Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dowdy Lake (Red Feather Lakes) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 174)

Dowdy Lake (Red Feather Lakes) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 174) [HD] from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Dowdy Lake in the Roosevelt National Forest is the largest lake in the Red Feather Lakes area. It's a gorgeous place for fishing, filming, camping, wild life watching and playing with your dog.

Whiskey Valentine had just learned to swim after a ball the day before at Horsetooth Reservoir - so she had clearly just become "a real dog". You do see that this needed to be celebrated appropriately in my 1-minute video for the week, right?

Scott didn't catch anything in the lake that day - but the next day he caught a beautiful trout in the river. Oh, yes, this is the good life.

The music is an instrumental version of the Four Dollar Wine song "Some Times". Since I'm the one who spliced the instrumental sections together, I have to apologize if I botched it a little bit - especially to Thimo Sander, who wrote the music.

Dowdy Lake - Red Feather Lakes - Colorado

Friday, August 30, 2013

Photos from Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Photos from the shoot of the 1-minute video "Crown Heights – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 173)". Read more about the Brooklyn neighborhood Crown Heights and watch the video here:

To see these pictures larger click on the first one and then you can scroll through them from there.

Twenty-third Regiment Armory
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Ballin' 1
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Ballin' 2
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

New York Avenue Churches
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

We cater to cowards
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Imperial Apartments
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

West Indies and American Grocery - Nostrand Avenue
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Lincoln Place
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Lincoln Place Houses
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Your Community - Your Choice
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Is this The Odd Luminary's House?
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Store Signs on Nostrand Avenue
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Street Art on Dean Street
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Old Theater on Lincoln Place
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Water Towers on Top of Old Movie Theater
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crown Heights - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 173)

Crown Heights - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 173) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

The Brooklyn neighborhood Crown Heights is a fascinatingly diverse and contrasting neighborhood. The population is mostly of African decent (mainly via the Caribbean with a small portion of American born people) - but has also a large Hasidic Jewish community. Over the last few years, a lot of young Caucasians have moved into the neighborhood and are starting to take over mainly Franklin Avenue and surrounding streets.

The visuals of the diverse population and the smells of various ethnic foods are just as fascinating to me as the beautiful architecture and tree-lined streets. A neighborhood, which for a long time was considered to be dangerous, is becoming safer and offers more amenities - but there's always the question of the price. Gentrification and the displacement of low-income families cannot be denied.

Upon my return to Brooklyn, I stayed in my friend Erica's brownstone on a beautiful block further east into Crown Heights. She and her husband bought the house about 5 years ago and even I, as just a visitor, can tell how the neighborhood is changing; for better or for worse, is subjective. Personally, I enjoy a neighborhood most when it's at this stage, when you feel that there is a true mix of people and cultures and not an exclusive enclave one way or the other. Also, I love Caribbean food.

I had a bit of a hard time finding the right music for this video. So I went with a piece by Kevin MacLeod called "Arcane", which has some African influences and maybe a bit of a Caribbean flavor. The song is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.

In case anyone is keeping track of timing and where I'm bouncing around in the world: This video is yet again almost a week late. Since I shot this one, I've traveled to yet another state (where I've had lots of wonderful distractions) and have already shot the video for this week (174) there, which should according to my schedule be published on Thursday. And you know what, I might just publish it on time because I'm eager to share that one. Also there have been some requests for me to do another vlog. It seems that with all the changes that have been going on, I probably should. So I just might.

Your Community - Your Choice
Mural in Crown Heights

Monday, August 19, 2013

Iceberg - "Strength and Power" (MusicMonday)

Some weeks the timing of a newly discovered song is just perfect. The serene, smooth and inspiring song "Strength and Power" by the young French band Iceberg fits my mood these days quite perfectly; a calm and encouraging energy during the turbulent times of moving around continents and life phases.

Maybe even more fitting, this song was written by my dear friend Erica Stoltz (in Brooklyn) together with her cousin Elliott Stoltz (in Paris), who is the guitar player in Iceberg. And Erica happens to be the person I just stayed with during my first week back in Brooklyn, which is when she shared this song with me.

Looking forward to hearing more from Iceberg!

Iceberg website
Iceberg Facebook
Iceberg YouTube

And while we're at it: Facebook page for Erica's NYC band Dirty Excuse


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Brooklyn Sunrise (Time Lapse) - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 172)

Brooklyn Sunrise - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 172) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

It's a new dawn. It's a new day.

As of this past week, I'm back in the United States. First stop: Brooklyn. What this next phase will bring may be as unknown as what the coming day may bring. Certain is always that the sun will rise every day. Certain to me is also that I have people I love and who love me - living in many different places. I am so grateful for all of you who have walked with me and stood with me - especially during this last year of living in Berlin.

So I would like to dedicate this video to my family and friends, most of whom I miss right now and some of whom I finally get to see again now that I'm in NYC and others I will see very soon. This also includes my Berlin-Brooklyn friends Mike and Cassis, the later is the composer and singer of the lovely song in the video: "Being There" - performed by Cassis & The Sympathies.

The sunrise I photographed on Ginger's rooftop in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Thank you, Ginger, for letting me stay in your lovely apartment. And thank you, Erica and Van, for letting me stay in your vast Crown Heights mansion during the preceding days.

Question: what do you think... is that fast moving light at the top of the frame in the beginning of the video a star or a satellite?

Now let's make this a beautiful day!

Bird flying out of the sunrise

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Berlin Time Lapse Collection - In A Berlin Minute (Week 171)

Berlin Time Lapse - In A Berlin Minute (Week 171) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Now this is a truly fast Moving Postcard. For my last week in Berlin I created a montage of time-lapse shots that I've collected over three years for you.

This seemed especially appropriate because during that last week I had a party and a screening of all 1-minute videos at 8mm Bar in Berlin, for which I tried to assemble all 170 videos. It was an exercise in battling frame rates and codec formats (you don't want to know) - but also an opportunity to re-watch a lot of the videos and let me rediscover some moments. Rather emotional, I'll tell you.

There may just be another compilation of shots with all my friends who've had cameos in these videos.

In the end I streamed all the videos from Vimeo via a projector. Since it's a web series, that was really the way to go.

And as a result of the re-watching, I now have put together this compilation for you. By the way, not all shots have been in other videos already - but they're all from In A Berlin Minute shoots. I wonder if anyone can name them all... Maybe you can?

The song is called "The Strange Case of Doctor Chiaia" by Tans. It's the second time I've used it. I need some new music!

I just have one little bit of bad news. The sunset you see towards the end is something I ended up shooting (a closer shot) this last week for an entire 11 minutes until the sun was gone. I was going to post that sped up on my LuciWest YouTube channel. However, that footage must have not ended up on any of my 5 hard drives that I just moved to the states with me but on one of the two back-up drives I left behind. Maybe one day I can share it with you.

This will be my last Berlin video for awhile. But not to worry, if you've enjoyed seeing a 1-minute video from me every week - I will continue posting videos from other places. And, maybe most importantly, you can always re-watch, re-discover or explore for the first time 172 (one week there were two) 1-minute videos and quite a few extended versions. Maybe this compilation will inspire to go looking around my searchable website Look for your favorite places or something you've never seen with your own eyes...

And know that I always appreciate reading what you think.

Thank you again and again to all who have been watching, sharing and encouraging me to keep this going.


One more sunset in Berlin

Monday, August 12, 2013

Arctic Monkeys - Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High? (MusicMonday)

Can't help myself posting about Arctic Monkeys again - because they just put out another awesome song and video yesterday: "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?"

I really like how the video (directed by Nabil) starts out with 1 1/2 minutes of their previous new single "Do I Wanna Know?" playing at the bar where Alex Turner is getting pissed (gotta use the English term here, right?). "Do I Wanna Know?" is definitely my favorite song of the summer. That slow driving beat and those lyrics... Mmmm...

This song is a bit more upbeat but still invites to rather slow dancing. Still need to try it out personally. At this point, it is clear that the new album AM, coming out on September 9th, is a theme album (the first released single was "R U Mine?"). Lots of questions, lots of longing, lots of love and desire, lots of great music.

Unfortunately, the video was released via Vevo on YouTube, so it can't be watched in Germany unless you use a proxy.

Oh, and the video is NSFW - well, depending on your workplace, I suppose.

Alex Turner has some wants

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Photos from Reichstag, Berlin

Photos from the shoot of the 1-minute video "Reichstag – In A Berlin Minute (Week 170)" Watch the video and read more about the Reichstag on my Moving Postcard website

Tip: Click on any of the photos and you can see all of them full-sized in a slider view. 

Silhouettes inside Reichstag - Berlin

Inside the Reichstag dome - Berlin
- Reichstag, Berlin -

View of TV Tower behind Park Inn - Blick auf Fernsehturm hinter dem Park Inn
- Reichstag, Berlin -

View of Brandenburg Gate - Blick auf das Brandenburger Tor
- Reichstag, Berlin -

Looking at ‪‎Berlin‬ - Blick auf Berlin
- Reichstag, Berlin -

View of Potsdamer Square - Blick auf Potsdamer Platz
- Reichstag, Berlin -

View of Teufelsberg, Victory Column and Radio Tower - Blick auf Teufelsberg, Goldelse und Funkturm
- Reichstag, Berlin -

TV Tower Reflection - ‪‎Fernsehturm‬ Spiegelung
- Reichstag, Berlin -

Reichstag, Berlin

Sunset - Sonnenuntergang - Berlin

Faces at Reichstag, Berlin

Der Bevölkerung - For The People
- Reichstag, Berlin -
Police Officer, Tourists, Cranes
- Reichstag, Berlin -

Reichstag, Berlin

Big sun seen from the Reichstag, Berlin
Photos from the shoot of the 1-minute video "Reichstag – In A Berlin Minute (Week 170)" Watch the video and read more about the Reichstag on my Moving Postcard website.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reichstag - In A Berlin Minute (Week 170)

Reichstag - In A Berlin Minute (Week 170) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

The Berlin building referred to as the Reichstag (officially: Reichtagsgebäude) today houses the Bundestag, which is the name for the German parliament. It was originally opened in 1894 when Germany was still the German Empire, ruled by the Kaiser. During the Weimar Repbulic (Weimarer Republik) it was the seat of the Reichstag. 

After it was partially destroyed during the Second World War it sat empty while East and West Germany used other buildings for their respective government bodies. After the reunification it was restored and eventually used again for government functions. That is when the dome was rebuilt as it is today.

Friends had been telling me how rather magnificent it is up there. But I guess, I had to see it through my own lens first to become a believer. I was quite astonished how the lines, movements, reflections, silhouettes and light reached a whole other level through the two-dimension of my camera. That's why in the end I chose more shots of the spiral inside than the view of Berlin outside. It reminded me of the Guggenheim Museum, but made out of glass - instead of visual artwork there is the sky and the beloved city of Berlin. Also instead of overpriced, entry here is free. But you should preregister online so you don't have to wait in a long line.

In this case I didn't do much color correction because I really appreciated how the light during golden hour looked so different in the various directions.

The sunset that night was magnificent and I plan to upload it as a long video on my LuciWest channel.
Last but not least, the shot of the Goldelse and Funkturm and Teufelsberg is for Helena and all those who have told me that any of those three places are their special place or symbol of Berlin.

This was my last official shoot for this Berlin phase. But there will be one more video coming for my actual last 
week in Berlin (this video is just barely eeking in as a belated video from the week before).
The music was written and performed by Thimo Sander.

Reichstag - Berlin

Saturday, August 3, 2013

In A Berlin Minute PARTY - August 4, 2013


Berlin Sunset - TV Tower Eclipse

It's finally happening: I'm inviting all of you to one of my very favorite Berlin bars to hang out with me, meet each other, listen to some music, glance at all 170 1-minute In A Berlin Minute + In A Brooklyn Minute + In A Brazil Minute + In A Colorado Minute videos in the background* and... buy your own drinks.

I'm really sorry that because of events beyond my control my web series' income has pretty much ceased to exist (shame on you, YouTube and your darn algorithms) so I can't buy you drinks and Samosas, cherry tomatoes or chocolate (random favorite foods fact).

All of you are the reason I've been keeping this video series going every single week for over 3 years, and I want to celebrate you and the end of another Berlin chapter. I'm so grateful for all of your interest, support, inspiration, and encouragement.

Please join me at any point in the evening - and feel free to spread the word. Let's take this community offline!

xx Luci


8mm Bar
Schönhauser Allee 177
Sunday, August 4th, 2013 - 20:00 Uhr (8pm)

Facebook Invitation (everyone likes RSVPs)


"In A Berlin Minute" aka "In A Brooklyn Minute" is a weekly web series of 1-minute "moving postcards" of places and events mostly in Berlin and Brooklyn - brought to you by Luci Westphal, a German New Yorker in Berlin... and Brooklyn.

Watch them all:

My blog:

* Don't worry, this is not a sit-down screening. This is a party!