Friday, August 28, 2015

Prospect Ponds (Fort Collins) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 278)

Prospect Ponds (Fort Collins) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 278)

The Prospect Ponds Natural Area in Fort Collins, Colorado, is part of the Cache la Poudre River Corridor and features several ponds, trails and wildlife - and of course, it has the Cache la Poudre River running through it.

My two favorite parts about this area are the visual play between the ponds and the river (one or the other is often seen in the background) and its location along the Poudre Trail, which connects to the Spring Creek Trail by my house. The network of bike-friendly trails throughout Fort Collins, which connect all corners of the town while at the same time giving you the impression that you're riding more through nature and rather than a town, is one of my favorite aspects of Fort Collins (the other being Horsetooth Reservoir, naturally).

When I shot this yesterday, the sky was unusually grey while it was still hot and bright. I'm not sure if that was a normal weather occurrence or if it was linked to the smoke and haze that's been traveling over from the West Coast due to all the wildfires there.

As you watch this Moving Postcard, I'm sure you'll spot the heron... but did you see the fish jumping? Yes, fishing is allowed in the ponds and sections of the river and the canal. Oh, but don't litter. I'm always so bummed to find garbage left behind in nature. What are you people thinking? Mommy will come up and clean after you? Or do you just not care that the nature you just enjoyed was left less healthy and beautiful by your action?

The song in this week's video is "Happy Strummin'" by Jason Shaw. He has made this and many other lovely tunes available via a CC BY 3.0 license on his website Audionautix. Thank you so much for your creativity and generosity, Jason!

Wild Sunflower at Prospect Pond
Fort Collins, Colorado

Monday, August 24, 2015

Eskimeaux - O.K. (MusicMonday)

The album I've recently been playing over and over again is O.K. by Brooklyn band Eskimeaux, which had started out as a solo project by Gabrielle Smith.

My only complaint about the album is that it didn't come with the lyrics, which are as thoughtful, honest and poetic as the music is moving and layered.

Two of my favorite songs are...

Broken Necks

I Admit I'm Scared

If you want to know more, there's an insightful review of O.K. on Pitchfork.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Elbe River Ships - Willkomm Höft (Germany) - In Another Minute (277)

Elbe River Ships - Willkomm Höft (Germany) - In Another Minute (277)

Willkomm Höft on the Elbe River in Wedel, Germany, is where the big ships are greeted and bid farewell as they enter or exit the Hamburg Harbor. For large ships, the restaurant Schulauer Fährhaus plays the ship's national anthem over loudspeakers in addition to a spoken greeting.

During week 275, when Scott and I visited my parents, we spent a lovely evening watching the small and large vessels going up and down the river and enjoyed dinner outdoors at the Elbe 1 restaurant, where the outstanding service was only surpassed by the river view.

To not disturb this special evening too much, I just let the camera roll a few times to catch bigger ships and the ferry with the intention to share a simple time-lapse video with you later.

Now, I'm inspired to shoot a time-lapse video of the actual Hamburg Harbor on my next visit, hopefully later this year. After all, the Hamburger Hafen is one of my favorite places on the planet.

On a random childhood memory side-note: When I was a little kid, I believed that the strip of land across the river was America. And I always wanted to get there one day...

The song in the video is called "Running Waters" by Jason Shaw. He has made this and many other lovely tunes available via a CC BY 3.0 license. Thank you so much, Jason!

Hamburg Süd ship on the Elbe River

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Photos of the Brooklyn Bridge

These photos I took on July 29th while walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn with my cousin Annick and her family and at the same time shooting the 1-minute video "Brooklyn Bridge - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 275)" for the Moving Postcard video series.

You can watch the video HERE.

Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and Manhattan
seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park

To get the most out of these pictures, click on the first one to see it larger and then from there scroll through all of them.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Heading towards Brooklyn on the Brooklyn Bridge

 What she said...?
Well, what did she say? Nothing?

Midtown with the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building in the background and the Lower Eastside in the foreground - as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge

Staten Island Ferry, Statue of Liberty, New Jersey harbor - as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge

Looking back at Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge

Welcome to Brooklyn
How Sweet It Is!

Brooklyn Bridge Park, the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and downtown Manhattan with the World Trade Center aka the Freedom Tower

Brooklyn Bridge Park view of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and downtown Manhattan with the World Trade Center aka the Freedom Tower

Monday, August 17, 2015

Favorite songs from the 2nd 1/4 of 2015 (#MusicMonday)

A mixtape and playlist of my favorite songs from the 2nd quarter of 2015 (April, June and July).

Cover and song list of the spring mix -
with a photo I took in Tulum, Mexico, in April

Links within the list will take you to posts from this blog featuring a video for the song.

1 Feeling Ok - Best Coast
2 Back of the Car (feat. Nate Henricks) - RAC
3 River - Ibeyi
4 Led to the Sea - Jenny Owen Youngs
5 Standing In The Sun - Jessica Lea Mayfield
6 I'll Start Believing - Warpaint
7 Believe - Mumford & Sons
8 Sunshine On My Back - The National
9 Tompkins Square Park - Mumford & Sons
10 Taking All the Blame - The Subways
11 Island - Surfer Blood
12 Life As Unusual (feat. Ben Folds) - Ben Lee
13 Feel The Lightning - Dan Deacon
14 Turn It Up - Stars
15 Blowtorch - The Go! Team
16 California Nights - Best Coast
17 Surrender - Briana Marela
18 Deadwater - Wet
19 Fourth Of July - Sufjan Stevens
20 Carrion Flowers - Chelsea Wolfe

Watch the videos for the songs on my Pinterest music board.

Listen to most songs as a playlist on Spotify.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mauerpark - In A Berlin Minute (Week 276)

Mauerpark - In A Berlin Minute (Week 276)

The Mauerpark (Wall Park) in Berlin, Germany, is the place to be on a Sunday - if you like people watching, flea market shopping, outdoor drinking, street musicians, street art, karaoke and hanging out with your friends. Well, I do!

So when Scott and I were in Berlin during week 275, we met a few of our local friends in the park - even those who have no love for Sundays at Mauerpark. A big thanks to everyone who came out to hang with us that day and night and during our brief fly-by Berlin visit. I love you all so much!

For those of you who follow other expat travel blogs from Berlin, you might recognize Nicole of and Cheryl of If you don't know them yet, go check out their awesome travel reports and photographs!

Mauerpark is located (just steps from my apartment) in the Prenzlauer Berg district. Its name derives from the fact that it used to be part of the Berlin Wall death zone (then on the border or East Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg and West Berlin's Wedding). Today it has two bars that serve food and drinks (Mauersegler and Schoenwetter), an outdoor amphitheater that hosts the Bearpit Karaoke and semi-permanent stalls that house the Mauerpark Flohmarkt - both only on Sundays.

If you would like to see another Mauerpark video, please watch the one I did about the flea market in 2010: Mauerpark Flea Market – In A Berlin Minute (Week 17)

And for another video from Prenzlauer Berg: Prenzlauer Berg – In A Berlin Minute (Week 162)

The music in this video is the instrumental version of the song “Are You Having Fun?" by the talented, productive and generous Josh Woodward. This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License.

Sunday Bearpit Karaoke at Mauerpark in Berlin

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Brooklyn Bridge – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 275)

Brooklyn Bridge - In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 275) 

There should never be a (first) visit to New York City without a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, in my opinion anyway. So when my  cousin Annick and her family, who were visiting from France, and I traveled to New York together this past week, the first thing we did was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

While approaching the bridge from the Brooklyn side offers you the impressive view of the Manhattan skyline, I’m especially fond of the experience of leaving the hustle, bustle and closed-in feeling of the Financial District of Manhattan, then truly appreciating the open space of water below and sky above on the bridge and, last but not least, being welcomed by Brooklyn, which I still consider my home after all the years away. And every single time I arrive at the other side of the East River, I remember that time during the Blackout of 2002 when Scott, Nils and I walked home across the bridge with thousands of other people and then borough president Marky Markowitz stood there in the heat, waving his arms and yelling “Welcome home to Brooklyn!”

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge, which opened in 1883, when it was the longest suspension bridge, spanning 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m). Today it is a National Historic Landmark.

The opening and closing shots were filmed from Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you will find my favorite local ice cream at The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Getting a scoop from there is the perfect reward after crossing over the East River in the summer. During colder times, I highly recommend getting a hot chocolate from Jacques Torres over in DUMBO, which offers the best hot chocolate in town (with The Chocolate Room in Park Slope being a close rival).

Of course, I also needed to include in this video the experience of people on bikes yelling at tourists walking in the bike lane. It’s all part of the Brooklyn Bridge ritual.

To check out what this is like from a cyclist’s perspective, please check out these previous In A Brooklyn Minute videos:
Riding across the Brooklyn Bridge – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 84)
Alternative Version of: Brooklyn Bridge Ride – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 84)

This week’s video features a song with lyrics, which I usually avoid. Not just because it’s hard to find the right lyrics to match the mood or message of the video but also it’s much harder to edit to since singers don’t necessarily start lines on the 1 or 3 beat, which I like to cut to. But in this case, the song “Bonjour, Mon Amie” by Josh Woodward fit almost perfectly… not only because Annick, Sébastien, Cleo and Liam visited from France and they are so dear to me but also because I was overflowing with love for the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn and New York City. This song, as well as hundreds of Josh’s other songs, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License. Merci beaucoup, Josh!

Walking towards Brooklyn on the Brooklyn Bridge (with the sun at our backs)