The last few days have been consumed by concert after concert. I spent an entire day planning/charting cheap concerts and special student deals last Friday.... and definitely reaped the benefits of my preparation the following days. Some beautiful surprises were thrown in the mix as well :) Its amazing what people will do for you when you are a twenty something loner with a lust for classical music, hanging around ticket windows at concert houses.

*Prokofiev's Ballet, Romeo and Juliet at Deutsch Oper

Great performance! I also got to make some conversation with a 9 year old German boy who is crazy about America and eager to learn english. I was glad to speak with someone who had equal bilingual language skills. We were a good pair for bilingual conversation. He was surprised that I knew so much about musical theater. Musical theater is all the rage here....I think it is viewed as "exotic"....fancy that.....

*Schubert Symphonie at UDK

This was the first not so good concert I have seen here. I found out is was a community orchestra, not affiliated with the University...More of a community project to get people involved in classical music in a visceral way.... I still had to leave at intermission... Keep in mind I had seen the Berlin Phil the night before and after the stream of class A concerts I have been seeing I have become something of a snob.

*Bela Bartok Symphonie, Strauss "Four Last Songs" and Wagner's

Tristan and Isolde

Overature at Konzerthaus Berlin

-I met up with Anja, a friend of Chef's for a drink and a concert! She is a fascinating woman who works in the publishing industry and splits her time between Oxford, England and Berlin. She was very welcoming and warm..... German's are not usually.... warm. Especially on first meetings. I think she understands and has compassion for the traveler's experience, as she was very concerned for my feeling comfortable in Berlin, making sure I knew my way around and wasn't too homesick. She gave me some tips on where to go/stay in London if I ever manage to make it out there. I'm looking forward to meeting up with her again for more concerts :)

*Haydn's "Die Schöpfung" at Konzerthause Berlin

-Actually managed to get into this one free as well. I told the ticket salesman I wanted the cheapest ticket available so he simply gave me my money back with the ticket. One leap for mankind!

*Joyce DiDinato recital at The Kammerline Music Hall

*An Incredible program at




conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Luciano Berio

Sequenza IXa

für Klarinette

Walter Seyfarth


Peter Tschaikowsky

Romeo und Julia

, Fantasie-Ouvertüre nach Shakespeare

Maurice Ravel

Daphnis et Chloé

, vollständige Ballettmusik

Tickets were all sold out for this concert, but Molly and I had spent the day at the huge installation/gallery KW and she was headed to the concert so I thought Id tag along and wait by the ticket office to scout scouts/give it my best shot. It so happens that two minutes before show time, an older gentleman asked me how much I pay for a front row ticket. I told him I only brought 5 euros and my credit card because I normally just buy a student ticket. He asked where I was from...I sad Chicago...and he handed me his ticket and said "Welcome to Berlin"!!!! Welcome indeed! A 60 euro ticket to an extremely coveted show! By far the best orchestra concert I have EVER been to. I nearly jumped out of my seat during the Tchaikovsky. 

Yesterday I went to the

Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin (Technology Museum) with Molly after a morning at the Music Library. I needed a break from concerts and I think this was just the trick.

After reading all about Konrad Zuse's various inventions (including the first computer) I realized I have done nothing with my life...and there it is. Ha! Irrelevant.Anyway, i enjoyed the history of sound recording exhibit quite a bit. I found out that the first "records" were carved into gold plated salt cylinders that looked like this (

). I think it would be an amusing counter counter culture statement to DJ a party with a phonograph and carry around a suitcase full of sat cylinders arranged alphabetically....

Other than language school, daily living and spending time with my host family, I've been preparing for my trips out of town including Denmark, (I leave on Friday! :D ) Ireland (July 13-18) and Paris! (August 9-13)

Occupy Berlin at KW

More at occupy Berlin. Ive had a hard time coming to terms with occupy as I think most people involved don't make any sense what so ever/have no clear thinking abilities. This however...struck my fancy. Some of the exhibits regarding political conflicts in Mexico and the near east were most interesting and focused...I'm still trying to figure out where I stand in this occupy business.

The more outgoing I become in the city the less I want to sit around and write about myself. it feels futile and I'm faced with the fact that living an interesting life has no correlation to explaining to people/describing to others that you are living an interesting life... I learned a German word yesterday that has no English is "Begegnung"...something along the lines of holding council with others...but its more, purposeful spending time with people discussing and experiencing life together in intellectual community and close physical proximity. This is what I'm interested in. Birgit and I have deep discussions on the balcony at night about these kinds of things. I've learned a lot from her criticisms of my social habits and am realizing a huge lack of culture in daily living. Sure I go out to concerts and listen to music and read and go to museums....But I don't read the paper (this makes her furious....and after an ego lashing, "You must be involved in your political society! I DON'T want another Holocaust!"... I realized she was totally correct in her criticism), I eat quickly and am ready at any moment to leave and go somewhere by myself and be out and about all night on my own, on my whims....A sort of independent explorer...has its perks but I am something of a heathen, I have to admit this. Begegnung is something I crave, but it's hard for me to simmer in....Interesting that its not even a word in English...I think we might have a similar-ish concept...but its not quite the same. Its funny how you have different feelings and cravings in different languages. I'm not sure how that works, but it does.


Molly and cool building

A mime at Brandenburg gate. Molly and I thought it would be awesome to film him for a version of John Cage's 4:33. My camera died at 1:33...but its worth posting at a later date. He gets mad at us, points to his hat, gives us a back side view then walks angerly toward us and stares at me. I tell him in German that its for an art project and he walks away. I then thought it would be cool to do a series of these video that unveil the 'monsters under the zen veils"....

A church turned gallery

Dainty destruction. Very common on garden apartment doors here.

a wall of political activists at the KW exhibit....I chose to photograph the "other"s for later research....

couscous is a common street food here sold in most bakeries/sandwich shops

another exhibit at the KW gallery...Seedlings from trees that survived at concentration camps around berlin.. I think the idea is to pass out these sprouts to passbyes so they can plant them in their neighborhood in remembrance of those who died etc.

someone threw red paint balls at the vagina....someone had to do it.

Hope LittwinComment