I’m sure I mentioned it somewhere before, but in case you missed it… I am, and have been since the 90s, a performing VJ & live video artist. Working under the pseudonym VJ KodeK since about 2005, I have performed live visuals at the highest possible level, many unique high profile events and appearing onstage with Hip Hop royalty. I do occasionally still take bookings when they sound like they will be fun. Last year I nearly didn’t VJ at all, and then Ed asked me to cover visuals for all 9 hours of Sasha’s Brixton Academy NYE party. I invited long time VJing cohort Disaster Girl to come help out, modernise my technical setup and keep things interesting. She made this docupromo from our footage of the night. It’s sweet, no?
Pretty much everyone you meet has an influence upon your life. Sometimes you will notice the direct consequences more than others. These two cruised up in the year 2000 and moored their boat next door, working hard as a team, partying hard as a team, making the most of every opportunity they could and having an awesome life. Inviting me to VJ while they took turns as DJ at their club nights and involving me in their design and music production certainly pushed me forward. This last new years eve I VJ’d for superstar DJ, SASHA, at Brixton Academy and couldn’t help thinking back 13 years to the first new years eve party I performed and supplied all the visuals for, thanks to these guys. I also considered trust how many important people in my life I met through them. More than that though I consider what they were actually doing at the time I knew them and this influences me even now, they were living as frugally as London would allow, investing time and energy into their future and their plan to move to Australia and start a family. I found this photo of them on Facebook the other day and see they still have an influence, look at them still working hard as a team, partying hard as a team, raising their many children in a happy and comfortable situation that they planned and achieved together and clearly still having an awesome life.
Or is it Maris’ independent guide to Lyon?
Vanalinna Muusikamaja, February 8th, 2014. Like some sort of half remembered music from a dream. What’s in a name?
Verdict: No beer, no indoor seating, but by far Tallinn’s best burger.
Vesivärava Grill is quite a way out from the centre of Tallinn. It’s just by Kadriorg Park, across the road from Kadrioru Stadium. What’s more it’s like a classic American burger stand, in that there is no indoor seating area. You queue up at the order window and wait outside while the burger is barbecued outside. Given the annual climate in Tallinn you can imagine that for most of the year this is a little cold and uncomfortable.
Is it worth leaving Tallinn Old Town just to get a burger from here? No, not unless you have a vehicle and feel like a little drive in action. However, if you are in the area, visiting the KUMU art gallery, Kadriorg Palace, The Swan Pool, Pirita Beach or any of the other museums and attractions in Kadriorg then definitely get over to Vesivärava Grill and grab yourself Tallinn’s most awesome gourmet burger.
It is very popular, lots of people drive up and queue up for their burgers and once you try them you will understand why. Up until this point I had not had a really good, or even a passable burger in Tallinn but Vesivärava Grill are certainly equal in flavour and quality to London’s top gourmet burger joints. The fries were also delicious and top notch.
One last thing to note, Vesivärava Grill was taken over by new staff and management since I visited, the previous management and staff have renamed themselves The Estonian Burger Factory and I think we are all looking forward to their new restaurant opening in 2014. I have not revisited Vesivärava Grill since this change but I have heard nothing but good things in the meantime.
The magpie problem has been increasing of late. Other than in Barcelona Airport car park (where I counted five) I’ve been so many lone magpies it’s almost led me to restart my online magpie dating agency. Unfortunately this would exacerbate the situation exponentially with all those photos of desperate single magpies.
Worse still it was not until a few weeks ago I first encountered a real live magpie in Tallinn, before this the only evidence of Estonian magpies I had observed were the five graffiti magpies at the top of the stairs on Linnahall. Then I spotted one, flying alone down Ristiku, and the same one again the next day in the same place. As if that were not bad enough, later that night, on my way to the Tallinn Music Academy Christmas Ball, I saw this watercolour (above, duplicated & augmented) of a single magpie in the window of an art shop, just across the road from NuKu. What kind of sick, twisted mind not only paints a lone magpie but then allows it to be displayed publicly? Spreading misery and sorrow to unsuspecting passers by.
I am completely against the thought of ever having a tattoo, but these recent events have led me to consider having two magpies inked onto my left palm. This way I can always turn sorrow into a girl, if you ken what I mean. For the moment I think I might carry a picture of two magpies, see how it works out. Perhaps I should simply avoid gaming the signal and tweaking the probabilities, after all I see five magpies quite often and I don’t think I can keep so many secrets.
Verdict: A great selection of beer & some freakishly moreish chips.
In between ordering food, plugging in phone to charge, estimating if I had enough time to eat and walk to the station before the train leaves and tasting an awesome local stout… it occurred to my subconscious mind that the song being sung in a folksy, guitarsy, Joni Mitchellsy way by Sarah R-K was in fact ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice. This part of their Unsigned Underground night pleased me very much.
It probably goes without saying that a restaurant modelled after a Belgian beer cellar and specialising in craft beers, has an exceptional selection of beers on tap and in bottle. Over 122 Belgian bottled varieties they claim. The food is good. I mean great, I mean gourmet great. I have to say it was one of the best burgers I have ever had, succulent & tasty. The handcut chips were excellent and whatever combination of cooking oil and herbs they use to season is undoubtedly addictive.
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable about their beers and very helpful in making sure the meal was served with enough time to make the train home. If you are in Bristol I would highly recommend The Beer Emporium.
Walked to Kris Wines of York Way, just north of Kings Cross, London, to check them out. They really do have an impressive collection of bottled craft beer from an international selection of micro breweries. GPS track of the walk back.