The Outdoors Blog

What No One Tells You About Oktoberfest in Munich

December 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Posted by: Samuel Phineas Upham

Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival that encompasses the entirety of Munich. The festival has been a staple of Bavarian culture since 1810, and it has spawned sister celebrations the world over. If you’re planning on attending, here are some little known facts that will help the tourist blend in with the locals.

Bring Cash

You will need cash to buy refreshments. The good news is that ATMs are everywhere, but they carry hefty fees for the unprepared. If you don’t want to pay the convenience fees for withdrawals, hit a bank ahead of time.

Pace Yourself

The point of Oktoberfest is to drink and eat, but if you don’t pace yourself you’ll end up passed out on the sidewalk. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal your first time, but there is so much to see and do that you will want to pace yourself to get the most of your experience.

Reserving Space

As you walk the grounds of Munich you’ll notice tents everywhere. If you want a spot at these tents, book it now. Spots go quickly, and people from outside Munich book their seats years in advance.

Looking the Part

Everyone will be in Liederhosen, so if you don’t want to be the oddball, plan to pick up some traditional Bavarian garb and get in the mood. Don’t be shy about singing either, you’ll find that something about bellowing off key helps your drunk.

BONUS: Transportation

You can choose to get home from the underground or the cabs. Cabs may also be booked at last-call, so be sure to flag someone down before the festival calls it quits for the day. The underground will be full of some very drunk, and very sick people.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn.

5 Mind Blowing Facts about Istanbul

December 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Posted by Phineas Upham

Istanbul is having a moment of resurgence. The once sprawling wonderland of ancient times went from being a developing  city to something truly artistic and beautiful.  It’s one of the most affordable and beautiful destinations for tourists around the world, and here are some amazing sights you can still see today.

The Seven Hills

Istanbul was fashioned in the model of Rome, with the city spread across seven hill faces. Each hill is dotted with an imperial mosque at the top that overlooks the valley below. This most likely also served a defensive purpose, but it makes for some beautiful sunset scenes in modern day Turkey.

Subway System

Turkey contains one of the oldest working subway systems in the entire world. The line, built in 1875 is still heavily trafficked. It is the second-oldest subterranean system in the world, beat out by the London Underground built in 1863.

Grand Bazaar

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar marketplace can trace its roots back to biblical times. It is spread out across 61 city blocks, features over 3,000 shops and services almost a half-million visitors a day.


Surprisingly, Istanbul ranks as one of the nations with the most billionaires. Forbes measured 34 billionaires in Istanbul, ranking number four in the world overall.

Agatha Christie

Novelist Agatha Christie wrote her famous book “Murder on the Orient Express” in Istanbul. The writer stayed at the Pera Palas Hotel while she wrote.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.

Artificial Grass Greens Bring Your Golf Game Up to Par

December 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Golfers know that the best way to improve their scores is to work on their short game. Being able to chip and putt the ball accurately can take strokes off of anyone’s scorecard. Practicing your chipping and putting usually means taking your clubs to the course and hitting their practice green. For busy golfers, this can be tough to do on a regular basis and their games can suffer as a result.

Now imagine if you were able to practice your short game at home anytime you wanted to. This can be a reality if you install your own practice green in your backyard. It might seem like this is something that only belongs in the backyards of millionaires, but anyone can afford to build their own putting green thanks to the low cost of buying artificial grass wholesale. It doesn’t take a lot of money to add a unique feature to your home that you’ll use again and again.

You have many different choices when it comes to selecting the right type of artificial grass for your putting surface. However, not all artificial turfs are right for use as a practice green. You’ll want to look for artificial grasses that have certain qualities:

Flatness: You want to practice your putting on a smooth surface — otherwise, uneven rolls can lead to putts going offline. This will leave you unable to properly gauge your putting. Certain types of artificial grasses offer flatness and provide a smoother roll.

High Density: Your putting green is going to get a lot use and have a lot of foot traffic over the years. You’ll want to select a high density artificial turf material that can withstand being used frequently without getting worn out.

Protection from the Sun: When you install a putting green in your backyard, it’s going to be exposed to direct sunlight on a regular basis. You want to make sure that the type of artificial turf you select will maintain its healthy, natural look even after exposure to UV rays from the sun.

Before installing your putting green, you’ll want to check with an artificial grass supplier to see which types of turf are right for your needs. You may also want to put in a second type of turf with longer blades if you would like to simulate the fringe of the green or chipping from off of the green. Once you have your turf selected, installing your turf and getting your putting green finalized is a breeze.

This article was written by CCGrass Landscapes. CCGrass Landscapes is a leading supplier of artificial grass landscape supplies and turf.

Visiting the Mourne Mountains

December 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Posted by Phineas Upham

Getting to the Mourne Mountains is much easier after reading “In the Kingdom of Mourne,” by writer Eric Weinberger. What are the Mournes? Weinberger explains: “The Mourne Mountains are the anomaly of south Down—rugged, rocky, inhospitable peaks in otherwise tranquil farming country. Forming a crescent across the map, they run down to the sea for only a brief stretch between Newcastle and Annalong, and again along a much lower ridge at Rostrevor, on Carlingford Lough.”

This short, but jam-packed article is a great travel piece on the area, offering the reader a beautiful description of the mountains, the local villages, and great attractions. But most importantly, he offers blueprints for a great vacation, whether you want to drive or hike.

There are three main ways you can explore the area: by car, bus, or by foot. Weinberger provides information about all three ways into the Mournes. According to the article, the only way to get deep into the mountains is by foot. The writer goes on a nine mile hike across the mountain range “to the sea.” Instead of taking the popular route, he takes the road less travelled and gets to see Shimna valley.

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