mid-October Berlin Whirlwind review | Unification Day | Festival of Lights

Now that I’ve remained afloat after yet another day of diving into the labyrinth of job seeking, I’m free to bring together a few concepts that have been – on hold in the fold – relegating this post to be a recap of the quickly whizzing by Berlin events of October. hence, the mid-October Berlin Whirlwind review.

The month began with the celebration of the Unification Day between West and East Berlin. Wir Sind Deutschland | Upwards of 500,000 gathered before the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany for Unification Day | Tag der Deutschen Einheit.
Wir_Sind_Deutschland_We_Are_GermanyTag der Einheit on the 3rd of October, taking place at Brandenburg Gate, where many Berlin festivals take place, along what is called the Fan Meile, which is what it sounds like, a mile of fans, often centered around the country’s biggest sport, fuss ball.

Ironically, I was going to the Brandenburg Gate, not realizing that this was the Unification day. I actually told a friend to ‘meet me at the stage’, among 800,000 people or so, Gareth_aka_Joe_aka_MC_bearpit_karaoketo catch the bearpit karaoke, removed from its usual home at the built-in stadium of Mauer Park. Now it was featured in MAXi size, accompanying the Coca Cola sponsored ‘Festival of Happiness‘.

Here are some photos of the German Unification Day taken on the 3rd of October, 2013 by the Brandenburg Gate.
Coke_Festival_of_Happiness_German_Unification_Day
Coca_Cola_music_festival_of_happiness

And then the lovely boys singing in boy bands arrived. Among them, The Wanted crowd_boy_bands_Cokes_Festival_of_Happiness_Unification_Day_Berlin

Siva_Kaneswaren_the_Wanted

IMG_0004

I feasted on concepts, along with an assortment of pretzels and wines at the opening evening of the Art University of Berlin’s – Künste und Wissenschaften (art & science) Conference October 10th – 12th. Ingesting the blending of concept distinctions between
Perception vs. Experience Experiment vs. Knowledge, while twirling a pretzel around my fingers. On a separate day I watched an experimental music concert featuring new and old instruments.

Symposium performance

Symposium performance

UDK Symposium Ensemble

UDK Symposium Ensemble

UDK Symposium Ensemble

UDK Symposium Ensemble

Coinciding with the Symposium – squeezed between the rainy days on the 10th to 13th of October, was the the ‘street art‘ festival at Yaam. The rain did finally keep Angelz away from his work. “Street Art Meeting” Yaam ‘Alias’

Yaam 'Street Art' festival October 10 to 14th

Yaam ‘Street Art’ festival
October 10 to 14th

Here are a few photos of the Street Art Festival at Yaam, amidst rainy weather conditions.

Occurring prior to the start of this same weekend, was Berlin’s ‘Festival of Lights’,

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

in which I also accidentally to be at the right place at the right time, coming upon the ‘Opening Ceremony’.
Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013 [caption id="attachment_3381" align="aligncenter" width="630"]Berlin Festival of Lights on the Oberbaum Bridge - neon street art rock-paper-scissors Berlin Festival of Lights
on the Oberbaum Bridge – neon street art rock-paper-scissors

Captured above and below, in addition to the fact that it was the last evening of Berlin’s Festival of lights, is that on the Oberbaum Bridge, Oberbaumbrücke, just south of the Warschauerstr. U-Bahn train, is someone’s contribution of neon art which has been there for years. Two circular vessels which light up with the rock-paper-scissors or roshambo game. It’s fun to play against the bridge!. The full moon was looming above on the 20th of October.

rock-paper-scissors on the Oberbaum brücke Berlin

rock-paper-scissors on the Oberbaum brücke Berlin

Here are some photos I captured of Berlin’s Festival of Lights.

Recent warmer days brought out the kids in all of us, and then genuinely some kids, at Gleiesdreiecke.

Gleiesdreiecke Park

Gleiesdreiecke Park

Gleiesdreiecke Skate Park Gleiesdreiecke Skate Park

I was surprised to discover one after another different urethane-wheeled device dipping into the pool; skateboards, inline skates, skooters and some exceptions, bmx bikes. gleiesdreiecke_pool_park_skater_

Rearrangement of my blogs | Alan Lightman’s “Change Is the Only Constant” |

I have maintained two blogs since 2006, uh hum, for which I gain no income. Despite objections and conciliatory accusations that ‘you can’t make money on a blog’, in the shared consensus that one’s worth and place in society is based on ‘the capacity to earn money’ and ‘monetize’, I continue, to write my blogs.

Not to rebel, but merely in Joseph Campbell‘s words, to ‘follow your bliss’. In my case that involves feeding my curiosity.

Follow Your Bliss and the universe will open doors for you, where there were only walls.

Follow Your Bliss and doors will open for you, which were formerly walls.

To bring a little more clarity to readers, I’m rearranging a few things, in attempts to define each blog more clearly. Simply plucking a few topics, to place in their forthcoming homes. Yes, I’m somewhat ‘writing out loud’. Ultimately, at times the edges blur as topics from one bleed over into the other. However, I’ll start with this.

The carolkeiter blog will post along with hitchabouts, human interest stories, arts and entertainment, that have a more emotional appeal…Interestingly, clicks googling i guess, ‘naked men’, have brought many to my san francisco hitchabout blog, in which one photograph is listed as just that. hmmm, yes, sex sells. Perhaps I’ll have to monetize that theme!

The digesthis blog will maintain the themes of consciousness, environmental and animal rights information and science, with a leaning towards theoretical physics. Not because I’m a scientist or mathematician, but because my fascination lies there – and ironically it comes back full circle to consciousness. luminous_ braided_spiraling_mythic

So I’ll be reposting as I make this shift.

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/b-e-r-l-i-n-s-t-r-e-e-t-s-e-r-i-e-s-m-u-s-i-c-r-o-t-a-t-i-o-n-s-t-r-a-s-s-e-n-m-u-s-i-k-2013/
desmond_gargica_red_umbrellas

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/berlin-art-week-abc-art-berlin-contemporary-party-19th-september/
ABC_art_berlin_contemporary_thru_glass

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/art-week-grand-opening-on-august-strase-6-days-21-venues/
Berlin_Art_Week_August_strasse_glow

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/b-e-r-l-i-n-s-t-r-e-e-t-s-e-r-i-e-s-s-a-t-i-r-i-c-a-l-s-t-e-n-c-i-l-d-a-p-p-e-r-d-e-s-i-g-n-f-e-a-t-a-l-i-a-s/
Alias

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/b-e-r-l-i-n-s-t-r-e-e-t-s-e-r-i-e-s-s-a-t-i-r-i-c-a-l-s-t-e-n-c-i-l-d-a-p-p-e-r-d-e-s-i-g-n/

pavement_stencil-me_neither

UTNE Reader‘s reprint of Alan Lightman’s article in the Tin House
September/October 2012 Change Is the Only Constant

Alan Lightman is a novelist, essayist, and physicist, with a PhD in theoretical physics from Harvard University.

Excerpted from his article:

We search for human immortality and eternal youth, and pray to everlasting gods, but in the universe as in life, change is the only constant.

Change Is the Only Constant

Change Is the Only Constant


“Oblivious to our human yearnings for permanence, the universe is relentlessly wearing down, falling apart, driving itself toward a condition of maximum disorder.” Sandra Dieckmann

I don’t know why we long so for permanence, why the fleeting nature of things so disturbs. With futility, we cling to the old wallet long after it has fallen apart. We visit and revisit the old neighborhood where we grew up, searching for the remembered grove of trees and the little fence. We clutch our old photographs. In our churches and synagogues and mosques, we pray to the everlasting and eternal. Yet, in every nook and cranny, nature screams at the top of her lungs that nothing lasts, that it is all passing away.

Consider the world of living things. Why can’t we live forever? The life cycles of amoebas and humans are, as everyone knows, controlled by the genes in each cell. While the raison d’être of the majority of genes is to pass on the instructions for how to build a new amoeba or human being, an important fraction of genes concerns itself with supervising cellular operations and replacing worn-out parts.

In fact, most of our body cells are constantly being sloughed off, rebuilt, and replaced to postpone the inevitable.

Over its 4.5-billion-year history, our own planet has gone through continuous upheavals and change. The primitive earth had no oxygen in its atmosphere. Huge landmasses splintered and glided about on deep tectonic plates. Then plants and photosynthesis leaked oxygen into the atmosphere.

Buddhists have long been aware of the evanescent nature of the world. Annica, or impermanence, they call it. But even Buddhists believe in something akin to immortality. It is called Nirvana. A person reaches Nirvana after he or she has managed to leave behind all attachments and cravings, endured countless trials and reincarnations, and finally achieved total enlightenment.

Although there is much that we do not understand about nature, the possibility that it is hiding a condition or substance so magnificent and utterly unlike everything else seems too preposterous for me to believe.

Perhaps with the proper training of my unruly mind and emotions, I could refrain from wanting things that cannot be.

Perhaps I could accept the fact that in a few short years, my atoms will be scattered in wind and soil, my mind and thoughts gone, my pleasures and joys vanished, I-ness dissolved in an infinite cavern of nothingness. But I cannot accept that fate, even though I believe it to be true. I cannot force my mind to go to that dark place.

Suppose I ask a different kind of question: if against our wishes and hopes, we are stuck with mortality, does mortality grant a beauty and grandeur all its own? Even though we struggle and howl against the brief flash of our lives, might we find something majestic in that brevity? Could there be a preciousness and value to existence stemming from the very fact of its temporary duration?

-..-.-.-.-.-.-.
carol_front_shot_2

Keep your thoughts positive, because they become your words.
Keep your words positive, because they become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive, because it becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because they become your values.
Keep your values positive, because they become your destiny.
Mahatma Ghandi

Bearpit Karaoke | Sunday interactive fun in Mauerpark, Berlin |

For several years now, the bearpit karaoke in Mauerpark has been such a big hit, that the crowd sitting in the built-in amphitheater seats spill over way beyond capacity. On temperate Sundays in Berlin, the karaoke event in addition to the Sunday Flea Market adjacent to Mauerpark, attracts such a big crowd that the park is brimming with musicians and performance art acts. The amicable Irish MC, Joe started the whole affair with a laptop, speakers, batteries and a mic in 2009. He transports the whole lot on a speciality built bike and trailer, revealing his bicycle messenger roots! It’s now such an anticipated, amusing and rewarding event, because it is interspersed with so many different types of acts, from all ages and all levels of talent. The gem is that there’s such warm audience participation, clapping and singing with the individual performers, so that everyone is having a lot of fun engaging in the various acts. Thank you so much Joe for starting such a fantastic interactive Berlin event!

I’ve sang there a few times when I lived previously in Berlin, and had the excitement of singing last Sunday on the 8th of September, upon moving back here a month ago. Joe invited a male to hop up on stage to sing the male rapper part, which someone did, to my singing of Estelle’s “American Boy”. Great fun! The lyrics appear on a laptop, shielded from the sun by an umbrella. Read more about the origins on the home page.

http://www.bearpitkaraoke.com

Here’s one example of many recordings that you can find on youtube of bearpitkaraoke events.

mini_car_no_next_to_bus

mini_car_my_bicycle

mini_car_dein-ehering_de

Examples of the different music acts strewn throughout Mauerpark, particularly in Sundays, coinciding with the flea market and bearpitkaraoke!

mauerpark_street-music_dancing

mauerpark_street_music_brazilian_drummers

mauerpark_berlin_street_dancing

crowd_musicians_mauerpark_sundays

crowd_mauerpark_berlin

crowd_mauer_park

And all the people gathered around the stage and amphitheater.

bearpit_karaoke_stage

bearpit_karaoke_stage_built-in_amphitheater

bearpit_karaoke_singers

bearpit_karaoke_onlookers_to_stage

bearpit_karaoke_michal_jackson_song

bearpit_karaoke_horseboy

bearpit_karaoke_crowd_surrounding_amphitheater

bearpit_karaoke_berlin_mauerpark

bearpit_karaoke_amphitheater

pic of me, the blogger, Carol Keiter, with my new bicycle in Mauerpark.

Carol Keiter, the blogger in Mauerpark with her new (old) bicycle, purchased at the Mauerpark flea market,.

Carol Keiter, the blogger in Mauerpark with her new (old) bicycle, purchased at the Mauerpark flea market,.

Photo taken by French blogger, regarding all of the people living in Berlin who ride bicycles – loads of them! http://berlinonbike.tumblr.com/

Halloween in Berlin | A deliriously decadant costume party at White Trash |

Okay, I don’t know about you, but when I catch the clock repeatedly at 11:11, or like I have in the last weeks, again and again at the hour on the hour, 00:00, 9:00, 15:00, 21:00… I begin to question why? I don’t know why this keeps repeatedly happening, with such frequency. It’s not like I’m always looking at the clock or have this self-fulfilling need to weave meaning into it, I’m just saying that’s it’s been happening A LOT, several times a day, for the last weeks. I find it peculiarly poignant. I usually try to be aware of what I happen to be doing at that moment – often I’m on the computer – and then flash on what I’m researching, pondering, what information I’m accessing, executing…on my laptop at that moment, and reflect that I guess I’m doing the right thing.

With that said, it was with the aim to go to the American owned club in Berlin “White Trash Fast Food”, to see my friends playing in their band Mamasweed, http://www.myspace.com/mamasweed on Halloween night. This venue was what I was looking forward to. I love Halloween, as do many Americans, and the myriad costumes pouring out into the sidewalk last night gave the natives something to gawk at.

Several days earlier I happened to check out, as I have been with more frequency in the last year, Rob Brezsny’s San Francisco based astrology column. I was familiar with it through local papers where it had been printed when I lived there. I was happy to see that it is also online, under the guise of http://www.freewillastrology.com. Having had my astrological chart ‘done’ by several amateur astrologers in the past – using the exact place and moment of my birth – I recognized an uncanny and resoundingly accurate reflection of who I appear to be, so lately I’ve been looking somewhat routinely at his often witty insights.

Because I happen to have a concentration of all of the planets in three houses, I pull information from all three of them. My Sun and rising sign are in the house that it rules Capricorn. And a group of 3 planets occupy both the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius. It was viewing Scorpio last week – where my moon is – in which Brezsny associated this period with being blissed out, delighted and ecstatic, and suggested googling the Chinese character “double happiness”. I did just that on Halloween day – in which google employees created the occasion to carve giant pumpkins with the google name.

Upon looking at the character on the 31st

I made the impromptu decision, to incorporate this symbol into my costume, somehow. Then I decided that it needed to be painted prominently on my face ;-))

I happened to notice that the couchsurfing weekly language exchange meeting group mentioned that people come in costume; sporting the color orange was encouraged. That lead to me to discovering my very orange items in my closet. So, I frolicked by the CS party on my way to White Trash. Here’s a photo of me and the organizer’s of this meeting, Alex and Sarah.

Ironically, the first person I spoke with at “White Trash”, was a musician who said that the theme there that night was ‘double’ something or other, that was before I told him that the character written on my face was “double happiness”.

Upon arriving at the vicinity of the front door, the sidewalk was packed with people stumbling onto the sidewalk. Specifically for that evening, there were poles set up behind two front windows, with mangled women doing their pole dances. However, the first thing I saw was this man dressed in a cotton schwab, kindof puffy white mummy suit doing a pole dance – who later in the evening pulled off the outer layer and was doused on stage with fake blood, in costume as a tampon. His antics were his clowning attempts to pole dance, unable to really execute any moves, sliding, falling and fumbling all over it, slapstick style. It was in fact, hilarious. Then he appeared on the sidewalk and continued to fitfully throw himself around, and then crawled like a snake on the sidewalk back to the door. Pretty hysterical.

Once inside the club, the ferocious mob of people was daunting. Just so many people to negotiate moving through! There were in-house body painters equipped with everything imaginable. And judging by the people walking around, they did a dazzling and quite professional caliber of work; there were a lot of very, very scary people; zippered faces, bullet wounds, scars and blood oozing out all of the orifices… One after another slick costume. It was a delirious, crazy, debaucherous and raucous crowd from the beginning, and this pace continued all night. There were mostly rock band performances downstairs and the drag theatrical performances upstairs. I didn’t get so many pictures, because there would have been just too, too many to take.

I was on the final day of 11 in which I hadn’t had a dime, which I’ll be writing about shortly – regarding how I was able to survive and have quite an excellent – productive and social – time, which levied for two weekends – in Berlin, with absolutely no money. Something that I have survived gracefully and cheerfully, yet don’t particularly want to make this test on a sustained bases. On Halloween night, I was on the guest list through Mamasweed, and once I sat down at one free chair to scope out the place soon after arriving, I was waived over by a group of people at a table, half of them Croatian friends. They asked me to join them, and had flowing pitchers of beer the whole night and into the morning. Lucky me! Fortunately, one person in the group spoke English and German quite well, so he was the translator. “White Trash Fast Food” pulled off quite a gala Halloween event, the place decorated full-on and the staff working there in fantastic, Hollywood set lavish make-up and costume that was by no means amateur.

In the meantime on the right coast of the United States, there were also extravagant Halloween partiers, in the House of Horrors. On my other blog, I give a standing ovation to theDanger, an outstandingly eloquent party promoter who has contributed to many a New Yorker’s scintillating days and evenings out on the town! http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/laud-to-the-end-of-thedanger-the-most-eloquent-underground-events-nyc-has-scene-d

Here are the White Trash Berlin Halloween 2011 pics.

Some pics of Berlin’s Festival of Lights | October 12th – 23rd |

Today, the 12th of October, through the 23rd, is Berlin’s Festival of Lights<a

Check it out, either live, or via their website.

Well, it's been rather cold in the evenings, but I've managed to cycle around on my bike to get some shots during the last few evenings.

That's in addition to participating on Saturday October 15th here in Berlin, as one of the 99% of the population, who wish to 'occupy' the Wall Streets of the world. This was one of many rallies that rippled across the globe, protesting the economic policies that keep the masses from accessing wealth. I'll be posting my reports and photos of the rally in Berlin on my other blog http://digesthis.wordpress.com

By the way, the legs which are barefoot in the snow on digesthis’s home page, are mine together with an acquaintance Michael – a visiting couchsurfer from London who randomly dared people to run around naked in the snow last winter to take some pics!

| the Walls between Dreams and Reality are destroyed- timed with the falling of Berlin Wall |

 

“Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia” Department of Dreamland Security

In surprise and delight, as I scanned through the Burningman Newsletter
http://burningman.com/
posted out of San Francisco, California, suddenly “Berlin” popped out of the contents.

A Dutch man who had put together an installation at Burningman in Black Rock City in 2008 called “Checkpoint DreamYourTopia” Department of Dreamland Security – was to have its’ last incarnation in Berlin, timed and staged as a performance piece at the midnight hour of the 20th Anniversary since the Wall had fallen.

Dadara, who created this BM installation from his conception and built it there, decided that this would be poignant timing to celebrate its end.  He decided that it should not be burned, but disassembled with sledge hammers and power saws, because of the more participatory contact and involvement in the process.  This two day event was timed to take place in Berlin in the days preceding the falling of the wall on November 9th.

Dadara had brought dreamyourtopia on the road, and brought in graffiti artists to add their statements to the installation, and subsequently to destroy it as onlookers watched, at the midnight hour leading into November 9th, when the Wall fell, that separation between ideologies, 20 years ago.  Dadara had to axe a graffiti charicature of himself in the process!

http://www.dadara.nl/checkpoint/

Participating were a collection of original burners from the States as well as Dutch people, some of whom were at the original burn in ’08, others who were merely here to participate as Checkpoint Border Control Guards, in their pink uniforms – a brain mass pink.

Cheers from Carol