BOS: : Photographs/Expatica : :TON

BerliNoir, March 2008 May 2, 2008

Filed under: pictures — DLR @ 8:51 pm
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Blurring Lines:

Emily at Rosenthaler Platz U-Bahn station

Pic 1: This is a nice picture of Emily at Rosenthaler Platz U-Bahn station, along with the train coming onto the platform behind her. The long exposure means a nice blurry train, but also a slightly blurry Emily in the foreground. One of my favourites this time, but perhaps would be better on less grainy Ilford film (as in the last roll).

Rosenthaler Pl. at night time, with car headlampsPic 2: Rosenthaler Platz from St Oberholz, again with the issue that it was a long exposure and thus slightly blurry overall. The car headlamps streaming across the centre of the picture, and the lines on the road, are a satisfying pattern nonetheless.

Pic 3: Norweger Straße, the street along which the Wall ran. This is more a German-language convoluted joke. That the Wall used to be on this street and that there is a sign stating Keine Wendemöglichkeit is amusing but requires too much explanation here, I think!Norweger Straße, near home


The Merry Pahppins Dick van Dyke School for the Accent-Challenged April 24, 2008

Filed under: words — DLR @ 2:31 pm
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Take a look over here, boys and girls.

It is true that there are many Anglophile Americans (“Amurkins”), but it is also true that – as an Americophile British person (“Brit”) – the Merry Pahppins school of American actorly attempts at British accents does not really appeal to me.

Strangely, I’ve only encountered (the occasional) smart, well-informed, Europhile Amurkins attempting such shenanigans. But trust me: if you are a smart, well-informed Amurkin who helps counter the stereotypically negative foreign (“fourn”) image of the States, then affecting a “cor blimey Merry Pahppins” inflection simply reverses any progress you might otherwise make.

To quote Mr. Art Rat, who accepted my own contribution to the above-linked post, such conversations always end the same way: “Chuck… I’m not talking to you.”


General I. Sations April 22, 2008

Filed under: words — DLR @ 4:55 pm
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I was going to write a few generalised thoughts about Germany, Germans, public consciousness, but they were so banal that I deleted them all.

So here instead is a really bad joke, in German:

Was ist grün und wird auf Knopfdruck rot? Ein Frosch im Mixer.



Uniform Grey April 11, 2008

Filed under: words — DLR @ 4:05 pm
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Sarah Harmer dedicated her song “Uniform Grey” to Birmingham city when I saw her play there a couple of years ago, though of course the song is not actually about Birmingham and she was just being amusingly facetious. In the tiny Brummie venue I’m not sure that people really dug her little Canadian hippy dig (since I suppose one does ‘dig’ a dig), but at least—being from north of the border—her spelling of Grey matched ours.

The thing about Berlin is—despite everything posted on this blog so far—that it is not “uniform” grey at all, but rather a patchwork of greyscale with the odd splash of graffiti colour thrown in and on for good measure. This means that I have a slightly ambivalent attitude to its suitability for extended periods of daily life. On the one hand it is grey, often cloudy and rather dull; but on the other, it is a city sewn together from a strange history which is still constructing its own narrative post-unification.

As such, the greyness is a factor in the Frankenstein, pulp-cut-up of the city and is unavoidable. Some days it’s interesting, document-worthy (hence this blog) but at other times it makes me want to stay at home where at least the internet sparks some colour.

Other notes from the musical landscape: The Divine Comedy’s “Absent Friends”, to whom I also raise a (beer) glass. Men at Work (Colin Hay)’s “Down Under”. And Sarah Harmer’s “Lodestar”, which—if you watch it—you must let play until the drums come in. It is federal law.

I suppose I’m thinking a lot about travelling, distance and accompanying music. Perhaps I should suggest a song to accompany each photo?


Greynotes April 8, 2008

Filed under: words — DLR @ 1:57 pm
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The Weather for 8th April 2008

The default weather pattern for Berlin is “cloudy with possible rain showers and potential sunny spells”. If you would like a more accurate daily forecast, I would suggest opening the largest window in your house or apartment and taking a look, because it’s as changeable out there as Mitt Romney.

I’ll just have to go and listen to “The Weather” by Built to Spill to take my mind off it. It’s better than an 8.30am train ride squashed up against bicycles, bankers and sweaty Pendler whilst your headphones mockingly begin to play Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, in any case.

Wann kommt endlich die Sonne wieder? At least in black and white, everything is grey.


HamburgNoir, 24th – 26th March 2008 April 6, 2008

Filed under: pictures — DLR @ 5:58 pm
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Hamburger Hafen

Emily at U-Bahn BaumwallThe Harbour at SunsetHarbour at SunsetPic 1: This is Emily at Baumwall, an U-Bahn station near the harbour. Now the intention was for it all to be in focus, so it’s a little odd that the background is clear but Emily isn’t! But it’s somehow a nice photo anyway.
Pic 2: This and pic 3 here are also favourites! I really like the composition of the light in this one – bright sun in the centre, silhouettes fading to black, and glistening water.
Pic 3: More harbour sunset. Similar to the last photo, but I like the lone wispy cloud and the mast of the ship in the foreground.

That’s all for now folks. More coming next week.


HamburgNoir, 24th – 26th March 2008

Filed under: pictures — DLR @ 5:26 pm
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Centre of Hamburg

The Rathaus with a nice sunspotThe Hamburg Fernsehturm, from near the AlsterSt. Petri Kirche, on MönckebergstraßeRathausmarkt - corner of the RathausPic 1: The Hamburg Rathaus with a nice sunspot behind it. Another favourite photo, and just about what I was trying to do, although the building could have been darker still I think.
Pic 2: Taken from near Jungfernstieg and the Alster, a view of the Hamburg Fernsehturm, which I alway think looks like a squashed version of the Berlin TV tower. Thanks to Ms Jones, I managed to get some of the contours of the clouds by metring them first. I like the little details in traffic light silhouettes etc.
Pic 3: One that wasn’t what I wanted, as a contrast. St Petri Kirche on Mönckebergstraße, which I wanted to be in silhouette. More detail on the buildings is nice, but not planned!
Pic 4: Part of the Rathaus plus some crazy tree in the foreground.