04
May
15

Nollendorfplatz, 1945

This color video on Berlin in 1945 is impressive. Just after the 5ht minute you can also see views of Schoeneberg, with the recognizable Nollendorfplatz U-bahn “tea-cosy” station badly destroyed. Seeing this in color and not in the ubiquitous black-and-white makes it even more real. Or irreal. Surreal.

03
May
15

Window on Harvard

P1150218

Sometimes unexpected things happen. Who would have imagined a year ago that Harvard would become a familiar place?

I am back from Harvard Business School and it was an extremely valuable and exciting experience. It provided content but also new methods for looking at things. Exciting topics because this is what you need when you go back to student mode. And time for self-reflection, which is so difficult to find in the normally hectic professional life.

In a programme packed with activities something really surprised me. The constant comment that every professor made at the beginning of his lesson, when teaching for the first time to us. “It’s incredible that you are all here in the classroom a few minutes before starting, thank you!”.

Well that was surprising. With such an intense programme, where every minute of the day is tightly choreographed, to be on time seems just fundamental. Still, professors were amazed. So I asked the reason to the professor who was in charge of our programme and had been present to a majority of meetings. “Well you know, it is an expensive course…people who attend are privilieged…you know…the ego tends to play a part…”. Frankly I still find it unconceivable. Being late would mean losing money in the end. Or looking disrespectful. Odd.

P1150234
Still, a question lingers: why don’t they have double-glazed windows at Harvard? They are so practical in keeping cold air draugths and noise at bay. Long hours on assignments or rowing in the Charles river seem sufficiently tough activities to keep the students’ adrenaline going…and Harvard Business School is a very rich institution, but its red brick buildings do not date from the 17th century, differently from those in Cambridge across the river. So it’s not about toughening the students spirit or preserving the historic architecture. But I did not ask for the reason…

26
Apr
15

Mind the gap

True, you want to know more about Rotterdam. I wish I could find something like this…which gives a very good feeling on how many gaps have been filled over the past 25 years in Berlin. I really must check it out on youtube, if a similar video exists for Rotterdam…which got much more destroyed than Berlin or Cologne…and where the idea has never been to rebuild.

25
Apr
15

Towards Kop van Zuid

P1140299

Almost Mediterranean, isn’t it? then we move to the islands!

P1140350Looks like the development of the former customs island started in the 90s…P1140361A frontal and side view of the KPN building, by Renzo Piano…and the expansive De Rotterdam by Rem Koolhaas.

25
Apr
15

Enter the colors…

P1140297The Witte Hus, the white house, our first sight towards Oude Haven when we wake up, bathing in the Easter sunshine! Now you will see how Rotterdam changes when the sun is shining…P1140282 And even Markthal looks more blooming! P1140293Can’t wait to see the colors today!

P1140294….I am sure the architecture junkies among you have spotted already that Markthal is just opposite the Tree (or Cube) Houses…for a long time I associated Rotterdam with 2 architectural landmark, this whimsical housing exercise and the Swan Bridge (Erasmus Bridge)….did you?

25
Apr
15

Watching the city

P1140278The nice thing about discovering new cities is also to indulge in some cocooning moments in which one can fix the impressions, like a camera yes, and read some more about the place.

P1140274And if reading can go together with watching the city go by, without the feeling of being “anywhere” that sometimes comes with the hotel ecperience, then it’s much better.

P1140013Even if this hotel has probably the same furniture in other locations, it’s the big windows of its lounge and rooms which matter the most to us…

25
Apr
15

Port junkies

P1140269Sometimes the enthusiasm of the discovery (and the tiredness after such long walks) makes me forget to charge the battery of our camera…that’s why you will see no photos of our port tour, done on Day 2.

But that’s good…we just only scratched the surface with a 75 minutes tour to the container terminal, the SCA forestry one and the shipyard maintenance docks…we will back in the Summer and go and see the whole 47 km of port docks, the fractal beauty….

Here a picture from the Speedo docks, and one of those pretty little watertaxis which cross the Nieuwe Maas from Hotel New York to the Yacht Club…we got completely addicted to this very charming and very democratic watertaxi service (Eur 2.90 one way).




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