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Frittatensuppe

17.09.13
1 min
Post

Frittatensuppe is the most delicious soup you can get in Austria. It’s a crazy mixture between Brühe and Eierkuchen. The Eierkuchen (egg pancakes) is sliced in tiny pieces and is floating in the Brühe (broth). It looks like an uncomplicated and not very spectacular meal. But it’s an explosion of taste. When the Brühe flows down your throat and the spongy slices of the Eierkuchen remain in your mouth, you almost feel like you are a real Austrian Madl. It’s spectacular and an explosion of taste. You can get a tiny little bowl of it for just 1.20€ everywhere. Spectacular. Spectacular. Spectacular. Last week I went to the doctor having a full health check up. He said my cholesterol level would be way to high. I think it’s the devilish Frittatensuppe. I can’t get enough of it. Teufelszeug.

Mavie Hörbiger
People

I know Mavie from the time she lived in Berlin. She had a small dog called Attila (like her great-uncle Attila Hörbiger, the Dienstmann in the Third Man, or was this his brother Paul? It was the father-projection of Isabelle Adjani in Claude Miller’s film The Eye Of the Beholder (Mortelle randonnée), Michel Serrault following his daughter-projection through France) and a Smart car. It was Mavie (“my life” in French), the dog and the car. They where a perfect set designed by some smartass in the valley. MaVie, MonChien, MaCaisse. She played theatre in Hannover. Lulu in a version by Moritz von Uslar. She was a star for being Heidi in a German comedy. Film loves her. All her glamour explodes on the screen. She went to Basel to play more theatre. She married, got pregnant, and moved with her husband to Vienna. Thomas Bernhard said the Austrians don’t respect anything but actors. Her husband is also an actor. A very famous one. Mavie plays now at the Burgtheater. It’s the Hörbiger legacy. The Burgtheater is the olymp of acting. At least if you are into theatre. Mavie has two children now. Wilma and Peter. MaVie. MonMarie. MonTheatre. Designed by Hörbiger.

David Iselin
People

It sounds somehow ridiculous to say it but David is a man in full. Although he is still young he looks at the world with a mature man’s eyes. He has the best bullshit detector that I know of and because he inspires confidence it is a privilege to have him as a friend. When I met him he impressed me with his being fluent in Japanese. Than he impressed me with his precise and elegant manners. He has the fitness of a military man and the mind of a philosopher; if you are looking for someone to cry with in front of Bellinis “Ecstasy of St. Francis” at the Frick on one day and go to war with on another he is the perfect man.

Jeanne Tremsal
People

“We met Jeanne for the first time in summer 2007, in the Erste Liga (First League) at the DJ Kaos Night. Zelinda, an Italian, introduced us to Jeanne as French, she knew that we are frogmunchers as well. We were all very drunk. A. was dancing with Jeanne wild rock’n’roll, while M. ordered more drinks at the bar. Since that night our friendship grew and moved from town to town. Paris, Berlin, Munich is our common home and our 60 mutual friends know our 60 shared secrets.” This was our text about Jeanne, full of love, full of shared emotions, brilliantly funny and smart. We sent it to Georg (ok, in German) and half an hour later he would ask: “Didn’t you see the website? The texts are all in English and longer… and funnier!” What? Where? Our text is funny. As funny as a text about friends can be. Jeanne will think it is funny. It is even making fun of us. And why English? Not French? Like us, like Jeanne. Who? What? Quoi? C’est drôle. C’est vachement drôle. Idiots.

Finn Canonica
People

My first contact with Finn was via an email exchange between Tokyo and Zurich. I sent him a text I had written about a walk through the Ryogoku neighbourhood, which is famous mainly for all the Sumo stables of Tokyo that are located there. I thought the text would fit very nicely into DAS MAGAZIN. Finn didn’t think the same. That’s how we became friends. I tell him stories about Japan and he challenges me what the journalistic point in it was. I usually have no idea. He once gave me a book (he gives books to everybody all the time) called ‘Moo Pak’ by Gabriel Josipovici. Jack Toledano, the main character, talks to his friend Damien Anderson on long walks through London (actually about a novel that never gets written, but that’s not the point). Finn is Jack. When you meet him you have to walk (or at least move), and discuss the world. And believe me, these are never easy walks. He goes fast. It’s always the slopes, the hills, the long streets. We have walked together fast through Tokyo (loving it), fast through Hong Kong (hating it), fast through New York, Berlin, Zurich (loving and sometimes hating it). It’s always very navy seals (team 6 to be clear). ‘The only easy day was yesterday’, they say. What do you do with the summers you have left? Never waste time with boring people. Never sit when you can walk. Never drink coffee for more than 10 minutes. Never kneel down. Never obey. Never eat shit. Never dress badly. Never waste time in offices, in stupid meetings, inside. Go outside. Just fucking do it. Hoaah. #60

Stefano Sardo
People

Did I mention the table in Telluride with Frances Ford Coppola, Bruce Dern and Don DeLillo? Yes, I did. Actually I did mention it twice. Later, when the whole situation dissolved I went outside, where you had this incredible view on the Rockies. It was getting dark and I wanted a cigarette. The Europeans usually stand together outside and smoke (Douglas Coupland, Microserfes: “These poor Europeans.”) I had spoken to Stefano briefly at JFK before we entered the charter. Now I asked him for a fag. His brother, a chain smoker, knew that Bärbel a German volunteer to the festival for 33 years had a pack of American Spirits. The orange ones. Nice. It’s always good to be around Italians at parties. Stefano is a two-smokes-a-day-man like me. They told me about The Slow Food Story––his documentary. Stefano’s brother came by car from Oakland, in the San Francisco Bay area. He is in the Slow Food business, importing the good stuff from Italy. Stefano told me that he is usually a scriptwriter. Slow Food Story is his first documentary. Because the movement came from Bra, his hometown. All of Stefano’s scripts and projects sound great: Il ragazzo invisibile (scheduled for 2014), 1992 (TV series), In Treatment (TV series), Pronti a tutto, La doppia ora, Come si deve. If you google these, (not that I google anymore) you get images of all these good-looking actors and actresses but no storyline. If you google Stefano Sardo you get a lot about the Slow Food Story but also this design line from the German Möbelhaus “Porta” comes up: Couches and sofas by Stefano Sardo. Lots of Polstermöbel. Back to Slow Food: Stefano’s film was scheduled for the Saturday morning. The cinema was packed. Michael Moore came from somewhere to see it. The festival co-director Tom Luddy introduced it mentioning his long-time friendship to Alice Waters and that he gave more interviews over the years about food than about film. This is for me the most interesting angle about Slow Food: Tom Luddy and Alice Waters* came out of the 1960s Berkeley Free Speech movement. Luddy was a Maoist––Carlo Pertini, the motor behind the Italian Slow Food movement, was a political activist in the communist movement Partito di Unità Proletaria. Furthermore the Italians behind it were mostly very funny comedians. Stefano’s film is also really funny. Really Italian. We met Stefano the day after Telluride in Berlin, jetlagged, giving interviews for the film’s German distribution in October. We convinced him to write his 60picks for the next 60 days. Now!

*In 1980, Werner Herzog asked Waters to cook his shoe for the film Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe. She prepared the shoe in the Chez Panisse kitchen, braising it in duck fat, herbs, and spices.

Le mariage

09.09.13
1 min
Post

It rained on their wedding day. What did the bride wear? What did the groom wear? Only the bride can tell. What did the guests wear? Four pichets of rosé. We downed them, our throats slick with gimlets and beer. Before the bride and the groom stood the mayor, and upon the mayor’s chest flapped his sash, red, white, and blue. Four flower girls danced in a circle, and in the church yard, two little pigs turned on their spits.

Like many marriages, this one required the bridging of oceans, the conquering of recent histories, and a resolution towards future circumstance. But if the groom held fear, or the bride any grief for her father’s adieu, it didn’t show. Perhaps they know something I don’t know. Beneath their soaring union lie certain memories, as paper lanterns set aflame in the night sky, and chance leaving them wet on their wedding day. 

The author doing an Auerbach Positano (Amalfi Coast) at the Cinque Terre coast

The Auerbach

09.09.13
2 min
Post

Before the internet killed my TV, I used to watch a sports show called “Schwab uf Tour” (or was it Freestyle?) on the Swiss channel Star TV, in which host Marco Schwab was practicing and commenting on any kind of extreme sports. Besides the talking, which was complete nonsense, Schwab impressed me with one particular quality. Wherever he could, he did reverse somersaults into any kind of water. He jumped from cranes (10 meters), from power stations (14 meters), bridges (very high). A reverse somersault is a flip where you jump forwards and move backyards at the same time (the perfect image for our times?). The English word originates, at least according to Wikipedia, from the obsolete French word sombresault, Provencal sobresaut; and Latin – supra, over, and saltus, jump (done with copying). In German you call it, way more beautiful, an “Auerbach”. The Brockhaus encyclopaedia (read the related article in the Süddeutsche) tells us (or told us) that the name Auerbach originates from the German gym and sports teacher Wilhelm Auerbach, which I didn’t find more information on (sorry). 15 years ago, when I started doing my first attempts (clearly to impress girls, which worked – and works – quite well) almost nobody knew what an Auerbach was. It came out of nowhere, it hurt (usually). These days, Auerbach has become the norm, not the exception (you walk to the Bellevue in Zurich, and they guys there will give you some evidence). Yet, it has kept some of its romantic. One and a half year ago I went to see an exhibition of Lucien Freud in the National Portrait Gallery in London where they exhibited an incredible painting by Freud of Frank Auerbach, an English painter born in Berlin. Maybe he was a relative of Wilhelm Auerbach, the sports professor. I don’t know. Summer’s gone, the Auerbach will rest.

Lichtenberg
People

Lichtenberg is an Ortsteil of Berlin in the Bezirk of Lichtenberg. Until 2001 it was an autonomous district with the localities of Fennpfuhl, Rummelsburg, Friedrichsfelde and Karlshorst. The old part of Lichtenberg, now called Alt-Lichtenberg, was founded around 1230, due to the German colonization of the territory of Barnim. Lichtenberg suffered severely during the Thirty Years’ War and remained small at the gates of Berlin. In the late 18th century Prussian noblemen built their ugly residences in Lichtenberg and in 1815 it became a property of the Prussian chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg. In 1920, with the Greater Berlin Act (Groß-Berlin) Lichtenberg became part of (Groß-)Berlin. After the war it became part of the East and the Hauptstadt der DDR. The boarders of the city were around Fennpfuhl until most of the Plattenbauten in Hohenschönhausen and Marzahn were built during the 1980s. Lichtenberg is outside the S-Bahn-Circle, which means there are still affordable flats. Some of Berlin’s greatest attractions and sightseeing spots are the Tierpark Friedrichsfelde, ––the Eastern zoo––, and the Dong Xuang Center in the Industriepark Herzbergstraße. Until 2020, Berlin’s Vietnamese population will build its own Asia town here. Vietnam was a socialist ally to East Germany and most of the cheap labor immigrated in the 1970s and 1980s. Lichtenberg––like Kreuzberg for the Turks in the West––became their center. There is a special socialist vastness to this part of the City. A lot of space and enormous roads, many parks and artificial lakes, many dogs, many old people with rolators, a lot of concrete, a lot of Russians and less Nazis than you would expect. Recently, it was art collectors, investors and the architectural intelligenzia who discovered the area. And the urbanistic challenge is big indeed: How to convert a socialist utopia into a capitalist reality?! Some one like the architects lacaton & vassal are inspired by this challenge, they create indeed a vision for tomorrow from the Plattenbauten of the past. Berlin is less adventurous: The plan for an International Bauausstellung 2020 in Lichtenberg was cancelled. It will be up to others to figure out what Lichtenberg is, what it means, what it could be. It may be up to us.

Enrico Fabian
People

Maybe it’s like that: There are two types of people, there are photographers and there is the rest of us. I always feel safe with photographers, I always feel that they know their way around, where to go after dark and where not to, what to drink, what to say, where to look – their’s is a radical openess and a certain neglect for the things that the rest of us want, safety, a warm bed, a wife, that sometimes leads them to different, darker pathways. James Nachtwey is one such example, we discussed his story while we were climbing up the road towards Shimla in the Indian Himalayas, lush green valleys and the sense of a colonial past lifting occasionally like the deep hanging clouds. What are you prepared to give, what are you prepared to offer, what is the price you are willing to pay? In the case of Nachtwey, the legendary war photographer, the answer was clear: anything, everything, my life, not for the thrill, not for the image, but for the idea that moves him – call it justice, call it humanity, call it the dream of a warm bed. And Enrico, as far as I can tell, is similar in that way. We only spent two days together, we drove to the former British mountain ressort of Shimla together to do a story for Der Spiegel and meet the brilliant writer Pankaj Mishra in his little village nearby – and different as we are, what I immediately liked about Enrico was the intensity of his thinking, the spiritually and ethically motivated way of looking at the world, the intimacy with which he engaged with the people around him. Enrico is a talker, he likes to communicate, and even the Indians were surprised as to how good his Hindi is. He is a person who thinks in stories, and one of these stories is his own life, which he changed within a few weeks: He had come to India, he felt the rest of his life crumble, the life of a software guy from Germany, a strange and empty shell that he left behind – and reinvented himself as a photographer. He just started, driven by his curiosity, to seek out the poorest of the poor, the lower casts, the drug addicts, follow them, live with them, spend time with them, this, he said, was the most rewarding thing, and he talked of friends. Today he works for the New York Times and does pro bono work, he lectures and travels to make people see and understand. What has not changed is the attitude: Born in the East of Germany, and a body full of tattoos, he will do anything, anything needed to make you aware.

Frittatensuppe

17.09.13
1 min

Le mariage

09.09.13
1 min

The Auerbach

09.09.13
2 min