Archives for category: architecture
Directly across from Treptower Park in Berlin is the Blaue Apotheke (Pharmacy). By attaching five plastic flowers to the building facade, the owners of this structure have transformed a rather ordinary piece of architecture into something whimsical. What better way to attract customers and improve the urban landscape.

On cold and cloudy days, this building adds a little sunshine to the bleak environment. It certainly brought a smile to my face. Unfortunately, there’s not much whimsy in current architectural design. It seems that many architects take their designs too seriously. What ever happened to the Gaudi’s of the world? 
Advertisements
Directly across from Treptower Park in Berlin is the Blaue Apotheke (Pharmacy). By attaching five plastic flowers to the building facade, the owners of this structure have transformed a rather ordinary piece of architecture into something whimsical. What better way to attract customers and improve the urban landscape.

On cold and cloudy days, this building adds a little sunshine to the bleak environment. It certainly brought a smile to my face. Unfortunately, there’s not much whimsy in current architectural design. It seems that many architects take their designs too seriously. What ever happened to the Gaudi’s of the world? 

When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
C.S. Lewis

If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.
Audrey Hepburn

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein

St. Matthäus-Kirchhof



I recently started reading the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales in the original German, and they’re anything but sweet and gentle bedtime stories. Unlike the sanitized Disney versions, the Grimm stories are scary, antisemitic, chauvinistic, and often violent. The tales depict some of our less admirable qualities. Yet, they’re part of the western canon that take the reader on a path of mystery and adventure. 

The Grimm Brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob, buried
alongside other family members

Coincidentally  the Grimm Brothers are buried at the Alter St. Matthäus-Kirchhof in Kreuzberg. This landmark cemetery is also one of Berlin’s most beautiful outdoor green spaces with many opulent and creative headstones and memorials.

Created in 1856, St. Matthäus is the final resting place for many of Berlin’s famous 19th and early 20th century bourgeoisie, including the Grimm Brothers and the physician Ruldolf Virchow. There are also memorials to AIDS victims and Nazi resistance fighters. Unlike many of Berlin’s older graveyards, St. Matthäus is still a working cemetery with many new and imaginative headstones. There’s a small cafe, and even an area dedicated to bee husbandry. Located near S-Bahn Yockerstraße, St. Matthäus is an outdoor sculpture museum housing some very famous people. 

Certainly A Man of Learning


I Love This Headstone!











When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
C.S. Lewis

If I’m honest I have to tell you I still read fairy-tales and I like them best of all.
Audrey Hepburn

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein

St. Matthäus-Kirchhof



I recently started reading the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales in the original German, and they’re anything but sweet and gentle bedtime stories. Unlike the sanitized Disney versions, the Grimm stories are scary, antisemitic, chauvinistic, and often violent. The tales depict some of our less admirable qualities. Yet, they’re part of the western canon that take the reader on a path of mystery and adventure. 

The Grimm Brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob, buried
alongside other family members

Coincidentally  the Grimm Brothers are buried at the Alter St. Matthäus-Kirchhof in Kreuzberg. This landmark cemetery is also one of Berlin’s most beautiful outdoor green spaces with many opulent and creative headstones and memorials.

Created in 1856, St. Matthäus is the final resting place for many of Berlin’s famous 19th and early 20th century bourgeoisie, including the Grimm Brothers and the physician Ruldolf Virchow. There are also memorials to AIDS victims and Nazi resistance fighters. Unlike many of Berlin’s older graveyards, St. Matthäus is still a working cemetery with many new and imaginative headstones. There’s a small cafe, and even an area dedicated to bee husbandry. Located near S-Bahn Yockerstraße, St. Matthäus is an outdoor sculpture museum housing some very famous people. 

Certainly A Man of Learning


I Love This Headstone!










Dorotheenstadt Friedhof

East Germany aspired to be a classless society with no division or alienation, and where people were free from the oppression of capitalism. However, in death (and perhaps in life too), prominent East German citizens had a special place in the former communist state.


At the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery in Mitte Berlin, many of East Germany’s distinguished citizens are buried. Here, amid the lush grounds, lie the remains of Bertolt Brecht (author and playwright, The Threepenny Opera), Heinrich Mann (author, Professor Unrat, adapted into the film, The Blue Angel), Karl Friedrich Schinkel (architect, the Altes Museum), Arnold Zweig (author), Helene Weigel (wife of Bertolt Brecht and actress), Paul Dessau (composer), and Dietrich and Klaus Bonhoeffer (resistance fighters killed by the Nazi regime). 

Christa Wolf
Grave of Christa Wolf

The cemetery is a relaxing place to escape from the hustle and bustle of midtown Berlin. It’s beautifully maintained, and it’s never crowded. The day I visited, the friendly groundskeeper gave me an unofficial tour. He also helped me locate the grave of one of my favorite writers, Christa Wolf (Der Geteilte Himmel [The Divided Heaven], Nachdenken Über Christa T. [The Quest for Christa T.], Kassandra).

Ms. Wolf died last December 1, and her grave is still without a headstone. Although devoted to the ideals of the East German state, Ms. Wolf’s novels are primarily morality tales that skirted the issue of politics. Her most famous novel Kassandra was a retelling of the battle of Troy while Christa T. dealt with conformity in a modern society. Her books are insightful and moving. 

Dorotheenstadt Friedhof

East Germany aspired to be a classless society with no division or alienation, and where people were free from the oppression of capitalism. However, in death (and perhaps in life too), prominent East German citizens had a special place in the former communist state.


At the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery in Mitte Berlin, many of East Germany’s distinguished citizens are buried. Here, amid the lush grounds, lie the remains of Bertolt Brecht (author and playwright, The Threepenny Opera), Heinrich Mann (author, Professor Unrat, adapted into the film, The Blue Angel), Karl Friedrich Schinkel (architect, the Altes Museum), Arnold Zweig (author), Helene Weigel (wife of Bertolt Brecht and actress), Paul Dessau (composer), and Dietrich and Klaus Bonhoeffer (resistance fighters killed by the Nazi regime). 

Christa Wolf
Grave of Christa Wolf

The cemetery is a relaxing place to escape from the hustle and bustle of midtown Berlin. It’s beautifully maintained, and it’s never crowded. The day I visited, the friendly groundskeeper gave me an unofficial tour. He also helped me locate the grave of one of my favorite writers, Christa Wolf (Der Geteilte Himmel [The Divided Heaven], Nachdenken Über Christa T. [The Quest for Christa T.], Kassandra).

Ms. Wolf died last December 1, and her grave is still without a headstone. Although devoted to the ideals of the East German state, Ms. Wolf’s novels are primarily morality tales that skirted the issue of politics. Her most famous novel Kassandra was a retelling of the battle of Troy while Christa T. dealt with conformity in a modern society. Her books are insightful and moving. 

Now this House has some Character!
Courtesy of Der Tagesspiegel

Now this House has some Character!
Courtesy of Der Tagesspiegel

Lunch Hour NYC, now on view at the New York City Public Library until February 17, 2013, looks back at more than a century of NYC lunches. The exhibition shows how New York City reinvented the midday meal.

Now a Citibank on the
Upper West Side, this was
once an Automat.
Most Automats had

a sort of Art Deco facade.  
A highlight of the exhibition is a reconstructed Automat machine. The Automat, once a fixture in most American cities, was a fast food restaurant where food was served by coin-operated vending machines. You could get anything from a complete turkey dinner to a bowl of soup. As a child, the high point of going downtown with my mother was stopping for lunch at the “futuristic” Automat. Nobody who dropped a quarter in the slot ever forgot the thrill of an Automat. I never did. 

Lunch Hour NYC, now on view at the New York City Public Library until February 17, 2013, looks back at more than a century of NYC lunches. The exhibition shows how New York City reinvented the midday meal.

Now a Citibank on the
Upper West Side, this was
once an Automat.
Most Automats had

a sort of Art Deco facade.  
A highlight of the exhibition is a reconstructed Automat machine. The Automat, once a fixture in most American cities, was a fast food restaurant where food was served by coin-operated vending machines. You could get anything from a complete turkey dinner to a bowl of soup. As a child, the high point of going downtown with my mother was stopping for lunch at the “futuristic” Automat. Nobody who dropped a quarter in the slot ever forgot the thrill of an Automat. I never did.