Back in 1989, I took the photo below of a small memorial- this side reads “Fuer Immer in Freundschaft mit der Sowietunion Verbunden” rough translation: Always connected to the Soviet Union in Frendship. You can see a Wartburg zipping by the Palast der Republik across the street in the background.
That was then, this is now (2017 at least, photo below.)
Unfortunately there’s no Palace of the Republic across the street. I still regret leaving the GDR without taking so many photos. I just assumed it would be there anytime I came back.
Also, I should note: while researching this topic I found that this memorial is dedicated to Herbert Baum, a German, Jew, and Communist who led a resistance group against the fascists.
Our second full day in Copenhagen… we experienced a misty summer day, lots of bikes an outdoor urinal, Tivoli. But my favorite photo was of a broken safety glass window.
I actually converted this image to grayscale and made some big prints I’m pretty proud of.
When traveling (even with family) I’m still on the lookout for stock-worthy subjects. As such, I’m often stopping to photograph some strange subjects. In this case there was an outdoor urinal: no doors, no privacy. Fortunately nobody was peeing at the time!
I’m going to go rogue here and rant about two things. One, what’s up with these graffiti idiots? Graffiti is usually a scar on architecture and the built environment. But did somebody write their own name on this urinal? Or somebody else’s (guess that would make more sense!) I hope they washed their hands afterwords (eeewww!)
Rant 2/2 in general Europe is running circles around the US in terms of quality of life. But one human need is very poorly met everywhere I’ve been in Europe: toilets. It’s easy to find a public toilet in the US. Often they are free, and reasonably well maintained here. While Denmark and most of Europe have done a great job addressing the human condition with universal health care, welfare and the like, it’s nice to think at least we in the US are better about something 😉
So, the other thing that stands out in Copenhagen is cycling. Bikes are everywhere. Chained to fences without gaps seemingly for miles.
It was about a year ago, we returned from our family trip to Europe. I’m still working my way through the photos. Berlin holds a special place in my heart.
I had visited a divided Berlin for the first time in 1987. In fact, I took an old pair of Doc Martins that might have been on my feet on some of the very same streets in the 1980’s.
Though it was a family trip, I still try to shoot stock. Many of my photos would seem rather odd without taking stock photography into account.
Across from our crappy hotel (Hotel Alper, don’t go there) was this hip hats shop that made for some nice photos.
One of the first places I remember visiting in 1987 was this Soviet WWII memorial. One ironic twist was though the USSR occupied the Eastern part of Berlin, they controlled a few little spots in the west where this memorial in the Tiergarten lies.
On a rooftop in downtown Oakland there’s a public garden that offers tranquility in an urban core. Built in 1963 the garden is open to the public and offers 3.5 acres of grass, trees, ponds and peace-and-quiet elevated above the hustle-and-bustle of central Oakland.
Previously on UrbanTexture you may have read my post about famous folks buried in the Mountain View cemetery. One of those notable figures of Bay Area history was Ghiradelli of the chocolate fame. Though the factory has long since left San Francisco, like all “real” manufacturing, there’s still Ghiradelli Square.
Ghiradelli Square is a tourist trap near Fisherman’s Wharf. It really does hold historic value and nostalgia for me since I was taken out to eat icecream there as a child several times. In any case I had a good time getting in a few photos there. But priorities were my daughter eating ice cream first, then run around and get more photos.
One place we did manage to visit I’d been wanting to see for ages. The Musée Mécanique is one of those tourist must visit spots that’s actually worth seeing. For one it’s free (but you have to pay to use the games with quarters of course.) But it’s quirky and unique in ways that few tourist sites are. Basically it’s half gaming arcade and half living museum.
My wife and daughter humored me and let me get some photos of Fisherman’s Wharf and environs. Not only is it a real worthless tourist trap, it’s pretty gross! There were clusters of vagrants gathering on the piers. Restaurant workers were smoking pot and lying down in dreck. And boy was it loud! Bad street musicians competed with testosterone driven motorists to see who could be more annoying. I don’t think I’ll return there for fun at least. But I did manage to tick off a few photo boxes including the Seamen’s Memorial Chapel.
I’ll have to find some more interesting sites to visit in San Francisco. But that was a productive day.
As usual… enjoy the photos here, but don’t copy them. Contact me at SiliconValleyStock.com for licensing options
The closest we got to our “Greek beach vacation” just happened to be in Turkey. We opted to spend a few days in a lovely little resort town in Western Turkey called Cesme. Technically it is in Asia, but it seemed more European than Greece we experienced. Our hotel was right next to the beach. Cesme, at least the center, was tidy, clean and full of well behaved drivers.
Walking around, I fell in love with the urban texture of the place. All over you can see the patina of faded paint, the old ironwork, the old water fountains with Arabic writing where men still came and collected water. The castle was the main historical feature, followed by a Greek church that now serves as a community hall.
I lived in San Francisco for almost a decade, and in the Bay Area for most of my life. It’s hard to miss the similarities between Lisbon and San Francisco. They both share hilly terrain, historic trams, bridges by the same architect. And if those weren’t enough similarities, while we were walking near Rossio Square a gay pride parade came by!
Ephesus is a well preserved ruin of a once grand city in Western Turkey. In Turkish, the city is called Efes, which is also the name of Turkey’s biggest brewery. It is truly amazing to walk among the ruins of a society that flourished thousands of years ago. Even if it’s 100 degrees fahrenheit. Seeing Efes makes me wonder what, if anything, will be left of our built environment in two or three thousand years.