Monday, April 29, 2013

Mallorca Island, Spain - In A Berlin Minute (Week 156)

Mallorca Island, Spain - In A Berlin Minute (Week 156) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Mallorca (aka Majorca) is the largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The Spanish island is a very popular destination for German tourists and I've thought many times I might possibly be the only German who has never been.

Mallorca has a reputation for being a party island and for everything to be in German. I was delighted to realize that the other rumors were true: the party sections are only in small enclaves, that are either German or English - while the majority of the island is breathtakingly beautiful and fully Spanish or Catalan, when it comes to language and cultural influences.

The video will give you a short glimpse into the rough mountainous terrain, the beautiful flowers, the vast sea, the old architecture, majestic cathedrals, the serpentine cliff roads, and the various animals roaming the island. As so often I have a lot more footage than I could fit into the minute. Hopefully I will find time soon to publish a longer version and also a video of just our drives.

I went to Mallorca to spend my birthday with my friends Gilly and Bine, who you can find in the background of one of the shots (they preferred to not be featured). They had just moved to the island themselves and it was great to explore places with them for the first time as well. Thank you for your extraordinary hospitality, Bine and Gilly!

What struck me is how beautiful the sunsets were - especially the one seen from the Lighthouse of Formentor. It's one of those moments when you really feel the beauty, majesty and harmony in the nature's divinity. You can almost believe that everything will be alright.

Some of the places you see in this video:
Palma de Mallorca (capital city)
Coast of Platja de Palma
Beaches of Arenal
La Seu, Palma Cathedral
One of Europe's oldest olive trees
Port de Valldemossa
Formentor Coast and Lighthouse

The music is from the software Soundtrack Pro.

On May 7th, with the next video, I will mark three years of publishing a 1-minute video every single week. This week was the first time that I published 4 days after the regular schedule.

Some of you have been on this journey with me for the entire 3 years and I'm very grateful for you. We've become friends through videos, comments, messages and even a few meetings. So I hope you don't mind if I get personal for a moment.

The last few months have been a time of great transition for me. A lot happened, mainly loss, including the deletion of my YouTube channel. Although that part was not the worst or most important thing that happened, it has the most to do with this web series and our connection, which is why I'm emphasizing it in this context. I decided to not give up after that blow but keep pushing it, while at the same time I figured out all the other (more) important issues in my life.

Over the last two months I've built a dedicated website for the series ( and I'm in the process of re-building the channel. I don't know if I will ever reconnect with the over 7000 subscribers, whom I lost. Because what I have realized through this phase of transition (and this is a reason why this week's video is late) that I want and need to spend more focus on the people in my personal life and the well-being of my heart and soul and also on making money. I will continue to make videos (this series and larger projects), but they will have to come second from now on to my people and my efforts to make money.

Badia de Palma - Mallorca, Spain

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Teufelsberg Spy Station - In A Berlin Minute (Week 155)

In the northern part of the nature preserve Grunewald Forest, on top of the man-made hill Teufelsberg (Devil's Mountain) sits a former US spy listening station, with which Americans listened in on East Germans and Russians from the 1950s until 1991 when Germany was reunited.

The 260 ft tall (80 m) Teufelsberg mountain itself was built out of rubble from Berlin buildings destroyed during the Second World War, burying with it a Nazi technical college designed by Albert Speer.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) built the listening stations on top of the hill even though it was in the British sector. It was and still is clearly visible throughout Berlin, so it was no secret to the Soviets and East Germans that the US was listening in.

Since the early 90s there have been various investors and plans to utilize the hill and the now abandoned listening station. The view from above onto Berlin and the surrounding countryside makes it a valuable location. But instead it is today, more than 20 years since it's lost its Cold War functionality still in an abandoned looking shape. There have been many illegal parties and the buildings are full of amazing street art.

I'd been wanting to visit Teufelsberg for a long time. Rumors had been flying about fences having holes, these holes being closed up again, security guards keeping people out, harassing and hustling them for money. Since May 2012 two artists have been leasing the area of the former listening station and are charging people an entry fee (€7 - €15), which is linked to a tour (between 1 and 2 hours, depends if you go during the week or on the weekend). Even though it's more fun to sneak into abandoned buildings for your urban explorations, I have to admit I didn't mind so much to pay. It was certainly worth it to see the art, the buildings and the view. However, I really hate these time restricted tours. There's never enough time for me to film and photograph everything, roam freely and relax for a bit to really take in the space.

You can find out more about Teufelsberg and the tours on the English or the German version (more information) website Berlin Insight Out.

The sounds in the video are a mixture between the natural on-location sounds of birds, wind and the cloth flapping in the wind and the song "Spamgate" by Pandacetamol available through the Free Music Archive: Spamgate (Pandacetamol) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Former US Listening Station on top of Devil's Mountain, Berlin
Ehemalige US Abhörstation auf dem Teufelsberg, Berlin

Monday, April 15, 2013

Favorite Songs of 1st 1/4 of 2013 (MusicMonday)

My favorite songs during January, February and March 2013 (not counting Carnival songs in Brazil).

My favorite songs from the last 3 months

1   - Stupid - Brendan Maclean
2   - Dead Now - Frightened Rabbit
3   - Line of Fire - Junip
4   - Your Life Your Call - Junip
5   - We No Who U R - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
6   - Late Night - Foals
7   - Entertainment (Phoenix Cover) - Dinosaur Jr.
8   - Wishes - Beach House
9   - Push the Sky Away - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
10 - People Are Poison - Cold Cave
11 - Sex- The 1975
12 - Entertainment - Phoenix
13 - I.O.U. - Fol Chen
14 - Bassline Junkie - Dizzee Rascal
15 - I Love It (feat. Charli XCX) - Icona Popl
16 - Born To Kill - The Thermals
17 - Der fünfte Four Top - Die Liga der gewöhnlichen Gentlemen
18 - The Wrong Direction - Passenger
19 - Water’s Edge - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds


>> PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY (all but one song found!) << 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Views from the Berlin Ringbahn (Circular Railway)

These are a few pictures from the shoot of the 1-minute video "Berlin Ringbahn (Circular Railway) – In A Berlin Minute (Week 154)".

You can watch the video and read more about the Ringbahn HERE.

Ostkreuz train station seen from the Ringbahn
Ostkreuz Bahnhof von der Ringbahn aus
Molecule Man, the Spree river and the TV Tower
Molecule Man, die Spree und der Fernsehturm
Tempelhof, Berlin
Exiting the train prohibited
Aussteigen verboten
Graffiti Station along the Berlin Ringbahn (Circular Railway)
Berlin Circular Railway Map
Berlin Ringbahn Karte

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Berlin Ringbahn (Circular Railway) - In A Berlin Minute (Week 154)

Berlin Ringbahn (Circular Railway) - In A Berlin Minute (Week 154) [HD] from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

The Berlin Ringbahn (circular railway) is a 37.5 km (23.3 mi) long city train (S-Bahn) line around the center of Berlin.
There are two trains: S41 goes clockwise, the S42 goes counter-clockwise.

For this video I took the S41 all the way around Berlin pointing the camera towards the inside of the ring (or the city center) and catching a glimpse of the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) from the East, South and West and North.

This video begs for me to put together a longer version because there is a lot more to see and I think it's quite fascinating to see the neighborhoods change.

The music is called "So Easy" by Jahzzar and can be found in the Free Music Archive and used under a Creative Commons license: So Easy (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 3.0

View of the Spree River, Molecule Man and TV Tower as seen from the Ringbahn
Sicht auf die Spree, den Molecule Man und Fernsehturm von der Ringbahn aus
- Berlin -

Monday, April 8, 2013

Junip - "Line of Fire" + "Your Life Your Call" (MusicMonday)

In anticipation of the new album release from Junip, the Swedish band featuring singer-songwriter José Gonzáles, the band has recently released two related music videos directed by Mikel Cee Karlsson.

The songs and videos are rather thought-provoking. While the stylish and haunting videos may not fit everyone's comfort level, the songs may please a larger audience.

Junip: Line of Fire

Junip: Your Life Your Call

The album entitled Junip will come out on April 22nd, which just happens to be my birthday.

You can download "Line of Fire" for free via Stereogum HERE.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Photos from Alexanderplatz GoPro Shoot

Photos from the GoPro shoot of "Alexanderplatz Time-Lapse – In A Berlin Minute (Week 153)".

Watch the video and read more about it HERE.

Alexanderplatz train station and TV Tower
Alexanderplatz Bahnstation und Fernsehturm
- Berlin -
Shadow of the TV Tower on the Park Inn (Berlin's two tallest buildings)
Schatten des Fernsehturms auf dem Park Inn (die zwei höchsten Gebäude Berlins)

Trams on Alexanderplatz
Trams auf dem Alexanderplatz

Waiting at the World Time Clock
Warten bei der Weltzeituhr

Fountain of Peoples' Friendship
Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft
Alexanderplatz - Berlin

Train, sun and TV Tower at Alexanderplatz
Bahn, Sonne und Fernsehturm am Alexanderplatz

Bike shadow, sun and TV Tower at Alexanderplatz
Fahrradschatten, Sonne und Fernsehturm am Alexanderplatz

Self portrait: GoPro looking at the GoPro being set up on the bicycle-tripod
Selbstportrait: GoPro Kamera photographiert die GoPro Kamera wie sie auf dem Fahrradstativ aufgestellt wird

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Alexanderplatz Time-Lapse - In A Berlin Minute (Week 153)

Alexanderplatz Time-Lapse - In A Berlin Minute (Week 153) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Alexanderplatz is the bustling center of Mitte, the central neighborhood of Berlin (and formerly part of East Berlin). During week 7 of the web series In A Berlin Minute I already focused on Alexanderplatz (or Alex as it's mostly called in Berlin) - but I thought it was about time that I gave you a sped up time-lapse view of this busy square.

For anyone in Berlin confused by the blue sky and sunshine: I shot this video already on March 5, when I also shot the "Brandenburg Gate Ride Time Lapse - In A Berlin Minute (Week 150)" - both on the GoPro.

The song "Honey Trap" by Jason Matherne (Goonygoogoo Productions) I just got today after already editing the video. Perfect timing because I think the fast song fits perfectly with the speedy pedestrians, trams and trains. By the way, he also sent me the song with vocals, which I really liked - but they were hitting a little too close to home and the instrumental seemed to fit better to the video.

Alexanderplatz und Fernsehturm
Alexanderplatz and TV Tower

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Website! > Moving Postcard

Moving Postcard Logo
Theoretically planned for many, many months... then in the works for several weeks... now finally finished: my new website:!

On this website you can now find ALL the videos from my 1-minute web series In A Berlin Minute and In A Brooklyn Minute and all the longer bonus versions that I made of a few 1-minute videos (more planned). Most of the videos are from Berlin and Brooklyn, but others are from my travels around Europe, through the USA, to Thailand and Brazil.

Why Moving Postcard? To explain what exactly the In A Berlin Minute videos are I started referring to them as moving postcards: images from a place without much camera movement but with movement within the frame. Not much commentary, just the original recorded sound or a music track. You can read more about this project (and me) on the about page

The Moving Postcard site now finally gives you the option to search for specific subjects and videos by keywords - or you can look through the categories to discover something new.

This is one of the main reasons I wanted to built my own web site: to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for.

The idea is still that I continue to publish a 1-minute video every Thursday (as I have for  2 years and 11 months) and occasionally an additional longer video. These are postcards from me to you about the places and events I see.

The blog / RSS feed format of the new site makes it really easy to subscribe to get every video delivered to you - either via email or through your preferred RSS reader

In addition I hope that you will feel encouraged to send someone else one of the moving postcards. You can either send an entire post with my text - or you can go directly to the video and send that.

And if you have your own website, feel free to embed one of my videos on your site. Just please be so kind to include a link back to the original post for the particular video on the Moving Postcard website. I would appreciate a mention of Moving Postcard, the In A Berlin Minute, In A Brooklyn Minute web series and/or my name.

If you do have a website about Berlin, Brooklyn or travel, check the links page to see if I'm already listing your site. If not, let me know about your site. Of course, I always appreciate an exchange of links.

Last but not least, something a bit more serious: money. For a good while I was able to monetize these videos. I had built quite a following on YouTube and my videos were featured on Perpetual Explorer. YouTube did me wrong and that revenue is near nil. Perpetual Explorer has gone through some recent changes that affect everyone's revenue.

Long story short, it's currently a struggle to justify spending so much time on this series - not to mention, that I don't have money to buy the necessary new hard drive. If you like my videos and are in the position to support them, I would be very grateful for a donation through PayPal or through the Tip Jar under any of the videos on Vimeo.

Last but not least: Thank You! Thank you to all of you who have been watching, sharing and commenting on my videos and the associated photos.

A few days ago I was talking to a friend in the advertising business and he was saying that the videos are the most important part of this project - and I realized that no, I actually think the community and the experience of exchange is the most important part to me (including the filming and editing with you in mind). Therefore, I'm really hoping that you will feel encouraged to utilize the comment feature on the new web site so we can keep the conversation going.

Of course, I'm always grateful to everyone who has provided music, suggested locations, trekked along on a shoot, appeared in front of the camera or helped during post-production or logo design. You know who you are. 

The biggest THANK YOU right now goes to Adam Groffman of Travels with Adam, who helped me built the structure of the Moving Postcard site in several multi-hour sessions, taught me enough to kind of blow my mind (SEO, hello!) and patiently kept being available for all my questions and troubleshooting. Adam, you absolutely rock!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Photos of Bohemian Rixdorf, Berlin

Bethlehemskirche - Bethlehem Church
- Rixdorf -

These are photos I took while shooting the 1-minute video "Bohemian Rixdorf (Böhmisch-Rixdorf) – In A Berlin Minute (Week 152)".

You can watch the video and read more about Rixdorf on my new website for all my Berlin, Brooklyn and travel videos:

If you'd like to see even more photos of Rixdorf and Berlin, check out the 2013 In A Berlin Minute Flickr album.

Bethlehemskirche - Bethlehem Church
- Rixdorf -

Eine Rückwand in der Kirchgasse - Backwall on Church Alley
- Rixdorf -

The ice is melting... - Das Eis schmilzt...
- Rixdorf -

Fire alarm at the blacksmith - Feueralarm an der Schmiede
- Rixdorf -

Metal decorations at the old blacksmith
Dekorationen an der Alten Schmiede
- Rixdorf -

Horse handle - Pferedegriff
- Rixdorf -

The "new" blacksmith - Die neue Schmiede
- Rixdorf -

Memorial to the fire and rebuilding of 1849
Andenken an den Brand und Wiederaufbau von 1849

Street signs for Jan-Hus-Weg and Richardstrasse
Strassenschilder fuer Jan-Hus-Weg und Richardstrasse
- Rixdorf -

Statues by Hartmut Bonk - Statuen von Hartmut Bonk
- Rixdorf -

From another era: music store Bading
Aus einer anderen Ära: Musik Bading
- Rixdorf -

Fascinating combination of statues created by Hartmut Bonk
Faszinierende Kombination von Statuen kreiert von Hartmut Bonk

Teaser image for In A Berlin Minute #152 showed the Bethlehem Church
Vorschau Bild fuer In A Berlin Minute Nr. 152 zeigt die Bethlehemskirche

Monday, April 1, 2013

Icona Pop: "I Love It" (MusicMonday)

You just can't go wrong with a dance song full of attitude. My favorite such song right now is "I Love It" by the Swedish DJ and music duo Icona Pop (Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo).

You can listen to a ton of remixes of the song featuring Charli XCX on the Icona Pop Soundcloud page.

Icona Pop