day 13: when a door closes, a window opens. or maybe not
I have realised a long time ago that I’m a creature of habit. Once I’ve found a quick and nice way to get to a certain place I will not try another way “just to see”. I am not someone to roam the city for no reason and I will not go on long extended walks just to see what is on the other side of a hill. Sometimes I would like to be a person who does that, but then I’m usually too busy or too caught up in other things to just drop everything and go for a long walk.
My favourite book is George Perec’s A Man Asleep and it is about a young man in Paris who decides on the day of his final exam to just stay home. He starts this strange journey of walking and walking for hours through Paris and he begins with curious exercises, like reading every word in a newspaper, without any explanation of what he is trying to achieve. Closer towards the end of the book he gets the feeling that whatever he was trying to achieve has failed and that he has to find new methods of getting there. It’s a very moody interesting book and I just love the fact that the reader can only get a hint of what this man is actually trying to do. I think that’s also what’s so fascinating about this book: this man does nothing that would have any meaning for the reader but I myself was captivated by it and really wanted to find out what the man is aiming at. In the end only your own imagination of what the man is doing can fill in the blanks.
This man is not the only character in literature who roams the streets of a big city without aim and I always wonder why I am so fascinated by the thought of walking the streets for no apparent reason. What’s interesting about this is that my camera is what transforms me into a person who roams the streets with no destination. My camera will let me find out what is on the other side of the next hill and whether I can take a picture of it.
Yesterday my camera took me to an industrial area which is only about 10 minutes from here. For some reason my daily routine has never brought me into that direction before. I found beautiful brick stone industrial buildings from before the war and the old Turbinenhalle from 1909 by the architect Peter Behrens. From the name you can guess that it’s a factory that produces turbines. Today’s picture doesn’t show this building though, but another nice old building that is right next to the coolest wood carved playground for children.
By the way, there are no hills in Berlin …