Archive for the 'fahrrad' Category


Schoeneberger Schleife


The new Schoenberger Schleife will be connecting Torgauerstrasse with Suedkreuz and Gleisdreieck…


…there are always new corners of the city and of the Kiez to discover… Continue reading ‘Schoeneberger Schleife’


gufini in love


If you look well, not far from the Schoeneberger Schleife, behind the gasometer, there are two gufini in love… Sunday night and we’ve got the blues…


About the beauty of mousy hair


Oh there are so many photos which I’d love to upload! Taken in Berlin, in NYC, in Dusseldorf at Lorenzo’s concert, and pictures sent by MeinMann from Leeds, and Bolton Abbey…But for some reason, WordPress gives me “error”. So I am a bit frustrated. But life goes on and before I solve this technical problem I feel I need to continue and write, posting those images available on the web which – either because they are very light of for some mysterious random law – wordpress still enables me to upload.


This post is about inspiration. For me, inspiration strucks mainly onboard public transport. In the Strassenbahn in the morning, or during a flight.

Or, like now, when some snow is still left on the balcony, and Micetta and Mimmino are sleeping in a cuddly way at my feet, next to the sofa – not on the sofa, next to it – one in her beloved cardboard box with pillow and the other one enjoying the warmth of the parquet (the fact that cats prefer cardboard boxes to cat cots is a theorem which has not been demonstrated yet).


Analogic is the new bio: paper

We had this conversation at Einstein Café in Kurfurstenstrasse with our friends Claudia and Dorit in front of the most magnificient Wiener Mélange* and Kaiserschmarren (*it’s a cappuccino…). We are deeply convinced by this, but the fact that even Spiegel picked it up, tells you that the conviction is now becoming mainstream.

We have a blog, but we continue to feed incredibly thick paper books with photos, postcards and traces of our travels and most interesting experiences. Sometimes we sit on the sofa and uncork a certain millésime…such as Austria 1999…or Rotterdam 2015…or Berlin 2002. It is a delightful sensation, especially when we go back in time, to the era when film made taking photos a selective process not a bulimic one.

I am deeply analogic when it comes to correspondence. I still remain quite old tech in the sense of preferring emails to any whatzupp twit etc. But there’s nothing like writing postcards…or letters, even if lately I write less of those. It is also a matter of maintaining my pretty decent handwriting. The pleasure of a nice pen – most of the times a really cheap biro – on smooth paper…

Each start of the year I buy a Moleskine. I am not so disciplined with it, I rarely fill it from start to end with notes and appointments. But it is always precious to have it with me for planning and for triggering inspiration. I cannot plan by looking at an Outlook calendar. It gives me anxiety. So my brand new Moleskine is a thick, pocket-size, baltic blue one. It’s started pretty well, with a lot of notes…I love the color.

Analogic is the new bio: radio

A few months ago I purchased two identical small transistor radios. One for my father’s shed in the garden, where he spends some time with bricolage. And the other here for Dusseldorf.

I leave it on with a low volume, tuned to a local radio station with some talk and some music. I leave it on for my cats when I travel. So they are not bathing in silence. And the analogic little box will never shut down automatically, jump station or go wild with the volume. It is very dependable.

Pity I cannot listen on it those stations which can be captured only via web, like RaiRadio3. But I quite like to listen to Deutschlandfunk on analogic, there is a certain airwave frisson to it. And the same happens in Berlin, were we depend upon a transistor radio, and tune it to Deutschlandfunk, JazzRadio Berlin, or to the French or US radios transmitting in Berlin, such as NPR…it feels very pre-1989.

My glorious Nordmende is at my parents’, as I do not have the space where to put it…it is my treasured piece of analogic technology, together with my Thorens record player, which is alas orphan of amplifiers…so there’s a to do there, for my 2016 resolutions.

Analogic is the new bio: soup

From time to time I buy Amica, probably the best italian women’s magazine. Its graphic is clean and it’s not just about fashion. The articles are enjoyable. Recently there was an extensive article about these robots which go from raw vegetable to gourmet dinner in two clicks. In Italy the brand is Bimby. It was an interesting article on this topic, what in Italy we call “un articolo sul costume”, so beyond the appliance itself, rather on the lifestyle implications of it.

As for my own lifestyle, I sliced and diced potatoes, carrots and I added red lentils which had been rinsed and soaked in water thoroughly. My hearthy soup is ready. I do not need a robot for that. I quite like to slice and dice, actually. I do not have space yet for another robot. In case I had space, my Nordmende radio would be the first candidate. But I like to buy and read Amica from time to time. It keeps me in touch with a certain italian, bougeois, Zeitgeist.

Analogic is the new bio: subscription

I subscribe to one magazine. It’s called Wald and I discovered it at Munich airport, while coming back from Tegernsee. I rediscovered the joys of subscription since I am in Germany, and my postbox is big enough to contain magazines and subscriptions are not raided by mal-intentionnés as it often happened in Italy, I must admit.

It is nice to find a favorite magazine in the mailbox. Not just bills. Actually it would be even nice to find also some postcards, but apparently I only am receiving CRM-originated happy birthday ones from Breuninger, JacquesWeinDepot, Deutsche Bahn and the like … o_O

But sometimes we receive incredibly crafty digital postcards, like the one sent by our 1/2 Berlinisch/Parisien friends D & JD…and which unfortunately I cannot post here…an expressionist/cubist concoction with inspiring words such as “anders lernen”, “verzaubert”, or “Zeitsprung”. Very inspiring!

Analogic is the new bio: science on paperc747cc8b56680e90230c05ca62595ee1_w240_h_mw_mh_cs_cx_cy

This slim paperback is one of my favorite books of 2015. I snapped it up during a bookstore raid in Como, a beautiful bookstore located in an ancient mill, in the city center. I was visiting our friends G & R in September in Lombardy and on that beautiful sunny Saturday and on my way back to Dusseldorf I started reading Sette brevi lezioni di fisica, the brief and playful essay by Carlo Rovelli published by Adelphi.

I was so enthusiastic about this book and the discovery on how pleasant and easy to imagine could be the explanation of physics that I added this book in one of my surprise boxes headed to Leeds to MeinMann…but the parcel had a little accident 😉 – no worries: I have re-purchased the book, obviously! So that also MeinMann can enjoy it…and I am sure he will!

Looking forward to our next conversation with our friend Sylvie from Noordwijk! She is someone who can talk about astrophysics in a page-turning way.

Analogic is the new bio: blackboards and chalk

2015 marked for me the come-back to post-graduate education. Being back on the books at Harvard was quite an experience. The most unexpected thing was to see the venerable professors picking up chalk and filling blackboards. No slides. Just a couple of transparencies. For the rest: chalk. And handwritten notes. Healthy way to make our brains do an incredible fitness programme.

Analogic is the new bio: ordering books, at bookstores or Verlag

Do I use Amazon? I must admit: only for books which are needed for work, and for impossible-to-find books. The good thing is that behind those impossible-to-find books there are always dependable bookstore behind Amazon, whom I would never have crossed paths with.

For the rest, I discovered in 2015 two Verlag – or publishing houses – which I keep an eye on…Guggolz and Distanz. Both are from Berlin. Obviously.

Analogic is the new bio: schlepping books around the world

For the rest, I love browsing books in bookstores, especially when travelling. This week I was in NYC, I had just a couple of hours of leisure, personal time. I dedicated them to hunting down the new Rizzoli Bookstore on Broadway. The store is gorgeous: high ceilings, oak shelves, and bespoke wallpaper by Barnaba Fornasetti. No nasty smell from expensive coffee-chains. Just smell of paper and glue. Armchairs. The Italian books selection is poor, and outrageously expensive (L’amica geniale, paperback in Italian, selling for USD 61). But I’m told this will be improved. For fashion and art the bookstore is great. And contemporary fiction.

Yes, MeinMann….I must confess it. I have sinned. I bought the newest titles by my favorite spy-story authors: Alain Furst, Philip Kerr, Joseph Kanon. Plus, a new one: David Downing. All plots unfold in Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Istanbul…Plus I discovered a contemporary author, Ludmila Ulitskaya. I am now reading “Zoo Station” by David Downing.

What a pleasure, to make myself cosy at Inday, on an icy NYC evening, tucking into a healthy rice-based indian dish (and not being the only one having dinner alone), in a friendly atmosphere with good lighting, and starting the Zoo Station page-turner…following with a brisk walk to the other side of the Flatiron, down to Park Ave – do you remember, MeinMann, the beautiful Christmas with Lys? – and Union Square, and ending up at Iris Nails, my favorite place between Union and Washington Square, getting pampered in a comfortable armchair, while keeping on reading Zoo Station…away from the boring and garish Fifth Ave.

Analogic is the new bio: dancing to live music, not just youtube

Since we’re in Germany, we are more and more attracted by live music. Sometimes in the evening it is easier to indulge in this cultural delicacy, as opposed to theater, the language is a pleasure when one is top fit and alert, but music allows for a much more a direct and immediate absorption.

And this week it was music and in Italian…I went to a fabulous Lorenzo nei Palasport concert, here at Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Dusseldorf. Exhilarating experience! I cannot show you the photos, I have quite a few good ones…but you can see on youtube a little bit where Lorenzo speaks in German…

The show is a jewel, from a musical and visual point of view, be it videos, light effects, costumes. I love his music since when we were both 15, and he was a young and cheeky DJ, that means I’ve been following him for the past 34 years. The songwriting has become even more interesting over time, and the music métissage is always surprising and fresh.

He writes songs about love: I like that. He writes song about Summer – the kind of Italian Summer that only if you grew up in Italy and went to school you can understand what I mean. And the man knows how to dance, and make you dance. These are all very important things.

Actually, there are only two songwriters-singers-performers whose dancing I like. Lorenzo Cherubini and Dave Gahan. But Lorenzo has the added appeal of looking not like a rockstar.

He looks like a well-travelled Italian man, long-limbed with Nordic looks, with a passion for bycicles, motorini, motorette, moto…Just like MeinMann – who does not raps his BPMs in Cortona, rather spins his Gantts on XL in Leeds – but wears slim-fit jeans and hats on mousy hair with similar allure 😉







January 2014, inspirations

The new year has started and the objective is to keep the momentum of our recent Berlin and Dresden break. But also to harvest from inspiring suggestions received in Milano, Trieste, Tokyo. Read inspiring books, have interesting movie experiences, go to live performances (music, dance or theatre) and walk in the city, when the weather does not inspire treks in the countryside. We want to remain inspired by architecture, fashion and photography. Pretty ambitious programme! How are we doing so far? The books which marked the switch to 2014 were very diverse.

The big novel read over Christmas on our Berlin couch next to candles and glasses of Russian tea is “La famiglia Karnowski”, by I.J. Singer, the story of a Jewish family across three generations, from Poland to Berlin to New York. Without mentioning a single date or event, the story of the Karnowskis is a big fresco of integration and immigration, of identity and relationships. I am really grateful that Adelphi translated this novel from Yiddish to Italian, and as a matter of fact it was a pleasure for me to read a great novel in Italian, after so much German and English reading and listening. But I am grateful also to my friend Giuseppe in Milan who suggested to me to get this book during a September Hotel Diana aperitivo. He knew I would have loved this novel…his bold book advice was truly inspiring!

It is always nice when a book gift hits the mark. Therefore it was a nice surprise to receive from a business acquaintance from Boston the essay “Engineers of victory – the problem solvers who turned the tide in WWII” by Paul Kennedy. The person did not know that I am an absolute junkie on topics related to WWII and Cold War, and this will make a nice reading for better understanding the people who were behind the leaders who dominate our history school books. A corporate view of WWII, a book about processes, projects and working groups.

Getting a fresh view on current affairs is always a way of starting into the new year, therefore I thank Stephi for bringing back from her recent Italian trip a copy of Limes, “Che mondo fa”, on geopolitical topics. A pity for those who cannot read Italian. Limes is an anthology of essays on geopolitical and economic topics. It is nice to remove a bit the worries and the news over Christmas, but it is also necessary to refocus and Limes is always an out-of-the-box, lateral thinking reading which cuts across the noise of daily news.

I love to buy books when I travel – and then I complain about heavy Rimowas. I had bought La famiglia Karnowski at Milano Centrale Feltrinelli bookstore during a trip to Milan and during the same trip, when in Triest, I noticed at the Tergesteo bookstore “Polska, rivemo!” a cheeky travelogue in Triestin dialect by Diego Manna and Michele Zazzara.  The book follows the trail of “Tre uomini in bicicletta”, the famous Paolo Rumiz travelogue. I was looking for another glance on Poland, a light and contemporary one, as all my Poland-related reading so far had something to do with WWII. Also, I love biking and the refreshing aspect about this travelogue is its use of ancient and contemporary Triestin dialect. I miss my city and reading dialect makes me feel all of a sudden 20-something. A nice feeling, in the tricky period between New Year’s Eve and my birthday…

Central Europe is always my obsession and after having edited all my bookshelves in Dusseldorf, I decided to re-read Eric Ambler’s “La frontiera proibita” – “The dark frontier”.  Central Europe is fascinating, fake Central European states are mesmerizing. Winter still has to deploy its icy power and therefore trains, stations, hotels, borders are fitting to the mood. Trains are my passion I received a beautiful photo book from MeinMann: “Unvergessiche Reisen”, which covers the most beautiful train journeys worldwide. It was nice to refresh our memories of our legendary trip across Australia with the Indian Pacific train, which we did in 2006.

Let’s stay in Central Europe but switch to photography. Two exhibitions marked the start to the year. First, the big retrospective exhibition dedicated to Barbara Klemm “Fotografien 1968-2013” at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. Watching her photographs, especially those printed on the first page of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, tell the recent history of Germany. Brandt, Schmidt, Kohl, but also Breznev, Hitchcock, Jagger…Barbara Klemm seems to have been always present when a political or social event shaped the public opinion. For me this exhibition was very personal as well since it covers my portion of the 20th century…events occurred when I was a child, and which I want to know better, or of my grown-up life. I love the black and white, sober resolution of newspapers prints, especially one of the pre-digital era, which were definitely better than today’s.

Back home, we saw Candida Hoefer’s “Dusseldorf” photo exhibition. The pupil of Berndt and Hilla Becher shows us a few decades of Ruhr and Rheinland life unfolding. I had spotted a few of her window-sill pictures in 2010 in Essen at the San’aa photo museum. In as much as Klemm depicts Germany with an unconventional, but nevertheless official, historical, international eye (Germany for the outside world), Hoefer shows more intimate places, some solemn and grand – the operas, the libraries, the headquarters – other more low-key: kebab kiosks, windowshops, streets. Last year we had seen Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition at the Kunstsammlung NRW, and I find there is a common thread. Hoefer’s exhibition made us more curious about our city. Her portraits of places, such as Benrath castle, Dreischeiben Haus grand entrance, Schauspielhaus are a door to more exploration in Dusseldorf.

MeinMann and I love exploring the urban texture of cities and, following Hoefer’s 1970s to date Dusseldorf view, he topped up the story with “Dusseldorf wie es war”, a photographic book about the pre-war era. Truly fascinating, it was the perfect inspiration for starting a post-industrial journey across Flingern, the neighborhod across the bridge, and its powerstation. Beautiful urban trekking on the day of my birthday!

Due to mild weather – so far – we privileged walking to going to movies and live performances. But we picked not only really nice plays and movies, but also fabulous venues. In Berlin, in order to lighten up the start of the business year and the end of the holidays, we saw “Cooped” at the Tipi am Kanzleramt by the MontyPythonesque Spymonkey. We loved the play and the Tipi will be on our agenda for our next trips to Berlin! On movies, we got into Zoo Palast mania – we love the place and the atmosphere. Now the goal is to explore the Rheinland’s pendant to Zoo Palast, ie the Residenz movie theater, in Cologne. Or smaller cinemas in Dusseldorf. There will be cold and rainy afternoons ahead in which a gemuetlich movie theater is required, the Winter is not over and there’s never been a warm Carnival as far as I can remember…and we will need ways to avoid Carnival!

Thinking of the mild season, we stocked up on “Infinitely beautiful”, a book about the UNESCO gardens of Woerlitz. Sooner or later we will be tired of cold weather, and planning travels in the Dessau-Woerlitz region will need some sound advice, which we will find in this beautiful book.

Additional inspirations, which are in the pipeline and will need further investigation or “implementation”, are the following: “The 100-year-old-man who climbed out the window and disappeared”, “L’educazione siberiana”, “La nonna vuota il sacco”, “Neoclassico”, “Berliner Chic: A Locational History of Berlin Fashion”, “German Fashion 1947-2013”, “The launch pad”, “Venedig-Dresden, zwei Kunstmetropolen im Dialog”, “Polonia l’Europa senza Euro”, “Aiuto, Hilfe!” (graphic novel), “Japan 8-9-3 – in search of Japan” (exhibition)…pheew!


Stralau, Grünau and more

Some old favorites, like smoked fish sandwiches at Treptower Park…

Some discoveries, such as Stralau Peninsula (thanks Pino for the heads up) and its palmkernoil dock…

The Berlin Insel…and its hydroplane…and its locks, which remind us of Ponte Milvio but also fo Koeln…

Müggelsee and its 60s tower…

…Neu Venedig (did you notice that in German the sun is feminine and Venice is masculine?), which needs some more investigation…

Today we beat our previours records of bike-on-ferry…F11, F12 and last but not least, the famous F24!


Linden Calling!

Mumble mumble…when are we going next to Berlin? Linden trees are starting to work up a nice scent, mixed with the Berliner Luft…

Großstadt, we love you!


as simple as that


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