Blog

The love for photos

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One of the nicest presents to make is photos I think. Printed, framed, collaged, in an album. Either way they celebrate moments and memories, and prevent the disappearance into the world of iPhone photos and iCloud (11.000 and counting on my one year old phone!). Plus it is so much fun to make the gift- not only do you end up recalling so many forgotten moments, but it is also a chance to live your thoughtful and artistic side.

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Taken yesterday at Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair

There are amazing sites on the Internet to design your own photo albums (hugely successful especially with busy parents). Apple has a really pricey but amazing option to create an album with your own iPhotos. More affordable brands include shutterfly.com for those in the U.S.

A very popular tool, that I love to use too, are non-reusable cameras. You can buy them in any CVS Pharmacy or Boots, even underwater ones, and you they throw you right back into your 90s childhood when you parents would get you those because they couldn’t trust you with the real ones. Most photos end up being quiet all right and when you pick them up a week later or so you get them in printed and digital formats. I.e. ready to be glued into a book or sent to friends! This is a great present too, not very expensive either.

The rise of the Polaroid camera! They are back! I remember using my mum’s when I was five or so and now I got my own. I really like the ones that make large Polaroids. They are super to keep in the wallet or to hang them somewhere in your room, as the printed images are not very sensitive or delicate. What I like to do is to collect many and then to put them all in even distances into one big frame, like a work of art that you can hang up and then take with you if you move.

Two meanwhile very underrated mediums are the real old school camera- reusable many many times, you need to bring the film to a real photography store to have it developed. Here I can recommend using black and white films- you’ll get timeless photos for you family albums! The other one are filming devices: recorder only for filming. They require more patience and cannot be printed, but are by far the best way to captivate the daily moments in life (like a kid’s first steps for example).

The newest thing I have heard of and which my boyfriend got me for Christmas is the mini printer from which you can print photos via an app straight from your iPhone. This really is very cool, super easy to use, even for non tech people like me, and so much fun (it makes little noises while printing)!

img_2890A printed photo from my iPhone of my dad and me in Downtown L.A.

A real professional digital reflex camera would be great. Several of my friends have them and their photos are amazing. So I might invest into that next, as I’ve been meeting to since years.

Washington D.C.

I love politics. But this weekend was literally too political.

It was so interesting to be in Washington on this particular Inauguration Day weekend, with the inauguration itself, the news all over social media and then the Women’s March on Saturday. Regardless of what happens next, this weekend will go down in history, of that I am sure.

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We met so many interesting people and heard so many opinions on every imaginable subject. I thought it was very important to hear and realize how different issues matter to different people and how these shape their political objectives. Inauguration itself was of course a very annoying event, with all the “red-necks” as my colleague called them today interfering every time a democrat had the audacity to be called on stage. The weather was grim and YES, it did start raining right when D.T. started giving his speech (going after Michelle here and avoiding names), and not after as he claimed (but if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth, or as we heard yesterday an “alternative fact” right? His speech was one of the scariest things I ever had to witness, reminding me very sadly very much of my own country’s history.

 

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With my cousin and my boy.

Then we went to a the building on 101 Constitution Avenue from where CNN was filming from, which meant that we had an amazing view. While we walked out (around 12.30 pm) we had no trouble leaving the grounds, even though we were a large group of eight people. This already made me wonder whether there were actually that many people present, though it seemed like it whenever we turned around. We later found out that there were barely half as many people as when Obama got inaugurated eight years ago.

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We skipped the service at the National Cathedral the next day, but on Sunday we did something amazing, to counter so much trumpish input on that weekend, so to speak. We went to a drag queen brunch! This was one of the most hilarious and joyful experiences of my life. Basically you get tickets and you reserve a table according to the number of people attending your party, then you get mimosas or bloody marrys and food. Half way in the show starts, with drag queens performing so incredibly well! They really lit the mood on fire and made our day. They sang the best songs in the best costumes and invited the audience to cheer and sing along. I haven’t laughed this much in a long time. Especially when they would come dance with my godfather or my boyfriend. I can really recommend this to anyone living in D.C. or visiting D.C.

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New York

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Most of you have probably been to New York and many of you probably love New York. We all know the catchy phrases like

“The city that never sleeps.”

“If you make it in New York you can make it anywhere.”

or petty much anything from

“Sex and the City.”

Personally, I don’t know New York very well, this is only my third time here, and I really like Washington (smaller, more political), but this time is different. Maybe because I came in from the West coast and am not jet lagged at all or maybe because so many of our friends live here or maybe because our apartment is so super beautiful. Either way, I LOVE IT. Obviously.

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This time I came to work here, so I have more of a purpose and a routine. And I decided I would love to work here (part of my five year plan now). I took the subway and sometimes the bus to go to and from work on the east side and in chelsea, but at night, all our plans were always so close to home, in east village.

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The first night we had dinner at Union Fare, close to Union Square- a very good fancy and cool restaurant, then we went to a bar called Bar 13 and finally to Drexler’s, which sounds very German I think. All within walking distance! The program for the next nights included Zinc Bar- where we heard an amazing Jazz Concert-, Broadway, other bars, restaurants and a dance performance/happening. So the day I move to New York I definitely want to live in East Village.

 

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Lars Haake Quartet on Wednesday night at Zinc Bar.

Six days was far from enough, but we saw the Guggenheim, we walked on the High Line, Chelsea Market, the MoMA, the Met, the Neue Gallery, the Frick Collection, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Ground Zero, which is a pretty good start I think. The next time I want to tackle the galleries and artsy places in Chelsea, like David Zwirner and Hauser&Wirth.

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I love the Guggenheim.

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Me having my blood pressure taken at the Guggenheim.

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Me at Union Square.

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The view onto Ground Zero.

I hope to be back very soon New York!

 

 

A musical interlude

I had an interesting conversation with friends in the car this morning, on how our way to work about how listening to music has changed. This got me thinking: when was the last I listened to a CD the way I used to, home alone in my room, and not in my car while driving and talking. When did I last just and only concentrate on the music? That must have been in my second year at college, so like five years ago or so. This realisation really shocked me, but when I thought about my next opportunity to do exactly this, I realised that I do not have my music station with its to loudspeakers anymore. I remember when I got it from my dad and my grandparents and how cool it was at the time and how happy I was and how much I used it. And now it’s not even in my room anymore. I probably gave it to my brother when we moved, I will check next time I’m home. Apparently playing music directly from my phone or laptop was way cooler.

Now this makes me sad, I miss my CD collection and the concentrating on one artist and a particular album for an hour or several hours at a time. I miss opening the CD and putting it into the CD player. I miss giving and receiving CDs. Even though I still do receive some, but then I tend to take them into the car with me.

And all this coming from someone who’s parents are very musical and who loves live music in all shapes and forms.

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This photo was taken at a concert outside on Milano in an old castle. I really try to go to as many live music events as possible, as I believe that live is always the best version of music. And the feeling that goes with it is indescribable.

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This was taken at a Bruce Springsteen concert in Germany a couple of years back, the feeling and the rush of the many people all singing along the same song is breathtaking. Can’t wait to be back in that arena in the summer for the next Coldplay tour!

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This is a photo of one of my dad’s songs. He plays Jazz and all his pages look like this- not readable for someone like me who learned to play classical music- to me it’s the most complicated music. There is a theme that all the musicians playing a certain song but then there is so much improvising, I don’t know how they never get lost and always know exactly where each musician is. Listening to Jazz is quite something. You really feel it deep in your body.

All this to tell you that seeing as I can’t go to concerts all the time, I think it’s about time to revive the CD era!

On the importance of reading

And no I don’t mean reading on your phone or the news on your computer when you come into work. Or like me, participating in a book club but only reading half the book every time and instead bringing a bottle of wine to distract everyone from what we came here to do. I mean really reading. An entire book. For me biographies are the best. Biographies are informative and entertaining as the same time and they allow you great insights into someone’s life, thoughts and ideas. So I encourage everyone to read the biographies of the people you admire or that you are interested in! As you can tell I am a huge Obama fan. For example I loved all the books Obama wrote. “Dreams from my Father” is particularly moving because it shows really nicely where he came from (from Hawaii to Indonesia to the U.S.A. to Kenya).

“The Audacity of Hope” is amazing too of course; also I love the strong title.

 

The other medium that is really important to read is newspapers. Have you tried reading an (almost) entire newspaper lately? Do you know how much text there is? I find is very impressive that they write and print so many articles over night, every night. And our parents and grandparents grew up reading the papers every day! Some members of my family still do, or try to anyways. Sadly, many news outlets are in financial difficulties now, so all the more reason to buy and read them regularly! You will get local information you wouldn’t otherwise have and you are forced to actually concentrate on something for longer than three minutes yayy! Or depending on how quickly you can read maybe longer even. Newspapers allow you to go further into the matter in front of you. I feel that all the online articles are written specifically for a quick read, whereas newspapers still give you all the real insight. In L.A. I like to read the Los Angeles Times, also because our neighbors who’ve moved out still get it every week, in Germany I like the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and in London I like The Guardian. The ultimate thing to do is to read several newspapers from different political background to get the full picture. But one thing at a time..

The other kind of newspaper I really like are the street newspapers (papers sold by homeless people). Many cities have seriously good ones. In Munich I used to always buy BISS and in London the Big Issue, which I still do every time I go back. Many of their articles are very honest, critical and insightful. And they put things back into perspective. Which I like. It’s important in life to stay grounded, humble and thankful for everything we’ve got.

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First blog post

This is my very first blog post! I have written essays and articles and public comments but never my very own blog post on my very own website! I am very excited. I want to tell you about more about how I had the idea to create my own blog. Being a very 90s girl I love the Internet and my phone and social media. Sometimes a bit too much. When you look at your phone in the morning before saying hello to the person next to you? That’s when the feeling started creeping in that my phone was taking over my life.

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Simultaneously, looking at photos of friends and famous people all day long makes you compare yourself to others too much, for no reason and even though they might be on the other side of the world and have nothing in common with the life you might live. Therefore I want to try to concentrate on the good things in life again. Like art, really good food you love, talking to your friends face to face, spending time alone, sleeping well, reading a good book or a print newspaper and drinking nice white tea (or good red wine for that matter :)). The list is endless and very different for everyone reading this, but I think we can all agree that this world is spinning too fast at the moment and that we should all take a time out once in a while.

When was the last time you sat in a church alone, just to admire the impressive architecture? When was the last time you went out for a meal alone just to be able to really taste it? When is the last time you really took the time to see an exhibition in full? Or the last time you actually read the daily paper back to front? I hope this blog will inspire you all to do some of these things.

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