Dec 29, 2011

The Kids are Alright: Coolspotting in Berlin

My final day in Berlin I ego-tripped following a trio of Aussie Coffee enthusiasts as they sampled specialty Coffee Shops in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. It was a fascinating learning experience.

The girls described the rituals they undergo for work to preserve a neutral pallette for gauging their coffee creations. They mentioned having a coworker who was allergic to everything, interestingly her allergies made her sensitive to sensations allowing her to enjoy food by merely smelling it.

I can identify, I have a similar ability to appreciate things on a cerebral level. For instance, I love basketball kicks but rather than take up space and spending money to own them I'm content simply collecting sneaker JPEGs.

On my final day in Berlin I spent the day browsing, hovering and missing out on things but please don't consider it a failure. For me the process of exploring a city whether things pan out or not is the fun in and of itself. Anything else is a bonus.

Modern Museums
I find it difficult to fully appreciate experiences when they're passive. It's why I enjoy live music over nightclubs and despite being comfortable solo only go to museums when accompanied. The ceremony of discussion plays a big part for me enjoying the museum experience.

I stopped by the 'Computerspiele' Museum and was content browsing through the Video Game exhibition's gift shop. The 'Hatch Sticker' Museum had shut up shop for the Christmas Holidays though I managed to leave some propaganda for their neighbors' VICE Magazine.


Miranda July in February unveiling 'The Future'

Eating like the stars
I invited people via CouchSurfing to join me as I Ego-Tripped as indie darling Miranda July. I walked around baffled wishing I'd written down the address to the restaurant she mentioned on her blog. When I finally managed to check online my suspicions were confirmed. The Mexican eatery had been replaced by an Italian joint, cheekily its official website and GoogleMaps street view persisted with the outdated reality
'Miranda July' blog (Sept 28, 2011)
Berliners! Remember the Mexican restaurant in Kreuzberg I mentioned? So many friends asked me for the name of the place that I re-found it, by finding my old apartment on Google maps and then "walking" there using street view. I felt very modern. To have the best appreciation for this restaurant you might have to be an American woman who has spent the entire day working with German men in a windowless room...
torstrasse, Berlin, streetwear, stores
I like looking for Streetwear and comic shops in each city I visit. It gives me my bearings of a place, these stores are usually situated in the cool districts of town where you are likely to find the artistic set hanging at swanky cafes. I would bet Berlin has more streetwear stores per capita than the other major Capitals of cool, New York and Tokyo. I spent the day windowshopping around Torstraße having visited other cool districts Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg the days previous.

The Kids are Alright
- Coolspotting in Frankfurt and Barcelona
- Coolspotting: Subculture in the South of Spain
- Coolspotting in Netherlands
- Coolspotting in Netherlands Pt II
- Coolspotting: Nerding out in England - Comics, CosPlay, Video Games and Wrestling
- Coolspotting in Berlin
- Coolspotting in Istanbul
- Coolspotting in Sydney
- Coolspotting in Melbourne

Dec 26, 2011

One last thought for the year. Thank You Germany!

'A Memento Year' exhibit: Planted signs at Oberhausen wrestling show
One last thought to close my final Chapter in Germany and the book for 2011. As I write this in my Selcuk hostel, Turkish TV is showing the fireworks display along Sydney Harbour. Home.

In Hamburg, I was able to cap off a memorable year by paying tribute to the special moments and people that have shaped my journey. Germany is where my EuroTrip began and it was only fitting to close the year there. As Germans are avid travelers, I had plenty of friends to reconnect with through bonds made around Europe and Australia the year previous. December was like one big Christmas present.

Thanks to all my incredible German friends who have shown great warmth and hospitality. Germany will always have a special place in my heart.

- Germany revisited
- Coolspotting and Hovering (Berlin)
- It's a celebration b!tches (Hamburg)
- Lovely day (Koln)
- Enjoying what you do (Koln)
- Knowing your shit (Oberhausen)
- Living in the moment (Dusseldorf)

As for the year...
Its difficult to fully explain the great fortune I've had in finding the amazing people I've met and the moments I've been graced to experience. Interestingly the inability to wrap one's head around it is precisely what makes it so magical. Part of me wishes I could bottle it but would I really want to?

I experienced the 'Wunder' exhibition at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg with my artist friend. A particular exhibit caption and this portrait below sum up my feelings capably
Miracles tend to occur suddenly and unexpectedly. They appear as if out of nowhere, posing as a riddle to bystanders who lack the knowledge required to integrate the inexplicable event into existing frameworks of meaning nonetheless such miracles are regularly anticipated and hoped for...
Audience 09 Florence by Thomas Struth (2004)

Dec 23, 2011

'A Memento Year' - Trigger links

The Exhibition runs from December 22 to 27, 2011 at Elektrohaus Art Gallery in Hamburg, Germany.

- Trigger posts
- Trigger: Egotripping II - England, on the road again
- Trigger: Living Island Adventures in Estonia
- Trigger: Day 244 - 8 months in review
- Day 177 - My second camera's 100 Day anniversary
- Other milestone days of a Memento year: Day 200, Day 150, Day 100
- Hair, There and Everywhere: Haircut days in Europe

- Jacques Henri Lartigue: Why I'm getting a camera
- Your image as a construct - What to Wear (Barcelona)
- Art imitating life: "Neo - Ruin" by Hisahara Motoda
- Free Art Exhibitionism

- Louis Theroux, Couchsurfing and Holland
- Social Sunday Sports, Basketball in London
- Other people's stories - Tales of: Living in the moment
- Live: Edinburgh Fringe comedy roundup
- Coolspotting: Nerding out in England - Comics, CosPlay, Video Games and Wrestling
- Road Music: Live. Forever.
- Road Music: Hipsters and Hardcore in Lisboa, Portugal
- The kids are alright: Subculture in the South of Spain
- Live sports results: Barcelona, March 2011

- 30HomeGames Blog
- Balancing Basketball and Travel in Lithuania - Part I
- Balancing Basketball and Travel in Lithuania - Part II
- Trash Talk: News and notes on Lithuania and EuroBasket2011

- Trigger: "Qualidade de Vida" in 'Casa dos Gauchos', Porto
- Trigger: Ego Tripping in Portugal - Sintra, Obidos, Ericeria, Coimbra
- Portugal: Eat - Fine Food with Friends
- Portugal: Pray - Saints and Sinners
- Portugal: Love - Portugal sure is warm!
- Tudo Bom: The first 3 days in Portugal (1 of 3)
- Tudo Bom: The first 3 days in Portugal (2 of 3)
- Tudo Bom: The first 3 days in Portugal (3 of 3)

Find the collection of quotables here:
- A question answered with a quote: German + Italian edition
- A question answered with a quote: Spain edition
- A question answered with a quote: Portugal edition
- A question answered with a quote: Holland Edition
- A question answered with a quote: UK Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Lithuania Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Latvia + Estonia edition
- A question answered with a quote: England edition
- A question answered with a quote: Germany Revisited edition

Update: December 2012
I got to talk about the 'A Memento Year' exhibition on the radio

Dec 20, 2011

I will be exhibiting in Hamburg, Germany

Hallo! I will be presenting my new Exhibition at Elektrohaus Art Gallery in Hamburg, Germany. Stay Tuned!


Some teaser pictures of the opening night pre-activities.
You might recognise some of the characters in attendance from these times here - Trigger: Crazy Times in Holland, Day 185 - Day 195

Pulverteich 13, 20099 Hamburg-Mitte

Find photos of the 'Memento Year' Exhibition here

Dec 13, 2011

Road Music: Songs to be happy to (Sports songs)

<< crossposted on the '30HomeGames' blog

The 30HomeGames project is a mission that has me seeking Basketball around the world. In reality it's been a great pretext that's connected me to places and people I might otherwise not have.

Throughout the year I've befriended amazing people by connecting through sport. From parkour in München, participating in classes at Köln's esteemed Sports College to playing with Bremen's Ultimate Frisbee team. Not to mention the amazing Basketball experiences across Europe.

Fun Fact: More often than not these sports experiences have involved Germans in some way. *Shrugs*

The following songs form the soundtrack for the Sport experiences I've had recently. 'Lovely Day' was part of the Mix CD my German friend and events organiser had playing for some Volleyball socials in London. Additionally one of my skater housemates in Köln had a soulful music palette thus Bill Withers was on high rotation.

VIDEO: 'Lovely Day' by Bill Withers

I befriended students of the German Sport University in Cologne through Couchsurfing. After visiting the college to play Basketball in their Gym, I made a fast friend in the Mensa (cafeteria) and was invited to crash at their place to extend my time in the City.

Daniel was an enterprising Kite Surfer I met through this network, known for organising FlashMobs, and outings for his fellow Freshmen SpoHo peers. He compiled videos of these happenings as viral packages to promote his 'Crazy for Kite' adventure workshops. I had the pleasure of joining the kids as they spent a 'lovely day' in the 'Aqualand' of Köln.

Both the energetic songs featured in the clip have become "happy triggers" anytime I've heard them since.

VIDEO: Aqualand 10.12.2011
'Banquet' by Bloc Party
'Promiscuity' by Manu Chao

- Find the entire 'Road Music' Track listings here

Dec 12, 2011

A question answered with a quote: Germany revisited edition

My return to Germany has been enjoyable. Frankfurt is where I began my EuroTrip at the start of the year, hopping onwards to München then Berlin. This second go-around I will be venturing around Northern Germany having begun in Düsseldorf. I befriended amazing Germans around Australia before the trip began and continue to meet more around Europe. I look forward to reuniting with as many of these friends as possible as I spend Christmas in Germany.

Though I still have a few months before I return home, it feels great coming full circle. The amazing experiences in Germany in recent weeks has reminded me of the warmth and openmindedness I received here when it all began. The German affinity for travel has translated into unforgettable hospitality, soulful conversations and meaningful friendships.

With that I present to you AQAwaQ: Germany II edition.

Find the collection of quotables here:
- A question answered with a quote: German + Italian edition
- A question answered with a quote: Spain edition
- A question answered with a quote: Portugal edition
- A question answered with a quote: Holland Edition
- A question answered with a quote: UK Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Lithuania Edition
- A question answered with a quote: Latvia + Estonia edition
- A question answered with a quote: England edition
- A question answered with a quote: Germany Revisited edition
- A question answered with a quote: Turkey edition
- Listen to my Podcast inspired by AQAwaQ: Lets's Get Real podcast

I don't have a problem with love being an illsuion, my problem is the kids

Its not true if they're wearing a disguise

If you believe we each have our own definition of happiness,
its possible that two people could be happy - just not together

It's a memory light

Thinking is only for solving problems, not for using all the time.
The more you think, the more problems you have

It doesn't always need to be Black or White,
It can just be what it is

We all have our own voids

"Wenn jemand eine Reise tut..."
German: If someone goes on a journey...)

When you're bored, you don't think of other things to handle your time

You might not have the person around but you still share the spirit

- Another thing about storytellers is that they're always searching for the next story
- Sometimes your dreams change

You're a man who's thought of everything. But not the dishes.

... but that's like being a lazy Superman
- God doesn't throw dice
- Nobody can change your past

- Sorry, my memory is 10 days old

The happiness is really in the offering,
you don't have control of the world.

Some people look at the thing and not what's behind it.
They look upon but not inside.

You can dribble too much but you also don't just shoot as soon as you get the ball

Its like a computer program built to survive,
unless its being attacked its really doing nothing all day

- I think the secret is: Just ask!
- That would be a megafail

- Life is like a beggar
- You could make the best thing but its not the language we are speaking about

Dec 9, 2011

Limerence: Snowboarding, Skating, Surfing, Christmas and Love

"It's Christmas time in the city" - One of the things I've enjoyed in Europe that we don't have in sunny Sydney are outdoor ice rinks. Whilst its fun watching amateurs like myself fumble around, I am truly mesmerized by skilled skaters gliding gracefully. Weaving artfully through the chaos, lost in a world of their own making. For me it's poetry in motion.

I've watched ice skating in Europe at the Winter Wonderland in London and will be spending my December amongst the Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Markets) of Germany.

After being transfixed by a contended skater in Köln, I was reminded of this sentiment by David Brooks':
TED Talk Transcript - David Brooks: The Social Animal (18m 44s)
... And then the final thing I'll mention is something you might call limerence. And this is not an ability; it's a drive and a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for success and prestige. The unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence, when the skull line disappears and we are lost in a challenge or a task -- when a craftsman feels lost in his craft, when a naturalist feels at one with nature, when a believer feels at one with God's love. That is what the unconscious mind hungers for. And many of us feel it in love when lovers feel fused.
The last few days I've been living and ego-tripping with athletes studying at the SpoHo in Köln, the most esteemed Sports College in Germany. The sportsmen are trained in all sports and disciplines but each has their preferred expertise.

I've spent the last few evenings watching inspiring videos with German snowboarders and surfers. There is nothing more uplifting than watching talented masters doing what they love and performing to their peak. I can think of only two things better:
1) Watching it in the company of people who share the passion
2) Doing it yourself!

Day 312 - Piusstraße, Köln

VIDEO: 'The Art of FLIGHT' trailer (3m 09s)


Day 313 - NeuMarkt, Köln

VIDEO: Nike 6.0 Leave A Message (Full Movie. 23m 49s)

Update: Things always come in threes. My judo black belt, ultimate-frisbeeing host in Bremen shared this video of bladers ripping it up in Hamburg. So Geil!
As an added bonus, OzHipHop legends the 'Hilltop Hoods' feature on the soundtrack.

VIDEO: 'U3 Baumwall' by Karsten Boysen

More posts featuring David Brooks
- The "Haimish Line": Pixar and TroubleMaker Studios
- "Limerence": Snowboarding, Skating, Surfing, Christmas and Love
- The 'Social Animal' - Change your behaviour and you change your mind

Dec 6, 2011

Trigger: Germany Revisited, Impressions of Köln

Soundtrack to Germany Revisited
Runnin' (Jay Dee remix) by The Pharcyde

More impressions of Köln
- Limerence: Snowboarding, Skating, Surfing, Christmas and Love
- Road Music: Songs to be happy to (Sports songs)
- One last thought for the year. Thank You Germany!
Lomography in Köln, Germany

Other impressions:
- Trigger Impressions: Porto
- Trigger Impressions: Köln