Tuesday, June 8, 2010


With my new after-10 am month pass I am now roving around Berlin and squeezing as much as I can out of it. Today will be an escapade out to Pfauerinsel - Peacock Island - a former love nest of the elite on the ritzy south-west area of the city. Two or three trains (depending on the S-bahn gods of timing and chance), a bus, a ferry, and what looks like an hour's walk will land me to a temporary pavilion of Olafur Eliasson.

Spent some time yesterday as a legitimate card-carrying reading-room member of the Stadtsbibliotek Berlin, a library designed by Hans Scharoun. It is truly an immense interior landscape, like the Grand Canyon turned inside out somehow. Currently some 2 million books are inaccessible due to asbestos - 1/6 of their collections - and this perhaps in tandem with the sudden onslaught of Summer relieves the library of many of its potential users. I pick up a book requested last week, a response to a footnote in a book I read in Muscat. And in response to another footnote, in a book on Eliasson, I head to the inside-the-library cafeteria (heaven!) for some light summer reading by Bruno Latour, Making Things Public - Atmospheres of Democracy.

The climate of the interior is really very foreign to me. Either I pack gloves or sunscreen, always one or the other. Today is the latter, the sun is fully shining down and tomorrow they say 31 degrees.

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