Blog Post 19 (Part 1)
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Well, I think it’s time that I include another photo gallery. Hopefully this time I have some really good one’s you like. I’ve had a lot of great travel opportunities and lots of pictures to share. So here we go:
This is a photo from the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. I think that may be my favorite train station in Germany. The Berlin Hauptbahnhof and the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof are also very cool, beautiful and busy train stations, but Frankfurt is kind of at the center of the Deutsche Bahn system and is the terminal for a lot of the international DB trains and SNFC trains to France and it is a big transfer point for DB, so it’s really busy and chaotic and active, but in a really good way. The building is gorgeous as well and I got lucky to catch it in such good light on my way to Vienna to visit my best friend Izzy.
This is one of my two entries from my trip to Madrid, where I met my parents who were there on holiday in September for my mom’s birthday. The city is home to some really amazing urban scenes, but I wanted to find one picture that I felt really captured the city. This picture admittedly doesn’t capture the sense one gets in Madrid that at any moment the thin line separating urban chaos and total chaos is going to be crossed, however I think it captures a side of the city that is forgotten because of the allure of crowded bustling areas like the Plaza Mayo or Puerto del Sol. This is the orderly and quiet side street where the essence of the city is found: the cafés and shops, the flamenco bars and restaurants that serve a city that never seems to sleep.
I chose the two pictures of Vienna, 1) because I like them and 2) because I think they show two different sides of the city that still exist together side-by-side. The first is the fact the Vienna is very much a modern city with a very old skeleton. I think Vienna does a great job of moving forward, but staying true to itself. It’s full of modern architecture, but it isn’t destroying its cultural heritage and not fearing that by not replicating it, essential Vienneseness will be lost. The second is a full-on vision of Vienna’s heritage: the imperial city of the Hapsburgs (this is the Burggarten at the Hofburg). I think Vienna is on par with London in its regality. Honestly, I think if the Austrians woke up one day in a monarchy again they wouldn’t care.
I love this photo. It may actually be one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. I saw this walking down the main street in the Red Light District (Warmoesstraat). It is a really busy street with lots of people walking around and I think one of the reasons I like this photo is that I can be proud I snapped it really quick with my iPhone and didn’t have one person block the view. Plus I framed it really well. The building was being renovated, and this was the ground floor storefront. The scene is so typical of the city, which I very quickly grew to love. The boarded windows are decorated like the city flag. Fun fact, nobody quite knows what the triple Xs mean, but it was way before anything to do with porn, so we know that’s out. Whoever parked their pink bike (shout out to the gays!) really did me a service, because they helped to build a great scene. I’m really proud of this, and super excited to share it. But that said: this is my photo. Not to be paranoid, but I am going to make it clear that I don’t want anybody taking this.
The saying: when you’re bored with London, you’re bored with life” is so true. This may be one of the most incredibly cities I’ve ever visited. Above is a panorama from the Millennium Bridge.
A fun fact I never knew before is that Big Ben, that giant clock that seems to pretty famous, is actually only the name of the clock. I always thought that was the name of the entire tower, and not even an official name at that. Well, I was right that Big Ben is not the official name of the tower, but it is the official name of the clock. The tower itself is actually officially Queen Elizabeth II Tower. The name was changed in 2012 in honor the Her Majesty the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. I totally forgot the former name though.
The panorama above and the one below are both of Hamburg and parts of the city right next to each other. Above is the Speicherstadt: this is the old warehouse district where all the gods that went through the Hamburger Hafen were stored. Now it is a collection of renovated spaces used for offices and museums and warehouses for Persian rugs. Below is the Hafen City Hamburg. This is a new district being built where there was once lots of harbor related infrastructure. It is a really cool district, but I don’t know where to praise it or criticize it. I think at one end it is a very forward thinking area. Rather than develop out, the city chose to develop spaces in the city convenient to the old city center rather than build out, but it doesn’t include some of the amazing sustainable innovations I’ve seen elsewhere, such as the car-free neighborhood in Freiburg, Vauban. There is also a Chicagokai (a quay) and there is going to be a Chicago Square, which I love! Plus there is a competition to chose a design for “floating” apartment buildings, that includes and entry by Chicago architect and architecture firm Jeanne Gang and Gang Studios, which was very cool. You should check that out here too if you’re interested: http://www.studiogang.net/news/updates/2012/12/hafencitycomp