Window shopping in Bremen

Thursday, August 31, 2006


At first we have a clothes and accessories shop:

Then my favorite, a toy shop, I think Ulla would like this shop too, already for their gorgeous carrousels and doll house furnitures etc.:

Then a This & That shop:

and a gorgeous old fashioned sweets shop:

Then a lovely tin & enamel shop, all you can buy there is made out of tin, like signs, boxes etc.:

a tourist & souvenir shop, where you can by mementos of Bremen

a doll shops with puppets on a string etc.

and a tea shop with some fairies and christmas bubbles etc.

That's it for today, there are many more gorgeous shops in the "Schnoor Quarter", but I couldn't take pictures of all of them. What would you like to buy?

Code Words

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


The cover story of this week's (Aug 25-31) LA Weekly is entitled, Welcome to Gentrification City. Author David Zanhiser considers the "perils and pleasures of gentrification", and recent changes in neighborhoods like Echo Park and Manhattan Beach. South Los Angeles back-ends the article. I was interviewed for the story, and several of my unremarkable mutterings made it to print.

I applaud David's effort, though I differed with his description of my clientele: "...the multi-ethnic, largely well-heeled..." Most of my clients rather, are middle-class, though capable of encumbering themselves with lolloping levels of debt.

Moreover, gentrification's a loaded word (David knows this). It's code for "Whitey-fication".

It's not the only code word or phrase one encounters in real estate dealings.

"It's too far South". Code for: I'm unwilling to live in a neighborhood with so many shvartzes.

"Enough parking for five cars." Translation: This neighborhood'll tolerate inappropriate levels of occupancy.

"Seller will pay closing costs", is nearly the same as: fetch this bone, cash-strapped immigrantes.

"Large enough for your growing family", translates as: suitable for human warehousing.

"But it's the valley" means "but it's the valley". Errr....

Bremen's historic "Schnoor Quarter"


My German blogging friend Anita has just read my mind in her comment on my last posting, because the next pictures of my home town that I like to show you now are all taken in the the historic Schnoor Quarter (Schoor means Schnur and that means Thread in English). It's rather like a thread of beads, little houses from the 15th/16th Century huddle together in the city's oldest living quarter. In most of the small houses are toy shops, art shops, restaurants etc. now and it is of course a touristic attraction. Especially artists will love to shop here:

There is also an all year round christmas shop in the "Schnoor Quarter" :

Nex time I'll show you pictures of the gorgeous shop windows so that you can also window shop a bit with me. Would you like to?

Bremen, the German city where I live

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


This last weekend my cousin from Toronto, Canada came to see us with his son and he also wanted to see our historic town center, so we went there on Sunday and I did the tourist thing for you and did lots of photos, because I thought that maybe some of you would like to see it as well.

Bremen is a very old Hanseatic city, constituted in the 8th century. It is a port city, situated along the river Weser, about 50 km south from its outflow into the North Sea. Bremen is one of two towns belonging to the state of Bremen (official name: Freie Hansestadt Bremen (Free Hanseatic City of Bremen), referring to its membership in the medieval Hanseatic League), the other being Bremerhaven. Population: 663.000. The metropolitan area (Bremen-Oldenburg) has a population more than 2,37 million.
I best start with pictures of our medieval town/city hall being build in the 13th century and being restored in the 15th century and then constantly until today. It's the only European city hall that has never been destroyed and it belongs to the "UNESCO World Cultural Heritage" because it's absolutely unique and authentic.

It has a lot of fascinating details, so I zoomed in the picture to show you some:

Isn't it gorgeous? Medieval people have had so much more imagination in building houses than nowadays! Here is another picture from the left side:

and these fellows, I'm sure you all know them, are standing at the left side of our city hall:

Ignore the people please, there are always people taking their pictures with the "Bremer Stadtmusikanten" (The town musicians of Bremen) because of the famous fairy tale written by the Grimm Brothers.

This is our Cathedral, called the "St. Petri Dom" build in the 13th century. It has a so called plumb basement (Bleikeller) where plump for the roof top works has been stored and dead people, like a roofer who fall of the roof top during his works in the 14th century can now be seen as a mummy, preserved through the plump containing air in the cellar. Spooky!

Okay, looks like blogger won't let me post anymore pictures in this post *rolls eyes*. So I'm going to post more about my medieval home town in one of my next posts if you like.

Trip to Patal Pani: A Day in My Life

Monday, August 28, 2006


This post starts the first series of posts in my blog "A Day in My Life". These postings will be about some interesting days in my life, some in the distant past and some in the not so distant past.

First, about Patal Pani. It is a waterfall located about 36 kms from the city of Indore. Water falls from a height of 150 feet into a kund (trench) whose depth is still unknown. It is believed that the bottom of this trench reaches patal, hence the name Patal Pani.

Now for my trip to Patal Pani. The day 27th August, 2006, a Sunday. The trip was arranged by the Cultural Committee (or CulCom as its known). Around 50 of us started off from our campus in four vehicles (am not sure whether to call them buses or vans, so let them be called vehicles only). We left at around noon and the plan was to have lunch at the spot itself. After taking the wrong route a couple of times, finally managed to reach the destination in around 2 hours.

On reaching the spot the initial reaction was actually disappointment. All I could see was two tiny streams joining together and falling down. Had I come all the way to see this, wasting an entire Sunday? As I came closer the reaction changed from that of disappointment to awe. The sight was simply breathtaking. Water falling from such a height and creating a mist.

Then we proceded to go to the base of the waterfall. To reach there first we had to find a way down. The climb down the rocky face was pretty difficult specially for people like us who did not get much chance for any outdoor activity as such. But we managed to safely find our way down to the base of the falls. It was done at times on all fours as we only had the rocky side of the the cliff on one side and the valley on the other.The view from the base was, well, awesome. The water falling from such a great height right in front of us. Its spray being carried towards us by the wind. All this made for one fascinating sight. After some time it started to rain. Now, this was a problem as we had to climb up the cliff which was going to be more diffcult as the path would have become more slippery. But fortunately for us the rain stopped. So, we decided to go back up. The climb up was even more interesting than the downward trip. Firstly, we had to retrace our paths quite a few times as we kept taking the wrong path. Then one of my friends claimed to have seen a snake in a hole between the rocks. But fortunately, the snake if it was there, decided to stay inside its hole and not disturb us. Finally we made our way to the top without any more alarms.

Around 5 in the evening, we started our journey back to the campus. The return journey was filled with all of us sharing our experiences with each other. Returned to the campus quite exhausted. But it had been quite an enjoyable trip.

The Patal Pani trip had been quite an adventure. It was nice to get out of the monotony of the daily life at campus (to be discussed in some other post). It was a great experience where you get to be one with nature. Overall quite a pleasant trip and am looking forward to more such trips in the future.

Till next time..........

A candle burning in the night....

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Candle: [kan-dl] (noun)
1. a long, usually slender piece of tallow or wax with an embedded wick which is burned to give light.
2. something resembling a candle in appearance or use.

Well, these are two of the definitions for a candle according to As can be inferred from these two statements, the basic purpose of a candle is to give light. The flame from a candle is very small but its presence removes the darkness. In the modern world with the arrival of electricity, the use of candle as a source of light has decreased. Maybe its no longer relevant for most people. But its still there.The humble candle has made a big journey from a source of light to become a symbol of hope.

A candle burns itself out to provide light to others. The candlelight has become a symbol of hope fighting to give light when there is darkness all around. It is now being used as a symbol of protest, as a symbol of solidarity for a cause. When you light a candle it is a gesture, a gesture of defiance. A single candle cannot fight the darkness alone. But when many are lit together, the darkness is removed.

A single person like a single candle can show us the path. But like many candles burning together, we can and we will make a difference.

Fall Antique Collecting or Hot in Texas!


I know it has been awhile since I have posted on this blog but I have been very busy. I have added a ton of stuff to my stores.
My cute tip towel sold I had shown on the last post but vintage textiles is not something I am short on. I have many online and more to list.
Thinking Fall season and Christmas season always gives me a burst of energy. Maybe if I list some Fall inventory I will start feeling it!
It is about 90 degrees in Texas but worth a shot!
It is supposed to rain all week and that is good. I just planted about 8 crepe myrtle trees a month ago and nice to not have to water them everyday as they are small still. Hardy trees for Texas though and lovely when they put on flowers.
The Sycamore tree is my favorite tree though because I really love the bark and the color changes in the leaves. One day it is my dream to visit New England in the Fall.
Stay tuned to Sandy's Fancy Pants Antiques and Collectibles news or ramblings. Blessings.

Studio Friday

Thursday, August 24, 2006


The question of studio friday week is who everyone takes their inspiration from - an artist of traditional media, multimedia, craft world, living or dead.

Well for me there are two artists on the net that are inspiring me with no end!

One it the fabulous "Pamela Garrison" to whom I have already dedicated my last post!

And the other one is the miraculous "Ulla"
who has inspired me to try different things like for example the papier marché theatre easter eggs I've posted in march.

So I wanna thank them both very much for sharing their wonderful art and ideas with us and for encouraging us to go and try to make our own kind of art!

Scott's Garage

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Scott did it right. Before starting work on his house, he re-hauled the garage.

(I sense narrowing lids.) Procrastination? An artful dodge? Loads of money and free time? Nein!

Scott knew he needed a functional workshop, a place to stage, a space he could secure. Viola'!

My own garage is nearly as well ordered.

Ok so it's not as well ordered; but, I did install a utility sink.

It's the best place to clean brushes, soak hardware, scrub your hands, floss, etc.

I gotta get this place cleaned up.

There's probably a magazine I can throw away.

The upside of the rainy weather

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


is that one can do other things than gardening or relaxing in the garden for a change. On Sunday, a very rainy day, I have rediscovered my other creative side and have created a new collage. I've had a break from collage for a few months, but I've kept collecting papers, fibers, brads, stamps, ideas, inspirations etc.. Seeing that I have this obsession for birds, nests and eggs for a long time now it was clear to me that this would be the theme for the first collage in my new crafting corner upstairs in my loft room. So this is what I came up with and I hope that you'll like it:

and for a closer look:

Another thing I've tried to do a few weeks ago was a banner because seeing all the lovely banners for example at Pam Garrisons inspirational site and also from her article in the last Somerset studio zine I wanted to own one too. The only problem is that I can't sew so I've created this little banner from cardboard:

I know it's nowhere as gorgeous as Pam's, but bear with me please because I'm just a beginner! At least it was fun to work on!

A garden overview for Sue!

Monday, August 21, 2006


Sue has sent me lovely e-mails with photos of her London city flat with a gorgeous ickle patio and garden (where she lives with her husband, a dog and 3 cats, one of them looks like our Sammy!) and of her country cottage in New Forest, Hampshire where she has created a delightful garden from what was a field before. Unfortunately she has no time for an own blog at the moment. In all her e-mails she wrote how much she likes to see views of my garden. Well my garden is quite small so it has not to many views but here are a few up-to-date shots of my terrace and back yard. So Sue here is for you and of course everyone else who likes to see more views of my garden:

The Most Asked Questions

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Recentering El Pueblo is bookmarked by a few. There's a New York City cabbie eyeing property in the Bronx, some comedy writers, a firefighter, Sam, and the KPCC folk.

A few write, fewer still call with questions, except the cabbie.

Of those questions, two are asked most often:

1. Will the market soften at the end of the year?
2. Why doesn't my likeness grace the site?

Firstly, yes the market will soften at the end of the year. The market softens at the end of every year. But will there be anything worth buying then? Inventory tends not to refresh at quite the same rate. Who can say, and by how much will it
soften? Impossible to know.

Secondly, RecenteringElPueblo is a quasi-professional site. I hope to connect with buyers and sellers, not air hostesses or Tejana lip sync-ers. Still, here's a couple of self-portraits snapped during picture-taking at 2042 S. Oxford Avenue.

Now then, let's forget about Riverdale....

Second Banana

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Wonder why the Valley gets a bad name? It's banners like these, along Ventura Boulevard. A great boulevard, Ventura Boulevard.

Does Hoover Avenue seek billing as a "Poor Man's Vermont"?
Does Cesar Chavez advertise itself as "The East Side's Abbott Kinney"?
Does Brand Boulevard bear banners which read "Glendale's Westwood"?

Technology, Creativity, Time.........


The picture looks like some serious activity taking place. People sitting at 4 long tables. Some sitting at chairs a bit away from the long tables (the late-comers). Others standing near the counter (the real late-comers). People sitting pair-wise staring at their laptop screens and making notes.There is also a bit of cross-talking taking place, but mostly people are minding their own business.

Maybe its some exam taking place...or maybe some online trading going on...or some stock market scenario....................

Actually nothing of such sort is taking place. Its just a quiz where you have to identify the logos of various companies. Surprised???

Well, this is what happens when you have too much technology, a liitle bit of time and a certain level of creativity available. Add to that a bunch of people high on enthusiasm.It makes for a real heady mixture.

And this what makes life enjoyable...makes it interesting and breaks the monotony of everyday life.

Till next time...............

Most Reading