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Archive for May, 2012

I have been reading so many kinds of books lately – some of them have caused internal turmoil, some external. With these pages bound with glue and thread, I am discovering new ideas. Old ideas and platitudes are being flushed out. Memories are becoming sharper in my mind as I associate them with words on a page. My hands are poised, ready to create tangible objects after processing a jumble of incongruous thoughts. I want to do it all on purpose. I must move. And so I walk inspired by the words of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau.

If you have an hour read Walking by Thoreau.

 

 

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I’ve got a translation project of 41,000 words from “h-e-double-hockey-sticks” that, no matter how hard I try to concentrate, is not moving forward. I tried the 25-minute method (work 25 minutes solid before taking a short break to click around on the intergoogles or getting distracted articles by France’s new president, gay rights, best cafes in Berlin and trying to find flights to Kansas City), but all I did was obsessively click back and forth from my project to the timer – so that was no help. Instead of worrying about my mediocre progress, I’ve put my headphones on and have the KEXP YouTube channel on repeat – my two favorites are The Head and the Heart’s “Down in the Valley” and Florence + the Machine’s acoustic version of “Cosmic Love“.

It’s still slow goings, but the music has put my soul at ease.

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There is a place that anyone who visits Berlin should make a point to get to. It even rates higher than Checkpoint Charlie (in my food-weighted scale). It’s history in your mouth…literally! Go to Siebert Bäckerei & Konditorei. There you’ll have the most delicious and most historic (since 1906) Pfannkuchen (that’s German for donut also known as a Berliner) in Berlin.

In fact, don’t stop at just the Pfannkuchen (filled with tart cherry or plum jam). You should try any of the other typical German sweet or savory snacks found in the bakery: Brötchen (small German rolls perfect for a sandwich or just to snack on), poppyseed cake or just order a coffee to go with your Pfannkuchen before heading out to explore the rest of Prenzlauer Berg.

Don’t let the a long line keep you from getting a treat. I promise that “German efficiency” is a thing that really exists…the women who run the bakery are good. If you don’t speak German – it doesn’t matter at all. Point at desired item, hold up fingers indicating the quantity and say Bitte (that means “please”). You won’t regret a thing.

I found this video in English all about their Pfannkuchen! Watch it here.

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A touch of color on a grey afternoon.

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The streets of Berlin have more color than Strasbourg. The feeling that anything could happen is so strong that it drives people to do almost anything. Grocery stores don’t close for lunch. The faces that pass by you on the street are always different. The yellow U-bahn whizzes overhead on Schönhauser Allee every three minutes. Travelers in the park ask for change while playing catch with their flea-laden dogs. But even so, on Sunday the city rests for a few hours. Maybe then I will rest.

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The filth that covers the walls of Berlin is washed out by the neon lights.

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