« September 2012 | Main | November 2012 »

6 posts from October 2012

Some buttons


We slip into Knopf Paul one frosty afternoon. The proprietor stands behind his old-fashioned cash register, deep in conversation with a woman frowning over a few spools of thread. The ceilings are high, and boxes of buttons reach right up to the top.

Continue reading "Some buttons" »

Because someone asked for candles


Lauren, this one's for you.



A shift in the air

This autumn has been like falling through a thousand melting layers. I find myself embracing winter proper now it's on its way. We lack a fireplace, but longing for a hearth just now I piled my tray with candles and have lit them all ablaze. This makeshift fire, this stack of books will do for now. Tomorrow Áine comes to stay for a few days, promising more nights in.

Screen prints by Wednesday Paper Works




My four-year-old and I have been squabbling over where to put these wonderful silkscreen prints from Wednesday Paper Works. She wants them in her room, I want them in mine. For now they peregrinate between odd places in our flat, and I catch her gazing at the intricate patterns formed from four unlikely shades. 

"When you look at them, the shapes change," she tells me in the unconscious poetry of the young. I look at them too and admire again the worksmanship of the sister duo who run the newish Kreuzberg-based paper goods firm. (I had pored over the  tangerine-bright gridded notebooks and their darling baby journal before plumping for the prints.)

Intrigued, I drop them a line one day to ask if I can give them a ring. "We worked with a neighborhood screenprinter," Chrish explains on the phone, "and every year around Christmas time he has a special offer. He chooses four colors for the season, and when you use them, you get a good price. When I saw these shades, I thought they were so ugly. Then I started thinking about what I could do with them. The prints are an exercise as much as anything else." [my translation!]

She invited me to drop by their studio sometime and I had to go. More on that soon.


Wednesday Paper Works: Paper is good for you

On Model Cities



It was like slowly becoming aware one winter that there are new buildings going up all over your city, and then noticing that every one of them is a hotel.


My friend Donna Stonecipher's poems always leave me tingling.  At a recent poetry reading in Ausland, hearing her read from a collection of poems entitled Model City, I felt a huge sense of relief that she had caught all the vapors of the discussions about gentrification and changes in Berlin, and distilled them into such taut verse.  Listen yourself, see if you feel it too.


It was like stopping and staring at the fox, along with all the other people walking down the street, all stopped in their tracks and staring in astonishment at the fox.

On a summer morning


On a wet summer morning I took the U1 east to Friedrichshain to visit Sandra and Johan for Freunde von Freunden




We talked for hours, then it was time for lunch. 


After we had eaten, we went to the market at Boxhagener Platz, then finished with punnets of berries at a nearby cafe. Have a look at Philipp's beautiful photos and the interview here.