November 30, 2018

Salve — Yorckstraße 268/365

After Italians and Greeks, Germans might be the other nation taking care of Ancient Greek and Latin. It’s rare not to see a Latin inscription almost daily. This is perhaps my favorite one in town, from the 19th Century: Salve has been replaced by the pop “Home, sweet home”, which is not a greeting to others but rather a relief you pronounce under your teeth when you get back home. And the building complex is so nice, that I remember passing by 15 years ago as a scene of “Around the world in 80 days” was being shot here.

November 29, 2018

Family history — Zehlendorf 267/365

I’ve been researching the history of my family for over 15 years. This is part of the result, which I still don’t know how to make it readable. Going back to 1525, in this case, my father’s family is a combination of Spaniards, French, Genovese, Cubans and Mexicans. Some were polygamists, other nuns, some of them sold wheat, one fought against the independence of Texas and later became a guerrillero, many were rich, and relatives married relatives, so no wonder that my grandmother has her husband’s niece. I’m not interested in the genealogy per se, but in the stories behind each of them. Today, I just finished updating my map and am getting ready to research in a new archive next month.

November 28, 2018

Acapulco chair — Berlin Mitte 266/365

This is one of the cool spots in Berlin for freelancers next to Checkpoint Charlie. It’s incredible to see the success of the Acapulco chair, which has become ubiquitous around the world. I remember it from my childhood as something that was simply there, like the Carta Blanca chairs and table of tin. A number of designers are profiting from this anonymous design, people charging a lot for a piece of furniture which used to be self made by the low-income classes. It’s hard to know its origins because it developed naturally in a non-design, non-hipster environment.

November 27, 2018

USA/Mexico border — Literaturhaus 265/365

Went to the bookstore of the Literaturhaus and all they have on Mexico is a reflection of the disaster of the country: the border and the violence. This caught my attention and I watched The Pilgrim from 1923, by Chaplin. Its actuality is scary! The final scene is this one at the border: Americans don’t like him, so they expel him to Mexico, but violence there is unbearable. It seems we have been stuck for the past 95 years.