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Sunday
Sep052010

Gigantomachy!

Ahhhh, the Pergamon Museum. One of the most amazing places in Berlin - a Hellenistic-era altar with a giant frieze of the gods battling monsters and giants, stolen from Turkey by German archeologists and re-assembled here in Berlin. The 19th Century was a crazy time. 

I've been three times, and I've determined it's impossible for me to take a good pic that encompasses the whole altar, so this time I went for specific details I thought were cool from this depiction of the Gigantomachy. Let's start with Athena laying down the law and f-ing some giants up:

Then we've got this fellow, beset by some angry looking snakes:

And heres Leto getting ready to hurl some sort of serpent-bomb, which would be very uncomfortable I think:

Meanwhile, a reminder that you never want your head in the lion's mouth:

Tuesday
Aug312010

Headache!

I don't actually have a headache. I feel fine. But the guy wearing this helmet probably had one:

This is also from the other night, in the German History Museum. As far as I can tell, that's an actual16th century helmet with actual holes punched in it from an actual pick from actual knights killing each other. Or not. I'm not sure. Still, it's a very fun and informative display isn't it?

The words above refer to a different item in the display case, this awesome mechanical prosthetic hand from 1504:

Sunday
Aug292010

Scenes from Long Night of Museums

So last night was the summer installment of Berlin's semi-annual Long Night of the Museums, where one ticket gets you into almost every museum in town and they all stay open late. My friend Alex and I spent 6 hours wandering about, and saw just a tiny fraction of what was open. I didn't take pics of the paintings we saw, but among the highlights were a couple of Vermeers. That dude could paint...

Anyway, here's some highlights, starting with people already in line for the Altes Museum, where the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities are:

There were various street performers and the like around, which we saw hardly any of. But we did run across these blue people on stilts getting ready:

As the sun was setting, everything looked lovely. I took this pic of building, the name of which eludes me and which I'm too lazy to look up right now:

We did go inside museums too. In the communications museum there was this cool deconstructed postal carriage:

And of course for me the highlights were the swords and armor and stuff, like this:

The end of that exhibit had this really funny set-up that made a point and made me laugh. This is the angle you first see the room from:

Saturday
Aug282010

Saturday Morning Potsdammer and Back

Took a nice long walk this morning, and about to head back out again for tonight's museum madness. Here are some nifty pics, starting with the Sony Center all but empty at 9:00 AM:

Then here we have the US Embassy, which, despite it's central location, is pretty understated:

Not that I was close to the only tourist out there. They come by land and Spree:

And then there was this mammoth made from what looked like black tape - video tape style tape. In a tree. For obvious reasons...

Wednesday
Aug252010

Berlin Pics of the Day: Museum Island and Buried Palaces

This morning I went to the city center and Museum Island. I didn't go in any museums, since I'm going to be doing the tourist thing more when my friends get here next week. But this part of museum island was under repair last time I was in Berlin, so this was all kind of new to me. Here are some tourists enjoying a newly restored museum:

See that equestrian statue on the stairs? It's got four scholarly figures around it's base, including this guy below. I loved the cobwebs covering his face:

Nearby is the site of the old Palace of the Republic from East German days. When I was here two years ago they were tearing down the last bits of concrete. Now it's a green field. Next to it is the site of the old Schloss Berlin, which the East Germans destroyed. Here's an archeologist working on excavating the old basement:

Tuesday
Aug242010

Berlin Pic of the Day: Diana Hunts Berliners

So I'm not saying I'm going to do this every day, but today I am posting a new pic. It's a lovely day today and I took a walk up to the Flak Turm and Humboldt Hain park, where there's a rose garden that includes this statue of the goddess Diana. I rather liked it in the light and setting. She's got a dog with her too, but in the best pic I took of them both there's a bush in the background that looks like it's sprouting out of the hound's head. A nice lesson for me to take note of such things...

Monday
Aug232010

My Apartment in Berlin

Well, here's the upstairs living area of my apartment in Berlin for this visit. There's a downstairs where the big bathroom and the office are, and then there's a bedroom off the living room area. And two porches. IT's raining pretty hard at the moment, and I'm chilling in the office and recovering from jet lag and doing something resembling work. Tomorrow the rains should have cleared away and I'll hit the town in earnest.

 

Sunday
Aug222010

Welcome Back to Berlin

Here I am again, in one of my favorite cities in the world: Berlin.

It's great to be here, and my apartment for the next 5 weeks is really awesome. My only complaint is that it was pretty damn hot today and there's of course no AC or even fans, but it's supposed to cool down tomorrow so that should take care of that.

I'll be working on a big, vaguely secret project while I'm here involving all kinds of exciting new ways of storytelling. But I'm bound and determined to be a better daily blogger about my time here, so hopefully you'll be seeing and hearing a lot more from me in the coming five weeks.

But wait, there's more! After I'm done here, it's on to London for two weeks, something I'm very excited about since I've never been to England before (well, except when the Queen Mary 2 pulled into Southampton, but I was way too hungover to get off the ship). This time I'll hope to see much, much more.

Tuesday
Aug172010

Yes, You May Address Me as Master

I now have an MFA in creative writing from The Ranier Writers Workshop at PLU. Pretty cool, huh?

As always, the residency has been a flurry of activity and wifi access has been spotty. Air conditioning has also been spotty and the air has been hot. But I'm done! Graduated like a mother fucking cylinder, yo.

It definitely feels good and I'm psyched to be moving forward. We're wrapping stuff up today and I head home tomorrow. Then off to Berlin on Saturday!

Saturday
Aug072010

Welcome to SeaTac

So I've arrived in Washington and am ready for the end of my three year pursuit of an MFA from the Ranier Writers Workshop at PLU. So that's cool.

I took only my iPad on this trip. No real computer. I'm posting this from the squarespace app for the iPhone and it's not super pretty but seems to be working. I'm also online using the mobile hotspot feature on my Nexus One, which is just great. Makes me very glad I'm not paying extra for the 3G iPad.

Really just testing this app out, but if it works well than I'll try and blog more during this residency. Maybe.