I don't know what I thought about Berlin

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I spent a few days in Berlin several months ago, and ended up with mixed thoughts on the city.

It seemed to lack a centre, to have vast swathes of void landscape, but made up for it with energy, spirit and nightlife and an unending sense of history and place.

I have decided to show my photographs along with the words of others I have been reading to make sense of this fascinating city.

Berlin Scaffolding

Berlin is all about volatility. Its identity is based not on stability, but on change. - Rory MacLean

Foggy Berlin skyline

I did not find Berlin a beautiful town, but an exciting one - Christabel Bielenberg

Alexanderplatz, East Berlin from above

It's the usual human mess. Hard to disentangle the past, isn't it? The right intentions? The wrong result? In that sense, Berlin's a truer city than most, truer because it's a city without set pieces. Where are the great views? The great vistas? What hill can you climb and see it all? - David Hare
East Berlin architecture

Nowhere does a grand bridge and a wide flow of water divide the city. Instead, it is bricked-up buildings and sections of breeze block that bisect the city - Len Deighton

Denkmal zur Erinnerung an die Bücherverbrennung, Bebelplatz, Berlin

Berlin got high on itself and ruined itself through meglomania, and... now had to make amends in a state of permanent hangover. - Tobias Ruther

Hand-drawn maps of Poland by Renata and Romania by Mario

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I haven't asked people to draw maps for me for quite some time, but my project to re-draw a map of Europe is still definitely going.

I met Mario from Romania at a party a few weeks ago, and asked him to draw this map. I also told him that his country may win Eurovision this year. He was quite excited about this.

Romania, by Mario

Several months ago, I asked my Austrian boyfriend to ask his Polish cousins to draw a map of Poland - so here's Renata's map of Poland.

Poland, by Renata

I'm now more than half-way through my quest to collect a map for every country in Europe - but I still have great swathes of central and Eastern Europe to find.

EuroGlobe, a map of Europe by Europeans

Map stencils

Friday, April 09, 2010

When I was a lad, a time when maps didn't print off the internet, we used map stencils.

Map stencil of Ireland

I clearly remember buying an Ireland and Europe stencil for 4th class geography lessons. Since then, I had forgotten about them until I discovered one for sale on eBay.

Map stencil of North America

I promptly bought it and then went to Stanfords where I bought 5 more- Ireland, Australia, France, Europe and North America.

Map stencil of Britain

These tracer maps are made by Jakar who seem to be the masters of map stencils.

Map stencil of Europe

But now that my interest is piqued, and ever one for a challenge, I'd like to collect more countries. I'm not even sure these were made in other countries. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Are there stencils for Greece, Finland, Germany, Japan, South Africa and, well, everywhere else?

Map pictograms: tomato sauce Britain

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Lovely little map on a pasta sauce ad. Funny they include some islands (like the Scilly Isles) but don't bother with Northern Ireland...