The Switzerland Papers #1: High Times at the Funny Farm

Interlaken, Switzerland I rode into Interlaken at sundown and spent my first and only night there at the Funny Farm.  That’s the youth hostel where I booked my stay, because with a name like that, it was hard to resist.   Interlaken’s a resort town made for the outdoors and for the outdoor enthusiast—not exactly …

Cambria Kicks

Tucked away on California’s central coast, just a mile or so south of San Simeon leading into Big Sur, the small seaside village of Cambria is home to great people, beautiful weather and stunning coastal shoreline. For all you romantic lovers out there looking for a sweet spot for anniversaries or maybe your Valentines weekend, …

Orphan in Toledo

Note from the Editor: Cal Corso. Actor, poet, frenetic wild child and the natural leader of this band of hooligans. Orphaned as a small boy and raised by his aunt. Moved to California in 2017 accompanied by Jude Moonlight where he fell in with an odd assortment of characters and has since been leapfrogging from …

there’s a carnival tonight

Last night I stepped into a carnival. Quite literally.  We were coming in from downtown and as we emerged from the LA underground at the Santa Monica/Vermont metro station we found ourselves surrounded by neon lights and funnel cake, bumper cars and clowns. The damn clowns. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’ve developed …

Steam Rises at Grand Prismatic

My first recollection is the steam rising ominously from the surface, from the pools that weren't visible from where I initially stood just before I started toward them. I call them pools because at first glance, that's what they looked like. Beautiful to look upon. Clear and strikingly blue. They reminded me of the waters …

Posting and Parks

I don’t often post in the moment because I‘m either without reception or—most of the time—too caught up in the moment itself. This was a combination of the two, though by the looks of it, I am in the middle of taking a picture. Needless to say, I post a lot of pictures after the …

The Prado

Inspiration has many faces, and sometimes it can leave you spellbound to the point that you see no reason to do anything else, because you feel the overwhelming feeling that everything’s been done already. It’s why I’m wary of museums. Of course it’s a matter of perspective, depending on the individual and the choices they …

Plaza Mayor

A Lesson in Presence The sky was cast in a deep azure glow, illuminating the dark outline of the clouds at night, just above the aura of gold shining from the lights below.  This was Plaza Mayor, in the heart of the old town, where people drank wine and champagne, smoked cigars, ate good food, …

nylon guitars & hearts in madrid

I looked for the center of the city. I wanted to see where everyone congregated in the capital, so I started toward Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. The first thing I noticed was that the streets were very narrow, romantic like something out of a movie.  Every so often a dude zipped by on …

“What did I just see?”

My feet were in Madrid. My head was lost somewhere in the woods of America. Technically I had no home, and for the better part of a month, I’d been on the road before heading to Europe. I'd left the west coast. I'd grown to love it, but the world outside was calling. I started …

The Joy of Classical Music

Visions of Vltava (Moldau) I returned to the front desk the next morning and asked Orsolya for a few recommendations on things to do in town.  I was interested in hearing some music, and I asked her for the best places to go and whether it was easy to get tickets to the State Opera …

Songs for the Sierra Nevada

I wrote these poems in the last few pages of a brown, tattered old pocket journal that I kept with me as I started into the Sierra Nevada, heading out of California and toward the east coast; seeing for the first time everything from General Sherman Tree to Yosemite Valley and the Tuolumne Meadows.  I wrote …

Take Me to the River

I got to the hostel around 8. It was built into the top two floors of an otherwise mostly vacated building just a few blocks south of Andrassy Avenue, the main drag running through town. When I say town, I mean Pest, which flanks the east side of the River Danube. Together with Buda, on …

Budapest Hostel

My first order of business was to find the hostel I’d booked the night before.  Knowing that maps/GPS wouldn’t work since I didn’t buy a data plan--and I wouldn’t have wi-fi unless I camped out at a cafe for a few minutes--I took a screenshot of the pinned location on the map the night before …

Gypsy Violins in Budapest

We’d heard news that the city was flooded with refugees seeking asylum from war-torn Syria. Everyone I spoke to was persuading me not to go to Budapest.  But I had roots there, and I’d never been as to close to it as I was then.  It was only a 7-hour train ride from Prague, so …

Light in the Dark. Impressions and Illuminations in la Ville Lumière

Dear Cal, Man this jazz kick is great. Some album that I’m listening to with Miles Davis and Coltrane. I know they played together a few times before ol’ John blew up and went out on his own, before A Love Supreme and Blue Train. The French, the Parisians in particular have been known to …

The Kiss; Snapshots of Vienna

On the Move, and at Peace By Cal Corso | Reading a book on Albert Einstein and I’m thinking about Vienna, listening to Liszt's transcription for the piano of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Right now I’m in the second movement of the symphony. And yea that sounds about right now, don’t it? I am sort of …

I do feel like playing. Last night I went out walking…

Jude Moonlight's Journal | Last night I went out walking and I heard the distant sound of drums playing late in the night. At first I couldn't quite find where they were coming from but I walked farther down the street and deeper into my neighborhood and I heard the sounds grow louder, so I …

Guns a’ blazing (Introduction)

  If there’s anything that I try and avoid writing about, its writing. That being said, I’ll keep this beginning part short. For starters, I really don’t even think of myself as a writer at all. I’m no Hemingway or Kerouac or Walt Whitman. I don’t know how any of those guys fell into the …

General Sherman

I stopped in a small town somewhere in the desert for a quick breakfast. Then I drove farther north until I reached the last town before the mountains. I stopped there to fill up on gas and get supplies, which consisted mainly of sandwich bread, fruit, two cans of tuna and some peanut butter. Then …

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