Mark Altenberg Productions: Blog en-us (C) Mark Altenberg Productions [email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Sat, 22 Aug 2020 01:26:00 GMT Sat, 22 Aug 2020 01:26:00 GMT Mark Altenberg Productions: Blog 120 58 California Ski Company - Coronavirus Response Mark Altenberg Productions helps nonprofits, artists, and small businesses tell their story and make an impact through video.

We produced this video for the California Ski Company to show how they are creating a safe business during the coronavirus pandemic.
Got an idea for a video? Contact us

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) California Ski Company calskico coronavirus Mark Altenberg Productions Skiing Video Sat, 22 Aug 2020 01:26:10 GMT
Hugh Groman Group Mark Altenberg Productions helps nonprofits, artists, and educators tell their story and make an impact through video.

We created this video for the Hugh Groman Group, a catering company based in Berkeley, California. Through the magic of timelapse photography, we show the great effort that goes into creating success for a big party. Got an idea for a video? Contact us!

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Catering Hugh Groman Group Mark Altenberg Productions Video Wed, 18 Dec 2019 08:15:40 GMT
EAH Willow Housing Move-in Day for Veterans EAH Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing company in California and Hawaii. This video captures an emotional day for veterans moving into Willow Housing in Menlo Park, California. Got an idea for a video? Contact Mark Altenberg Productions.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Affordable Housing EAH Housing veterans Willow Housing Thu, 31 Oct 2019 00:43:46 GMT
Stuart Murdoch for OMF This is one of several videos that were created for the Open Medicine Foundation, which funds and promotes research in chronic complex disease such as ME/CFS. Singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch (leader of the band Belle & Sebastian) talks about his struggle with ME/CFS and how it has influenced his life as a musician and songwriter.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Belle & Sebastian ME/CFS OMF Open Medicine Foundation Stuart Murdoch Sat, 31 Aug 2019 17:56:51 GMT
Partners Program The Partners Program at The College Preparatory School in Oakland brings middle school students together with trained high school and college mentors. It's a compelling and highly successful program that has been developing and expanding it's curriculum and range of partnerships with Oakland middle schools for over 30 years. These videos update the story that was previously created for Partners in 2012.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) College Prep Partners Program Mon, 08 Jul 2019 22:08:44 GMT
See Different Do you ever shoot black and white? Try it...

Bombay train ennuiBombay train ennuiBombay, India 2009 Bombay Train Ennui (2009)

Black and white photography often creates a mood or seems more artistic by somehow emphasizing shapes and patterns. How does it do that and, furthermore how can we do that?

Before digital photography came along, a lot of people who took up photography, for fun or profit, worked in black and white. It was cheaper and easier to do yourself and that made it accessible. Not only was color processing more expensive and more difficult to manage, but the range of what looks acceptable in color is very narrow. Variations in exposure or contrast in a black and white image might change the mood or emphasis on form. Variations in color simply look wrong or bad. 

Black and white photography has a longer and broader history, too. When I think of people who were down and out in the Great Depression or fighting in the great wars, I often think of the iconic black and white images of those eras. And for good reason. Cameras became small and portable and fast in the early 1900s and organizations like the FSA and WPA funded many out-of-work photographers, laying a foundation of enduring work that inspired many a street photographer or photojournalist thereafter. 

For my photography, I often like to shoot in black and white - and by that I mean while looking at a black and white image on the camera. This is a distinctly new digital capability that the classic film photographers back in the day did not have. Although most digital cameras can pre-visualize in black and white, people do not typically take advantage of this. In fact, most are totally unaware of black and white as a shooting mode and treat it simply as one of many filters that can be applied in the post-processing of an image. However, using black and white mode as a shooting tool can help you make a fundamental shift from seeing the subject matter to seeing light and shadow, shape and form. I want to suggest that this is a more artistic approach because it is abstract in nature and goes beyond simply creating a copy of what we see visually, evoking an emotional component that isn’t necessarily tied to the subject matter. 

We are so easily distracted by color and by the subject of the photograph and we rarely look at the shape and the form of things and where the light fades and falls off into shadow and darkness. Black and white photographs do this in a magical way by removing the distraction of color and allowing a wider range of exposure and contrast, of light and dark. Visual patterns become more visible, emphasizing shape and form. Even the most mundane and boring photographs can gain emotional quality just by making them black and white or even just reducing the color saturation. 

Shooting in color and converting to black and white after the fact relies on a hopeful accident that a color picture might look better in black and white. Photographers will also tell you that shooting in color is better because you have a greater range of options when post-processing. But some cameras allow you to shoot in black and white and revert to color later, so why not visualize in black and white from the start? This is easily done with the street camera of our day - the iPhone. Shooting in black and white means changing the filter on the iPhone camera so it is displaying a black and white image while you shoot. (Tap the filter button, 3 overlapping circles, in the upper right corner of the iPhone camera.) In fact, there are 3 different black and white filters: Mono, Silvertone or Noir, and you can change the filter anytime before or after you shoot. This offers a distinct advantage over black and white photographers of the past allowing you to pre-visualize the black and white images before you take them. Some might think of this as cheating, but it’s no different than autofocus or auto exposure in that the tool is helping you use it creatively. It gets the camera out of the way and helps you to see different (aah, now there’s a great tagline for Apple’s next wave of iPhone marketing!) Think of it more as a creative tool that aids in seeing on a different level.

This is a significant step in the direction of visualizing, thinking and working with light and shadow. It can help you be a more artistic photographer and it’s so easy to do. Try it. Put your iPhone in black and white mode and See Different!


I've been doing black and white photography since I was about 10 years old, developing and processing film in my dad's darkroom (see the picture on my About page). I got my first digital camera, an Apple QuickTake 100 in 1994, but it wasn't until I got a Nikon D70 ten years later, in 2004 that I totally switched to digital photography. Check out my Black & White Gallery.

One of my favorite street photographers is Vivian Maier. The documentary Finding Vivian Maier is a superb film about this very complex person and highly recommended. Another favorite black and white photographer is Sebastião Salgado. His photographs are amazing and best seen when he exhibits his huge prints. Check out his TED Talk on The silent drama of photography.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) black & white Leica Rolliflex Thu, 31 Jan 2019 12:38:14 GMT
Helen Explains Our dear friend Helen finally attempts to explain - in less than 1 hour - what she has been doing for the past 20 years while working on her PhD dissertation "Europeanizing Civil Justice in Amsterdam (1997) and Tampere (1999): Legal Elites and the Politics of Private International Law, Civil Procedure and the Administration of Justice in the European Union" Alles ist jetzt ganz klar! - July 7, 2018

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) dissertation Helen PhD Thesis Tue, 21 Aug 2018 17:36:57 GMT
Mother's Dreams This house concert featured Sabir Khan on sarangi accompanied by my brother Peter Altenberg on tabla. The performance was on April 17, 2018, in Inverness, California. I thought this excerpt from the concert was a fitting way to celebrate our mothers. My mother passed away on March 18, 2018. She would have been 86 on May 11, 2018. Sabir-ji’s mother passed away on March 17, 2017. And Mother’s Day is always in mid May, so we have another reason to celebrate our mothers. Dream BIG.

(select CC to turn on captions)

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) indian classical music mothers music sarangi tabla Fri, 11 May 2018 07:01:00 GMT
Zak at 24.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:00:00 GMT
Lucky Hall Here's how local craftsman Lucky Hall creates fabric-formed concrete works. Lucky is CurDogDesign.

Check out some photos, too.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) GFRC Hall Lucky concrete curdogdesign fabric formed shelf Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:57:29 GMT
Bremer Stadtmusikanten

We pay a visit to the famous Town Musicians of Bremen.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Bremen Peter Stadtmusikanten Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:59:04 GMT
Hanging out with b.

While Peter recovers, we hang out with various friends and family from around the world. Here we have a visit from the almost famous musician b. mossman, who joins us almost daily from Denmark while Kalyan computes in the background.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Bremen Germany Hip Peter Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:00:00 GMT
Peter's PT

Daily visits to the physical therapist is pretty lightweight compared to the usual routine for recovery from surgery in Germany, going to reha, for a full-time, 3 week stay at a rehab facility that includes exercise, meals and lots of relaxation. Sounds more like a resort. 

Peter's PT includes a daily visit to Coffee Corner, where Kalyan shows us the latest iPhone features.


[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Bremen Germany Peter Sun, 14 Dec 2014 18:00:00 GMT
Peter's Hip Doctor

We visit the hip surgeon today, who did the hip joint replacement on Peter about 10 days ago. Dr. Rasmussen loves to explain everything about artificial hip joints (especially in English) and he likes how everything is healing up. Peter is just happy that the surgery part is over. Next we visit the physical therapist. More photos at

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Bremen Germany Hip Peter Sat, 13 Dec 2014 21:45:00 GMT
Santa Pope
Got to Frankfurt about a half hour late, but I wasn’t too worried with 90 minutes left to catch my connecting flight to Bremen, where my brother just got home after a week in the hospital following a hip joint replacement, which is what set this whole trip in motion in the first place. But the timing all changed with the realization that I had to make another trip through security for some annoying reason and security at Frankfurt Airport is an incredibly slow motion and methodic German process. There’s one guy who helps to neatly arrange all of your carry-on crap in the plastic bins, politely but firmly pausing between each passenger, and another guy rotates the bins 90 degrees and pushes them through the machine. People are visibly aging in line. They topped that off with a special ‘random’ extra security swabbing of my camera bag, probably because there are too many gadgets and wires inside, which looks a little terrifying on the multicolored X-ray. This side trip required a short hike in the wrong direction to another security station. I was assured that my gate was right around the corner. 
10 minutes before take off I got going towards the gate and experienced the utter vastness of Frankfurt airport first hand. 2km later, including running down 5 long moving walk ways and at least 8 flights of stairs to avoid the overloaded elevators. I arrived at the gate in a full sweat, huffing and puffing only to find that my plane had departed without me. Next flight in 5 hours. The smiling but terse woman at the desk directed to go back 2km - do not to pass Go, do not collect $200 - and find the Lufthansa Services office. There I waited patiently in line for 20 minutes only to find out that I had to go to the Lufthansa check-in, outside security and another 1km or so away. Another hike, then another terse explanation-demanding gate keeper, then another 15 minute wait in line and another 15 minutes with an agent who couldn’t get the computer to cooperate, finally resulted in a new boarding pass on the next flight. Then it was back through the maze including another trip through the slo-mo security machinery. I get the special random manual double check again, with full swabbing of my scary camera bag and contents. My shoes look suspicious too, so they get a special solo trip through the X-ray machine. My flight is hours away at this point and I really don’t care. I stroll 2km back to the gate and enjoy the sights. Along the way I meet the pope... or is it Santa Clause? Maybe it’s St. Niklaus. Whatever… it was worth stopping for a selfie. Apple Health app report: 3.44 miles, 7482 steps and 11 floors of climbing for the afternoon. Not a bad workout for a rainy day. 
[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Airport Bremen Frankfurt Germany Thu, 11 Dec 2014 21:30:00 GMT
No Escaping the Rain  
Got out of San Francisco on Wednesday December 10, just in time to miss the huge storm that was moving in, only to find cold rainy weather on the other side of the planet, in Deutschland. What did I expect? My flight to Frankfurt was kinda bumpy, especially for the ginormous Airbus 380, which is a lot of plane to thrash around in the sky, but sitting near the front of the plane was nice and quiet for a change. Not much sleep, but the food was actually decent - a nice filet of salmon on rice for dinner and an omelette and fresh fruit for breakfast. Plus wine and beer are always included. Too civilized. My neighbors promptly donned headphones and said barely a word for the entire flight, so I did the same. Kinda boring, but maybe better than getting one of those talk-the-entire-flight kind of people for 10 hours. 
[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Airport Frankfurt Germany rain Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:00:00 GMT
Electric City Book Trailers Just finished these two book trailers for the new novel Electric City by Elizabeth Rosner...

Electric City: an excerpt from the novel.


Behind the scenes with novelist Elizabeth Rosner.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Book Trailer Electric City Elizabeth Rosner Sat, 01 Nov 2014 04:30:00 GMT
You Becherovka This 'product from the Czech Republic' will knock you off your stool in no time, unless diluted with lots of tonic. A nice treat from Helen upon arrival in Berlin. More photos from Berlin.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Berlin Germany Sat, 26 Jul 2014 04:15:00 GMT
Urban Camouflage Occasionally purple is the perfect color to blend into your surroundings (including this blog!), which we discovered in the Schnoor, the medieval centre of the city of Bremen in northern Germany.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Barb Bremen Germany Schnoor Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:15:00 GMT
Training Ahhh, the trains! A German Rail pass is the way to go for visitors from the US - and a big discount if 2 travel together. We spent a good part of the day eating, drinking and watching the scenery go by at 300kph while we caught up on the Tour de France.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Germany Trains Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:45:00 GMT
Breakfast at Hermann's Birthday breakfast in the middle of the old town of Limburg. Looks like a nice peaceful way to start the day, that is until a construction crew shows up to install a bike rack and dozens of school kids appear, searching for clues to some kind of scavenger hunt through the altstadt. Afterwards we wandered around the narrow, winding cobbled roads, where you can easily get lost and discover all sorts of odd details in the buildings, many of which are centuries old. Scroll down for my view across the table.



[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Germany Limburg Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:45:00 GMT
Auf die Spitze The Zugspitze is Germany’s Mount Whitney, but with multiple cable car access and a restaurant at the top, teaming with people. The last few meters to the very top required a single file trip up a ladder with the occasional overweight, uncoordinated, anxious climber who looked like they might have a hard time climbing out of bed in the morning, let alone scampering up a skinny ladder bolted to the side of a rock at 3000 meters. It looked downright terrifying. We passed and enjoyed the view from 10 meters lower (more photos at
[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany Zugspitze Sat, 19 Jul 2014 18:00:00 GMT
Dream Riding Amazingly, it’s our last day of riding here in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Friday July 18). The weather was a little warm, but otherwise perfect as we cruised through 80+ miles of spectacular backroads, with a good part of the day spent across the border in neighboring Austria. We got a long workout of a hill. A few cars and motorcycles. 2 roadside cafes. 10 miles of downhill at the end of the day. Like riding in a post card. Play the video for a sample below, featuring Dave, Firouzeh, Barb and me.

from Mark Altenberg on Vimeo.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany cycling Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:03:00 GMT
Crazed King After a morning of riding through the German countryside, we spent the afternoon visiting crazy King Ludwig's Linderhof Palace, one of his favorite residences. Ludwig II almost bankrupted Germany with all of his crazy castle building in the 1800's. Who knew that he would eventually inspire Walt Disney (with Neuschwanstein Castle) and that these outrageous castles and palaces would eventually become some of the biggest tourist attractions in Germany. This is one of the funny little details in the many statues around the palace. (more pics at


[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany Linderhof Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:45:00 GMT
Hofbräuhaus We take a break from the bike riding to visit Munich for the day, a little over an hour away from Garmisch-Partenkirchen by train. We're tourists, so naturally we get trapped in the world famous Hofbräuhaus for the afternoon. We barely speak French and our cycling friends speak little English, but we all find a common language in beer drinking and traditional German beer drinking songs!

Andy shows Steve the difference between a traditional Maß Bier (1 liter) and the wimpy halbes Maß (1/2 liter).

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Germany Hofbrauhaus Munich Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:45:00 GMT
Roadside Action in Bavaria The French contemplate lunch. The Californians do yoga.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany cycling Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:45:00 GMT
Stormy Skies over Garmisch On our first day of cycling around Garmisch-Partenkirchen, we rode 95 miles (80 planned miles + 15 bonus miles for a missed turn) and were visited by no less than 4 separate rain storms, two of which were torrential downpours that made it difficult to see the road!

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany cycling Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:07:00 GMT
Hotel Vertigo It's actually Hotel Königshof in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, our home base for then next week of bike riding with the French tour group, Les Stages du Soliel.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany Sun, 13 Jul 2014 20:15:00 GMT
Garmisch Shops

Guido take note - this optometrist in Garmisch knows how to put his old Campy bike parts to good use.


Hang around the bike shop too long and you just might need to buy something.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Garmisch Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany Sat, 12 Jul 2014 20:58:52 GMT
Munich Airbnb Munich Airbnb

The weather was dreary in Munich, but it was sunny inside our little Airbnb apartment... and under the matching umbrella.


Munich Umbrella

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Airbnb Germany Munich Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:15:00 GMT
San Fran to Munich International Terminal Cafe at SFOOne of the nicer places to hang out at SFO before flying. Just before the fog obliterated the blazing sun outside the cafe.

Cafe at the International Terminal at SFO. Nice place to hang out before a flight (just before the fog obliterated the blazing sun outside the cafe windows).


International Terminal Cafe at SFOOne of the nicer places to hang out at SFO before flying. Just before the fog obliterated the blazing sun outside the cafe.

Airplane or Airstream? Yes! And a Smokey Joe hot dog stand! Only at the Munich Airport, of course. (And the Pratt & Whitney Baujahr is 1957... same as me!)

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Airport Germany Munich Münchin SFO San Francisco Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:05:00 GMT
Canada is Cool  

On top of WhistlerAbove the clouds from the top of Whistler, BC.

In fact, it was well below freezing here… -6°C when we arrived last Sunday, but thankfully warming through the week up to a pleasant 0° and bringing snow finally, towards the end of our 5 day stay. And what spectacular mountains Whistler and it's next door neighbor Blackcomb are... with a mile of vertical drop, the longest runs are about 7 miles! Great village, too, with lots of excellent restaurants and shops and space to walk.

Canada is also wired... lots of free WiFi everywhere. I'm sitting now at Vancouver International Airport on a free WiFi connection with over 56 Mbit of bandwidth!

Picture: Panorama from the top of Whistler, above a sea of clouds.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Blackcomb Canada Skiing Whistler Fri, 13 Dec 2013 22:30:00 GMT
Wild and Wooly Cello

Every now and then my habit of hanging around for a little while after an event, just to see what happens, pays off. This time I was treated to an impromptu solo concert by cello maestro Rushad Eggleston. Included here are a couple of deftly rendered instrumentals mixed in with some of Rushad's wonderfully wacky songs, including the future classic 'I Peed on a Bird'. Unfortunately there's a lot of background noise, but I hope the fun and spontaneity of the performance shines through. Recorded on May 6, 2013 at Burton High School in San Francisco.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Eggleston Rushad Tue, 29 Oct 2013 00:31:19 GMT
Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt Book Fair is the world's largest trade fair for books with over 7000 exhibitors, 100 countries 280,000 attendees over 5 days. It's overwhelming, to say the least, especially to a newcomer. And it's an event with major history, dating back 500 years, to the time of Gutenberg, although it apparently lost significance in the late 17th century with the Enlightenment and re-gained its stature as the most important book fair in Europe after WWII. 

The variety of booths never ceased to amaze, with oddities like the Manga Guides to Science and 'Vorsicht: Buch!' (Danger, Book!) with a video camera that captured kids in montage with a shark video, that was then printed to a flip book, while you wait. Pretty cool!

I was there with Apptology, showing off ReadyEdition, our new product for publishing periodicals to iPhone and iPad and talking to many vendors about digital publishing strategies. The migration of print into the digital world is complex and overwhelming. It may seem like a simple matter of offering books digitally on tablets, but digital publishing brings a huge range of options that can create new and exciting products or make a total disastrous mess of technology. We witnessed a little of both in the making. 

It's October in Frankfurt, so we got our fill of bratwurst, schnitzel and beer while the weekend brought in hundreds of teenagers in role playing costumes, inspired by their favorite books. It was like a giant Halloween party! 

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Book Fair Frankfurt Sat, 12 Oct 2013 21:15:00 GMT
Jan Ullrich Winter Training

Just doing like the Frankfurters do.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Frankfurt cycling Fri, 11 Oct 2013 22:45:00 GMT
Mellow Yellow

On our way home from Vancouver, we stopped near Seattle to visit cousins Jane and Hansel at Sunshine Cottage, where they provide the sunshine when the weather doesn't… meaning usually. (Hey, it's Seattle where 'the sky looks like bad banana baby food'*.)

* Stolen from my favorite Tom Robbins book, Skinny Legs and All.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Jane Seattle Sunshine Cottage Fri, 06 Sep 2013 05:45:00 GMT
Lynn Canyon Hiking the Treetops Lynn Canyon suspension bridge, just north of Vancouver and about 50 meters up.

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Lynn Canyon Vancouver suspension bridge Wed, 04 Sep 2013 02:30:00 GMT
Vancouver to the Sea Actually known as Burrard Inlet, this view is from the Third Beach Seawall in Stanley Park. (Yup, the same guy who they named that hockey championship after.)

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Vancouver Wed, 04 Sep 2013 01:00:00 GMT
Musette Caffe

So today we finally get around to taking a little tip from my cycling pal (and Italian eyeglass purveyor) Gianguido and visit Musette Caffe, which is supposed to be some kind of bike themed coffee joint in Vancouver. We drive around downtown Vancouver looking for the place only to get lost in a series of one way streets and back alleys and suddenly, we're there. And we are not let down. This is a serious bike cafe… I mean it's more like a bike shop or some kind of church of bike aficionados with a cafe inserted in the middle. It overwhelms with bicycle everything as soon as you step in. Fancy racing bikes along with some vintage ones are parked in the entry way. The Vuelta de España is playing on at least 3 screens of various sizes. Musettes (of course!) hang everywhere along with vintage pro jerseys and various display cases packed with all kinds of imaginable bike games, tokens, doodads, paraphernalia and weird stuff like a Lance Armstrong lunch box (signed by Lance) and a set of tiny toy pro bike racers that come in packs of 50 so that you can set up your own mini peloton on the table. Little bike details permeate the place, like the handlebar mounted iPad cash register with celeste (Bianchi green) handlebar tape and the celeste colored cappuccino cups and saucers and a fabulous La Marzocco cappuccino machine, custom painted in, you guessed it, celeste. There's even a 3 tone celeste phone! Inner tubes populate the shelves behind the counter, alongside the coffee. I almost had a panic attack because I didn't have my bike with me and I wasn't wearing any bike clothing. Never fear… there's a hip little bike clothing boutique in the back corner of the cafe, complete with a 6 foot tall sepia toned poster of Fausto Coppi towering over everything. One of my favorite touches, as a photographer and cyclist, was the picture wall at the back of the cafe, which featured a few of Stephan Vanfleteren's stunning and haunting photos of famous Flemish cyclists (including a really sly looking Eddy Merckx). I finally calmed down enough to order a cappuccino, which was expertly made and perfectly topped with a leaf pattern (not sure why it wasn't a chainring pattern, but I guess there are still a few little bike nerdy details to work out.) Meanwhile, I ignored my wife and daughter some more while I chatted with some locals, just back from a ride, wearing their Musette Caffe kits. Turns out it was a father and son (Ian and Christopher) and we related well, both of us fathers having been dragged around the hills by our young racer sons. Apparently there's a lot of great riding around Vancouver… next time we don't leave home without the bikes! Berkeley needs one of these cafes. Seriously.


[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) cycling musette caffe Mon, 02 Sep 2013 05:30:00 GMT
Holy Crap!

Spotted at Whole Foods in Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver...

First thought: 'Holy crap… there's actually a product with this name!'

Second thought: 'Holy crap… it's a gluten free, kosher, organic, high in fiber breakfast cereal!'

Third thought: 'Holy crap… this is amazing!' (and that's how the product got it's name… see

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Holy Crap Sat, 31 Aug 2013 19:00:00 GMT
Portlandia bathroombikeart

You know you're in Portland when you wander into a regular old grocery store and at least half the shoppers are wearing messenger bags, bike shoes or both... the bathroom has bicycle artwork on the wall... and the bar down the street has more steel bike frames above the bar than most bike shops. Oh yeah, and the bike lanes are everywhere and take up at least 1/3rd of the street. The only thing missing is our bikes! (And, of course, our bike friends!)

[email protected] (Mark Altenberg Productions) Portland Fri, 30 Aug 2013 18:00:00 GMT