Friday, 26 July 2013

#6 Freedom or Paris

Oh the wonders of the cellphone camera

Here's the thing about traveling: there are too many expectations. I'm not talking about the place you visit in itself, those are good expectations that you should have, specially because they are usually shattered the minute your plane lands and that is actually what I find so amazing about traveling. There's nothing quite as refreshing as the feeling of realizing just how ignorant you are about life beyond the borders of your own little country (city, even). That's what I think is necessary, to end those endless, goddamned assumptions!! I don't care how much you've heard about the romantic cafes in Paris, until you sat in one, on a winter day, next to one of those freaky heaters that only warm the privileged halves of the 2 people surrounding it, drinking a very expensive sort of brownish water they insist on calling coffee, you do not know how greatly disappointing, yet perfect at the same time, it is! I now sound snobbish and arrogant (the example of Paris was risky), but my point is, the feeling of discovering things you were sure you already knew about- that comes irrefutably attached to traveling -is very underrated, since it's one of the best in the world. And as such, going back to my initial point, it has created way too much expectation. You see, the thing is, once you're sitting on that cafe, you are no longer the college student from back home who was able to scrape enough euros to go spend a weekend in Paris. Oh, no, you could be from anywhere in the world, you could be there for an infinite number of reasons, for an indefinite number of days or weeks, doing pretty much anything. It's like you have permission to be whoever you want, since what's in front of you is no longer the cheap pizza place across the clustered street where you usually get coffee back home, you're invaded by this warm, scary, welcoming feeling that in that moment, when all you see is a wide street with art nouveau street lamps and a sunset that seems faded, but at the same time brighter than any sunset you've ever seen, you could be just about anyone that you please. So what's the problem? What's so bad about this new found blank page? Well the fact that it's not real kind of bothers me a little. Not while I'm wherever this self-discovering journey is taking place, but when, eventually and inevitably, and trust me I've tried to avoid it like the freaking plague, you come back to that godforsaken coffee place back home again, and you're forced to admit it was you all along walking those wide, golden age streets, and your Paris (or whatever the place) self is gone, and you're left wondering why there are only decent macaroons two countries away from yours. And still, I have to say, even with the disappointment of realizing for once and for all I will probably never pull off the funky hat - red lip combination, I like to think I always come back a little more open minded, and with that feeling that something has changed. Some might even go so far as to call it freedom. Crazy kids...

Thursday, 25 July 2013

#5 Perspective or The refined art of letting go

Nikon D3100

Perspective. It's a word you hear a lot when people are trying to justify their choices. It's a word you also hear a lot when you study architecture. We're always looking for it, we're always picturing it in our heads, the desire to find it is in every line, every cut, every angle we draw, every step we take is towards it. But if everything is about perspective, then what is the right one? Or rather the most accepted one? Should we look for consensus? Isn't that the only thing we can really rely on being objected, accounted for, the amount of people that agree with said perspective? I could tell a story, or in this case, design something - which some say is the same thing - but the person I'm telling it about will tell it differently. I could say concrete is an awful material to use in a given building, because it makes it morbid, because it rains a lot wherever it is, but someone else will say concrete will fit beautifully in the grey, rainy poem that is the composition between the building and said place. So what, everything is relative? "It's all a matter of perspective" is possibly the most infuriating response anyone can give to any sort of accusation. But it's true! And how is it that anyone comes up with moral values?? It's baffling that 7 billion brains, with 7 billion different perspectives can coexist and actually come to the conclusion that there is a set of rules that determines right from wrong and everyone ought to abide by them. How can that be? How can something be one hundred percent right or wrong? I'm not referring to crimes and good deeds, no, this is not an anarchic dissertation on how we should all do as we please because everyone has the power to rule over one another, that's not what I mean at all. I'm speaking of the most mundane things! I'm speaking of forgetting to call someone you were meant to call on a specific day that that person so happens to be in serious need of a conversation. Is it that awful that you forgot, are you as selfish as the other person thinks you are, as she feels sorry for herself? But was it really that hard to call and avoid all that sorrow? What's the solution then? Should we all fight for our perspective? For our story? Is that selfish of us? Is architecture the most self-centered act of human kind, since it's the actual materialization of one's perspective? Maybe not. Maybe it's actually the purest form of perspective, since it's reaching for a consensus… or at least it should. It should please others. Hell, it should please the masses. If we have to sacrifice our ego on the way so be it. That's what it's for… so should we act like that in life too? Pretend like nothing ever bothers us, since it's all a matter of perspective, meaning that in some parallel universe, where the overall conditions of some actions would be different, that specific action would, in fact, not bother us at all. Should we preach consensus? Should we preach perspective? Or should we preach perspective that aims at consensus? Is that perspective at all? 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Monday, 22 July 2013

#3 "Hygga" or Other good stuff

Whatever compact camera had the fullest battery at the time

They say Denmark is one of the happiest countries in Europe. I too would be happy in a country where the QUEEN translated all of the Lord of the Rings books. I'm not even making this up. And it doesn't hurt that they have a word that means "being at peace with oneself" or "in a state of nirvana"- I actually don't remember the exact explanation I was given at the time, just that it left me with a great desire to live by what it meant, so I'm sure it was good. Plus, it sounded like "Uga", and any excuse to say "uga" and still maintain credibility in a conversation gets bonus points from me. Also there's that whole danish thing. I mean the danish, the one people on TV love to eat in diners and poor old me always wanted to know what the hell it was. Well it turns out, ladies and gentleman, american television has done it again and picked the wrong pastry. Oh yes, the real danish is actually pretty disgusting. Of course I don't know what the fake danish looks, or tastes like so this observation is totally irrelevant. Anyway I think this picture pretty much sums up how freaking happy (I was gonna say civilized or evolved but meh) the danish are. I mean the people, not the pastry.

Friday, 19 July 2013

#2 Take it easy or I'm 80

Nikon D3100 - 50mm

Going out, getting wasted, dancing until the sun comes up vs staying home listening to "Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey" on repeat. I think the level of excitement is the same. And I'm pretty sure the sun comes up either way.

#1 Venice or The day after

Diana F+

Expectation: a bright, hot, sunny day in summery Italy, walking alongside the canals of dirty, mosquito infested water (that we'd choose to ignore), in a fairytale-like Venice. Renting a gondola with a man dressed in red stripes singing some romantic, unrecognizable song while roaming the streets of one of the most iconic cities in the world.

Reality: Tourist-land under 40 ÂșC weather. Early realization that the gondolas were 2 billion Euros, without the singing, red striped man. Sure, it was the second day of our trip, I'd slept a total of 2 hours because I was convinced I was dying of appendicitis all night, therefore wasting one of the only nights I would sleep in an actual bed all summer, so I wasn't exactly in a chipper mood. It took me half a day to notice there were no cars or roads there. It was this sudden realization that immediately led me to believe I had to be retarded, or at least be suffering from some major disturbance in my thought processing capabilities due to all the heat, since, you know, the greatest conclusion I had arrived to that day was that there were no roads in Venice. Personal delusions aside, I actually did love the city, just like every other girl on the entire planet. Once you get past all the tourists (it was August, but still, population control people!), and start walking away from St Marcos' square, you'll find the 'real Venice', where people actually live and don't walk all over each other and you can actually explore freely (minus the camera-holding obstacles), with only the vicious mosquitos keeping you company. Oh yes, the whole smelly dirty water thing was not true - it was actually pretty clear at the time - but the homicidal flying beasts were very very real. In the end Venice still managed to become one of my all time favorites cities (go figure, did I mention I'm a girl?), and I blame none of the previously described as very negative aspects of the trip on her, it was clearly the result of a combination of bad karma and sleep deprivation - aka the story of my life