Monday, April 03, 2006

post-berlin blog

yes, i attended the berlin 4 open access conference , yet my presence there is characterised here (in this blog) by silence. not so unusual, for i seldom if ever blog about the conferences i attend. for sure, there are sufficient others who already do so, and so i don´t feel the need, nor feel compelled. and unlike most who "write once publish many", i prefer to "write/ruminate much and publish once or never". what does that mean? that i find i still use good old-fashioned writing on good old paper as a way to distill my thoughts, so i prefer to not "go public" immediately directly and en vivo.

much as characterises my approach to movies (not reading the reviews extensively beforehand) the same applies when visiting places. maybe this has to do with a not wanting to be overly primed beforehand, and so still have some kind of sense of discovery after having visited. but, so imagine that last week i had wandered around berlin sans map (one doesn´t always need a map; sometimes it´s enough to just literally "follow the crowd"), and imagine further when i turned into a street, saw a starbucks, and thought to myself: okay, i am now in a touristy zone. and i thought then how starbucks had so obviously become some kind of marker in the latter regard. i was reminded of the latter when reading today, post-visit, the following on wikipedia:

"There is some local controversy in Berlin over the fact there is a Starbucks within a few yards of the gate. It is seen as a corporational intrusion upon a national treasure."

I guess we should praise the Germans for having any such debate in the first place, but other sites in other places can have a similar gripe e.g. Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, where the Starbucks is right there at the olden-time gate into the complex which I thought, when seeing it at first, was that thát must be one expensive retail space.


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