone here just squints while walking into the sun. No sunglasses. No blocking the sun with a hand. Just flat-out staring into the sun.

That's all for today.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Launch2006 / SpaceRiders / Secco

June 21, 2006

Another windy day. I actually need my jacket today, but I Ieft it in my hotel room. Oh well, I can rough it.

Anyway, today I made some progress on the History of York logo. It feels good to be doing logo work again.

I also met a local photographer today who came to offer his services to SUMO. He brought in his book chock full of really nice portraiture. The work seemed top-notch and "sophisticated," but he left us with a pretty goofy calling card – a Matchbox Portfolio. It's definitely an easy way to leave your work behind, but I'm not quite sure how effective it is.

After work today, some of us went out to another design event. This time, it's a private opening party. Luckily, SUMO's "cool" enough to get invited (which means I'm cool by association).

Unfortunately, before we ventured out, Suzanne called. She had a flat tire. Luckily, Graham (with his paternal instinct kicking in) ran off and changed the tire. I offered to help, I didn't just hold the camera. Graham was done by the time we'd made it down the street. Seriously.

So, we continued onto the event called "Launch 2006." It's a collection of the region's hottest designers. The venue? An old fire station. What other place can you feature hot designers than in an old fire station (get it? Hot? Fire station? Funny, huh?)? The exhibition presented the latest in furniture, lighting and jewelry. Guests were able to buy products or commission work from the designers. The work was pretty nice. In fact, it was a pretty cool event. Great venue. Check it out.

We left this exhibition party for another event taking place at the Baltic. It's called "SpaceRiders" and was promoted as "the first ever collaboration between the cultures of art, architecture and the extreme talents of skateboarding, BMXing and trail biking." Apparently it was hosted by PSP (Playstation Portable) to promote a new game being launched later this summer.

Simply put, it sucked. Once we'd arrived, we saw this groundbreaking clash of cultures was nothing more than an exhibition space with skateboard videos being projected on the wall and stills of extreme sports hanging on the wall. If these pieces were done well, it could've been passable. Even some "performance art" would've been nice. Nope, just a room full of mostly teenagers, a DJ playing deafening music, and free drinks. There were supposed to be PSP demos, downloads, etc. All bull. Nothing but bowls of potato chips (crisps) and beer.

Free drinks still didn't keep us there. It was that bad.

So, back to the fire station.. to the crowd we know we liked.
Just more of the same. Mixture of business and pleasure – artsy and corporate.

Last stop? Secco. Apparently the guy who set up the Launch show was closing shop soon and let some of the "insiders" know where to go to meet for drinks or whatever.

That's all for you. See ya again tomorrow.