Friday, March 24, 2006

Web site and PDNedu

The Web site has been done for a while. Here's the link:

Also, the trip was mentioned in this issue (Spring 2006) of PDNedu, unfortunately you can't find the article online but you can find a copy in some magazine stores.

Prof. Freeman is returning again this summer with another group of students.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Official 2005 Berlin Website almost done!!!

Get ready... within a month it will ALL be done. I swear!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


To see all the photos I included online click here. It will lead to my Berlin photoset on Flickr.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

TV tower dinner

last-meal--freeman, originally uploaded by morgpet.

Whew... dinner while rotating in the TV tower we experienced a 360-degree sunset over Berlin. It was a gorgeous view. Although some people couldn't get use to the rotating part for a bit. Our food was wonderful, meat or veggies we all cleaned our plates. It was a great way to end the trip. One last beautiful view of Berlin when we were finally able to point out everything. Tiergarten, museums, churchs...

The sun set and we left early the next morning leaving behind our Berlin friends and acquaintances as we took home our wonderful memories and of course thousands of photos.

Last day...

052505_dome_1, originally uploaded by morgpet.

Wow we've been back since May 26th. It has taken me awhile to get back in the flow of things. And then I realized I never closed the end of the trip blog. Yes yes... so our last day... our full last day was May 25th. I woke up way early to cram in 3 last sights before I had to meet my subject for my photo story at 4pm. So 9:00am I was in line to enter the Reichstag... 9am... here I was thinking, "OK, I'll beat the crowd." Nine AM and I waited for an hour to get in and ride up the elevator to the glass dome top.
After that lengthy stop, I made my way to the Helmut Newton private artifacts museum. I found it interesting watching home videos, scanning over his old notepads of interviews and just plain photo notes, who he talked to, when he was going to meet them and to top it all off they were half in English and half in French. Also a bunch of his cameras were there, if not all of them. I'm not quite sure. But his Hasselblads, SX-70, Panoramic Fuji, Polaroid Land camera and his SLR Canon and Nikons were all there.
Last on my sights-to-see list was the Eastside Gallery. A small strip of the Berlin wall that has been repainted as an art gallery. I enjoyed it immensely. Just having the wall tower over me was amazing, I didn't realize how tall it really was until I stared up at it and walked along it for about 15 mins. Next entry... our last full meal.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Concentration Camp

052205_camp_4, originally uploaded by morgpet.

Some of us took time on Friday or Sunday to visit a nearby concentration camp, which the name of slips my mind at the moment. But it was very moving and all of those who went were glad to have the opportunity to visit and learn a little more about the past that we only read about in textbooks now.

One last resting day... 5.20.05

052005_selfportrait_1, originally uploaded by morgpet.

For the last few days we've all been super busy, running around, interviewing and taking thousands of pictures as we all realize our trip is almost over. Not many of us have been able to sit back and lay in the grass for a few days.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Will update tomorrow... haven't had time for wireless which is the easiest way to post...

Friday, May 20, 2005


051905_burritos_1, originally uploaded by morgpet.

We finally found mexican food!!! Very very good burritos!!! There was a small article about the restaurant in THE EXBERLINER, a nice little magazine put out once a month.

Nice Weather and nice light

051905_gate_2, originally uploaded by morgpet.

Today is another warm and clear day in Berlin. The bike place I'm using internet at is renting out bike left and right. Around 5 or 6pm everyday our group seems to scatter the most because the light has been beautiful to photograph. Yesterday I hung around the new Holocaust memorial and saw the sun set on the city. (The memorial is right through these gates pictured above and to the left.) Some people decided to accend the glass dome of the Reichstag for the sun set. Lesson... the line is very long to get in and they don't let anyone else in after 10pm.

Musical - SIng! Sing! Sing!

051805_singsingsing_3, originally uploaded by morgpet.

Two days ago four of us decided to see a musical here in Berlin, I believe this is the only place it's playing, not a high budget musical or anything. So here's a brief overview of the plot so you understand how odd it was to watch. The general story was about the Andrew Sisters, a group of sisters who became the first real girl group during WWII. So the musical is about American girls signing with RKO and performing in Germany for the US troops. All the songs were in English because the originals were, but all the dialogue was in German. So "Americans" singing in English, talking in German. Interesting stuff. And of course they added in little sayings in English like "Baby," "Plan B" and "silly sisters."
Last night another group of us went to see the Blue Man group, however only one show was within my budget for the trip, but I am intrigued by SWING BERLIN! A musical much like Swing Kids the movie, but much much much more of it would be in German and I might get lost.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Update from Lauren M...

051605_dunkindonuts_1, originally uploaded by morgpet.

In the old days of the GDR, Berlin's Alexanderplatz was a showcase for the Soviets to demonstrate their engineering prowess to the fascist West. Their most prominent achievement was the enormous TV Tower, which you can see -- looking like a lime stuck on a spike -- from nearly any point in Berlin.

Of course, now that the wall has fallen and Berlin has re-unified, icons of the capitalistic West are everywhere. Which is why there's an Internet Cafe above a Dunkin' Donuts right here in Alexanderplatz. We students seem to spend half of our time at these rows of computers, e-mailing people and looking for story ideas. After spending the day wandering by ourselves through Berlin's different districts -- the parks of green Tiergarten, the museums of downtown Mitte, the graffiti-ed residential boulevards of 'trendy' Prenzlauer Berg -- it's a safe bet that we'll be able to find at least one of our fellow students sitting up here, eating a donut and checking e-mail.

(If we wanted to be really authentic, we would be eating a Berliner -- a jelly donut -- while we surfed the Internet in Alexanderplatz, but I'm not sure anyone has managed that combination yet.)

This morning, we went on on a boat tour down the Spree River, which runs right through the heart of Berlin. Unfortunately, the tour's narration was all in German, but presumably it was informative and amusing -- the other German tourists regularly burst into laughter as we meandered past the Reichstag and little riverside cafes. However, it was a really beautiful day, and it was great to see another angle of the city.

As we were waiting in line for the boat to arrive, we saw Sarah, our guide from Sunday, leading another group of tourists through her tour of Berlin. As we spend a lot of time wandering around the Berlin landmarks, we seem to frequently stumble upon her -- I saw her speaking to a group in front of the new Holocaust Memorial last night. I also saw two teenagers trying to skateboard through the memorial. It may be sacrilegious, but apparently all those flat surfaces are impossible to resist.

*Lauren MacDonald*

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Star Wars Premiere

051705_starwars_2, originally uploaded by morgpet.

We spent Tuesday night as paparazzi in Berlin where Star Wars was opening. With cameras in hand we were all ready and staked out the Ritz Carlton. Natalie Portman came out first, with a shaved head! It's shaved for her next movie. She quickly dodged into the tinted car but luckily for me the front windshield was still good to shoot through so here she is climbing in. After her super quick dodge into the car the crowd started booing, but it didn't last.
Next came Hayden Christiansen who waved, signed autographs and paused for the camera. And last was George Lucas himself.
After they were all whisked away to the theatre Dylan and I ran over there... literally. But we were too late to get a good spot so I shot other video footage while there on small and large screens.

So that was our celebrity sighting!

Spotting the wall.

051605_wallline_1, originally uploaded by morgpet.

Every once in awhile you stumble upon the brick path of the wall that remains. I was just walking down the sidewalk and bam there it was yesterday. It came out a building on one side of the street, crossed the street at an angle and disappeared into another building.

In other news...
Looks like we're not going to Weimar after all, it would cost us over 100 euros just for the train if we stayed overnight, and then it would cost us more to tour and then stay in the hostel. Our other option was to take another train back the same day that we would leave, for the train ticket then would only be about 64 euros, but it would take 4 hours to get there and 4 more hours to get back, so it would be a very expensive and long day. We decided we might just go to a closer consentration camp on Friday as part of a tour leaving from Berlin.

But that's all for now.

Oh and I found all the postcard locations... the last was a bit tricky, but yay I found it.

Today it's freezing and raining... not a great day to do anything.

Two days ago...

051505_holocaustmemorial_1, originally uploaded by morgpet.

Update time... I finally found cheap wireless internet!! YAY!! 2 euros for unlimited time!! In a bike store called "FAT TIRE".

So two days ago... May 15, 2005... We took an English walking tour of Berlin that lasted about 4 -5 hours! But it was awesome. We walked everywhere and saw so many things. The picture above is of course the new holocaust memorial that is the controversy at the moment and as we learned, more so while it was being built. First of all, it's no where near where any holocaust victims ever suffered, it fact it's positioned directly over an old bomb bunker for a Germany official (I forget his name). But yeah they rediscovered the bunker during the construction. Not only these facts, but also the funding made many people unhappy. The government basically lowered the budget of all other holocaust memorials that are on actually victim sites to fund this memorial that is located in "downtown" site seeing area. So pish posh it's been getting mixed reviews. You certainly could get lost in it though, we almost lost two of our photographers! We were about to leave without them when Andy spotted them across the courtyard with cameras in hand. We didn't have time to go through the museum that is underground right there, but the line was very long and I'll be going back before I leave Berlin.

After our extremely long walking tour that started out rainy (but became pleasant after only 30 mins) we met John MacDougall, an AFP photographer/photo editor. He didn't have too much to advise us on, just to live and learn. But he did provide contacts for some of us for our stories. What we most enjoyed hearing from him was how he felt just as unsure of his future when he was our age as we do now.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Market next to Tiergarten = Postcard Project

051405_market_1, originally uploaded by morgpet.

We stopped here on our second day, spotted these funky frog and elf statues and found a huge pile of old postcards depicting Berlin from before WWII and possibly before WWI. I bought 7 postcards and have so far gone back and found the exact location of 6 of them and re-photographed them. Although this type of thing has been done before because Berlin has seen so much change over the years, it is really amazing to see the change of view in each location. Buildings are missing or have been surrounded by new buildings. And the history behind each area is interesting as well... I may have to go buy more postcards from the fair. There is so much history to everything in Berlin. From what we hear, Berliners are not happy at all with publicity of the history of Berlin or Germany, they mainly want to look towards the future and the change that it brings.

Posted this from Dunkin' Donuts internet cafe. TTYL!

Saturday, May 14, 2005


051405_wannsee_8, originally uploaded by morgpet.

At LAKE/BEACH Wannsee.


051305_bombedchurch_3, originally uploaded by morgpet.

We're all here finally!!! Today seemed like our first real day because yesterday we were so jet lagged. It is quite interesting here and everyone seems to be enjoying themself so far. It rained today. :( That left us very sad and wet. But all our cameras survived!

Today we started out by visiting the "beach" which we would consider a lake... Wannsee. We climbed monkey bars, stalked children and ducks... and were hissed at by some swans. Interesting over all.

Next we all headed to a market on the edge of Tiergarten. Filled mainly with antiques and over-priced stuff we didn't find too much with-in our price range except some old postcards of Berlin that we would like to "recreate" from the same location. We found some other things as well... beer stein, photo books, jewelry, ect.

After our market visit where it started raining, we split into groups. Some went to a nearby mall, some back to the hotel and others to investigate the "Turnfest," from what can make out is an international gymnastics competition going on all week.

That was most of our day & like I said before, it was very wet.

Right now I'm using wireless T-Mobile internet access for 8 euros for an hour.


(That's Trevor taking pics of street performers yesterday... May 13th.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

International Student ID Card

I bought an international student ID card today, kinda pricey but after looking at all the discounts I get with it, it'll be worth it.
ISIC Web site

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust memorial is Germany's moral maze

Holocaust Monument Dedicated in Berlin
Dedication of Berlin monument caps a tumultuous week
Berlin unveils Holocaust memorial
3,000 in German far-right protest

Today the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin was dedicated. It is considered controversial by some and has sparked protests.
Sounds like a good photo story to me, as long as there is still action by Friday!
I'm keeping an eye on the news! :)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Weimar Hostel

Hababusch Hostel
Book Hababusch Hostel


Revised schedule of first days... according to Prof. Freeman

Friday May 13th - meet with LA Times Berlin Bureau chief, Jeffrey Fleishman
check into rooms, rest...
attend the Karnavale

Saturday May 14th - ???

Sunday May15th - meet with AFP photographer John Macdougall AFP
Walking Tour, Discover Berlin

Monday May 16th - maybe boat tour, maybe Checkpoint Charlie museum

Tuesday May 17th - tour of Der Taggespiegel newspaper

Friday, May 06, 2005

E-mail from Professor Freeman - Arriving...

pdate 12 - arrival and Day 1 plans
Arrival in Berlin: ** DAY 1*** (PRINT THIS OUT AND HAVE WITH YOU)
According to Prof. Oren from the Political Science department at UF, Berlin’s Tegel airport (TXL) is very user-friendly. He says the baggage conveyer belt is located at the arrival gate itself, along with the passport control and customs.
Lost Luggage: If your luggage did not arrive…after you exit the gate, look for the signs (in English) for the Lost and Found office. Missing baggage complaints are handled at one location regardless of the airline. An employee will fill out a claim form—she will ask you for a forwarding address (make sure you have the hotel’s address and phone # -- see below) and a description of the missing luggage. It will be delivered to the hotel.
Money Exchange: One thing you will probably need is some EURO-cash. If you have an ATM card, look for the nearest ATM. Otherwise, look for a “currency exchange” counter. The rate should be close to US $1 = .77 EU. The other way to figure it is it takes about 1.30 EU to make US $1. ** Be sure to notify your bank that you‘ll be using your ATM and/or credit card overseas. Banks sometimes freeze accounts thinking cards have been stolen. Call them now! **
Transportation Pass: Look for the BVG sign (inside?) the airport. You’ll want to buy a 7-day Berlin “AB” pass. This will be good on all the subways and buses in the primary zones (A&B). It cost 24.30EU. Two of these 7-day passes are included in program fees you’ve paid, so if Prof. Freeman is not with you buying the pass, buy it yourself and get a receipt (or the ticket may have the paid price) and you’ll get reimbursed.
Getting from TXL to the Transit Loft Hotel:  The Transit Loft’s full contact information is: Greifswalder Straße 219 · Entrance Immanuelkirchstr. · 10405 Berlin-Prenzl.Berg Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 484 937 73 · Fax: +49 (0)30 / 440 510 74 -- email:
The word after Griesfwalder above is Strasse, which means Street. In German, double S’s can be written with a symbol like a capital B. Your print-out may or may not have that symbol. There are about 10 districts in Berlin and we’ll be in Prenzlauer-Berg, one of the trendier rebuilt areas.
Options to get to the Hotel:
·        Option 1: If you don’t do the bus transfer route (Option 2), take a taxi but it’ll be at your own expense. The trip will take 20-30 minutes and will cost approx. 21-22 Euros (to which you’re expected to add a 10% tip). In Prof. Oren’s experience, Berlin taxi drivers are honest and they understand English. Have the hotel information handy to show the driver.
·        Option 2: TXL Express Bus. When you exit the gate, look for the sign saying “bus” or “public transportation” or something like that. At the bus ramp, look for the TXL Express bus stop. The regular, yellow city bus has a luggage rack and runs every 15 to 20 minutes. If you bought the ticket from a vending machine, or a ticket counter, you must validate it in the validation machine on board the bus. If the ticket is not validated, it’s as if you did not pay for the trip. Now it’s good until midnight of the 7th day. Take the bus to its final stop—Alexanderplatz – the location of Berlin’s tallest structure—the 1,200-foot TV tower. The trip will take 30-40 minutes. From A-platz, you have either (1) Walk, if you’ve looked on a map and can handle your luggage for 20-25 minutes, (2) Take a taxi. The trip will take five minutes and set you back something like 5-7 Euros. (3) Hop on the M4 tram traveling in the direction of “Zingster Str.” or “Falkenberg.” Remember your ticket is already validated. The direction will be posted on the tram stop and on the front of the tram itself. Do not board M4 in the direction of S Hackescher Markt—it’s the opposite direction. After about 5 minutes, get off at the stop designated Hufelandstr. (Hufeland Strasse). You will find yourself in the middle (median) of Greifswalder Strasse. Cross the street to the North sidewalk (Left sidewalk, if you face the direction of the tram). Walk 1-2 minutes back on Greifswalder Strasse to the corner of Immanuelkirch Strasse. Turn right onto Immanuelkirsch Str., then left into the hotel’s driveway (see below).

Finding the hotel: The hotel’s official address is 219 Greifswalder Strasse. But you will not actually find it on that busy street—the entrance is located around the corner, at 14 Immanuelkirsch Strasse. To find the Transit Loft, go north (right, if you arrived on the tram; left, if you walked from A-platz) on Immanuelkirsch Strasse for approximately 50 yards. You will see the Transit Loft sign. Turn left into the driveway. The hotel occupies two of the upper floors of the building—take the elevator to the lobby/reception level.
Upon arrival, ask the receptionist for a free map of Berlin and the public transportation system. They tell me the earliest check-in would be 2 p.m. on Friday, May 13, but they can store luggage earlier.
First Activity: Starts at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13, once you’ve dropped your luggage at the hotel. We’ll meet with The Los Angeles Times Berlin Bureau chief, Jeffrey Fleishman, at a coffee shop. This is the only time he can meet because they are sending him to Iraq the next day. This visit would seem like a great one for the writers in our group. If you are not with the group headed there, here are Mr. Fleishman’s instructions on how to get there: “We'll meet at the Kant Cafe on the corner of Kantstrasse and Schluterstrasse in Charlottenburg neighborhood. Take the S-Bahn to Savigny Platz. Walk to Kantstrasse and take left to Schluterstrasse. Depending on where you enter Kantstrasse, it will be one to three short blocks to the cafe.”
The rest of the day should be spent checking into the hotel rooms, resting if necessary, and/or attending the Karnavale  -- I mentioned earlier, looks like 4 p.m. – midnight.
Saturday, May 14: meet with AFP photographer John Macdougall at the hotel, probably after the hotel closes down its breakfast, NOON.
Sunday, May 15: Walking Tour, Discover Berlin, in the morning (10 a.m.?), lasts 3 hours.
Monday, May 16: not firm yet, perhaps the boat tour, or Checkpoint Charlie Museum
Tuesday, May 17: 5 p.m., Tour of Der Taggespiegel newspaper with the photo chief

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Germany's Migrant Children Tip the Scales

Berlin Wall and Berlin News

I found an interesting site that gives an abridged version of the history of the Berlin Wall.
Berlin Wall

Also the source for the above site was another interesting site that is loaded with Berlin info.
Berlin News

A few things to remember...

As I'm scurring around packing and getting ready there are a few things left on my list to round up before I leave.
First, a converter for power cords... I've been slacking here and haven't gone out looking yet, but it looks like Radioshack has a good collection to choose from. - adapter search

I also remembered today that I'll need a good amount of AA batteries for my Canon flash, might as well bulk up here at Sams, who knows what they sell for in Germany.

And lastly, for now, I'm looking for a good deal on a lock for my laptop, just so I feel better about leaving it in the hotel when out. My friends that stayed in the same hotel over spring break said they recommend locking stuff up while out, even though it's a safe hotel.

I'm sure I'll think of more stuff to add to this list of things to buy last-minute, but I'll save those for another post.

Currency Converter

Monday, May 02, 2005

Weather Outlook

Month-long forecast from the weather channel.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Photojournalism Sites

Interactive Narratives Many great photo stories from large newspapers.

NPPA: Best of Photojournalism 2005

FiftyCrows - Social Change Photography

foto8 - International Photojournalism Magazine

ZoneZero Explore the Documentary Portfolios.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Concentration Camp - Buchenwald

Morgan Moeller is planning a trip to Weimar, Germany, during the weekend we have off while in Berlin. A few of us are going to accompany her on her 5 hour round-trip train ride and spend the night in Weimar. Her grandfather helped liberate the concentration camp, Buchenwald, in Weimar. Morgan wants to visit it and take pictures for her family scrapbook.

Buchenwald Concentration Camp

Buchenwald Concentration Camp: Scrapbook


Buchenwald History

Saturday, April 23, 2005

UF group meets and brainstorms

Thursday April 21, 2005

The group of 10 UF students and Professor Freeman sat down to talk things over and began brainstorming possible story ideas.
  • Religion issues - Jewish community, Catholic community (reaction to new Pope)
  • Unemployment
  • Music Scene
  • Night Life
  • Skinheads - very iffy about this one.
  • Helmut Newton Bar
  • Tiergarten - Central Park area
  • Tourist Cars - restoring them
  • Soccer - World Cup
  • People who resent the wall coming down and the change that has occured
  • Americans in Berlin
  • Youth Culture
  • Modern art movement
  • Walking Tour, story of man who founded it
  • Festivals
  • Beer Brewery
  • Subway Life
  • TV tower
  • Zookeepers
  • Street Performers
  • Film Industry
  • Theatre
That's most of our ideas. We'll be finalizing who's covering what when we get there.

Predeparture links about the program.

Program Home Page

Profiles of all participants

Transit hotel we are staying in.

Hotel Transit Loft
Greifswalder Straße 219
[Eingang Immanuelkirchstraße]
10405 Berlin-Prenzl.Berg

Phone: +49 (0)30 / 484 937 73
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 440 510 74