Friday, October 31, 2008


Though for us It does not mean a lot of things, Halloween is another reason to launch a party. Tonight, friends of friends organize an evening in a bar in Kreuzberg. I know those people crazy enough to prepare something interesting so of course I'm in. I know the bar because I drive by a lot of times and if it is the one I'm thinking of, It's a nice one. Truly said, It's my first Halloween party. Can't wait.


I heard tonight should happen something. So when you come back tonight after a long party, a bit drunk, watch Hellbent. It's a gay scary movie. Funny. Hellbent is a scary, sexy, funny thrill-ride through a wild Halloween night in West Hollywood where chiseled gay boys become the target of a sickle-wielding serial killer. Don't watch this one alone! Hellbent is out to scare, titillate and entertain the bejesus out of you. Possibly the first gay horror/slasher movie, we find that a deranged serial killer is on the loose in West Hollywood and he's got a taste for hunky homos. It's Halloween night and, despite the news of a grisly double beheading of two guys tricking in the park, four gay friends prepare for a wild night of partying. Out for a night on the town are gorgeous but insecure Eddie (newcomer Dylan Fergus) dressed as a cop; his butch cowboy hat-wearing buddy Chaz (Andrew Levitas); the young Joey (Hank Harris), scantily-clad and chained as a sex slave; and the leggy Tobey (Matt Phillips), dolled-up as a big-haired gal. They wander the hunk-filled streets and sweat-drenched clubs, and Eddie meets the boy of his dreams — the sultry, motorcycling Jake (Bryan Kirkwood. They remain oblivious, however, to the lurking danger of the devilish killer stalking their every move. Oblivious, that is, until the killer’s sickle starts chopping away at them! Who lives, who gets it (and remember, characters in horror films should never have hot ‘n heavy sex — it only infuriates the sexually frustrated villain!) are slowly revealed in this vastly entertaining flick which will keep you on the edge of your seats. With a dynamic soundtrack, a bevy of gorgeous half-naked guys, a wry humor and a knowing understanding of the horror classics like Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellbent will keep you enthralled until the last drop of blood.


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I like very much street art. I remember last December (I found back the picture) I pictured "Vive la bourgeoisie" from the artist SP38. I'm happy to find art in the streets because It makes me question, that I wouldn't do at no other time because I don't go often in museums or gallery. I'm happy to find an exhibition of this artist at the gallery Anyway and guess what, It's so near my place, I guess I'll go passing by.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


As you already know, I like short films. Backroom comes from Spain, not really new but like they say, there are things that never change. I like particularly this one because It's universal. That is, when you are in a back (or dark-) room, most of the time if your brain is not switches off by your dick shouting out loud, this short film shows to you what we're thinking. Even if there is an opportunity, we let it go, thinking (wrongly at the most) that the next one will be soooooooo much better (looking, sex, attractive, whatever, fill the gap). And you end up alone, drunk, unsatisfied, starving for a blow job when you're alone in your bed masturbating yourself. Finding love can be difficult, but surely a backroom on a Saturday night is the last place you should go looking for it. Certainly the men in this Spanish short seem to be searching for just one thing and it clearly isn't a boyfriend - or is it? For in this realistic depiction of backroom life, we get to hear the inner thoughts of those whose need for sex see them seek out that area of a club, that is but an indoor cruising ground. And yet and inspite of the subject under discussion, male nudity is seldom on view in a piece that is more akin to a cinematic representation of lust and if anything, loneliness. Yes it's all very seedy, but how could it be otherwise, as we view the scene through the eyes of Iván, a backroom virgin who "shouldn't have come," turns to go, but instead finds himself being serviced bottom end up as this short rapidly heads to its sexual climax. Thankfully along the way director Morales sets the atmosphere rather nicely, mixing a throbbing club sound with images of men of all ages and types who cruise a maze of dark corridors that whilst new to some, are more than familiar territory to those ever on the lookout for fresh meat. In between such carnal encounters, Morales injects a series of cutting comments, questioning if the mens' boyfriends or for that matter their girlfriends, know where they are? Yet the most poignant words come from an older man who looked upon in disgust by the local stud, offers the biting remark that "when you're my age and they look at you with the same eyes that you look at me - then you'll see." For the star of the show is the narrative itself, as voiceover after voiceover aptly conveys the reality of the situation and how for some men, kissing on the lips is a no-go area, after all "who does he think I am - his boyfriend?" Yet that is the bottom line here, given not everyone present is looking for sex, only do those men have the courage to voice their need for love and affection in such a soulless environment? A telling work indeed. Screened in Great Britain as part of the 15th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, It obtaines many awards : 2001 AWARDS 1999 Alcalá de Henares Short Film Festival 'Caja de Madrid' Award for Best Editing - Joan Manel Vilaseca 2000 Barcelona Curt Ficcions Best Short Film Award 2000 Dresden Film Festival Best Short Film - Honourable Mention 2000 Málaga Spanish Film Festival Best Short Film Award 2000 Stockholm Film Festival Best Short Film Award 2001 Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Jury Award - Best Short Film.

Monday, October 27, 2008


This is the first retrospective exhibition of the work of the American star photographer Richard Avedon since his death in 2004. Many epoch-making and pioneering pictures are on show: the picture of the famous model Dovima, posing amidst sawdust and hay between elephants in an haute-couture creation, was revolutionary and ground-breaking in 1948; the 9.5 x 3 m. group portrait of “Andy Warhol and the members of the Factory” from 1969, where Avedon was able to bring out the individual personalities in the group; and the picture of Charles Chaplin, forming devil’s horns on his forehead and waving goodbye to McCarthyism’s USA with his gaze. Also included are Avedon’s characteristic dancing model shots with the most fêted photo models of the day, for example Twiggy and Veruschka.Especially interesting for the venue in Berlin, in the year of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, Avedon’s series from New Year’s Evening 1989 will be shown in the exhibit. Avedon traveled to Berlin on the sole purpose of photographing this extraordinary historical situation and the reaction of the people.For more than 50 years Richard Avedon was one of the biggest names in the fashion industry, with a star status that he maintained throughout the years, and he was the first to break down the barrier between so-called serious and non-serious photography. He made a name as early as the 1950s as the world’s leading fashion photographer and was employed by the American magazine Harpers Bazaar, later by Vogue, then in 1992 ended up as the weekly New Yorker’s first regular staff photographer.In parallel with the fashion photography, Avedon also worked with dark, emotionally charged portraits, and along with the photographer Irving Penn transformed portrait photography in the twentieth century; but whereas Penn’s portraiture was considerate and attentive, Avedon’s was radical and intense.Avedon created an endless succession of portraits of statesmen, artists, actors and actresses. And wherever one usually has a fixed image of a person, with his photographs he shatters the picture-postcard icon and shows a portrait that provides food for thought – it may be of legendary film stars like Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe or the great stars of the silent film – Buster Keaton and Charles Chaplin – or of personalities ranging as wide as Karen Blixen, Truman Capote, Henry Kissinger, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Edward Kennedy, The Beatles and Francis Bacon. The retrospective exhibition features more than 250 photographs, demonstrating the scope of Avedon’s production, from the glamorous world of fashion through the more psychological portraits to reportage-oriented shots. The first photograph in the exhibition was taken in 1946, when Avedon went to Rome and Sicily just after World War II, and the last photograph in the exhibition is of the singer Björk, taken less than four months before Avedon’s sudden death. In general, the presentation of the photographs in the exhibition is chronological, drawing selectively on picture series where Avedon concentrated on a particular range of themes, subjects or events – from travel pictures to almost registrative pictures of his dying father. Photographs from the “New York Life” reportage series from 1949 – a work commissioned by Life magazine, which Avedon at the time ended up not submitting to the magazine, and from which he first showed selections forty years later in his own book “An Autobiography” – can be seen in the exhibition. The series points forward to other reportages shown in the exhibition as well as portrait series for which Avedon has later become famous, including “In the American West”, photos from 17 of the USA’s westernmost states in the period 1979–84, a work commissioned by The Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Out of 752 portrait shots Avedon selected 124 black-and-white photographs of people who fall outside the normal social order. While it is usually politicians, celebrities and well-off people who are portrayed in the tradition of the representative portrait, the powerful have here been replaced with the powerless. Richard Avedon was awarded the Swedish Hasselblad Prize for photography in 1991.The exhibit has been shown at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebœk, the International Centre for Photography, Milan, and the Jeu de Paume, Paris. Following the Martin-Gropius-Bau, the exhibit will be shown at FOAM Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam and at the SFMOMA, San Francisco. Part of the European Month of Photography Berlin. Richard Avedon – Photographs 1946–2004. A RetrospectiveVenue : Martin-Gropius-Bau, 19 October 2008 to 19 January 2009.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Socket : After being struck by lightning, Dr. Bill Matthews recovers in the hospital where he also works. An intern named Craig Murphy slips him a card inviting him to a meeting of "people just like us." In this "group," Bill finds other survivors who have been electrocuted in various ways. But the doctor soon discovers that the members now addicted to the electric current. And not only does Bill become hooked, his relationship with sexy Craig ignites, setting a chain of events into shocking motion.


Tempelhof city airport

This week-end, because it will be closed definitely, they say, by next week, I went to visit the city airport Tempelhof. It looks like a prison with the big buildings and not something you will come inside to catch your plane. It is very impressive from outside and inside and you feel the power of Germany from this time. Now It just allows commercial flights to short destinations and with small amount of passagers because Its capacity can't take any big planes. Private jets land there as well and It is well connected with the city center in less than 30 minutes. The site of the airport was originally Knights Templar land in medieval Berlin, and from this beginning came the name Tempelhof. Later, the site was used as a parade field by Prussian forces, and by unified German forces from 1720 to the start of World War I. In 1909, Frenchman Armand Zipfel made the first flight demonstration in Tempelhof, followed by Orville Wright later that same year. Tempelhof was first officially designated as an airport on 8 October 1923. Lufthansa was founded in Tempelhof on 6 January 1926. The old terminal, originally constructed in 1927, received politicians and celebrities from around the world during the 1930s. As part of Albert Speer's plan for the reconstruction of Berlin during the Nazi era, Prof. Ernst Sagebiel was ordered to replace the old terminal with a new terminal building in 1934. The airport halls and the neighbouring buildings, intended to become the gateway to Europe and a symbol of Hitler's "world capital" Germania, are still known as the largest built entities worldwide, and have been described by British architect Sir Norman Foster as "the mother of all airports". With its façades of shell limestone, the terminal building, built between 1936 and 1941, forms a massive 1.2-kilometre long quadrant yet has a charmingly intimate feel; planes can taxi right up to the building and unload, sheltered from the weather by its enormous overhanging canopy. Passengers walk through customs controls and find themselves in a dazzlingly simple and luminous reception hall. Tempelhof is served conveniently by the U6 U-Bahn line along Mehringdamm and up Friedrichstraße (Platz der Luftbrücke station). Zentralflughafen Tempelhof-Berlin had an advantage of central location just minutes from the heart of Berlin and quickly became one of the world's busiest airports. Tempelhof saw its greatest pre-war days during 1938–1939 when more than 52 foreign and 40 domestic aircraft arrived and departed daily from the old terminal, while the new one was still under construction. The air terminal was designed as headquarters for Deutsche Lufthansa, the German national airline. As a forerunner of today's modern airports, the building was designed with many unique features including giant arc-shaped hangars for aircraft parking. Although under construction for more than ten years, it was never finished because of World War II. The building complex was designed to resemble an eagle in flight with semicircular hangars forming the bird's spread wings. A mile long hangar roof was to have been laid in tiers to form a stadium for spectators at air and ground demonstrations. Weserwerke started war production in a new building for assembling Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers and later Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter planes in Tempelhof's underground tunnels. Aircraft engines were trucked to Tempelhof and joined to finished airframes. The airport is the hub of a "hub and spoke" arrangement of underground tunnels, and parts for the airplanes were brought from all parts of the city to the air base to be assembled and then flown out. Germany did not use Tempelhof as a military airfield during World War II, except for occasional emergency landings by fighter aircraft. Soviet forces took Tempelhof in the Battle of Berlin on 24 April 1945 in the closing days of the war in Europe following a fierce battle with Luftwaffe troops. Tempelhof's German commander, Colonel Rudolf Boettger, refused to carry out orders to blow up the base, choosing instead to kill himself. After he died the Russian troops attempted to clear the 5 lower levels of the airbase but the Germans had booby trapped everything and too many were killed, leading the Russian commander to order the lower levels be flooded with water. The lower 3 levels are still flooded to this day, having never been opened up due to un-exploded ordinance. In accordance with the Yalta agreements, Zentralflughafen Tempelhof-Berlin was turned over to the United States Army 2nd Armored Division on 2 July 1945 by the Soviet Union as part of the American occupation zone of Berlin. This agreement was later formalised by the August 1945 Potsdam Agreement, which formally divided Berlin into four occupation zones. On 20 June 1948 Soviet authorities, claiming technical difficulties, halted all traffic by land and by water into or out of the western-controlled section of Berlin. The only remaining access routes into the city were three 25-mile-wide air corridors across the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany. Faced with the choice of abandoning the city or attempting to supply its inhabitants with the necessities of life by air, the Western Powers chose the latter course, and for the next eleven months sustained the city's two-and-a-half million residents in one of the greatest feats in aviation history. Operation Vittles, as the airlift was unofficially named, began on 26 June when USAF Douglas C-47 "Skytrains" carried 80 tons of food into Tempelhof, far less than the estimated 4,500 tons of food, coal and other essential supplies needed daily to maintain a minimum level of existence. But this force was soon augmented by United States Navy and Royal Air Force cargo aircraft, as well as British European Airways (BEA) and some of Britain's fledgling wholly privately owned, Independent airlines. The latter included the late Sir Freddie Laker's Air Charter, Eagle Aviation and Skyways. On 15 October 1948, to promote increased safety and cooperation between the separate US and British airlift efforts, the Allies created a unified command -- the Combined Airlift Task Force under Maj. Gen. William H. Tunner, USAF, was established at Tempelhof. To facilitate the command and control, as well as the unloading of aircraft, the USAF 53rd Troop Carrier Squadron was temporarily assigned to Tempelhof. In addition to the airlift operations, American engineers constructed a new 6,000-ft runway at Tempelhof between July and September 1948 and another between September and October 1948 to accommodate the expanding requirements of the airlift. The last airlift transport touched down at Tempelhof on 30 September 1949. As the Cold War intensified in the late 1950s and 1960s, access problems to West Berlin, both by land and air, continued to cause tension. USAF aircraft were harassed as they flew in and out of the city. Throughout the Cold War years, Tempelhof was the main terminal for American military transport aircraft accessing West Berlin. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, the presence of American forces in Berlin ended. The USAF 7350th Air Base Group at Tempelhof was deactivated in June 1993. In July 1994, with President Clinton in attendance, the British, French, and American air and land forces in Berlin were deactivated in a ceremony on the Four Ring Parade field at Tempelhof in accordance with the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany. The Western Allies returned a united city of Berlin to the unified German government. The U.S. Army closed its Berlin Army Aviation Detachment at TCA in August 1994, ending a 49-year American military presence in Berlin. American Overseas Airlines (AOA), at the time the overseas division of American Airlines, inaugurated the first commercial air link serving Tempelhof after the war with a flight from New York via Frankfurt on 18 May 1946. In 1950 Pan Am acquired AOA from American Airlines and established a presence at Tempelhof. In addition to continuing AOA's Berlin-Frankfurt-New York service, Pan Am commenced regular, year-round scheduled services to most major West German cities from Tempelhof with Douglas DC-4s as these were widely available at the time due to the large number of war-surplus C-54 "Skymasters" on the second-hand aircraft market. 1950 was also the year BEA and Air France joined Pan Am at Tempelhof. The former transferred its operations from Gatow and the latter resumed operations to Tempelhof following their cessation during the war years. This was furthermore the year Allied restrictions making commercial airline services from/to West Berlin accessible to Allied military personnel and their dependants only were lifted. This decision gave a major boost to West Berlin's fledgeling post-war scheduled air services, all of which were concentrated at Tempelhof at that time.
From 1951 onwards, several of the new, wholly privately owned Independent UK airlines and US supplemental carriers commenced regular air services to Tempelhof from the UK, the US and
West Germany. These airlines initially carried members of the UK and US armed forces stationed in Berlin and their dependants as well as essential raw materials, finished goods manufactured in West Berlin and refugees from East Germany and Eastern Europe, who were still able to freely enter the city prior to the construction of the infamous Berlin Wall, on their flights. This operation was also known as the second, Little Berlin Airlift. One of these airlines, UK Independent Dan-Air Services (operating as Dan-Air London), would subsequently play an important role in developing commercial air services from Tegel for a quarter century. During the early to mid-1950s BEA leased in aircraft that were bigger than its Tempelhof-based fleet of "Pionair" and "Viking" piston-engined airliners from other operators to boost capacity, following a steady increase in the airline's passenger loads. In 1958 BEA began replacing its aging "Pionairs" and "Vikings" with brand-new, state-of-the-art Vickers "Viscount" 800 series turboprop aircraft. These aircraft's greater range and higher cruising speed enabled BEA to inaugurate a non-stop London Heathrow - Berlin Tempelhof service on November 1, 1965.For many years this was the only non-stop international scheduled air service from Tempelhof. On January 2, 1960 Air France, which had served Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and its main base at Paris Orly during the previous decade with DC-4, Sud-Est "Languedoc" and Lockheed "Constellation" piston-engined equipment, shifted its entire Berlin operation to Tegel because Tempelhof's runways were too short to permit the introduction of the Sud-Aviation "Caravelle", the French flag carrier's new short-haul jet, with a viable payload. 1960 was also the year Pan Am re-equipped its Tempelhof-based fleet with larger, pressurised Douglas DC-6B piston-engined airliners. Although the DC-6B was a less advanced aircraft than either the "Viscount" or the "Caravelle", it was more economical. By the early 1960s, Pan Am had a fleet of 15 DC-6Bs stationed at its Tempelhof base, which were configured in a higher-density seating arrangement than competing airlines' aircraft. This gave it the biggest aircraft fleet among the three main scheduled operators flying from West Berlin. It furthermore enabled it to compensate for the DC-6's lack of sophistication with higher frequencies than its competitors, thereby attaining a higher market share (60%) and capturing a greater share of the lucrative business travel market than its rivals. During that period, Pan Am moreover achieved an industry-leading ultra short-haul load factor of 70% on its eight scheduled internal routes from Berlin, making the airline's Berlin routes the most profitable in its worldwide scheduled network. Following the completion of the Berlin Wall on August 13, 1961, the West German government introduced a route-specific subsidy of up to 20% for all internal German scheduled air services from and to West Berlin to help the airlines maintain an economically viable operation on these lifeline routes. By the early 1960s, a number of UK Independents and US supplementals began operating regular charter flights from Tempelhof. These carried both inbound tourists from the US, the UK and other countries as well as local outbound tourists to the emerging holiday resorts in the Mediterranean. London Gatwick-based UK Independent Lloyd International became the first charter airline to permanently station some of its aircraft at Tempelhof, when it based two Bristol "Britannia" turboprops at the airport from the beginning of the 1966 summer season. These aircraft were operating a series of inclusive tour flights under contract to Berliner Flug Ring, a newly established West Berlin package tour operator. In January 1966 Pan Am became the first airline to commence regular, year-round jet operations from Tempelhof with the first examples of a brand-new fleet of Boeing 727 100 series, one of the first "short-field" performance jet aircraft. These aircraft were configured in a single class featuring 128 economy seats. Pan Am's move put BEA at a considerable competitive disadvantage, especially on the busy Berlin-Frankfurt route where the former out-competed the latter with both modern jet planes as well as a higher flight frequency. BEA responded by supplementing its Tempelhof-based "Viscount" fleet with a pair of De Havilland "Comet" 4B series jetliners. Although these aircraft could operate from Tempelhof's short runways without payload restrictions - unlike the 4/4C series versions of that aircraft type, they were not suited to the airline's ultra short-haul operation from Berlin (average stage length: 230 miles) given the high fuel consumption of the "Comet", especially when operating at the mandatory 10,000 feet altitude inside the Allied air corridors. This measure was therefore only a stopgap until BEA's BAC One-Eleven 500s arrived in Berlin. BEA furthermore responded to Pan Am's competitive threat by re-configuring its Berlin-based "Viscounts" with a lower-density seating arrangement, as a result of which these aircraft featured only 52 instead of 68 seats. Henceforth, the airline marketed these services as Super Silver Star. In 1968 BEA began replacing its Berlin-based "Viscounts" with the new One-Eleven 500s, which it called the Super One-Eleven. These aircraft featured a 99-seat, single class configuration. 1968 was also the year all non-scheduled services, i.e. primarily the rapidly growing number of inclusive tour charter flights, were concentrated at Tegel to alleviate increasing congestion at Tempelhof and to make better use of Tegel, which was underutilised at the time. Commercial air traffic from/to Berlin Tempelhof peaked in 1971 at just below five-and-a-half million passengers (out of a total of 6.12 m passengers for all West Berlin airports during that year). Pan Am accounted for the bulk of this traffic with more than 3.3m passengers, followed by BEA with over 2.1m passengers. 1971 was also the year BEA's last "Viscount" departed Berlin. East Germany's relaxation of border controls affecting all surface transport modes between West Berlin and West Germany across its territory from 1972 onwards resulted in a decline of scheduled internal German air traffic from/to West Berlin. This was further compounded by the recession in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. The resulting fare increases that were intended to recover the airlines' higher operating costs caused by steeply rising jet fuel prices led to a further drop in demand. This in turn resulted in a major contraction of Pan Am's and BEA's/British Airways's internal German operations, necessitating a reduction in both airlines' Berlin-based fleets (from 14 to eleven aircraft in Pan Am's case, and from nine to seven aircraft in BA's case) and turning these once profitable routes into loss-makers by the mid-1970s. On 1 September 1975 Pan Am and British Airways moved their entire Berlin operation to the newly built terminal at Tegel Airport. Following Pan Am's and BA's move to Tegel, Tempelhof was exclusively used by the US military until 1985. The end of the Cold War and German reunification opened Tempelhof for non-allied air traffic on 3 October 1990. US President Bill Clinton christened a new Boeing C17A "Globemaster III" transport plane (serial number 96-0006) the Spirit of Berlin at Tempelhof on 12 May 1998, to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Blockade.(May 12, 1949) Today commercial use is mostly in the form of small commuter aircraft flying regionally. Plans are in place to shut down Tempelhof and Tegel, and make Schönefeld the sole commercial airport for Berlin. In 1996, the former mayor of Berlin Eberhard Diepgen, Brandenburg’s governor Stolpe and the federal transport minister Wissmann established the so-called “Consensus resolution”. The entire planning aimed at concentrating domestic and international air traffic in Berlin and Brandenburg at one airport: Berlin-Schönefeld International Airport. To ensure investment protection as well as to fend off opposition to Schöenefeld International's expansion, it was mandated that first Tempelhof and then Tegel must be closed. On December 4, 2007, the Federal Administrative Court of Germany (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) made the final decision as court of last instance to close Tempelhof Airport. An initiative for a nonbinding referendum on the level of the Land Berlin against closure was held and failed, after the initial number of signatures required were collected. According to the constitution of the state of Berlin, the number of supportive signatures that were required to be collected within four months in order to compel a referendum amounts to 7% of the population of Berlin entitled to vote, or 169,784. The four months period for the collection of signatures at the Berlin district townhalls ended on 14 February 2008. 203,408 signatures were lodged. The referendum was held on 27 April 2008. All eligible voters received an information brochure along with their notification. A majority of the votes was necessary to support the referendum, but this had to be at least one quarter of all eligible Berlin voters. The initiative for keeping Tempelhof open was supported by the ICAT (Interessengemeinschaft City-Airport Tempelhof) along with a couple of opposition parties in the Berlin city parliament: the Christian Democratic Union and the Free Democratic Party citing primarily the need for an inner-city airport for business and private flyers as well as nostalgic reasons. Representatives from the ICAT suggested keeping the airport open just until Schönefeld Airport is completed in about 2012. The Berlin government insisted on the closure of the airport for legal, long-term economic, and environmental reasons, in particular to ensure the expansion of Schönefeld International. Environmental groups and the Green party supported them in this. Plans for the future would include for example an airlift museum in the old terminal building, commercial space for innovative businesses, new housing and industrial areas, sports facilities, and parks. Legally the decision in favour of closure at the end of October 2008 was irrevocable and the referendum was nonbinding. A subsequent reopening would have faced high legal barriers. However, some legal experts said there may be means to circumvent this. The referendum of April 27 2008 failed. Although 60.2 % of the votes cast were for the initiative to keep the airport open, this was by only 21.7 % of the eligible voters; 25 % had been required. Support had been highest in western districts of Berlin (up to 80 %), but opposition (i.e. 30 % approval) and disinterest was prevalent in eastern districts. Voter turnout of 36 % was low. Air traffic at Tempelhof Airport will thus cease for good on November 1, 2008 and the expansion of Schönefeld Airport can continue unhindered.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


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If you ever come to Berlin, and you go to the bank, the restaurant, the bar, wherever, It surprises everyone but don't expect someone to keep the door open for you. The thing is, the German is looking straight ahead and does not care what comes behind or on the sides. Meaning that, when you're not used to it, the door will slam at your face and It can hurt a lot. I know it by now but I can't help myself doing the experience everytime, that is, almost everyday. I can recognize a foreigner from a German just by the way he pulls the door. It is the same when the German drives its bycicle, his car or walk on the street. Be careful. All the time you have to show you are stronger and not afraid. At work, there is another side of their behaviour which is sometimes difficult to hang on with. They are very strong at making you feel guilty. They must learn this at school, can't be another way. The German will always try his tasks made by you so you will take the full responsability if anything goes wrong. And to do this, the plan is to critisize you openly and of course in the middle of an important meeting. In this case, don't shut up your mouth but open it wide and fire back. Once he understands you won't let go, you win. That's why you always get the feeling they are so straight in their shoes and show you, you're not valuable at their eyes. Don't be misunderstood. It's because they are afraid and can't face themselves most of the situation, afraid of the remarks that might come from above. Because when they "care" of someone else, nobody watches their own mistakes, too busy looking at yours. You have to learn as well that the German will not attack you frontly alone. Once you critizise his way of working, demonstrating there is a mistake done and It needs to be fixed, he will go to his boss, seeking for protection and put you in trouble. Play the same game, include big chief. They're used to it and most of the time, they're not interesting but that's the way It goes. This is true stories shared by foreign colleagues and experienced everyday. It can happen, some German are not happy with their own way. But they will always be convinced that their way is the best and every other has to accept it. You come second. We know it, we play with it, deal with it. My advice : look and learn, then be nice and diplomatic. They're disarmed. Some will answer you they're shy.

Monday, October 20, 2008


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Dining in

Although it’s unusual for the German to invite you for dinner, the way French understand it, meaning you arrive not too early, you start with aperitif and around 10:30 p.m, you’re thinking of asking your guests to join the table, I’ve been invited some times. Always by the same people and only once by a German. I still have to return the invitation I received but It’s only a bit complicated to organize it, as I would like some other people to join. Anyway, Friday evening went very well and It was no big stress. French food and red wine were in abundance and everyone enjoyed. Then around 4.00 a.m I finally reached my bed without being able to relax in a bar. It happened Saturday evening when my friend M. called, back from work, around 11.00 p.m. saying that we needed a drink as we hadn’t seen each other for a week and we have gossips to catch up. Outside the fact he cut his hair and has a new boyfriend, we started to drink outside under the gas heating (the city has the plan to stop them in order to preserve the air) to be able to smoke but soon It went too cold and we were quickly inside. We carry on drinking and decided at the closing of the bar to go to another place, where there is a dark room and a smoking area. I know I wouldn’t do anything in the place except chatting with people connected to M. Drinking more, listening to music we like, lucky us there is a juke box, we play pinball and then It’s getting too early and I want to go home. Coming in the place this time, there is many types of men but I have more fun in a bar making eye contact with guys as in a dark room where you just come here to have easy-no-talking-sex. Staying for a while at my table, 3-4 times the same guy comes to stare in front of me, another one is eating my cakes, freely given by the barman and a third one is sitting at my corner, talking too loud with himself. You have this tall guy opposite of the bar who comes across, maybe let’s say 10-15 times, while I was there, covering the music with the sound of his heavy boots, the one who plays the star trying to find a public taking off his tee-shirt and moving his bony ass from left to right, the one sat on the corner and can’t move anymore because he’s more liquid than solid, some who desperately make attempts to “conclude” and the more the night gets over, the less pretentious they are, and some other satellites, alone, smoking cigarettes trying not to look bored. Time to go home. Nothing will happen here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Street photography

Matt Stuart shoots street photography and commercial work in London. He is a member of In-Public, an online street photography site. More of his photography can be seen on that site, and on his personal site. I must that sometimes you can be surprised by what is happening in the streets and if you're lucky enough to have your camera nearby, don't hesitate, take the picture, then you see the result. I always have it with me and I take a lot of pictures. That's what you have in every "Instantanés". Mostly mood of the city, rarely people. I can't wait for hours like a professional photographer for the right shot. It's more spontaneous and It's real fun. And I have a great pleasure to look at some other work as the amateur I am.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Festival of lights

Also this year, the Festival of lights will turn Berlin into a sparkling metropolis with a firework of illuminations and events for two weeks from 14th to 26th October. World-famous historical landmarks and spots in Berlin, for example the Brandenburg Gate, the TV or radio tower, will be staged impressively by means of light, events, projections and fireworks. Complementary to the festival there will be numerous cultural events dealing with the subject “light”. Here can you find all details. It’s not that cold outside and if you decide to do the tour, I would recommend to make by bicycle. It keeps you warm (not bad), easy to park (not bad at all) and you can travel easily fast in the city (not bad at all indeed). Don’t forget to stop as well in some cafés to have a drink but be aware that if you’re taken drunk riding your bike, you will get a fine and less points on your driving license. Why not creating your own event, making your journey through the city center (mainly where everything is) decorated with lights ? let’s have enlightened ideas ! light man, for example : Ampelmann, symbol of the traffic light in the city. There is still in some streets some difference with this little green (walk) and red (don’t walk) guy. In the “west” he stands still when he looks happy to walk in the “east” The East German pedestrian traffic light symbols, or‚ ampel men’ are Berlin born and bred. They came into being on October 13th 1961 when, in response to the growing threat of road traffic accidents, the traffic psychologist, Karl Peglau, introduced the first pedestrian signals to the GDR capital. And so the vehicle traffic light, which had directed traffic alone up to that point, was joined by the pedestrian traffic light. Its design was psychologically conceived, because road-users react more quickly to appealing symbols. Following reunification, the ampel men were supposed to disappear along with many other things from everyday East German life. The West German authorities, politicians and traffic engineers were critical of the little men on the East German traffic lights. In 1994 work started on replacing them with the west or euro traffic light man. The bureaucrats did not care that the arguments against the signal only concerned the defect of the antiquated electronics and not the symbols themselves. A resistance movement evolved. Under the slogan, “we are the people”, committed citizens strove to prevent the abolition of the last remaining symbol of East German daily life. The “committee for the preservation of ampel men” was founded. With many creative protest actions it succeeded in drawing greater attention to the comical figures. And when the media also joined the campaign, politicians and authorities could no longer avoid entering into objective discussions. The advantages of the ampel man, such as the clear symbolic and his wide-spread acceptance could no longer be denied. And due to his stocky figure, large head and hat, the illuminated surface of the East ampel man was almost double that of his western competitor. This made him more recognizable, which is particularly important for children. In 1997 It became clear that the beloved East German ampel men had been saved and would retain their place in the urban landscape. Then started the ampel woman story.


I don't have in store the 7th symphonie I had the other sunday but I have a rare : Dvorak Bagatelles & Serenade. As far as I know, those are not so easy to find and furthermore I don't think I ever heard had these pieces in concert. So I hope you will enjoy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


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With the cold season comes back the concerts at the philarmonie. This afternoon played Rundfunk-sinfonieorchester Antonín Dvorák "Othello" - Konzertouvertüre fis-Moll op. 93 Konzert für Violine und Orchester a-Moll op. 53 with Boris Brovtsyn, Violine and finally Sinfonie Nr. 7 d-Moll op. 70, conductor Gerd Albrecht. I must say It was very good. There was a very good atmosphere in the concert hall and Boris Broytsyn after his interpretation came back and played for us a little extra, which is always very much appreciated. During the symphonie I could visualize Gerd Albrecht because I was facing him : the stage is in the center of the hall. You can feel the conductor happy to be there and when the musicians made a good step, he thanks them with a little sign and smile, although the piece was sometimes difficult but full of energy. That’s when you say to yourself you’re happy to be there because the music is good and the musicians are not only there to do a job. Dvořák's work on the symphony began on December 13, 1884. Dvořák heard and admired Brahms’s new 3rd Symphony, and this prompted him to think of writing of a new symphony himself. So it was fortuitous that in that same year the London Philharmonic society invited him to write a new symphony and elected him as an honorary member. A month later, after his daily walk to the railway station in Prague, he said “the first subject of my new symphony flashed in to my mind on the arrival of the festive train bringing our countrymen from Pest”. The Czechs were in fact coming to the Prague National Theatre, where there was to be a musical evening to support the political struggles of the Czech nation. He resolved that his new symphony would reflect this struggle. In doing so the symphony would also reveal something of his personal struggle in reconciling his simple and peaceful countryman’s feelings with his intense patriotism and his wish to see the Czech nation flourish. He completed a sketch of the 1st movement in 5 days, and he wrote to one of his friends: “I am now busy with this symphony for London, and wherever I go I can think of nothing else. God grant that this Czech music will move the world!!” Ten days later he finished his sketch of the slow movement. He added a footnote “From the sad years”. This refers to the recent death of his mother, and probably also to the previous death of his eldest child, and these events were in his mind especially in this movement. However, there is also a broader horizon—he wrote to a friend ”What is in my mind is Love, God, and my Fatherland” The movement starts with intense calm and peace, but also includes turmoil and unsettled weather. He told his publisher that “there is not one superfluous note”. In the next month or so he completed the sketches of the 3rd and 4th movements. Dvořák said that the 4th movement includes a suggestion of the capacity of the Czech people to display stubborn resistance to political oppressors. In 1885 it received its brilliantly successful first performance at St James’s Hall London, with Dvořák himself conducting. Despite the success of the 7th symphony, the publication of the work was a nightmare. Dvořák's contracted German publisher, Fritz Simrock, seemed to go out of his way to make difficulties and to irritate him. First, he said he could not consider publishing it until a piano duet arrangement was available. Simrock then flatly refused to print his Czech name, Antonín, on the cover—the publisher insisted that it should be Anton, and that the title page should be in German only. Finally, he was told that the dedication to the London Philharmonic Society would have to be omitted. During all of these prolonged arguments, Dvořák asked Simrock for an advance: “I have a lot of expense with my garden, and my potato crop isn’t very good”. Eventually, Simrock offered only 3000 marks for the symphony, which was a low value for such a major work. Dvořák replied that other publishers would readily pay twice as much. After further argument, Simrock grudgingly paid the 6000 marks. The 7th symphony, together with the 8th and 9th, represent Dvořák at his best, and they each reveal a somewhat different aspect of his personality. The 7th is the most ambitious in structure, and the most consciously international in its message.

10 Things I Hate About Commandments

Hey DJ !

I asked the DJ to play the Bee Gees.
He playes Gloria Gaynor.
I left the party.

Let it go

Thursday, October 9, 2008


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9th October's nightmare

There is this attractive woman B in this bar, talking and laughing with friends, having a simple good time. The man A comes in this bar, a bit tired from his day work, oppressed by the worries laid on his shoulders. He just wants to have a simple good time, talking and laughing with friends, which does not happen very much lately. His mother C puts a more heavier weight, arguing with him about the fact that at his age, he’s still not married and the family has no lineage. Because It is a wealthy family, involved in politics and finance : the power. So the family must carry on living. But this time, not playing the hunter, A starts to seduce B and she seems pleased. Like any other new couple, they meet each other many weeks, going from restaurant to movie, walks in the park, hugs on the street waiting for the green light, passionate sex in the coloured bedspread. Then all those beautiful colours faded to grey as soon as C was introduced to B. Why do mothers see bride-to-be as potential threat ? C wants to be a grandmother, not a step mother, she’s too possessive. So of course she dispises B spontaneously behind her well educated politness. Nevertheless A and B are soon engaged and they will live in the big empty dead family house. They got married, she’s pregnant, she gives birth to a beautiful boy, and all seems right until C decides to take things over. B wants to protect her child and after a while of never ending fighting, decides to have a break and negociates holidays outside the family house. She thinks everything is in order but yet arrives at the airport and finds out that she’s been followed. Frightened, she changes her plan, rent a car and drives away but now 2 cars follow her including C who now will not give a chance to B. The hunt starts until the car pursuit, as bad and dangerous as the “bullit” one. During this insane scene, we expect the crash of the car of B together with the child but of course C can’t risk to kill him, witness of the survival of the family. B can’t drive any faster, she is scared and more and more for herself and her baby child. She drives in a dead end, stops the car, takes the baby in her arms and runs. But she’s not trained, falls in the mud, head first. C had the time to park, gun in the hand and shoots in the back, realizing too late her mistake. A, who always was tared appart between wife and mother, only has his eyes to cry, lost for ever.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Drastic decrease of temperature this week-end : 3°C this morning. And I don't know how to use the new heating system ...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Clash of the titans

Clash of the titans is a 1981 fantasy and mythology movie based on the myth of Perseus.
Stop motion animation is used to a large extent in the film to animate the various monsters. The special effects creatures were created by Ray Harryhausen, who retired from filmmaking shortly after the movie was released. This is also one of my favorite movie, you know, the one you play on sunday afternoon when you just want to let time flies, ironing your shirts for the week, for example. And the hero is unexpressive and gorgeous. Nevertheless I still enjoy watching it everytime. King Acrisius of Argos expresses anger towards Zeus for impregnating his daughter, Princess Danae. He then casts Danae and her infant son Perseus out to sea in a wooden chest. Unknown to everyone, a white bird who witnessed everything was really Poseidon, who informs Zeus of Acrisius' unfaithfulness. Zeus orders Poseidon to release the Kraken to destroy Argos by flooding the entire kingdom. While Acrisius and his kingdom are left completely devastated, Danae and Perseus are safely brought to the island of Seriphos where they live a happy life and Perseus grows up to manhood. Calibos - the spoiled son of Thetis, the goddess of the Sea - was a handsome young man destined to marry Princess Andromeda, the daughter of Queen Cassiopeia and heir to the rich city of Joppa and eventually all of Phoenicia. Zeus entrusted Calibos to care for the Wells of the Moon; Calibos instead hunted, trapped and killed everything that lived there, including Zeus' sacred herd of flying horses, leaving only the stallion Pegasus alive. As punishment, Zeus transforms Calibos into a monster and he is shunned and forced to live as an outcast in the swamps and marshes. Thetis, furious at her son's fate, vows that if Calibos cannot marry Andromeda, then no other man will either. Perseus is brought by Thetis from his island home on Seriphos to Joppa. He learns of Andromeda and her plight: she cannot marry unless her suitor successfully answers a riddle, which is given to her by Calibos. Any suitor that fails to answer the riddle correctly is burned at the stake. Using a number of gifts given to him by the gods, including the winged horse Pegasus and a helmet given to him by Athena that renders its wearer invisible, he discovers the answer to the riddle. Calibos nearly captures him, but Perseus cuts off his hand with a sword (another divine gift, this one from the goddess Aphrodite). At the next ceremony for a new suitor, Perseus enters, answers the riddle correctly and presents Calibos's severed hand, winning Andromeda's hand in marriage. At the Temple to Thetis, Calibos prays to his mother Thetis to take vengeance on Perseus for cutting off his hand. Thetis tells Calibos that she cannot do that because Perseus is protected by Zeus, but she can take vengeance on Joppa. At the wedding, held in the temple of Thetis, Queen Cassiopeia compares Andromeda's beauty to that of Thetis herself, which angers the goddess. The statue of Thetis collapses and its head comes to life demanding Andromeda as a sacrifice to a sea monster (the Kraken, a modern addition to the myth; the Greek version had Cetus as the sea monster) in 30 days, and still a virgin; otherwise, the Kraken will destroy Joppa. Perseus seeks a way to defeat the Kraken, the last of the Titans, who were the race of monsters that pre-dated the gods. When Zeus commands Athena to give Perseus her owl, she instead orders Hephaestus to build the mechanical owl Bubo as an aid for Perseus. Bubo leads Perseus to the Stygian Witches, three blind women who disclose that the only hope of survival in combat against the Kraken is by using the head of another monster, Medusa the Gorgon. Medusa was once a beautiful woman but, because she dared to make love with Poseidon in Aphrodite's temple, was transformed by Aphrodite into a horrible monster. Meeting Medusa's gaze will turn any living creature to stone, including the Kraken. She makes her home on the Isle of the Dead, which lies across the River Styx, at the very edge of the Underworld. Perseus travels there and kills her, removing her head, though he must contend with Calibos (who has replaced his lost hand with a trident-like blade) along the way - whom he finally kills with Aphrodite's sword. Just as Andromeda is about to be sacrificed to the Kraken, Perseus appears astride Pegasus and turns the Last Titan to stone with Medusa's head, which is then cast into the ocean where it can do no more damage. Perseus frees Andromeda and they live happily together. The hero and heroine become constellations at the decree of Zeus, who does the same for Pegasus and Cassiopeia.