Friday, June 21, 2013

Sunset Time Lapse - In A Berlin Minute (Week 164)

Sunset Time Lapse - In A Berlin Minute (Week 164) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Sunset over Berlin and the Spree river - with views of the TV Tower (Fernsehturm), Molecule Man and the Oberbaum Bridge (Oberbaumbrücke) filmed this week on the Elsenbrücke on a beautiful summer evening.

Over three years ago I began making a 1-minute video, a moving postcard as I've later defined it (mostly a still shot showing the movement of life, an event, a place). I made these videos to keep my friends and family updated to what I was seeing when my husband and I temporarily moved to Berlin. The name changed from German New Yorker in Berlin to In A Berlin Minute - and when we moved back to Brooklyn in 2011, it changed to In A Brooklyn Minute.

It was an amazing and unexpected experience to have so many strangers watching these videos, starting conversations and becoming online friends, some of whom I had the pleasure to meet in person, others who have been following the series online for the entire 3 years and 6 weeks. I'm very grateful for all the connections, interest and support. It's made me feel very special and rewarded to know that these short videos have meant a lot to some people.

Last fall it was a hard hit when YouTube closed the GNYBerlin channel for a day and all videos, comments and views were lost. I'm sad to say that the contact to many people was severed for good. This happened at a time when I needed to refocus my priorities in life and with work (as I've talked about in this vlog) and I never tried to fully rebuild the viewership. However, the series continued every week and I built the website as a searchable archive so the videos would have a place to live and be viewed and shared for a long time.

The last Brooklyn video before yet again returning to Berlin was a time lapse sunset over the Hudson and East River intersection with a view of Manhattan and New Jersey seen from Brooklyn. The following week the first Berlin video was a sunrise time lapse over Berlin viewed from the Hauptbahnhof and over the Spree in Mitte. At that point I had decided to make the last In A Berlin Minute video before I leave again a sunset over Berlin.

This week seemed to be the appropriate time to shoot and publish that video of the day ending and the sun setting over the German capital. At this point, I can't say if this is truly the last Berlin video. There are still a few more I would like to shoot and my time in Berlin is probably not quite over yet. I've stayed longer than I had planned and I don't know exactly where I'm going next - but I'm ready to return to America. As of right now I'm in the USA for a few weeks and if I make more videos during this time they will come from here.

I will continue to re-publish the old videos that have not made it onto YouTube yet - and also might still edit and publish the promised longer, slower versions of some of the 1-minute videos.

After that, I honestly don't know yet. Making and sharing these videos without a pause every week for three years has given me much pleasure and in a way has been my religious practice, my yoga class, my meditation, my structure, my adventure, my conscious exploration and my communication with people from around the world. But it also has taken a lot of time and energy that I should probably have put into other parts of my life. In a way it would be sad to interrupt or end something that could go on for years and years and grow into a life-long piece of creativity and community. But this is a time of a lot of change in my life and it might also be time to change this project to something with less regularity or actually let it go as an ongoing creation and cherish it as something complete.

Today I can say with new-found confidence that I am very proud of this series. I know that I wouldn't and maybe couldn't have continued to do this for so long if it wasn't for all you amazing people who have watched, commented, shared and encouraged me. Thank you so much, all of you! And today a special thank you to Claire and Elke for spending two evenings on the bridge with me while shooting this video.

So maybe this sunset is the end of something or maybe it's just the transition to a changed reality and a new beginning. We'll see...

The music is from Soundtrack Pro.

Sunset over Berlin
Sonnenuntergang über Berlin

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tierpark Zoo - In A Berlin Minute (Week 163)

Hauptstadt Zoo Tierpark is the zoo in the former East Berlin, not to be mixed up with Berlin Zoologischer Garten, the zoo in former West Berlin, or Tiergarten, the large park in the center of Berlin, which is not a zoo at all.

This past week travel and Berlin blogger Nicole Blake (aka nicoleisthenewblack, her new baby girl Arianna and I went to the Tierpark, because we had been told that it was a prettier and more natural park than the more famous Zoologischer Garten. We were not disappointed in the greenery and animals we got to see, but I will admit that I was sad to neither find the sloths nor for the red pandas to show their faces (my favorite animal ever since discovering it in the small zoo in Prospect Park, Brooklyn).

The song is "Clown's Lament" by Jason Mathern of Goonygoogoo Productions.

Kissing at Hautpstadt Zoo Tierpark, Berlin

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Photos from Prenzlauer Berg - Berlin's Prettiest Neighborhood

These are all photos from the neighborhood that I took while shooting the one-minute video
"Prenzlauer Berg – In A Berlin Minute (Week 162)".

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

Water Tower Park - Park am Wasserturm
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

TV Tower and Water Tower - Fernsehturm und Wasserturm
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Dragon Water Pump - Drachenwasserpumpe
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Part of the Wrinkles of the City series by JR
Teil der Wrinkles of the City Serie von JR

Pirate Ship at Helmholtzplatz - Piratenschiff auf dem Helmholtzplatz
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Prater Beer Garden - Prater Bier Garten
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Longing desire for Paris by El Bocho
Sehnsucht nach Paris von El Bocho
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Flower Pot Boot - Blumentopfstiefel
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

A lot of Flower Pot Boots - Viele Blumentopfstiefel
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Book Tree - Bücherbaum
Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Monday, June 10, 2013

Yo La Tengo - "I'll Be Around" (Music Monday)

"I'll Be Around" is a beautiful and to me personally meaningful newish song by Yo La Tengo, whom I've been fond of for longer than I can remember. So lovely to hear that voice again.

The video, directed by Phil Morrison, is charming and amusing at the same time. I always appreciate videos (and photos) with superimposed text. This video takes it to an interesting level by showing the lyrics to the song briefly at the beginning and then using different poetic lines and a recipe instead. Also you get to see Yo La Tengo cook and there's a rather unexpected ending.

Yo La Tengo - I'll Be Around

I'll Be Around - Yo La Tengo - Lyrics

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Prenzlauer Berg - In A Berlin Minute (Week 162)

Prenzlauer Berg (Prenzlau Hill - or Prenzlau Slope as I like to call it in reference to the very similar Park Slope in Brooklyn that we've been calling home since 2000) is a neighborhood in the former East of Berlin. We got an apartment here in May 2011. At that point it wasn't our favorite neighborhood, despite it having been the neighborhood we imagined living in when we first thought about moving to Berlin.

By now I cherish the entire neighborhood, but especially the area around our apartment. You can read more about my view of Prenzlauer Berg in the Berlin Portrait series on the überlin blog, which published a portrait of me and my thoughts about my Kiez.

Prenzlauer Berg has a lot more to offer than what I'm showing in this video. But you know, one minute is short. Here you'll see the water tower, the tree-lined streets, balconies on Oderberger Strasse, Gethsemanekirche, the book tree, Helmholtzplatz, the pirate ship, a dragon water pump, Kulturbrauerei (culture brewery), planetarium, Schwarz Sauer and Kastanienallee, Eberswalder Strasse subway station, Konnopke's Currywurst Imbiss (city's oldest currywurst stand), Pratergarten (Berlin's oldest beer garden), street art by El Bocho and by JR (Wrinkles Of The City), Pappelrocks and golden hour at Mauerpark.

Some things in Prenzlauer Berg that are not in the video, but I have made other videos about, you can check out right now: Mauerpark Flea Market, Volkspark Friedrichshain, Fairy Tale Fountain, and Street Art Berlin (East)

The song is "Whatever Gets In Her Way" by Jason Matherne. You can download the song for free via Soundcloud.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Photos from the Zoo Aquarium Berlin

A few pictures from the shoot of the 1-minute video "Zoo Aquarium – In A Berlin Minute (Week 161)" - which you can watch (and read more about the aquarium) HERE.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age - "... Like Clockwork" Animated Video Series (MusicMonday)

This week the new Queens of the Stone Age album ... Like Clockwork is getting released. It's their 6th studio album.

Over the last few weeks, the band has published five impressive animated music videos for shortened versions of four of the album's songs and the full version of the first single: "My God Is The Sun".

All five videos were created by Boneface (artwork) and Liam Brazier (illustration + animation) and tie together as one short film, which you can watch right here, right now (if you don't suffer from GEMA blockage).

I Appear Missing ("Calling All Comas")

Kalopsia ("A Condition Wherein Things Appear More Beautiful Than They Are")

Keep Your Eyes Peeled ("A Man Walks Into A Bar...")

If I Had a Tail ("Burn It ALL Down")

My God Is the Sun ("The Crack Of Doom")