Three Weekend Things…

Three Wishes…

Originally uploaded by elmada.

Blue Jeans: Last night I went to Jena to celebrate a colleague’s birthday. He had a party at his flat which overlooks the Jena West-Weimar train tracks. Upon arrival at the party, another colleague noticed something across the room, so she decided to point it out.

“Adam! Did you know you have a spot on your blue jeans?!”

I looked down. Indeed, I did have a spot on my pants. Earlier yesterday afternoon I’d managed to spill a bit of oil on my blue jeans and it had left behind a… well… spot.

I spent the rest of the evening making sure that everybody else in attendance knew that I’d spilled oil on my blue jeans earlier on Saturday.

Lest they think it was something else.

Long Walk: This morning I woke up, grabbed my Economist, and headed down to Café Laden—which basically means I’ve done the same thing four or five weeks in a row, with the exception of the weekend I was in Berlin.

After I drank my cup of coffee and ate my piece of cake, I headed out, going for a walk in a direction I hadn’t gone in a long time. In fact, I crossed the railroad tracks and went to the north side of Weimar for the first time in over a year.

Gigantic Paterns
It was well worth the time—for not only did I get a ton of needed exercise, I wandered around one of the complexes of apartments that infest eastern Germany cities. As I wandered around the ugly remnants of centralized planning, it occurred to me that there is actually little difference between the hideously ugly Soviet Era apartment blocks and the modern-day suburbia in the United States. The principle difference is that one is horizontally spread out while the other is vertically oriented. Another difference is that people actually paid to have their units built in one, and in the other they finally had a place to call their own.

Photos: Oh yes, I took a number of photos on my walk. I’ve uploaded them, plus a few from before the computer crisis, to Flickr. The first two pages (for at least a day or two) have all of the uploaded gems.

1 comment to Three Weekend Things…

  • In the 1950s and 1960s, urban/downtown living was extremely popular in Canadian cities, so places like Vancouver and Toronto still have a number of Brutalist and Modernist towers. This took a while for me to get used to: in the US, these sorts of buildings tended to be reserved for public housing projects, so at first I subconsciously associated these buildings with substandard housing. But here they were built for the middle class, and they remain popular with the middle class (a bonus: they tend to keep the rain out!). It’s a conundrum: the buildings can be quite ‘ugly’, but it would be hard for me to argue against the popularity of city living during the decades that the US saw its inner cities hollowed out. In Vancouver, there was a huge demand for downtown housing in the 50s and 60s, so architects responded by building high-rises in the style that was popular at the time.

    A significant portion of low-income and social housing in Vancouver is sited within low-rise developments, and the mixing of social housing with market-rate units is popular (see http://www.terrahousing.ca/project.asp?id=16 )