Category Archives: travel

Berlin Then and Now (pt. 1) Fuer Immer in Freundschaft mit der Sowjetunion Verbunden

Berlin, wow, how things have changed!

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.

Memorial Across from the Palace of the Republic in the former GDR. The text on the left panel reads:
Memorial Across from the Palace of the Republic in the former GDR taken in 1989. The text on the left panel reads: Always connected to the Soviet Union in Friendship

That was then, this is now (2017 at least, photo below.)

Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum
Gedenkstein Am Lustgarten (Mitte) Herbert Baum

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.

Catching Up with Copenhagen Pt. 2

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.

Broken Window, Copenhagen
Broken Window, Copenhagen

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!

Outdoor Urinal, Copenhagen
Outdoor Urinal, Copenhagen

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.

Bicycle Shop, Copenhagen (c) Michael Halberstadt
Bicycle Shop, Copenhagen (c) Michael Halberstadt

 

(all images and text (c) Michael Halberstadt)

Berlin, Berlin Keine Masken Keine Mauern Pt. 1

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.

My Doc Martins, Berlin, Germany
My Doc Martins, Berlin, Germany

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.

Ambulance, Berlin, Germany
Ambulance, Berlin, Germany

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.

Fashionable Hat Shop, Berlin, Germany
Fashionable Hat Shop, Berlin, Germany

Across from our crappy hotel (Hotel Alper, don’t go there) was this hip hats shop that made for some nice photos.

Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
Soviet War Memorial, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany

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.

Catching up with Copenhagen p1

Last summer my family and I flew into Copenhagen Denmark, traveled through Germany and flew out of Berlin.

Bike Friendly Copenhagen
Bike Friendly Copenhagen

Copenhagen was rich in urban texture. Bikes and bricks were everywhere.

Bike Friendly Copenhagen
Bike Friendly Copenhagen

Since there was a substantial time shift- I woke up very early one morning and opted to go photograph.

CopenhagenThe wet streets and gray skies lent themselves to the colorful lights of a closed Tivoli amusement park.

Copenhagen

Doing the Honorable Thing

Legion of Honor, Museum in San Francisco, CA

It was only an hour or two I had, but I think I got some good stock photos from my visit.

Legion of Honor, Museum in San Francisco, CA

The building itself is Beaux-Arts based on a building in Paris (or so I have read.)  I did my stick schtick on the outside.

Legion of Honor, Museum in San Francisco, CA

Fortunately I have a reciprocal membership from the San Jose Museum of art that gets me in to most art museums in the US, including the Legion.

Legion of Honor, Museum in San Francisco, CA

Which is handy since I have about an hour before my attention span dissipates. And an hour isn’t worth the admission cost – so otherwise I’d seldom set foot inside such museums.

Legion of Honor, Museum in San Francisco, CA

Though fewer than the Cantor Museum at Stanford, there are quite a few Rodin sculptures inside, and The Thinker graces the inner courtyard.

 

A Rooftop Garden in Oakland

Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Kaiser Rooftop Garden – Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)

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.

Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Kaiser Rooftop Garden -Oakland, California (Michael Halberstadt)

Of Death and Chocolate in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA

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.

Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
Museum in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
The Fishermen’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel, San Francisco, CA
The Fishermen’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel, San Francisco, CA
The Fishermen’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel, San Francisco, CA
The Fishermen’s and Seamen’s Memorial Chapel, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Area

As usual… enjoy the photos here, but don’t copy them. Contact me at SiliconValleyStock.com for licensing options

Open Çeşme

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.

 

Lisbon – San Francisco – Seperated at Birth

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!

With an Emphasis on Ephesus

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.