magazine for culture, politics and life from a transatlantic perspective

Capturing the Soul of the City

Opening today at Berlin’s world renowned Bauhaus Archive “Andreas Feininger – New York in the Forties,” an exhibition which includes many of the artists own favorite shots. Having given his main body of work to the CCP in Tucson Arizona, Feininger held those few personal favorites back and finally gave them to the later founded Andreas Feininger Archive in Tübingen. Now they are on display in Berlin.

Andreas Feininger  Midtown Manhattan von New Jersey aus gesehen, 1942  © AndreasFeiningerArchive.com [Read more]

Think Global – Act Local

I know… it sounds like a relic from the 70s or something, which it actually is. But obviously it’s one of those ideas that even gain relevance over time.

As we now hear Starbucks will be closing more than 600 stores in the US alone, which probably no one will even notice because they have more than 10,000 of them over here.

That said, I have to add that I really feel for the 1000 people losing their already underpaid jobs. But it also shows that there is not unlimited demand for ever the same products. I admit that it gereally makes sense to have chain stores in some respect. But it also makes traveling (and living) so not exciting at times, because it kills cultural particularities.

Her comes a sermon by Reverend Billy, founder of the Church of Stop Shopping, getting the word out to the masses on Fox Biz News:

[Read more]

Is Berlin the Next Florida?

With Barack Obama speaking at the Siegessäule this Thursday, the American presidential campaign has now definitely arrived in Germany. We spoke with Jan Burdinski, program director for Republicans Abroad Germany, and Jerry Gerber, press secretary for Democrats Abroad Berlin, about the impact of the election in Germany and the possible role of Americans living here.

[Read more]

New York in the 80ies

30 years ago New York City was a dangerous place. Especially Bushwick in Brooklyn, my neighborhood today, was one of the most poor and devastated places you could imagine. You can still see that in missing buildings, which were often burned down by their owners because they just wouldn’t sell.

Anyway, I just read a blog post on woot.com that has occasional reviews of funny used books. This one is called “Street Smart” and was written by Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa and their lawyer Murray Schwartz.

In his blog entry Jason Toon highlights the funniest and most paranoid moments of the book (including Guardian Angels fashion) and wouldn’t miss the chance to spice them up with a handful of hilarious comments. My favorite excerpt from the book is probably this one:

[Read more]

A Not So Sexy City

Ever since the HBO series Sex and the City ended four years ago, its fans have been waiting for the announced movie. Now, it has finally arrived. Finally? Something has gotten lost on the way.

[Read more]

ICFF 2008 in New York City

Today I went to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in the Javits Center in New York. I expected an insight in latest developments in design but in the end it was (not surprisingly) just a furniture fair. Anyway, I saw a few interesting things. If you want to go and see for yourself, tomorrow the fair will be open for the public.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

[Read more]

Obama for President: American Dream or Forever Hopeful?

Call him the Black Kennedy, the Tiger Woods of politics, or the Second Coming. The epithets used to describe presidential hopeful Barack Obama (D-Ill) are a testimony to an election that is so much more than politics.

There is something close to biblical about rain, when the skies give way to an almost cathartic downpour, draining off the drudge, sins and conversation-residuals clogging the streets. In any Hollywood movie (especially considering the writers’ strike) it could have been a Second Coming scenario, yet it was an unassuming Monday with weather more befitting of an unassuming British city pronounced Gloomster (but probably spelled Gleucmcester) in the midst of Berlin. The prophesized savior of American politics, Barack Obama, drew close to a 100 people, who sought shelter in the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung on this rainy, borderline-suicidal Monday evening, to learn about the self-professed harbinger of a new era – in a country so far from theirs.

[Read more]

Do The Write Thing!

Two and a half months into the writer’s strike and the first late night shows are back on the screen. In the first week of January, David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien all returned to restore nightly TV routine. A week later, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show followed suit. How did Jon Stewart do? Did he survive out there without the scripted gags of his humoristic elves and their mighty pens?

Striking Writer

To find out, we tried to get into the studio and watch the taping of his first show back on air. Unfortunately, about 500 other people had the same idea. Instead of lining up at the end of the queue around the block, we talked to one of the protesting writers in front of the studio. [Read more]

In The Movies

In case you didn’t notice already – it’s christmas season! Here at the tapmag headquarters, the team is eagerly awaiting the festivities. We are happily humming christmas songs all day long and the air is buzzing with anticipation of all the presents to come. [Read more]

Alexanderplatz in New York

Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Hanna Schygulla during a rehearsal © Roger Fritz

Starting today, Queens’ P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center , a MoMA affiliate, will present Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 15-hour epic film version of Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Orginally aired in 1979/80 as a 14-part series on German public television, Fassbinder’s masterpiece, running a total of 930 minutes, was recently restorated and released on DVD.

Apart from being able to see the episodes in 14 distinct screening rooms, visitors will have the opportunity to read the storyboard, see magnified stills and listen to audiotapes of Fassbinder dictating the script.

Fassbinder: Berlin Alexanderplatz was previously shown at Kunstwerke Berlin. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City. Directions are availabe here.


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