Tuesday, March 31, 2009

photos of Berlin: faces and places

A few places that made an impression on me in Berlin:



A sobering exhibit at the Jewish Museum. Each face represents a person who suffered during the Holocaust. The idea is that you can walk on the faces, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.



An audio exhibit at the Hamburger Bahnhof. Stereos around the room play a 30-minute loop of birds on the beach, orchestral music, and a woman's voice narrating her nightmares.

In the beginning, you hear the surf coming at you from all directions while the woman describes walking into her beach house to find a leg sticking out from a sheet. The end is a majestic crescendo of horns over the sound of the ocean.

I liked it. It made me want to get audio equipment for my own house.



Potsdam, site of the post-World War II conference. The guide showed us where Stalin entered via a side door, and where Churchill strolled around.



Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. Look at the grand staircases leading down from the palace! Turns out this is just the servants quarters, and the cooks would run down these steps to carry the soup to the royals.



Omar and Neha at the Green Door, a cheerful little bar down the street from us. One night had live music, featuring a singer with a sultry voice. The next night, the bartender came out and danced with a guest. It was a happy little bar.



A T-shirt I thought was funny. It only came in men's sizes, so I didn't get one.



We saw a dazzling collection of Picassos at this museum. This is a painting of Picasso's second wife. He noticed her at a cafe, where she was sitting alone at a table. She suddenly pulled out a knife and started playing the game of stabbing the table quickly in between the fingers of her other hand. By the time she was finished, her hand was bloody, and Picasso was fascinated.



Rather than getting hotel rooms in Berlin, we rented a furnished apartment. It's nice to have a living room (pictured) and kitchen.



The bedrooms had good lighting and pleasant furniture. However, we were constantly thwarted by the lack of internet.

The landlord promised us DSL but then gave us a USB stick. I had to install software and reboot my laptop, only to be confronted with modem-speed internet. To add insult to injury, he only gave us 10mb of bandwidth, so we ran out after a few hours.



We spent a lot of time at Cafe Bilder Buch, which has free wireless. It also has these "ice chocolate" drinks which are tasty, and comfortable couches. I wish there was a place this cozy in Mountain View.

12 comments:

Dog of Justice said...

<pedantry>The t-shirt isn't supposed to have the "o" in "go", dammit!</pedantry>

Niniane said...

Just because the other vowels are absent doesn't mean *all* the vowels need to be missing!

李春波 said...

Your trip was very nice. I hope I will have one, too.

Anonymous said...

wonder how google is sponsoring your jolly trips .... despite recession.

Niniane said...

Google is not sponsoring the trip. I left Google a while ago.

mambo said...

I LOVE that painting!! Which museum was that? do you remember the name/any info of the painting?

thanks!

ArC said...

Niniane, no, DoJ is right. If the 'o' in 'yourself' is missing, then the 'o' in 'go' should also be missing.

Good thing you didn't buy that shirt!

Anonymous said...

Slightly different design at http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/go-fck-yrslf-womens-long-sleeve-dark-tshirt/175161260 (cached: http://72.14.235.132/search?q=cache:Rkcw34i8ceEJ:t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/go-fck-yrslf-womens-long-sleeve-dark-tshirt/175161260+o+f+ck+rs+lf&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au&client=firefox-a), but it's in women's sizes and gets the vowels right.

Anonymous said...

YOU LEFT GOOGLE? When? Why? Where do you work now?!?

pk@pl said...

Never say never, if there is enouff of pips craving for the same...

Anonymous said...

Hey, I live next to the Hamburger Bahnhof! And I've been reading this blog for a couple of years now, how cool it would have been if I run into you here?! BTW, a very pleasant blog indeed, thanks for the efforts!

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