i just came across some photos i made of my sister eating at a thai restaurant, once in 2002 in nyc, and secondly in 2008 in lausanne, switzerland. my mother (a professional analog photographer) used to take a series of photographs many years apart at the same location with the same sorts of clothing. if i can find it, i will try to scan the treehouse series (photos probably in a box of mine in storage in california), with my sister and i sitting in the same place in our treehouse many years apart.
at any rate, my sister and i remembered that i had shot a few photos in nyc at my favorite thai place in the east village, tara thai. this came to us when we were forced to improvise dinner plans in lausanne last year because a vegetarian restaurant no longer existed. we managed to convince our waitress to make thai iced tea as well, which the thai restaurant in lausanne insisted was only a summer drink. we didn’t look at the original photos when we reshot, only what we remembered. it’s mind boggling what the human memory can retain six years later from a favorite photograph. either that, or my sister has some sort of inherent thai food consuming pose coded into her dna. either way, i find it fascinating.
i was walking around berlin yesterday, and saw the sign pictured above on the wall next to the entrance to an apartment building. yes, it smelled awful there but i could not stop laughing at the sign.
and on the opposite end of the cuteness scale, i almost walked on this kitteh:
last night was fete de la musique, and here in berlin we do it electronic style with dj’s on the bridges and underground club nights. the photo above was semi-staged, she did strike that pose by herself first, but then i asked her to do it again so i could capture it. a happy summer to all my peeps in the northern hemisphere.
[stage light halo — click through for larger version]
i thought i’d share some recent shots. the former is shot with my “big” camera, the latter with my e70’s built-in cellphone camera. i find them both equally evocative of berlin’s night scene. the blonde hair with long bangs look is just a coincidence — i don’t think it’s the same girl.
i’ve had a little photo project going regarding people and their cellphones which i call phones on a table. somehow i manage to hang out with a lot of nokia fangirls and fanboys. i know a lot of nokia e70 users (of which i’m a fangirl). the nokia n95, the new communicator (aka the e90) and the n810 internet tablet are creeping into the photos as of late.
i thought i would be more excited about a 3g capable iphone announcement. am i just not as much of a gadget hound as i used to be or is it that i just haven’t tasted the iphone kool-aid? i have tried the keyboard typing interface on the iphone on more than one occasion and frankly i struggled to get the letters i wanted out of it. i just hope that nokia changes their mind about discontinuing the e70 flip-over full keyboard line of phones.
this weekend i made my second trip to the Rechenzentrum — a sand-filled club on the Spree on the outskirts of Berlin. the photos here are from the first trip about three weeks ago when it was considerably less crowded. the club consists of a beach portion with a UFO style prefab structure (unfortunately not open to the public). dj’s spin on the beach portion and inside the rotary-phone-bedecked interior section.
this past saturday was a tad disappointing because the dj’s on the interior weren’t really feeding the crowds desire to dance. outside there was some sort of audio malfunction which resulted in one functioning mono set of speakers on the left. needless to say, my quest for perfect audio and danceability didn’t go so well. the atmosphere and crowd thankfully made up for any and all deficits of this venue. i ran into more than a few friends who had been there since the afternoon soaking up the rays on der Strand. if you want a hip, though remote, place to hang this summer, the Rechenzentrum is where it’s at.
so first of all it’s not really spelunking because most of it was above ground, but it sounds better than “exploring abandoned buildings”. i think that february activities can best be summed up as adventuresome. first i had the chance to tour a mostly-empty-for-a-long-time building on unter den linden which used to house various embassies and ddr offices. i snagged the green version of the adding machine shown above, which does plug into the wall but uses a system of rotors to do calculations. when you multiply the rotors go “clunk clunk clunk chunka clunk” for a long time because it is just iterating over addition. the building also featured a huge phone switch complete with hand soldered circuits and ddr era manuals with circuit board layouts so you can clone the whole switch. in other parts of the building there were abandoned piles of keys, holes in the floor, parallel ports in the walls, interflug rotary phones and bullet proof doors. you can see where some electronics were hastily ripped out of the wall, ah to think what sorts of spying was going on in that building.
next up on the docket of urban exploration comes der Flaschenturm, the bottle tower. it is a testament to the power of the graffiti and street artists who reside and travel through this fine city. (photos here). the entire inside is completely blanketed in spray art. the guys i went with were there to do some urban rappelling, who was i to say no? i brought along my climbing harness but as the light was fading fast the photos of the rope stuff were not as well documented as the street art.
i would venture to say that you haven’t really seen berlin unless you’ve been inside at least a few abandoned buildings — that doesn’t even include the squats, converted factories, and spontaneous parties. berlin is rife with left-over structures begging to be reanimated.
[pictured above: elisa installing fiber at a colo in a’dam, shot by me]
i was reminded last night as i went dressed as kaylee from firefly that not everyone is a sci fi fangirl. only one person at the fete had seen firefly (he had only seen the first three episodes) and no one could recall having seen serenity the movie. i found myself having to explain that a female engine mechanic from the 25th century was a relevant costume choice. but it got me thinking, who else would i dress up as from the future? probably the major from gits in her combat uniform and purple hair (even though most of the series doesn’t take place in space, the tech and twisted hack plots are reason enough). also a more recent addition, i would dress as cassie the pilot of icarus II from the movie sunshine. she is a tinkerer as well, someone who not only is the pilot of a crazy huge ship, but is also someone who isn’t hesistant to use manual overide to bypass the mainframe a.i.. i guess i’m more drawn to these geeky women than the guy characters, and yet i’m more into the realistic and very human ones (though the major is out of that scope, but she just rocks). i wouldn’t go as anyone from star wars or star trek or stargate, none of those really resonate with me. the question is, can women today be those main characters in their own lives without being reduced to a hollow cliche? i know they can, i know plenty of them personally. kaylee frye isn’t a stretch as a character, she is very real even in the 21st century.
i like it when cities have a theme. in copenhagen they have a symbol for the city, rome has framed portraits on the building facades, and in a’dam i kept seeing the xxx logo everywhere when i was there last month. the sun was fleeting, only two days out of my two week stay, but the city is quite photogenic. i still have a few photo shoots to sort through from my time there, but in the meantime feel free to peruse what i have posted so far.