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…there was the House of Hungarian Wines in Budapest.

One year later, it was followed by a night at the Cool Kids Bar in Brussels.

And this year, we hit up the North Shield Pub in Istanbul, where everyone was feeling friendly on their first drink.

The North Shield: Drink #1

By drink number two, Emily was already looking forward to drink number three, Rebecca was politely trying to discourage her from doing so (in an attempt to avoid the debauchery of last year’s events at the Cool Kids Bar), Harry was amusing himself by being sexually suggestive with items from our basket of fried foods, and KB was completely over the whole affair.

The North Shield: Drink #2

Trouble in Coupleville started at drink number three, with Rebecca shooting Harry the stink-eye (also known as the “I think you’ve had enough” face), and Emily making fun of KB’s inability to keep up. Yes, Emily and KB are a couple when they travel together. Hot!

The North Shield: Drink #3

And then came the violence of drink number four. Or at least the violence of Harry, Rebecca, and Emily, while KB tried to flag down our waiter for the check.

The North Shield: Drink #4

Drink number five caused drowsiness… which, apparently, didn’t stop Emily from being able to hold up her beer. KB benefited by enjoying the entire second basket of fried foods all by herself.

The North Shield: Drink #5

When all was said and done though, the love kicked back in with our sixth and final drink of the night. So much, in fact, that Harry felt comfortable placing his hand on his wife’s chest for the photo, thus proving that Rebecca was also drunk enough to be okay with it.

And then Emily and KB made out… but we’ll save those photos for another time.

The North Shield: Drink #6

Can’t wait for next year’s rounds,

-Shady

Last February, after the Berlinale, KB and I took a side trip to Budapest with our good friend Emily. While there, we visited the House of Hungarian Wines, where this happened.

On this year’s post-Berlinale adventure, KB, Emily, and I were joined by our good friend Rebecca. The four of us decided to drive to Brussels for a quick three-night/four-day Belgian trip.

We hit up a ton of bars during our short stay, but there was one bar in particular that we really wanted to get into. We dubbed it “The Cool Kids Bar,” not because that’s what it was called, but because every time we’d try and go it would be packed with people who would just stare out the windows at us, as if to say, “Not for you, Americans. You are neither cool nor kids.”

But on our last night there we tried one last time… and found an open table!

We went in and toasted our first beers of the evening to the Cool Kids Bar.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink One.

By the second round, Emily was already getting bored with the conversation.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Two.

By the third beer, KB was falling asleep at the table. I know, big shock.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Three.

By beer number four, KB was down for the count, which encouraged some bribery and pranks between Emily and Rebecca.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Four.

By our fifth beer, KB exploded from her sleep coma with fisticuffs!

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Five.

But by our sixth and final round, the girls were friends again.

The Cool Kids Bar in Brussels: Drink Six.

And then they made out.

I’m not sharing those photos,

-Shady

PS: If you ever find yourself in Brussels, the bar is actually called Au Daringman.

…I don’t think I’d enter the bar in Berlin that has this scary painting on its door.

Not... sure... what's... happening... here.

I guess they’ve been warned,

-Shady

I recently came across some old photos I shot over the last twenty years or so.

Rather than let them sit on a CD for the rest of my life I figured I’d save them to my desktop, dust them off, and share them with you guys one image at a time.

Hope you enjoy them.

"Marla at the Shady Bar"

Marla at the Shady Bar

I shot this image of Marla in July 2000.

She’s sitting at my grandparents’ basement bar at 905 E. Doty Place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sitting on the bar behind her is an old Schlitz bar lamp, and just above her is a vintage PBR lamp. My grandmother moved out that house in 2002, about a year after my Grandpa Shady died, and I have no clue what happened to those lamps. I do know that I would’ve loved to have grabbed them.

Hey, at least I got the steer horns and the tiger head, right?

Anyway, five of us (Jamie Coulson, Milan Zori, Jason Latta, Dave Crosland and myself, to be exact) drove up to Milwaukee that summer from Columbus, Ohio for a Fourth of July getaway. We took in Summerfest, visited with my family, and drank. A lot. A whole shit-ton, in fact.

Marla had been in Florida with her family when we drove up, so she flew in later in the week from Orlando. Marla is perpetually cold, so seeing her in a winter hat in the dead of summer isn’t that odd. In her defense, my grandparents probably had their AC blasting.

During that trip, a massive thunderstorm rolled through, and with it came a tornado warning. In the middle of it, we realized my grandparents only had non-alcoholic beer in their fridge. And so, in pouring down rain and with sirens blaring, we ventured out into the storm to pick up a case of shitty beer. Probably Red Dog.

This photo may (or may not) have been shot on that night, as we rode out the storm from the safety of my grandparents’ basement.

Years later, Marla and I would date. Years after that, we would breakup. And even more years later (to be read: the present day), we would remain great friends.

It’s hard to believe I’ve known Marla (and Milan, actually) for fifteen years now, and I’m grateful that we’ve remained close this long.

The image was shot on 120 negative film with my Mamiya RB67. I shot a bunch of images of my friends during that trip (you’ll probably see some of Jamie wearing a cowboy hat later on), but this might be the only one of Marla sitting at the bar. Or maybe not. Time has a way of blurring those kinds of details.

You can expect to see more images from this trip at some point in the future.

I miss that basement,

-Shady

And that’s why I’m sitting in a bar in Chicago instead of on a train to Milwaukee,

-Shady

…that not only has a drink named “The Jenna Jameson,” but also uses the word “pucker” in its description.

Visit the Crooked Kilt in Paso Robles,

-Shady

…because on the day I interviewed Cee-Lo Green for this article, I was fortunate enough to have a few drinks with him at a bar later that night.

I have no proof that any of this actually took place other than this one photo I shot with my phone. A kid came up and asked for an autograph… which Cee-Lo gladly gave him while using him as a table.

Then again, I’m not really in the photo so I could be lying. Or am I?!?

I know it’s real,

-Shady

Old Poop!