Tuesday, 26 May 2009

corner view // cityscapes // berlin, germany

i love the big open, forests, rivers and lakes, the sea, the sky, landscapes to get lost in. the way they make me go all still and happy-sad inside. but still, i'm an urban girl at heart. i love berlin, the untidyness of it, the way it took me a while to warm to it, the way i still meet friends on the streets although it's a big city. i can't tell you if i like the gritty, urban places better than the green and pretty ones. i guess it's the mixture, really.

here are some impressions, taken while riding my bike through the city: haus des lehrers (house of the teacher) on alexanderplatz, a view towards the television tower from behind hackescher markt, an abandoned sausage stand, a wallpaper/graffiti nearby saying 'sausage bandits' (it has disappeared now - what a shame!).

p.s.: on second thought, i have a feeling the selection of my pictures for this week's corner view may a bit on the grey side. but i trust you'll notice that berlin is also very green, sunny and friendly when browsing through this and my other blog. don't let the grit put you off my favourite town!

thanks to jane at spain daily, there are many more corner views around the world you could stop by. try these...

Sunday, 24 May 2009

oh architecture

there are so many beautiful buildings to be admired. often i look at them and am really grateful for those architects who thought them up and the many people who helped realising their plans. one of my favourite buildings in berlin is haus der kulturen der welt (house of world cultures), a real midcentury-modern gem. there's a post about it over on my other blog, mostly berlin.

today was very sunny and i started my day with some coffee and raisin toast for breakfast, then cycled over to the museum, where i was helping out in the book shop this weekend. loved it. but ouch, my feet are hurting.

the pictures were taken some time ago at the house of world cultures. sadly, one of the hinges of those much-loved vintage sunglasses has since broken and i'll have to find out if it can be fixed.

anyway, time to snuggle up on the sofa with a blanket now. have a good start to your week! 

Saturday, 23 May 2009

gallery weekend

only now finding the time to upload some of the pictures i took at berlin gallery weekend with the old camera. from 1-3 may, many important art galleries hosted openings and events. on sunday, 3 may, seven berlin galleries joined up with an international gallery each and held the event 7x2 in an old building on karl-marx-allee, not far from alexanderplatz. the buildings on that major thoroughfare were built in the 1950s as 'palaces for the people', modelled on the grand stalinist-era avenues in moscow. in a way, the buildings may seem daunting, but the apartments are now really sought after. they are quite spacious and light, with parquet flooring, some of them even have a view of the television tower on alexanderplatz. the pictures show moments from the 7x2 event, some of them giving you a glimpse of one of those apartments, where 'texte zur kunst', a contemporary art magazine, have their offices. lots of people were there, many of them with kids. the light that day was amazing. i'm glad i went.

(the picture of the kids playing with confetti was taken at the haubrok collection - the confetti was in fact an artwork and the children were allowed to play with it. more info here.) 

am a bit tired, so maybe this doesn't sound too inspired, but i wanted to share these pictures with you anyway. hope you'll bear with me... :)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

corner view // coffee // berlin, germany

i used to hate coffee. only started drinking it out of sheer politeness when i was at uni and had a cleaning job where i was offered very strong filter coffee every single time i was working (which was several times a week) and couldn't think of a clever, unoffensive way of saying 'no'. so it kind of happened. somewhere along the way it really grew on me. 

it may have also helped that i have that one specific, very lovely coffee-related memory of my father making my mother a cup of coffee every morning - plus one for himself -, taking it to her to have in bed. he'd sit by her bedside and they'd talk before the day started. and their days were usually quite busy (have i mentioned i have five brothers and sisters?). the routine has changed since, but they still have their coffee together. 

then however, i had years where my job nearly ate me up and i had too much coffee trying to deal with that. lately, i have cut down my caffeine intake to nearly zero for health reasons but i still like to have it as a treat. i'll go to one of my favourite cafés, grab a magazine and order my coffee. i took my pictures doing just that. hmmm.

now, as to jane's questions: 

how do you say "two coffees with milk" in your corner?
"zwei milchkaffee bitte"

what are the most popular ways to drink coffee?
in germany, i reckon most people drink filter coffee, with milk and sugar. most people have filter coffee machines at home as well as in the office. more often than not it sits on the hot plate far too long and tastes hideous. cafés and restaurants tend to serve italian-style coffee

how do you take your coffee?
milk, no sugar
my favourite is espresso macchiato

french press, percolator, espresso, or other?
i'm the proud owner of a stove-top espresso maker, french press and not-so-proud owner of a standard filter coffee maker

are you a dunker?

what was the funniest topic of conversation over a recent cup of coffee?
comparing waistlines after dinner. not exactly uplifting, but causing quite a lot of giggling...

see how other people drink their coffee around the world here:

the old garden

around this time last year we went to usedom, an island in the baltic sea and stayed in a friend's house. there and then, i fell in love with the old garden and the shed. this is how i would like my allotment to look if i'll ever get round to having one. the house itself it refurbished with all mod cons, but i love the charm of the old, unchanged bits. they quietly tell their stories. a shame though that places like these are ever harder to find these days.

Monday, 18 May 2009

and next up

haven't seen any lilacs for some days now, they've quietly gone, it seems. which makes me a little sad. but then again, peonies are up next - and that's quite alright by me!

Sunday, 17 May 2009


the sun's shining, very tempting indeed. BUT before i can go out for a coffee today, i'll have to make some important lists (so i can sleep better at night) and do some serious work. so much to do...  - sometimes i think i'm a time-fritterer. where, oh where does it go? into the big black hole? i want to keep it but that's pointless, isn't it? maybe just savour it more and enjoy every little drop of it.

having that cup of coffee and reading some magazines should be a good enough incentive to get cracking. i'm off...

p.s.: here are some very sweet wedding photos by n.y.-based photographer jennifer causey. also see her work at simply photo and simply breakfast. i'm a very big fan. enjoy!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

more film

remember i told you about our day trip to sacrow, when we took the ferry across wannsee and cycled to sacrow to see the church and then on to sacrower lake for a picnic (where the photos in that post below were taken)? well, i took some pictures of the church as well, again using cross-processing. i know my friends sometimes have to roll their eyes at me lately for lugging around two cameras and taking pictures all the time. they have a point. but i just had to take home some memories of that lovely day. 

Thursday, 14 May 2009

on film

finally gotten round to have some film developed. these pictures were taken again with the old SLR on our day trip to sacrow. i used colour transparency film which i had cross-processed. the colours are quite surreal. i think these shots look almost like stills from an imaginary 1970s super-8 film.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

corner view // great outdoors // berlin, germany

berlin is a place with many contrasts, you have the dark and gritty places, the leafy squares with playgrounds and farmers markets, the big urban plazas, the underground, the trams and buses, the parks, the lakes, lots of old buildings but also big concrete slab apartment blocks. old people, young people, districts with very distinct and very different faces. that way, berlin is certainly no different to other big citys. but i love that it's so easy here to reach everything by public transport or bike. it'll take a while yet for me to get tired of it.

sometimes though, when i need a bit of green, i either take the s-bahn to one of the lakes in and around berlin, drive up to the baltic sea with friends or visit my parents who live by the north sea. if all fails - on my street, the sidewalks are very wide and many people have little make-shift terraces out there with tables, chairs and flower pots: i've got one, too. so friends come round, we'll sit outside, have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and chat with the neighbours passing by. 

in lieu of captions - i don't seem to be able to get my head around doing them 'properly':

top: a berlin 'terrace' on the sidewalk
next two down: breakfast at a friend's weekend house and the beach on usedom, an island in the baltic sea that's half german, half polish
bottom two: goats and sheep near my parents' home, having fun with my nephew

thanks as always to jane at spain daily for organising the corner views. take a look at other corners around the world:

Monday, 11 May 2009

very tired indeed

this weekend was (almost) all about work, i had a deadline this morning. handed over, phew. now i'm very, very tired, didn't get all that much sleep. to spare you from mindless, sleep-deprivation induced ramblings, i'll just show you a couple of photos i took last year at berlin's first abc-show (art berlin contemporary). the big white thing you see is a monumental hamster-wheel for humans. people were queuing up to have a go. i for my part feel like i'm inside that hamster-wheel often enough as it is... (only joking, i love my work!)

(the blue stack is a piece by thomas rentmeister made from paper tissue packs.)