April 18, 2014
"Berlin is poor but sexy"

It’s also a city that has an endless amount if art on its walls.

Photo taken April, 2014

"Berlin is poor but sexy"

It’s also a city that has an endless amount if art on its walls.

Photo taken April, 2014

April 17, 2014

The Pipes of Berlin

Pipes are a common but strange element in Berlin streetscapes.  They seem to snake up, down, and around for blocks at a time, usually in bright shades of pink or blue.  My first impression was that they must be some sort of massive public art project, but I later realized that they always start or end at construction projects.

Leave it to Berlin to take ugly construction objects and turn them into funky and fun visual elements.

The BBC did a small piece to explain this strange practice.  Check it out below:

The Mystery of Berlin’s Pink Pipes (on Youtube)

Photos taken April, 2014

April 16, 2014

No Surface Without a Seat

Berlin isn’t the warmest of places, so I was continually surprised by the amount of outdoor seating around the city.  In some neighborhoods, sidewalk cafes, public benches, beer gardens, or terraces seemed to be at every turn.  But what surprised me even more than the sheer amount of seating, was the seemingly ad-hoc, improvised, or innovative nature of many of the options.  Anywhere there was a surface or some extra space, you were bound to find a cushion, a folding chair, a crate, or some recycled materials inviting you to sit down and take a break.  It wasn’t limited to restaurants and bars either - cushions and chairs could be found on the steps, ledges, sidewalks, and street corners outside of clothing stores, gift shops, and all sorts of other random places.

My visit was in April, presumably the time of year when these chairs and cushions first emerge from winter storage.  I’d be curious to take walk through the city in summertime to see them in greater use, and to see if even more sprout up.  It must create an impressively vibrant street life.

Photos taken April, 2014

Related Posts:

Priority: Seating (Downtown Manhattan, NYC)

Many ways to sit (Salamanca, Spain)

Tough for cars, good for culture (Lisbon, Portugal)

… or, surf the Street Furniture tag

April 15, 2014

(Beer) Garden City: Berlin

The Garden City movement may have been started in 1898 by Ebenezer Howard in the United Kingdom, but Berlin has been a “beer garden city” since before that, possibly as far back as 1837.

Prater Garten is the original beer garden in the city (many more followed), and makes for a great gathering space to enjoy beer, food, and great atmosphere.  In typical Berlin fashion, the fairly unassuming street facade masks what turns out to be a massive hidden treasure.  There are 600 seats, multiple serving stations, and even a play area for kids.  I could easily imagine spending hours here in Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Photos taken April, 2014

April 4, 2014
Respiration:
Escuchela, la ciudad respirando….

"Respiration" by Black Star (featuring Common) is an excellent hip hop song, and possibly one of my favorite songs about cities of all time.
What are some of your favorite city songs? 

Respiration:

Escuchela, la ciudad respirando….

"Respiration" by Black Star (featuring Common) is an excellent hip hop song, and possibly one of my favorite songs about cities of all time.

What are some of your favorite city songs? 

April 4, 2014
Destination: Berlin
I’m going on a trip to Berlin soon and would love tips on things to see and do while there. I’m particularly interested in finding things related to topics on this site:  food, music, public space, beer, street life, urbanism, and so on….
Thanks in advance!
Photo from Visit Berlin on Pinterest

Destination: Berlin

I’m going on a trip to Berlin soon and would love tips on things to see and do while there. I’m particularly interested in finding things related to topics on this site:  food, music, public space, beer, street life, urbanism, and so on….

Thanks in advance!

Photo from Visit Berlin on Pinterest

April 3, 2014

Praça do Comércio

The Praça do Comércioin Lisbon is one of the main squares of the city,  but instead of being in the center of the city, as it would in many other places, it is located right on the waterfront.  It makes for a wonderful walking destination and meeting point.

Photos taken July, 2013.

Related Posts:

Harbor Watching, and People Watching, in Lisbon

Ginjinha City: Lisbon

Or, surf the whole #Lisbon tag

April 3, 2014
"End Stop & Frisk.  Hands Off the Kids!"
This building in Gowanus, Brooklyn has showcased various messages over the years.  I find this particular message to be one of the most powerful yet.
Now that Whole Foods is located across the street, maybe the messages featured here will catch even more attention.
Further Reading on Stop and Frisk:
The Atlantic: What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son (April 1st, 2014)

Photo above taken February, 2014 (and edited via Instagram)

"End Stop & Frisk.  Hands Off the Kids!"

This building in Gowanus, Brooklyn has showcased various messages over the years.  I find this particular message to be one of the most powerful yet.

Now that Whole Foods is located across the street, maybe the messages featured here will catch even more attention.

Further Reading on Stop and Frisk:

The Atlantic: What I Learned About Stop-and-Frisk From Watching My Black Son (April 1st, 2014)

Photo above taken February, 2014 (and edited via Instagram)

April 2, 2014
Warmer Places, Part Four
I’m pleased to present part four in my “Warmer Places” series of DJ mixes, a series that takes you on a musical journey around the world.  This edition features music from, influenced, or inspired by places like South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Ethiopia, India, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Colombia, Ghana, Nigeria, Surinam, and more….. 

Warmer Places, Part Four by Knomad Sounds on  Mixcloud

It’s Spring, so this time around is less about winter escapism and more about beautiful months ahead. BBQs, road trips, beach parties, picnics, and cool drinks are what I had in mind. 
The sounds and the format are more analog on this one. The emphasis is on live bands and traditional sounds, rather than on modern productions and remixes. I also let the songs play out to the end, rather than mixing or cutting them up.
 Recorded live in my home studio, April 2014.  Enjoy! 
Related Posts: 
Warmer Places, Part Three 
Subway Salsa 
Cocinando

Warmer Places, Part Four

I’m pleased to present part four in my “Warmer Places” series of DJ mixes, a series that takes you on a musical journey around the world.  This edition features music from, influenced, or inspired by places like South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Ethiopia, India, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ivory Coast, Colombia, Ghana, Nigeria, Surinam, and more….. 

It’s Spring, so this time around is less about winter escapism and more about beautiful months ahead. BBQs, road trips, beach parties, picnics, and cool drinks are what I had in mind. 

The sounds and the format are more analog on this one. The emphasis is on live bands and traditional sounds, rather than on modern productions and remixes. I also let the songs play out to the end, rather than mixing or cutting them up.

Recorded live in my home studio, April 2014.  Enjoy!

Related Posts:

Warmer Places, Part Three

Subway Salsa

Cocinando

April 1, 2014

"Ha Caracois"

If you see a sign like this, it means they have snails.  Caracois is a very popular summertime dish amongst Portuguese locals, and its not to be confused with escargots, the French take on snails.  If you are into snails (or willing to try at least), finding a little sidewalk cafe in the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon could be a great way to experience local cuisine while soaking up sunshine and neighborhood life.  Adding some beer to the experience is probably a good idea as well.

Read more about the tradition at Portugal Daily View.

Photos taken July, 2013.

March 31, 2014

Visualizing Music and Cinema

Music, dance, and cinema get represented on the streets of the 5th arrondissement in Paris.

Photos taken July, 2006

March 31, 2014
Gelato City: Rome (Part 2)
Just part of the large selection available at the famous Giolitti, the “oldest ice cream shop in Rome.”  
The weather is getting warmer, so treats like this suddenly sound highly appealing.  Unfortunately I won’t be in Rome anytime soon to do it right.
Photo taken April, 2013
Related Post:
Gelato City: Rome (Part 1)

Gelato City: Rome (Part 2)

Just part of the large selection available at the famous Giolitti, the “oldest ice cream shop in Rome.”  

The weather is getting warmer, so treats like this suddenly sound highly appealing.  Unfortunately I won’t be in Rome anytime soon to do it right.

Photo taken April, 2013

Related Post:

Gelato City: Rome (Part 1)

March 30, 2014

Walking Around Lille

Lille is a beautiful city in Northern France, particularly interesting due to its mix of Belgian and French cultural influences in everything from beer, to food, to architecture.  I visited a couple years ago and would love to go back sometime.

Check out my previous #Lille posts.

Photos taken March, 2012

March 28, 2014
Biking in Place + Urban Floating
I walked past this scene in Barcelona last August and couldn’t resist snapping a photo.  It’s a good example of the laid back and creative vibe that abounds there…. Walking the streets in beach gear with rafts and floats is commonplace in the city, but is something I can’t say I’ve seen many other places.  Meanwhile, the guy on the bike was biking in place, which I guess could be considered an innovative outdoor replacement for going to the gym.
Photo taken August, 2013.

Related Posts:
Bike parking by the beach
Barcelona by bike
Tapas on the beach
City as theater, Barcelona style

Biking in Place + Urban Floating

I walked past this scene in Barcelona last August and couldn’t resist snapping a photo.  It’s a good example of the laid back and creative vibe that abounds there…. Walking the streets in beach gear with rafts and floats is commonplace in the city, but is something I can’t say I’ve seen many other places.  Meanwhile, the guy on the bike was biking in place, which I guess could be considered an innovative outdoor replacement for going to the gym.

Photo taken August, 2013.

Related Posts:

Bike parking by the beach

Barcelona by bike

Tapas on the beach

City as theater, Barcelona style

March 27, 2014
Beer Vs. Water
There are a number of places in Prague where you can enjoy Czech beer and food while looking over the water.  It’s a great way to spend some time in the city once the weather gets warmer.  In this particular instance, a guitar soloist contributed some tunes to the ambiance while people watched the sun set over the water.
Unfortunately, flooding last year made activities like this impossible at times.  There are also significant portions of the city’s waterfront that lay dormant or underutilized.  Moving forward, the city will have to figure out how to strike the balance between activating the waterfront and protecting it from weather.  Here’s one idea that emerged last year.  I’m sure there have been others both before and after.
Photo taken June, 2013.
Related Posts:
Beer City: Prague
Funky Seating in Prague
Or, just surf the whole #Prague tag

Beer Vs. Water

There are a number of places in Prague where you can enjoy Czech beer and food while looking over the water.  It’s a great way to spend some time in the city once the weather gets warmer.  In this particular instance, a guitar soloist contributed some tunes to the ambiance while people watched the sun set over the water.

Unfortunately, flooding last year made activities like this impossible at times.  There are also significant portions of the city’s waterfront that lay dormant or underutilized.  Moving forward, the city will have to figure out how to strike the balance between activating the waterfront and protecting it from weather.  Here’s one idea that emerged last year.  I’m sure there have been others both before and after.

Photo taken June, 2013.

Related Posts:

Beer City: Prague

Funky Seating in Prague

Or, just surf the whole #Prague tag

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