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for all my friends · dailies


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We drove around the city a bit, venturing outside of the city to see smaller towns in the area.  Only 1 more day before I fly back.




Headed back to the building for a little while.




Heading out of Leipzig towards the suburbs.


Looking out towards a man made lake in Kahnsdorf.  It used to be a place for strip mining coal – the government eventually stopped mining, drilled holes towards the water below, and allowed the space to fill with fresh water.


Quiet isolation.

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New Year’s eve.  Unexpectedly, a lot of places were open.  Actually, almost every store in every mall, and most restaurants were open.  We took the streetcar down to the city center and started walking towards the Zeitgeschichtliches Forum Leipzig, a history museum.  I figured if it was a small museum and we finished early, we could head to the Johann Sebastian Bach Museum just down the block.  But as we made our way closer to the building, I realized it was closed.  That wasn’t a good sign.  It was deceiving downtown.  We walked to the Bach Museum, and it was also closed.  Thomaskirchhof, a historical church was open, so we stopped in for a quick second.  I took a look at the map, there was a contemporary art museum not too far away from where we were called the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst.  So we walked out of the city center for a bit, and then arrive to yet another closed museum.  It seems as if we weren’t going to be going into any places today.  One last trek towards a museum called the Moritzbastei – as I walked closer, it didn’t seem like a museum at all.  It was a cafe of sorts, but it was also closed.  Defeat, once more.  We headed towards the Hauptbahnhof in search of groceries before stores started closing.  The Konsum across the street from the University of Leipzig closed at 4pm.  The REWE in the train station was packed, it was closing at 2pm.  So we bought a couple things and walked across towards the ALDI – it was even more crazy, but didn’t have anything we wanted.  I remembered the underground Netto not too far away, so we headed over there to finish off our food shopping.  Later in the day, I had my first gyro.  I realize that it’s actually a Greek thing, not even German, and we actually have places in San Francisco that sell gyros, I just have never had it before.  3.50 Euro for a pretty big pita filled with meat seemed like a pretty good deal to me.  Last meal for 2012, haha.






Looking the other direction inside the church.  There were ropes that prevented people from stepping further inside.


Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst – closed.


At an intersection looking towards Stadt Leipzig and (the first?) Deutsche Bank.


Panorama tower in the background.


One of these things isn’t a bike.

Hopefully the museums will be open tomorrow.  We also lost out city map so we’ll have to get another one from the tourist office in the city center.

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Dead quiet out here on a Sunday.  We set off this morning to go to Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig, a history museum of sorts, and then the Naturkundemuseum, a nature museum (I thought).  I had seen a couple ads around the city stating that the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum had a special exhibit about crime in Leipzig.  I was pretty stoked.  So we took street car 14 downtown, and walked to the museum, which was right behind the art museum in the city center.  Honestly, the museum was awesome, but definitely not as expansive as I was expecting.  There was a ground floor, where you walk in, and then 1 small room in the basement.  So after an hour (or less, I think), we were “done” – granted, we couldn’t read any of the signage because it was all in German, but even if we could, there wasn’t too much to see beyond the first floor.  The basement just had 4 walls of photos showing murders in the past, and current drug wars going on, or something like that.

We left in hopes that the Naturkundemuseum would be better.  After all, it was a building that had 4 levels.  We walked in, and took in an abbreviated first floor – nature photography from all over the world submitted for a 2011 competition.  Really amazing photography, some of the best nature shots I’ve ever seen.  But then that was it.  Just 1 floor of photography.  What happen to the other levels of the building?  It made no sense.  There was a family there, and the woman approached one of the employees there (1 of 2 present at the time).  I couldn’t understand what they were saying exactly, but it sounded pretty much like, “Uh, where’s the rest of the museum, this is it…?”.  The response must’ve been something like, “Sorry, but the other parts of the museum are closed on Sunday’s,” or “Nope, this is all you get, just half a floor of floor of photography.”

Okay…so now what.  I looked at the map and saw the Museen im Grassi.  It wasn’t too far away, so after walking through the city center trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the day, we set off for one more museum.  We arrived and bought tickets for two sections of the museum, art and technology.  There was a third section, music, but when we said we wanted all 3 sections of the museum, the cashier looked at us in disbelief, “You want ALL the section?!” (she didn’t actually say this, but probably said something like that in German).  What were we getting into…?  I asked if I could take photographs – the answer was yes, with no flash, and if you paid an additional 2.50 Euro.  I wasn’t too thrilled about the additional money, so I left the camera in the locker.

Let me just say that this museum is by far, one of the best I have ever seen.  It was absolutely massive, more than a day’s worth of content inside the place.  Each major section had a booklet guide in multiple languages that basically explained to you the era of art or technology you were looking at.  Asian art, art nouveau, art deco, funtionalism, Renaissance art, Classicism art, Christianity, African, Indian, American Indian, various tribal, everything, absolutely everything you could imagine.  We started skimming the last sections on the 2nd and 3rd floors because we were running out of time.  It was such a great museum, I could easily see myself spending 3 days going through the 3 sections each day.  Even 2 sections with the 5 hours we had wasn’t enough.  It was beautiful seeing such a massive space curated so well, it was so easy walking through, and not overwhelming at any point.  One of the best I’ve seen – so, so good.


Quiet out in the city center.


The big glass building on the right is the art museum.


Höfe am Brühl, a massive mall.  We went in the first day we were here, but haven’t been back since.  It was closed earlier in the day, but then opened up in the afternoon…I was a bit confused because there we no stores open at all.  So the mall was open, and the escalators were working, but you couldn’t go into any stores.  Awesome.


Walking to the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum.


Inside the museum.  All about crime for the time being.  I think they swap out exhibits every once in a while.  There seemed to be at least 3 floors in this building, but only 2 were accessible today.


The previous photo combine with this one is pretty much the entire first floor.  The basement had a room about 1/5th the size of this floor.  Cool insight, either way.


Half a floor of nature photography.  3.5 floors of nothing?


All the clear days have been windy as hell.  Here’s the canal I was overlooking after we got out of the nature museum that turned out to be a complete flop.


Heading back towards the city center.


The empty Höfe am Brühl.  Open mall doors, but no open stores…?  McDonald’s was open, as was the Starbucks down the road.  No surprise there, I guess.


One more shot from inside the Höfe am Brühl – this better illustrates how empty it was inside.


Open mall, but closed stores, goodbye.


I think this is the second lowered car I’ve seen in Leipzig.  Definitely not as many as I was initially expecting.  Maybe there are more that come out later in the day, or drive in other parts of the city.


Wall clocks on display at one of the stores in Speck’s Hof.


Knitted bike lock poles.


These are very good pastries.


Augustusplatz, looking towards the Universitätskirche St. Pauli, now part of the University of Leipzig.


The start of a group ride…?


Standing in the courtyard of the Museen im Grassi.

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We headed to the Messepark for a look at the flea market today.  It occurs on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month, and holds venders (and food) in and outside of a pretty large warehouse.


Outside the flea market.  No cost to go in, which was nice.


Huge space for vendors.


More rows of vendors.


Another section, farther back.


Some of the vendors outside had to cope with massive puddles in front of their goods.  Not ideal for selling stuff.


The inside area, one warehouse.


The other warehouse.


Cool lamps made with thin sheets of white plastic.  Kind of reminds me of the ones we have at work, from IKEA, but better.


Velodrome poster!


After taking street car 11 back into the center of the city, we walked into a place called Pylones that had colorful, interesting home goods.  I finally came across the solar powered waving Queen of England, the same one my co-worker has.  Sick.


Finger football, for 3 Euros.  Unfortunately, it didn’t come with the grass.

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We took a drive to Berlin to spend the day there.


Right lane on the Autobahn.


Scenery on the way to Berlin.


With only a day to take in as much of the city as possible, we opted for a short bus tour.


Short loop.  We ended up getting off at Checkpoint Charlie, and eventually walking to the Hauptbahnhof, only to catch the bus back again and loop through the whole thing once more.


The open roof of the double-decker bus was covered today because it was a bit chilly out.


At the checkpoint.


Checkpoint Charlie museum.




A car museum…?


Outside the Topografie des Terrors, a large piece of the wall.


Looking towards Potsdamer Platz.


A shot from the intersection, still a lot of construction going on in the city.  The metal pipes that run along side construction zones pump out water from the construction zones.  There’s water underneath the ground in Berlin.


Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.


Then we walked to the Brandenburg Gate.  They were in the midst of prepping for the New Year’s Eve festivities.


Outside the Parliament of Germany, still walking – I was actually surprised how close everything downtown was to each other, in this section at least.


Paul-Löbe-Haus, Parlaiment in the background.


Spreebogenpark with the Hauptbahnhof in the distance, and lots of construction cranes up.


Hauptbahnhof.  Absolutely massive train station, much larger than the one in Leipzig.  It had a feel like an airport and shopping mall all in 1 building.


From the inside.


Many levels.


Front seat on the tour bus, heading back.

Berlin is an amazing city, but I think a month would be needed to take everything in.  It’s nearly 3 times larger than Leipzig, and has 3.5 million people in it – definitely the biggest city I’ve been in.

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Only one goal today.  To visit the art museum.  Unfortunately (or fortunately…?), no cameras were allowed past the front entryway of the museum, so that’s when the pictures stop.  It was a really stellar place though, definitely worth a visit.  A large amount of the art there (16th century all the way to present) were created by German artists.  An amazing permanent collection, with a stellar exhibition in the basement.  Pop art, rock and roll, and a few documentaries.


One of the passages, looking towards the Hauptbahnhof.


Here’s the bikes I was talking about.  They’re actually mail delivery bikes.


A big construction site.


Inside Mekong, an Asian market in the city center.  Who would’ve thought…


Corner of the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum.


One corner of the Museum der bildenden Künste, the main art museum.


The entryway to the museum.


The last 2 photos I was able to take before the guard way in the back came up to me.  No photos allowed.


Besides the art embedded into my brain, this is all I was able to take with me.


Back outside in the city center.


Inside Mäc-Geiz, an affordable home goods/office supply kind of store.  Pipe cleaners, shout out to my co-worker, Christina.


Makes life easier.


This is the sunshade you put on the outside of your car to prevent frost and ice from building up on the windshield overnight.  2.50 Euro.


This place had a lot of stuff in it.


Inside ALDI in Plagwitz.


This is all you really need.


The clearance section in a nearby Pfennigpfeiffer (kind of a random accessory store of sorts).

Off to Berlin for a day tomorrow.  The train was a bit expensive, so we’ll be traveling there by car!

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Yellow bike as a mini billboard ad.


There wasn’t too much to see in the zoo today.  I’m assuming it was because of the cold weather.  It’s a pretty expansive space though, a lot of specialized areas, really an amazing place.


Sleeping with 1 leg down.


Standing near the aquarium building, looking out towards…everything I could see.  It’s a huge zoo.


Petting a Koi fish was an interesting experience.  Very friendly fish.


A circular tank on the 2nd level of the aquarium.


Reptile area on the other side of the building.


More red birds resting with 1 leg down.


Another open area.  The gridded dome on the right side is an artificial rain forest enclosure.  Lots of neat stuff in this zoo, and a lot of money invested in it to make the exhibits really cool.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much to see today.  It’s technically the 2nd day of Christmas, and winter, so things were pretty quiet.


Inside the dome.  It was a pretty cool piece of engineering, there were air pockets between the grids that pumped air between the plastic shell to maintain the proper temperature within the space.  Wasn’t too much to see though.


The outdoor African portion of the zoo was pretty much empty.  Nothing to see.


Ah here we go, some birds.


Another empty space.




Red panda.

So there were probably only 30% of animals out and about today.  It was also deceptively cold out, so I guess that makes sense.  Pretty cool seeing what they had to offer, though.  I haven’t been to the zoo in years, that’s for sure.

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Starting Christmas day on the right track.


There’s a lot of cool murals in the city.


On the other side of the mural there was a lot of graffiti.


Another big mural just down the block.


Abandoned buildings are usually bricked up to prevent people from breaking in.  Occupied buildings that sometimes get broken into are bricked up as well, to prevent people from occupying places illegally.


Bird out of cage.


A big name out here.


Quiet on Christmas day.


A massive abandoned building taking up the entire edge of a block.  It used to be a former automotive paint factory, and is presumably being occupied illegally even in it’s current condition.


Another part of the abandoned building.


Reset and Kaos all over the place out here.


One more shot of the building.


Looking down the block.


Decals are popular.


Bus and street car routes.


Abandoned building with a couple trees growing from the floors and walls.


Double headed eagle.




These pulleys helped leverage the weight of street car electrical lines that ran over the street.


Duck formation in a canal.


SNOW has to be one of the most common tags in the city.  Pretty much every single neighborhood has multiple all over the place.


See what I mean?


A big empty lot in front of Musikpavillon Clara-Zetkin-Park.

Johannapark, a little bit past the photo above.


Park path.


Federal court house.


Spending Christmas night at a family friend’s loft.  It used to be an abandoned warehouse.  He’s an architect and designed his own loft himself.  Still a work in progress.


These were on the counter – there was an orange fruit berry thing inside of the leaves, and it tasted like a cherry tomato (but obviously wasn’t).  Really unique taste.


Prepping the rouladen.


Ornament cheese.


Really cool kitchen backlighting.


Rouladen, pre-roll.


Peugot pepper grinder.


Another shot of the loft – very cool space.


You could actually manipulate the aluminum fins on this light to change how it disperses the light vertically in the space.


Rouladen, kartoffelkloesse, and red cabbage.

Celebrating Christmas in Germany.  Hope everyone had a stellar holiday.

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The weather was wet and drizzling out this morning – with the rest of the week’s forecast looking clear, I figured it’d be best to just hold off running in the morning in favor for the dry weather.  I’d imagine running in the rain is worse than the snow because at least the snow isn’t wet.  When it hits clothing, it’ll just bounce or fall off, while rain is just wet and absorbs into clothing.  Either way, we drove around a bit looking at various parts of the city.


Lots of graffiti on certain parts of the city.


Recently renovated.


Kaufland, a pretty big grocery store.  Thus far I’ve counted the following places as falling into the same category: Konsum, REWE, ALDI, Netto, Real,-, and Kaufland.  There are a lot of grocery stores in every neighborhood of Leipzig, which is nice.


Lots of selection and stock inside.


Checking out.


They had a bakery, shoe store, pharmacy, and clothing store all separate from the grocery store – it was pretty huge inside.  There was also an upstairs area, but I’m not sure what was there.


Konsum hiding out.


A stand alone building.


Fire station.


A main street in the south of the city center.


Black on black Land Rover.


A tad overgrown.


When I first saw car shades on the outside of windshields out here, all I could think was, “You’re doing it wrong.”  But upon closer inspection of the shade itself, it has flaps that fold inside the car so that the doors close on it.  Basically, it’s a windshield frost protector, of sorts.  So when everyone else is de-icing their glass on a cold morning, you’re already good to go with your funny looking sun shade.


Abandoned mini trailer.


Chamomile = Kamille.

The weather looks like it’ll be warming up a bit tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.

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This particular shot actually locked up the laptop for a while, so I just let it run while I slept.  12 shots, I think.  The ~20mb raw shots are heavy sometimes.

The shot was taken from one of the corners of the city center in Leipzig.  The main streets that run through are closed off to cars usually.

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