Posted: February 2nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

casa da musica

two weekends ago we went to porto with some friends. it’s where they make port wine. porto is the 2nd largest city in portugal, and from what we saw it looks like it has hit some hard times. there are loads of large ornate buildings that are abandoned with broken windows, boarded up, and dirty. it seems like maybe 50 or 80 years ago porto was really on it. as with all large portuguese cities it’s got some really cool modern stuff too. the metro is clean and new, they have high speed train access to lisbon, and there is a concert hall designed by rem koolhaas called casa da musica. rem koolhaas also designed a spaceship-like library in seattle so it was cool to see another building in the same style, and after seeing both, i think that casa da musica is better.

here are some photos from our trip.


Posted: January 22nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

in lisbon people don’t pick up after their dogs. they just don’t do it. so, there is dog shit everywhere and you need to always be on your game otherwise you lose.

today i had a meeting with a new client. they welcomed me in, i sat down at their conference table and took off my jacket. then i smelled something bad. i looked around for a second hoping to find something other than the big hunk of wet mushy dog shit flopping off of my shoe. great first impression, me waddling out of their office on the way to the bathroom to scrub some dog’s shit off of my shoe.

new year

Posted: January 22nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Lisbon Holiday Lights from mattquann on Vimeo.

welcome to 2010. here is a video from last year illustrating how the portuguese decorate lisbon in lights for the holidays. apparently this year’s decorations weren’t anywhere near as good as in previous years. they really like their lights.

also, here is a video of some rain. it has been raining here a bunch. much more than seattle. heavy rain for days on end, sheets of rain, raining sideways, killing everyone’s umbrellas.

Rain from mattquann on Vimeo.

val d’isere

Posted: December 30th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


for xmas e had some days off, so we decided to roll the dice with some early season (for europe) snowboarding. we flew to geneva, and took a 4 hour bus ride into the french alps to a town called val d’isere. i’ve noticed that when flying to and from portugal, everyone claps when the plane lands like it’s the end of a concert. it’s a little weird but fun.

the first day it snowed with very little visibility and lots of wind, but then the next few days it cleared up and unlike mountains that we’re used to in the states, it didn’t get tracked out after 3 hours. i think it stayed untracked because about 75% of the people there were british beginner skiers.

to be more clear, val d’isere is the town we stayed in, and the area that we rode is called espace killy and it includes the ski area of val d’isere and tignes and is huge. here’s a trailmap.

here are some photos from our trip. it was fun.


Posted: December 17th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: lisbon | 2 Comments »


last night at 1:37am there was an magnitude 5.7 earthquake 165 miles southwest of lisbon. it didn’t wake me up, but it woke up e, who then woke me up. i just felt the end of it which was like a bus driving down the street, and i could see the old tv antennas out the window wiggling. there was no damage reported from the earthquake.

LX factory

Posted: December 16th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: lisbon | No Comments »


last weekend we went to see a poster show at a place called the LX factory, (which is pronounced el sheesh factory, x=sheesh in portuguese). i thought the LX factory was a club/music venue, but it turns out that it’s an old industrial site under the ponte 25 de abril (golden gate bridge) that now houses creative firms, shops, cafes, events and work spaces. one of the coolest shops there is a bookstore called ler devegar (read slowly). it’s a big lofted space with a huge printing press on the second floor that has a cafe built in and around it.


here are some photos from the LX factory and our walk there.

monster trucks

Posted: December 14th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »


for the past month there have been posters up around the city promoting a monster truck show. yesterday we were exploring a different part of lisbon (LX factory, more on that later) and we kept hearing loud engine sounds. i wanted to see what it was, but we were at the LX factory to see a poster exhibit, so we wandered around for an hour and then finally found the exhibit on the 3rd floor of a building there. once we were on the 3rd floor we could see the monster truck show.

i’ve only been to 1 monster truck show, i was about 9, i was in mississippi, and bigfoot was the big attraction. the monster truck show here in lisbon looked a little amateurish compared to what i remember, and judging by the empty seats i’d say that it’s not too popular either.

last night it got down to 1 degree. that’s just above freezing, and i’m pretty sure our apt was only in the 40′s this morning, and this morning while i was reading an article about the cold weather in the portuguese news i read this (translated):

“The ANPC also advises the use of several layers of clothing, which should not be very fair, not to perform intense physical activities and contact 112 immediately for signs of hypothermia.”

not to perform intense physical activities? it got up to about 50 degrees here today. i agree that it’s cold at night, but avoid exercise? i’m surprised later in the article it didn’t say, “smoke a cigarette when you start to feel cold”.

stone age

Posted: December 10th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


last weekend we visited coimbra. it’s 2 hours north of lisbon and is known mostly for its university, which is one of the oldest in the world. it was founded in 1290. 1290 is a really long time ago. what did they teach in 1290?

on saturday we drove to the small mountain town of lousã and set out for a little hike up to talasnal a “schist village” which e swears isn’t schist but phyllite (schist is a type of rock)…  the village is made entirely out of stone, and people live there, or at least live there on the weekends and there is a bar, pension, and a little snack bar/shop. that’s it. also, of course there was a castle. it was at the beginning of the hike. here are some photos from our trip.


Posted: December 7th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


i’d like to introduce you to my new favorite fruit. it’s called a dióspiro in portuguese, and apparently it’s dióspiro season here because they are in the produce stores now. i bought a few really ripe ones today, so doce and boa.


Posted: December 3rd, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »


these just arrived at the grocery store down the street. they taste like a chips ahoy but not as good. how could i not buy it?  it has ”cookies” in english and the american flag.