Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last Days

and nights.


and wines.

Last presents -

Last records -

And last train rides home.

See you in 2010. Guten Rutsch, ya'll.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Der Beendigung einer Partie

Er war sehr gut in der Beendigung einer Partie. Ich bin nicht gut in Endgame. Ich weiss nicht, was kommen wird. Vielleicht etwas Wunderbares.

S. Menkes, NYTimes Moderedaketeur, spricht über ihren Mann, wer auch Times Redaketeur war, und immer Kartenspiele und Schach spielte

This picture was taken by Jens K, photographer and friend, and it hangs above the kitchen table on Sophienstrasse. It is part of a whole series of pictures of dinner tables taken at the end of parties. Wreckage. Fred and I both love it.

Inspired, he shot these the other night out at jw's mother's house. It was the first real Christmasy vibed time we've had this season. The house is set back from the street, and as we walked down a small stone path and went through a rounded door, it was all a bit märchenhaft. You start to get the Brothers Grimm on a whole new level here in Germany.

We joined the family and were stuffed with sweets beside the tree lit with real candles. Stollen, chocolate mousse, homemade cinnamon ice cream, baked apples, lebenkuchen, butter cookies...

..and games. In the upper right hand corner of the table you can see a handful of tiny boxes. Each is filled with a little game, a puzzle, and they were given to evan by jw for Christmas. They're simply constructed but often difficult to solve - like two twisted nails intertwined that must be seperated - unless you're jw or his sister, who both solved them immediately, apparently without effort.

Everyone got their turn. Some came to the end quickly. Some took longer than others. Some asked for help; others refused. And once the puzzle was solved, there was always that realization that it was only the halfway mark that had been reached. The puzzle still had to be put back together.

"He was very good at the end of a hand. I'm not good with endgame. I don't know what will happen. Perhaps something wonderful."

S. Menkes, NYTimes fashion critic, speaking about her husband, who was also a Times critic and always played cardgames and chess

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chasing the Light

And finding it, Berlin style,

In corners....



And oh yeah, 

The sun.


Day 3 of Christmas in Berlin starts now, Fred out searching for an open bäckerei. 

Unsuccessfully.  The germans take their holidays seriously.  Kein problem - we're tucked in on Sophienstrasse, in a building inside the courtyard.

It's mad quiet.  Just churchbells from across the street, 

And Charlotte.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wrap up

I'm not gonna lie. There'll be no tears shed in this house when 2009 is over. As previously discussed, there's been a lotta breaking down, a lotta changes, a lotta unexpected stuff. The good news is,

we kept going. And fortunately, buried inside the upheaval were so many other things.

Like being tired after running.

And found objects.

And small-town fame.

And chest hair.

Unexpected visitors,

unexpected locations for kaffe/küchen zeit,

and unexpected views of familiar stages...

and skies.

JJ got a really cool job, R met his girl,

Isa's neck got better,

and everyone loves the new cook at the TUP Kantine.

I got to tour with these four amazing people...

and see Karen Virginia twice.

And there was always music to get us through.

Lots and lots of music.