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Saturday, June 26, 2010

MJ Tribute


Yesterday's Takkahachi Specials Menu (best place for eating vegge Japanese food in the city) © Buesing

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Soccer, Soccer, Soccer & Glee

So.Much. Soccer.
Soccer.Soccer.Soccer.
And Heat.
New York is sizzling with 'Futball' fever.
Also if you haven't tuned in to Glee yet, catch the reruns on www.hulu.com.
It's a good show.
And talking about Glee - Frank Rich had a good Op-Ed in The New York Times recently titled Two Weddings, a Divorce and ‘Glee’.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Regional Get Aways


Huson Valley, NY Sundown; Near Great Barrington, MA © Nina Buesing Corvallo

Several of my dearest friends are from Massachusetts. It is a beautiful state with good ideas. Yesterday the hubby and I went up to the Berkshires for work and spent a beautiful day in the area. Lots of antique stores everywhere. Great Barrington has an awesome health food store called The Co-op Market, where you can even buy Maple Syrup, Honey and Agave from bulk bins.
There are lots of beautiful bed and breakfasts to stay at and I hope to return soon. Great Barrington has a train station that no longer is in use unfortunately. The train is such a greener way to travel and it sure beats the bus for me. Getting out of the city by car can be maddening. Luckily Metro North has a train go from Grand Central to Wassaic during the summer (double check with the MTA please), with a shuttle bus bringing people to Great Barrington. So there is a way you can get up there without a car if you are interested.
Another place that one can easily visit by train from the city is Beacon. New York's Hudson valley is gorgeous. The sunsets are spectacular and on a warm summer day reminiscent of St.Lucia or Belize.
Beacon is home to a DIA center and makes for a good day-get-away. Parts of Beacon can still be a bit rough around the edges, but it is worth a visit.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

World (Cup) Zen




German Soccer Moms cheering for Ghana -top image courtesy worldcupblog.org; Italian fan on Mulberry Street, German Expat partying at Loreley -other images © Buesing

My inner circle of 'Futbal' Maniacs is made up of an Italian, a Ghanaian and a German (myself) - our English Football nut is on maternity leave .
It has been a disappointing week of sorts. But since we are all also either residents of the US or Americans, the US team kinda saved the week for us. US soccer has come a long way!

Wednesday will be a day of an important match: Germany vs Ghana.
It will be a bittersweet day for me. I don't want either team to get booted from the cup. Of course it would be great if Deutschland won, but I am also really rooting for the Black Stars!

Saturday morning we watched Ghana play Australia. My friend J. who hails from Ghana and who has a cousin playing for Ghana in this world cup, was disappointed that the game ended in a tie. He said to me after: "Now I know how you felt yesterday (when Germany lost against Serbia)". Of course our doom and gloom did not last long, because we have quite a few Australian friends and they were excited to hang in there.
In Europe soccer fans can cause havoc. People often don't keep their emotions in check (me culpa: the husband and I did not watch the Germany vs Italy game together last world cup) and worse some people act out physically. Most of this happens during regional games and involves too much alcohol and frustration people amassed elsewhere in their lives.
I don't think I could ever become an every season soccer fan.
Every four years for a month is plenty. I am a world (cup) fan.

They say soccer is the sport of the world. And I think that is true, because it brings people together: countrymen and strangers.
It is fun to watch the game with people who are cheering for your team, but it is also great to cheer for your friend's team. In fact it is outstanding exercise in sportsmanship - an opportunity to practice how to accept a loss with dignity, as well as be a gracious winner.
Try it, practice makes perfect ;)
It might just be a sport but like everything else, it can be so much more.
Germany's experience hosting and playing in the last world cup was transformative. Constanze Stelzenmüller 2006 Op Ed piece World Cup: Germany wins - just not the Cup for The New York Times is an excellent recount of that summer.
Conclusively it might have been best that Germany did not win in 2006. I think overall this was the best possible outcome for Germany as a country.
The BBC did a poll earlier this year and Germany came out as the most popular country. For a German of my generation (born decades after the war) that is an incredibly moving result. Let's just say it has not always been easy carrying a German passport. Germany has worked very hard to better itself and to see that recognized is meaningful. I think the World Cup helped us quiet a bit in introducing modern day Germany to the world.
Of course it would be great if Germany would win Wednesday. But if you think that this is not just about sports, then like me, you might also root for Ghana.