A neighborhood in transition

Street Art, Friedrichshain

When I wrote a guide to my street art favorites in Berlin’s Friedrichshain neighborhood in October 2013, I knew the list was a temporary thing. The transformation process Friedrichshain is going through has proven to be fiercer than I expected, however. A significant number of street art pics have vanished since.

Now one of the great spots at the corner of Scharnweberstraße and Mainzer Straße is going away, too. A Gründerzeit house is being renovated and all paintings and cut outs have been removed.

House renovation, Friedrichshain

At some point it was to be expected (the house was severely run down with only a few tenants holding the line behind broken windows), so there’s no surprise element in this story.

Still, some of the pics at this house were quite beautiful – farewell to a few favorites:

street art, friedrichshain

graffiti, friedrichshain

Graffiti, Friedrichshain

street art, friedrichshain

street art, friedrichshain

Love street art? Check out my Flickr set.

Storehouse

I’ve been playing with Storehouse lately (see Rites de passage, Cinque Terre, Street Art B and Musée du quai Branly) and it’s great. For those of you who haven’t heard of Storehouse, it’s basically an iPhone/iPad app for storytelling. Building beautiful stories is painfully simple; while Storehouse delivers the best experience in the app, all stories are automatically being rendered as responsive web pages, mimicking the app look and feel quite well. Everybody can see and share the stories, no matter which device.

Storehouse as a mobile/touch-only content creation tool (horrible word) is very well executed. Same goes for the story design. Everything looks elegant, premium. As Vincent Laforet explains, even the TOS are OK – which is so not a standard in this field.

As soon as I started building my first pages in Storehouse it hit me that this is exactly what Flickr needs. Flickr, still from a platform perspective a fine option to store huge numbers of photographs online, has lost much of the buzzing around pictures that made it so fascinating in the early days (at least in my subjective perception).

The “set”, as Flickr calls bundles of photographs, hasn’t much evolved. It’s a monotone grid/list of photographs. Since I started using Twitter or Facebook nobody I know has shared a Flickr set, ever.

What people hunger for is a beautifully crafted, awesome set design (think of varying picture sizes, nice responsive clustering) and an option to add text modules or quotes in classy fonts. Enter Storehouse. The seamless interface between Storehouse and Flickr makes it easy to handle Flickr sets like a back catalogue and re-celebrate them in a new, fresh look on Storehouse.

There’s a problem looming for Flickr because providing cheap, worry-free photo storage – a big deal back in 2004 when Flickr took off – is a commodity now. Nobody cares. But people care a lot about easy ways to build great looking stories they can’t wait to share.

Her

Of course the end of “Her” is analogue. OS1, the operating system Theodore fell in love with, said goodbye, en route to a higher consciousness. Theodore and his friend Amy watch a mellow sunset over Los Angeles. Amy puts her head on Theodore’s shoulder. Orrr.

I love the color of “Her”. Everything in earth tones, even the sky is a mild grey or sending warm twinkles. A world with almost no advertisements and funny waistbands.

There’s this moment early on in the movie when you have to admit you’d fall for OS1 in a second. Just because of curiosity. It’s a new frontier, so people can impossibly resist to check it out.