Tag Archives: Germany

Bits of Berlin

15 years ago, we first visitied Berlin. Before we were engaged, before we were married, before cruise ships swept us away to sea. It was like a new universe and only the third time I ever visited a country outside of the United States.

Being musically obsessed and a Detroiter, I wanted to seak out every open mic and dive bar in the city. Odd, with all the construction and improvements from WWII, we had no problems finding an abundance of both. On our way to one open jam in the Hackersmarkt neighborhood, we had some tapas at a tiny place called Yo Soy! The bartender told us fabulous stories of his father living on the former East Side, being arrested in the night by the KGB, the wall coming down and how much work was ahead of them (even in the early 2000’s) to create a unified, updated and modern Berlin. We stayed and talked to Tom for way too long and missed the jam.

When we walked into the Blue Note (yes, there’s one in Berlin too), the band was already wrapping up. I overheard the piano player working out the melody to Stardust… He was great, but didn’t quite know the tune. So, I bravely walked up beside him and started singing it in his ear. He turned & the trumpet player next to him said, “This big voice comes from this tiny girl?” And, a 15 year long distance friendship began.

Melissa Behring Lionel Haas Live Jazz Jam Berlin Germany

Lionel Haas, was that keyboard player. We went to ACCUD Jazz Cafe after that to play music with the Africans. After that, we met up at a few other clubs around Berlin where each time I sat in and sang a variety of jazzy numbers that both Lionel and I were familiar with.

Melissa Behring Lionel Haas Berlin Jazz Jam Top Hat

Fast forward to 2019, and I find yet another opportunity to visit Berlin. I called up Lionel and low and behold, of course he had a gig I could sit in on at a club called the Top Hat next to the Zoo train stop. Ironically, it was right under the train tracks. It was like we no time passed, except we were both older and a bit more musically mature.

We played a few songs together and are excited to work on some new material together in 2020. I’ll be back in Germany in April and hope Hamburg will hold as much excitement as it did for us in 2016 and back in 2004 too.


You never know where you are going to make friends and sometimes there will be miles and years between your in person connections, but being open and keeping in touch on the internet sure does help.

street art series

All over the world artists choose to create directly on the walls, buildings and streets. This series is dedicated to those works of art that eventually get painted over. Generally this artform, graffiti aka street art is unappreciated and thought of as a disfiguration to the wall it’s placed upon.


Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Get Some Great George Clinton Graffiti Art For Your Pad

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Cancun, Mexico

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

Warnemunde, Germany

Cobh, Cork County, Ireland

Tallinn, Estonia

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Tallinn, Estonia

Rostock, Germany

Christiansand, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansand, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christiansand, Copenhagen, Denmark

Glasgow, Scotland

Williamsted, Curaçao

The Next Ship Gig

So, here’s where we are going this next week. We are just waiting on our flight details to arrive from Princess and we’ll be setting sail for another fun adventure.

Emerald Princess Contract 2013
Emerald Princess Contract 2013
  • St Petersburg, Russia
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Aarhus, Denmark
  • Warnemünde, Rostock, Germany
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Kristiansand, Norway
  • Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland, UK
  • Belfast, Ireland, UK
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Qaqortoq, Greenland
  • Halifax, NS, Canada
  • New York, NY
  • Newport, RI
  • Boston, MA
  • Bar Harbor, ME
  • St John’s, NL, Canada
  • Sydney, NS, Canada
  • Charlottetown, PE, Canada
  • Quebec City, QC, Canada
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Castries City, St Lucia
  • Bridgetown, Barbados
  • St Christopher Island, Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • St Thomas 00802, USVI
  • Nassau, The Bahamas
  • Roseau, Dominica
  • St Georges, Grenada
  • Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands
  • Oranjestad, Aruba
  • More Costa Rican Adventures

    Once we completed all 25 lines, they drove us back to the headquarters in air conditioned vans. After being out in the rain forest heat and humiditiy all day, the cool air felt amazing. We arrived to find a full jug of cool water and glasses for everyone to drink. They also had a full bar with icy cold beer for purchase. After hanging around for 15 minutes more, the hostess had a lovely lunch prepared for everyone. The choices were beef, chicken or fish (Mahi Mahi) accompanied by red beans, rice, cooked veggies and a cole slaw type salad. Everyone was starving from the long day in the rain forest and grateful for the grub.

    Costa Rica
    Costa Rica

    After we ate, I walked out to the courtyard where they have a nice hammock and laid down for a short nap. Some of the other guys went on another zip line where you were strapped in by two cables and actually lay on your stomach… When they push off, the guys were actually flying like superman.

    I talked to the hostess for a bit. She was originally from Germany and spent many years as a flight attendant. She and her husband relocated to Costa Rica because it was the most beautiful place she had ever been. They built the business because when she was crew attending for strangers so often, she always wanted a quiet place to go when she was not on the plane. I’m grateful for her lovely place and would have enjoyed spending a night in her bed and breakfast cabins as the area offered many other great activities that we are missing out on because of our short shore leave.