culture

Jun 232015
 
New heroes ... New masculinities ...

A few days ago I was sitting at Maso A Kobliha in Prague (at the recommendation of the excellent Taste of Prague Blog), savoring a plate of superlative house-smoked meat, three donuts, and tea. By way of entertaining my vegetarian and already sugar-shocked friend, I told him about the return of butchery, a new generation, typified in The Real Meat Society, mothership of Maso A Kobliha, sister of Sansho Restaurant. (If you aren’t familiar with the […read the rest]

Sep 142014
 
Lech Wałȩsa and craft labor

His explanation of his strategic capacities is “I am an electrician.” This reminds me of Matthew Crawford’s painstaking work on the “cognitive riches” of trade labour. (Summary here.) Crawford’s point is that trade work is satisfying. Wałȩsa’s point is that it is also a form of analytic training.

Aug 072014
 
The Home Project, Berlin

Walking through Kreutzberg/Neukölin I was drawn to another minimalist window display of an unlit store in a residential street. Like most entrepreneurs of shops with obtuse names in quiet streets, the owner wasn’t all that interested in promotion. The Home Project is a project of two designers, Álbio Nascimento and Kathi Stertzig. “I’m interested in your project”. “Good.” “So?” She seemed comfortable with monosyllables, just my style, as I fumbled for a pen: “Why?” “Because we […read the rest]

Aug 062014
 
Sunshine,  my beloved

There’s a tiny chill in the air in Neukölln  where my friend deposits me for the best burger in Berlin, Schillerburger.  I can’t get past the sweet potato fries then I walk toward a  community garden “on the old airfield”, stopping for the best vanilla ice cream cone to date, at Mos Eisley. Amidst runways and grass is indeed a community garden, full of container plants,  bikes, and handmade benches,  all climbing or reclining toward […read the rest]

Aug 032014
 
Helmut Menzel porcelain at the Berlin Make Markt

I was going in a different direction, on an arbitrary itinerary when I saw a poster for the Berlin Make Mrkt and figured out that it was monthly and this afternoon, the first Sunday of the month in Prenzlaurberg. The market was quite small, and typical of Australian and US markets in mainly offering jewelery. There was a knifemaker, several furniture resurrecters, and some knitted lampshades. I engaged in my usual behavior of buying rings […read the rest]

Jul 262014
 
Prinzessinnengarten

My favourite reading is food blogs and my favourite Berlin food blog is Stil in Berlin.  The author gets around,  and reviewed the food in the community garden, Prinzessinnengarten.  I thought it was clever to serve some food in a garden so went for a visit,  but found a lot more than I anticipated. The main difference between this garden and every other garden I’ve seen is that it’s full of people.  The first reaction I […read the rest]

Jul 242014
 
Markthalle Neun

In a less gentrified yet part of Kreutzberg is this market described by my favourite local food blogger as “the most interesting food in Berlin”. The large covered hall hosts an artisan food market several days a week every Thursday there’s a “night street food market”  which is a food truck scene without the trucks,  each stand vetted for interest and quality. Unlike many other informal gourmet scenes,  this one offered more product range with […read the rest]

 Posted by at 18:06
Jul 122014
 
Winterfeldt Market Berlin

This market was so movingly delicious to eye and sense, that I had to just enjoy it rather than documenting it. Produce, baked goods, prepared foods, and hard goods stalls were mixed and profuse, which was delightful. It’s summer, so the market was full of berries and cherries. Although I have so far not found Berliners to be nice to strangers, that was not the experience in this market, and, also interesting, this seems to be typical of […read the rest]

Jun 152014
 
"To hell with the market" .... visit to my hero F.E. Trainer's sustainable world

“Composting and growing carrots is a nice start, but we need to get rid of the growth economy, make the global economic system work to meet needs, and replace capitalism with a different economic system that works for people. Most Green people are stuck at the level of compost heaps, which don’t have a chance of saving us. We don’t want to be a society full of compost heaps heading for disaster. Growing carrots locally is just the first step to changing the economy.”