Delhi metro

While not being as efficient as the São Paulo metro system (efficiency being rather absent from public services in india in general), the delhi metro system – which has been growing from one 5 station line to 3 lines with more than 40 stations in the last 3 years – is quite an experience as well: First there are those constant recorded security reminders that are either unrivaled in their directness (‘do not touch abandoned objects as they might contain explosives’) or simply absurd (‘do not bef…

Cityblogging

After yesterday’s extremely depressing and upsetting morning news i went running (which is always a sensible thing when you don’t know what to do and/or are angry). During that run i was thinking what to do about the whole situation and finally came up with something that seemed like a sensible idea: In the last two weeks mazen kerbaj’s drawings have been one of the strongest most vivid expressions of the whole mess that is unfolding in lebanon that i came across (to the extend that i am dissapo…

São Paulo Metrô

I have blogged about public transport in São Paulo before and i have made some observations while traveling on the subway (called metrô by the locals) but being back in town i have realized that i have not really given enough credits to the metrô system itself. The system is absolutely amazing. at the moment it has 4 lines among them two (the red and the blue line) which are mayor ones and two others that act as feeder lines. both main lines run at 2 minutes intervals off-peak and at 60 second i…

Shrinking cities

I am in Rio right now, which is anything else than a shrinking city. I have no figures ready but i guess there is a table which shows Rio’s growth in the last decades somewhere in Mike Davis’ excellent ‘Planet of Slums‘ which i finished reading just before coming here. Now the lonely planet for Rio mentions that in Rio gas stations are one of the favorite places for party-goers to hang out as they sell beer all-through the night. This particular bit of travelers advice reminded me of one of the…

City of meat

To celebrate(?) the fact that i have started to eat meat again (after 12 or so years) i have created a flickr set highlighting some meat related pictures in i took during my two visits to Buenos Aires (in 2004 as a vegetarian and in 2006 after having started to eat meat again in Patagonia). It might be possible to go to Argentina as a vegetarian, but to come back for a second time and still refuse to eat meat comes down to masochism. Remains to be seen if i will continue eating meat here in Euro…

Back in Buenos Aires

After 9 days in Patagonia i am back in Buenos Aires and will probably stay here till i go back to Berlin on the 19th. Have bought myself a bike and started to explore the city. The character of the city is a really strange mix of speed (alsmost hecktic when i to comes to the inhabitants) slowness and style (especially when it comes to waiters and espresso machines). While cycling through the downtown financial district today, i came across this scrap collector who was pushing along his push cart…

Helipads (!!!)

I have mentioned it before, but the thing that impressed me the most so far is the facts that people actually travel by helicopter within the city. There are lots of heli-pads on buildings in the city and if you find yourself placed high enough to oversee a bit of the city you actually see helicopters taking of somewhere and landing elsewhere on a heli-pad. Of course this is kind of sick (someone told me that you can actually commute by helicopter from the north-zone to downtown for R$ 5000 per…

On cities and villages

We went on top of the Edificio Italia building yesterday afternoon. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city and located smack in the middle of it. They have a ridiculously overpriced executive bar on the 41st floor with the worst piano player i ever had to listen to. The whole thing feels distinctly 80-ties, but if you want to have access to the outside gallery you have to order drinks in this bar. The view from the bar an the gallery is absolutely breathtaking. Tthe Sao Paulo metropolita…

Back from Bruxelles

I was back in bruxelles yesterday after a way to lo long time. This city is definitely my favorite city in Europe as it manages to surprise me every time i am there, even if it is only for one rainy evening spent in an restaurant waiting for the night train to berlin (of course the fact that there actually is a night train connection to berlin makes Bruxelles stand out above such mediocre places as Amsterdam!). On the way from the restaurant to the Gare de midi i came across two remarkable thing…

New Orleans, Mogadishu

Been following the coverage about the aftermath of hurricane Katrina for the last couple of days and the whole thing has brought a lot of issues to the surface. (Boing boing has been an incredibly valuable source of information, jamie has written a nice summary mid last week and i also have rediscovered tomdispatch (they should fix their rss feed though). Now it seems that the situation is loosening up a bit, and it looks like there will be much less casualties than feared earlier (the total wil…