Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May Showers

We've been having some pretty goofy weather here in Leipzig. April was splendid, full of yellow-flowered fields.

Rapsöl / Canola
I always wondered why we didn't have any Rapeseed at home, until I learned that we call it Canola. Think of that what you will.

In contrast, May has been one big gloomy raincloud.

Read More
Across the street from the current temporary bus stop in Grimma. That guy wants you to "read more."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Neue Wache / New Watchhouse

Neue Wache
When you love Berlin, you love Käthe Kollwitz. The light spot is being cast by an oculus in the ceiling, directly beneath which sits the sculpture.

Berlin has to deal with re-casting and re-defining every memorial within its city limits, so it's exciting when they get something really right. Read more about the Neue Wache and its history via Wikipedia.

from Eminönü to Uskadar

Uskadar Ferry
My inital assumption was that the European sections of Istanbul would be modern, the Asian side conservative. This wasn't the case at all -- each neighborhood has its own character that certainly does not reflect the stereotypical east/west divide. Uskadar, just across the Bosphorus in Asia, was pretty quiet and headscarved. But several stops farther, in Kadikoy, were cafes and used book shops and people we wanted badly to befriend.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Buchmesse Leipzig

This was actually in late March, so I'm breaking up my chonology a bit.

Buchmesse Kids
Leipzig's annual book fair is second to Frankfurt in size. What sets it apart is that it caters to the public and is very well attended. All of the national TV stations come and set up mini-studios in the main hall, and do special programming where they interview authors and publishers.

Buchmesse Kids 2
In the last few years the Manga world has taken the Buchmesse by storm. There were costumed teenage groups underfoot everywhere. I had no idea what most of them were dressed up like. I felt old.

There's a novel in that there tree. The Leipzig fair has a hall just for independent publishers, and they had their own stage with readings throughout the day. We like books, we do.

Several graphic arts schools from around Germany also had booths. Technically sales were supposed to happen in the "shop" section of the fair, but most stands were taking cash.

HGB Kiosk 1
The HGB booth, representing Leipzig.

HGB Kiosk 2

Buchmesse Posters
Events posters advertising readings (Lesungen) all around the city that weekend.

Doppel M
Outside the Neue Messe, on my way home.

Ilhara Valley

Ilahra 1
I know this is a lot of landscapes, but sometimes you visit a place and it looks like another planet and you just can't get enough. Case in point.

Ilhara 2
Ilhara Valley, Cappadocia.


Cappadocia Castle
In Goreme National Park.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hills like... you know

Cappadocia Hills
There are many more specific pictures to post of Cappadocia, but this is the view that met us upon climbing over the first big hill in Goreme National Park. A centuries-old rock church to our left, no people in sight, and this landscape as far as you could see.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hills and Minarets

Izmir wires
Near the Museum of Anthropology in Izmir.

Izmir in the evening

Izmir Agean
Izmir is just your typical big Turkish city without many tourists and a great promenade. Outside of the frame, to the left, is a massive statue of Ataturk, driving away the Greeks. Homer was there, sitting next to the pedestal, taking notes.

The most important things

"When I visited New York were staying in a tiny room in Brooklyn. But we drank a lot of that cheap beer... PBR?"

"Pabst Blue Ribbon?"

"Yeah, it was good."

"You thought PBR was good?"

"Why, do you not think so?"

"Well, I mean... do you think it's better than Sterni?"


"See, I definitely think Sterni here is better."

"Oh. Well... we did think it was really cool to drink beer out of a can."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Zuhal Neon
I wish Zuhal was a great bar, something that would denote my insider status, but as you can see the shop is closed, and I never walked down this street in the daytime.


Izmir Bazaar
Right after the early-afternoon prayers in the Mosque in the bazaar in Izmir.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

die Beobachtete / the Observed

Girls as Themselves
Every single school group we encountered was totally awesome and out of control. We caught these girls taking pictures of us with their camera phones, and so we fished out our own cameras. I don't know them, but I wish I did.

At the New Mosque

In the Mosque
I made the extra effort here and did the neck-wrap, instead of just tying my scarf under my chin like a babushka. (Although later I would see many Turkish women with their scarves done that way.) In German, bangs are called Pony. z.B. Wenn ich eine richtige muslimische Frau wäre, hätte ich bestimmt gar kein Pony. Curiously, I don't know what they call ponytails.

Furniture / Möbel

Turkish Furniture
A secondhand store in Beyoglu, Istanbul. (I would post the word for "furniture" in Turkish too, but I'd be pulling it from some online dictionary and probably just mess it up.)

The Fountain in Munich

Germans call big portable stereo systems "Ghettoblasters." I found that term pretty offensive the first time I heard it, but I understand why nobody in Germany thinks twice about it. Anyway, these kids needed a Ghettoblaster. All they had was a little cell phone pumping out the tunes.

In Munich, shortly before Easter.