February 2012


18:00 Central European Time: Today I was at the dry-cleaners…

A couple weeks ago, I realized that I haven’t been playing with my camera enough and I decided to set myself a challenge of documenting my life every day in February – by taking a photograph at the same time, 18:00, Central European Time, every single day.

Picking the time was a bit tricky because I tend to do the same things at the same time most days – Five days out of seven, at 9:00 in the morning, I’m at my desk at the office – so I settled on early evening, 6 PM, even though there’s a pretty good chance that I will be at the gym every other day.

But it’s February and I’m taking a vacation – so while today at 18:00 CET, it is actually 18:00 for me, it won’t be 18:00 for me all month: on many days it will be 10:00, 11:00, or 12:00 local time – but still 18:00 CET.

My general rule is that I will take the photograph at 18:00 ± 15 minutes, CET. However, due to the circumstances around my vacation, I will not be able to post the photograph on the day it was taken – but I will post it when I can.

Today’s exciting start comes with my dry-cleaning—perhaps not the most exciting subject in the world. Truthfully I try to avoid buying clothing that requires dry-cleaning. It’s expensive, annoying, and inconvenient.

But I have a lovely woolen winter jacket, made by Joop!, that I bought about ten years ago. It’s perfect for cool weather that’s too cold for a sweatshirt or lightweight jacket, but too warm for the all-out heavy-duty jacket.

Needless to say, I’ve been wearing it most of January and I became acutely aware that it needed to be cleaned, and so when the temperatures started diving late last week, I switched to the heavier jacket and took the woolen one to the dry-cleaners.

This turned out to be a greater challenge than I had expected for several reasons, including an embarrassing one: you see, I’ve thought for a long time that there was one across the street from my gym – I’ve stared at it for over a year now while doing cardio – but it turns out it’s not a dry-cleaner, it’s a tailor’s shop. Fortunately I realized this before I actually walked in, but it’s still embarrassing that I hadn’t been observant enough to noticed that it wasn’t a dry cleaner.

The second challenge was, oddly enough, finding a dry cleaner – unlike in Weimar where there was one immediately next to my local tiny supermarket, there aren’t any in my immediate Berlin neighborhood (my Keiz!)—and so I had to resort to Google before I found one at the nearby Bayerischer Platz, Rein & Fein.

I dropped off my jacket last Friday morning and was told it would be ready today after five, and so, after finishing a work project at home, I headed out to pick it up – and let me say, tonight at 6pm, it was -6C (21F) – a bit cold to be playing with my tripod and exposed hands, but I did it.

Rein & Fein at Bayerischer Platz, Berlin

And I picked up my jacket – and might I say, it’s also challenging to shoot something that has a plastic film over it.

My dry-cleaned Joop! jacket, hanging at home, with other jackets in the background

A note on the February Photo A Day Meme that I recently learned about – I had my idea long before I learned about the meme, and, given that I had decided to not participate (intentionally) in any meme in the future, this threw a wrench into my plans. But ultimately I decided that I’m not going to ditch my plan. Besides, their thingy has a different theme each day and I have decided that my challenge is to take a photo around 18:00 CET, not try and fulfill an arbitrarily declared theme.

4 comments to 18:00 Central European Time: Today I was at the dry-cleaners…

  • Cool idea. My life doesn’t vary enough for a photo a day to be very interesting though 🙂

    I know what you mean about the memes thing. I thought my idea of doing the Real German Cuisine Challenge was great, but then I found out (after starting) about the whole Julie & Julia thing and it kind of killed it for me.

  • Mateo

    Sounds intriguing. Can’t wait to see the pictures you create over the month. Sorry your weather isn’t as pleasant as ours at the moment.

  • Rich Perez

    What a fantastic idea. Have fun with that. In my little town it cost 20.80€ to clean 1 suit jacket, pants, 2 shirts and 2 ties and it takes a full 7 days until it is finished. Hows the service and pricing there in the big city?

  • Christina — nonsense! You could probably do it — you have kids, which is something I lack. The 18:00 CET thing was to make it extra challenging for me.

    Mateo – Bloomington looks like paradise to me right now.

    Rich Perez – it seemed to take a long time, if you ask me, and they charged 10.50€ for the woolen jacket. I thought that was pricy and the price will discourage me from wearing the coat too much. And to check out the pricing of the place near my office.