Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Mother's Flower Garden - In A Berlin Minute (Week 169)

My Mother's Flower Garden - In A Berlin Minute (Week 169) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

To me this may just be the most beautiful place in the world: my mother's flower garden (Der Blumengarten meiner Mutter) in the Haseldorfer Marsch (seen in week 19), just outside of Hamburg. And when I say my mother's flower garden, I shouldn't underestimate that my dad also gets involved and that this really is our family garden, which is why I'm always so happy to be there. It's such a lovely, peaceful feeling of being home when I walk through this garden or sit on one of several terraces or benches. But it's really my mother who tends to the flowers year in, year out.

It was wonderful to visit for a few days this past week and I wish I could have stayed much longer and have a real countryside vacation. But I'm getting ready to return to the states, and there is still so much to do! One thing on the list was to finally make this video, which I've had in the planning ever since the first In A Berlin Minute video, which showed you a glimpse of the garden in May:

Next is a 3-year anniversary party for this web series (really 3 years and almost 3 months). So if you're in Berlin, please join me on Sunday, August 4th, at 8mm Bar - and meet me and each other. More information can be found in the FB invitation: https://www.facebook.com/events/691072940919474/

This video was another case where it was difficult to choose the shots because there were so many. I aim to make a longer slower version soon.

The song is called "Urban Hospital" by my friend Thimo Sander, who is a musical wizard playing in all kinds of bands, including Four Dollar Wine with my husband Scott Solary. I wasn't sure if this song was a bit too sad for such cheery summer flowers. The song's title expresses the opposite of what this video shows. But I'm thinking of my friends who have recently been spending time in hospitals and similar places and with sick and injured people, like Digi, Erik, Pete, Wilfried, Ellie and Jim - and I'm hoping a minute of flowers will bring all of them a little bit of joy.

The flowers in order of appearance:
A few of the backyard with: the white Aspirin Rose in the background
Rose de Resht (One of the oldest roses. It was found in a pastor's garden in Germany.)
Sunflower (It grew randomly out of bird feed my mom had put out in the winter)
Geisha Rose, Rose de Resht, Bonica Rose, Leonardo da Vinci Rose, Aspirin Rose
Lavender with a Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae - Kohlweissling)
Papageno Rose
Cleome (Spinnenblume - Spider Flower)
Monarda Didyma (crimson beebalm, scarlet beebalm, scarlet monarda, Oswego tea, or bergamot) (German: Indianernessel, Goldmelisse oder Scharlach-Monarde) and Spirea
European Peacock butterfly (Tagpfauenauge) - I didn't catch the name of the rose.
Delphinium or Larkspur (Rittersporn)
Red Poppy (Klatschmohn) - One of my favorite flowers!
Didn't catch the name for this one. Will fill it in later.
Small Malva (Kleine Malve) and Achillea (Schafsgarbe)
Agapanthus (Schmucklilie) - A Mediterranean plant I remember well from our trip to Brittany in 2001
Uetersen Cloister Rose (Uetersener Klosterrose) - Uetersen is the little town nearby, which has an old convent and is known as the Rose City
Hollyhock or Alcea Rosea (Stockrose, Stockmalve, Pappelrose oder Bauernrose)
Great Masterwort or Astrantia Major (Grosse Sterndolde) and Allium
A bunch of flowers in the front yard. The tall red one is called Crocosmia or Montbretia.
Will have to get the name of this flower from my mom again.
Same goes for the next one...
... and for the big pink rose...
... and this one.
Bellflower or Campanula (Glockenblume) and in the background Hydrengea (Hortensie)
A rose growing up the plum tree. (I had to leave out all the shots of fruits on the trees. They will be in the longer video.)
I'll have to check on the correct name of the lily and the water lilies (Seerose) at the end.

In the next few days I will publish a post on my personal blog with photos from the garden with all the flowers' names.

I'm sure you didn't fail to notice all the bumble bees, bees and butterflies. And yes, I did get stung by a bee in the process. It was worth it.

Rose de Resht

Monday, July 29, 2013

Favorite Songs of the 2nd 1/4 of 2013

There has been so much great music this year already! About time I put together another mix of my favorite songs - this time for the second quarter of 2013 (April - June).

However, I have to admit that I'm including a few songs that I just discovered in July - but they are just too good to wait until the end of September to include them.

The cover image I took at a happy place in Colorado on June 22nd, which happens to by my mom's birthday. 

1.   Demons  - The National
2.   Judge Jury And Executioner -  Atoms For Peace
3.   Dark And Stormy - Hot Chip
4.   Happy Nice Day - Northern Portrait
5.   Sacrilege - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
6.   Evil Friends - Portugal. The Man
7.   Absolutely Nothing - The Beaches
8.   There Will Come A Time - Noah & The Whale
9.   MRDR It's Ok - Team Spirit
10. Change - Mikal Cronin
11. Recovery - Frank Turner
12. Stick Together - Eels
13. My Girl 2 - Madness
14. True Original - Eels
15. Do I Wanna Know - Arctic Monkeys
16. I Need My Girl - The National
17. Wedding Song - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
18. My Side of The Road - Iron & Wine
19. Black Spot - Local Natives
20. I'll Be Around - Yo La Tengo

The playlist on Spotify (except for the Atoms For Peace song)

The videos on Pinterest (some of them may be lower down because I pinned them previously)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Photos from Szczecin (Stettin) - Poland

A few photos from the shoot of the video "Szczecin (Stettin), Poland – In A Berlin Minute (Week 168)". You can read more about Szczecin and watch the video HERE.

If you click on any of the photos, you can scroll directly through all of them in a larger format.
Who is looking at whom?
Szczecin, Poland
Old Tram
Szczecin, Poland
Polish Chickens
Szczecin, Poland
Polish Pigeons
Szczecin, Poland
You may think this sign means that German Shepard Dogs are not allowed in Poland. But "Wyprowadzania Psow" just means "dog" (and "Zakaz" means "ban")
Die Matrosen kommen und gehen - alles lebt vom Wiedersehen
Szczecin, Poland
Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle
Szczecin, Poland

Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle
Szczecin, Poland
Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle
Szczecin, Poland
View of the Ducal Castle and Szczecin from Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle
Ducal Castle (Zamek Książąt Pomorskich)
Szczecin, Poland
Ducal Castle (Zamek Książąt Pomorskich)
Szczecin, Poland
Ducal Castle (Zamek Książąt Pomorskich)
Szczecin, Poland
Street ArtSzczecin, Poland
Don't Walk
Turns out the Polish apple beer is not delicious... but hillarious
Adeline + Julien
Probably my favorite picture from the whole day trip

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Szczecin (Stettin), Poland – In A Berlin Minute (Week 168)

Szczecin (Stettin), Poland - In A Berlin Minute (Week 168) [HD] from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

With Poland being only a 2-hour train ride away from Berlin (and me loving train travel as much as exploring new places*) a trip to the historic city of Szczecin (German: Stettin) was only a matter of time. And I'm actually running a bit of time here in Europe because I'm heading across the Atlantic again shortly.

Szczecin is a port city on the Oder River, which flows into the Baltic Sea. The city has belonged to Pomerania, Prussia and various versions of Germany. Sixty-five percent of the city were destroyed in 1944 when the Russians and the Germans were having it out. It's comforting to see that quite a few of the old buildings survived, like the Ducal Castle (Zamek Książąt Pomorskich) and Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostle (Bazylika archikatedralna św. Jakuba), from where I took the bird's-eye-view shot.

While filming outside the palace I head one older German man who was part of a wedding party point down the street and tell the story of how he got the scar on his leg on that block in 1944. It's something to cherish that history still walks among us to learn from and to remind us to not make the same mistakes again.

Although this trip, originally planned with other people, got delayed again and again, the timing turned out to be wonderful because I got to travel with my friend Adeline, whom I hadn't seen in 10 years, and her man Julien, both visiting Berlin from Paris. Here's to many more random adventures with with friends around the world!

The music is a mazurka (a Polish musical style) called Mazurka No. 23 D-Dur Op. 33 - written by the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin and performed by Ukrainian pianist Lubka Kolessa in 1928. This piece and performance are in the public domain.

The Ducal Castle of Szczecin seen from the Cathedral Basilica of St. James the Apostel
*... and me having an afinity for Soplica Hazelnut Vodka, which so far I've not seen at any stores in other countries, and which I prefer simply poured over an ice cube. Of course, I'll never turn down a glass of Żubrówka and natural apple juice either.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Frank Turner "Recovery" + The Beaches "Absolutely Nothing" (MusicMonday)

Because I missed several Music Mondays while I was traveling and yet I discovered so many great songs lately, I'm going to double-up today...

"Recovery" by English singer Frank Turner and "Absolutely Nothing" by Toronto all-female still-in-high-school band The Beaches are two of my current favorite dance and holler-along songs.

The music's energy is quite similar and the lyrics are so perfectly opposite as feelings in the described kinds of cases often are. Figured this was a good mix for a Monday.

Frank Turner - Recovery from Crush Creative on Vimeo.

And because there's not an official video for "Absolutely Nothing" yet, here is also a live video just so you can see the girls:

Frank Turner

The Beaches
from their video "Loner"

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Photos of Brooklyn Bridge Park

A few photos taken during the shoot of the 1-minute video "Brooklyn Bridge Park – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 167)". You can watch the video and read more about the park HERE.

Jane's Carousel and the Manhattan Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge Park

No one is looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and the new World Trade Center (Freedom Tower)
Brooklyn Bridge Park

Sailboat and Statue of Liberty seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Green path through Brooklyn Bridge Park

View of the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park

In progress: World Trade Center tower (aka Freedom Tower)
seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Sun setting behind the Staten Island Ferry Terminal
seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photos taken with the iPhone and originally posted on Instagram.

Horse trying to escape Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Clouds over Manhattan seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park
(no filter!)

Soccer / Football / Fussball on Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park

More time because it's such a nice moment: sun setting over Battery Park as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Brooklyn Bridge Park – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 167)

Brooklyn Bridge Park - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 167) [HD] from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Brooklyn Bridge Park along the East River, stretching from the Manhattan Bridge in the North to Pier 6 in the South, had become one of my favorite places in Brooklyn as they were still in the building phase.

I was excited to see it all finished this summer when I returned to Brooklyn. However, it appears that Hurricane Sandy did some damage and instead of everything being finished, special places like the spiral into the water are actually not accessible or gone now. I was also disappointed to realize at the end of the evening that Bark had closed its doors so I couldn't meet my friends for beer, hot dogs and the magnificent sunset there. Fortunately I had already done that last year and you can watch the video: Sunset Time Lapse – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 115)

But now there are grills! So next time we'll just bring our own stuff and BBQ on the East River. Can't wait. Um, also, my apologies to the people whom I'm featuring in the last shot. I don't actually know them and didn't ask permission to use the shot. I wasn't going to at first - but it ended up looking like the perfect finish to a lovely hot NYC day: grilling with friends in Brooklyn by the river and Manhattan blurry behind you.

The song is "You Know It's Hella Kool" by The Mirrors. I thought the lyrics fit quite perfectly. If you don't live in Germany, you can get the song via Grooveshark.

A special thank you to one of my dearest friends, Jessica Gould, who inspired me to come to NYC at this time to see Camera Obscura with her and our friend John Jasek in Central Park while she was visiting from Brazil, and who tagged along for this walk'n'shoot. Love you, Lady.

View of the Statue of Liberty from Brooklyn Bridge Park during Golden Hour

Monday, July 15, 2013

Arctic Monkeys - "Do I Wanna Know?" (MusicMonday)

Arctic Monkeys - Do I Wanna Know? from David Wilson on Vimeo.

Always a wonderful moment when you discover a new Arctic Monkeys song!

Love this one - in their slower, yet powerful driving style (vs. the more upbeat songs). The way all instruments come in after the break half-way through, after the lines "crawling back to you," is immensely effective and hits you to the core.

The animation video, directed by David Wilson for Colonal Blimp, is fantastic as it elegantly moves to beats and energy flow.

Can't wait for the new album AM - coming out September 9, 2013.

Arctic Monkeys

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Photos of Colorado Wildflowers

This is a selection of photos I took during filming the 1-minute video "Summer Wildflowers – In A Colorado Minute (Week 166)" at Horsetooth Reservoir in the Northern Colorado Foothills. You can watch the video HERE.

If you click on any of the photos you can scroll through all pictures in a large view.

The following photos are obviously not pictures of wildflowers but of other plant life and rocks I took the same afternoon at Horsetooth Reservoir.