Tuesday, October 21, 2014

We Build From Cardboard

Haven't spent any time on the layout in ages, came out of a malaise and headed into over-commitmentland, but need to get back to it. Biggest reason is fixing some water damage from a flood that came from above. Nothing too serious, but the abbey on the hill is gone (I have a small castle ready) and some trees to fix along with some other things.
One of the lofty goals of Communist Party and education officials was to create “harmonious human beings” by instilling Soviet morals and work habits into the minds of young children. While literacy rates in the first decade after the October Revolution were remarkably low, reading was soon to become the single most important way of socializing and educating children in the Soviet Union. An important but lesser-known aspect of Soviet 1930s education involved do-it-yourself books. These were conceived as an interactive medium that invited children not only to enjoy reading, absorb information and reflect, but also to develop practical skills needed for the construction of a Communist society.


I have similar book of what we now call "DIY" projects, things like building radio controlled ships, models of structures for train layouts, art projects. many of them used card - an inexpensive, readily available material that is easy to work with. My book is less political and published in the late 60s in Germany. Still, should dig it out. Easy to find though, and with my MRR books.

Full post with more pictures on the The Charnel-House - From Bauhaus to Beinhaus blog.

Then for that post-communist look there is EASTERN BLOCK by Zupagrafika.
Blok Wschodni / Eastern Block is a collection of paper cut-out models representing various modernist buildings in Warsaw, Poland.

The series, created and distributed by the polish graphic design studio Zupagrafika, is made up of iconic examples of modernist architecture (Rotunda PKO), some less classic buildings, however, familiar to the city dwellers (Za Żelazną Bramą, Smolna 8, Mokotów), as well as "Wielka Płyta" prefab blocks from the outskirts (Tarchomin).

The whole set is eco-friendly as it is made from 100% recycled paper and carton. Each building is hand-drawn and includes a short technical note on its architects, year of construction and exact location.

The complete collection can be ordered online from Zupagrafika´s website and bought in bookshops and concept stores around Poland and Germany.


Good article with more images on the Packaging of the World blog.

From the same company in Poland... BLOKOGRAFIA, a Modernist Alphabet by Zupagrafika

Blokografia is a collection of paper cut-out typographies designed by polish studio Zupagrafika and inspired by Polish modernist architecture: from the prefab blocks in the districts to the ones in the city centers.

The collection consists of several buildings in different Polish cities, like Poznan (Os. Orła Białego, Dom Towarowy Alfa, Budynek Telewizory, Hotel Polonez, Collegium Novum...) and Warsaw (Ża Żelazną Bramą, Smolna 8...).

The whole set is eco-friendly as it is made from 100% recycled paper and cardboard.
Each building is hand-drawn and includes a short technical note on its architects, year of construction and exact location.

The complete collection can be ordered online from Zupagrafika´s online shop and bought in bookshops and concept stores around Poland.


More pictures at Packaging of the World and here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Trainspotting in Temagami, Ontario

After the Northlander experience in North Bay, I knew trainspotting in Temagami would be very anticlimactic, but nothing would stop me from trying anyway, including the long drive...

Endless forests on the Trans Canada...

Bigger than life fish, tall tails in the making...

Cabins with garages for boats on small islands in endless lakes...

Temagami
Once in Temagami, 1.5 hrs north of North Bay we parked the car and began exploring.

Theodore's Chip Stand in front of the train station

Theodore Moose? Looks almost like a classical African statue.
Here the train station in Temagami while still working as such, from the wiki page.



The train station looking north. Single track mainline, with passing siding.
Passenger service ceased in 2012. The Northlander would have stopped here.
A group of Keewaydin campers portaging through town to put into Lake Temagami.
Great to see for myself what my daughter did several times a day for years... The little kids with big loads and big smiles were inspiring and reassuring. Hard work but loving it.

 
And crossing the tracks to go 2 more blocks to the lake, then back for another load.
My daughter just had her 5th summer with "rival" camp Wabun based on the same lake.
Her trip was 6 weeks and 1000km+ in the sub-arctic.

Oh, you were expecting to see pictures of trains...?

These decommissioned freight cars now serve as storage units for a hardware store...



 Was told the afternoon Ontario Northland train could arrive around lunch (a two+ hour window). Parked myself next to the tracks, talked to the campers and other locals perplexed to see someone waiting for a train that may or may not come, and read John Water's Carsick (also this). Just like going fishin' on a hot summers day... S  l  o  w ... Was a good chance to work on my "librarian's" tan too (long sleeved tee-shirt and pants with hat)


Was a l o n g wait, but then a rumbling, quickly placed two Canadian quarters on the tracks and snapped it coming and going. Not a terribly long train, but there it comes...


 ... and it's gone again... Back to sleep/reading.


And this, watched it flying circles over the lake with tourist...


Here a map of Temagami... 





Click here for a great richly illustrated trip report (in German) on railroading in this part of Canada posted to the Drehscheibe Online forum. Link goes to the last of five posts but has index with links to the other posts at top. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Northlander in North Bay



Waren in North Bay, Ontario, Canada um unsere Tochter auf dem Temagami See von ihrer 1000km+ Canoereise in der fast Arktis abzuholen und haben uns auch in dieser Stadt umzusehen... Bahnanlagen großenteils abgebaut, aber der Bahnhof steht noch mit Mobaladen und Museum. Also, kommen an und parken... In der Ferne dieser Anblick, also nichts wie hin... Die Lok 503 der Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railroad. Gebaut wurde die von den Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston Ontario.

Were in North Bay, Ontario, Canada to retrieve our daughter after her 6-weekm 1000km+, sub-arctic wilderness canoe-tripping experience Out of Temagami, and decided to poke around North Bay... The railyards that used to dominate the lake front are gone, but the train station is still there and harbored a small model railroad hobbyshop and local history museum. Parked the car, and in the distance spotted what turned out to be engine 503 of the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railroad.






Blick in die Bahnanlage |  View into the railyard



Hinter gittern... | Behind barbed wire...

Nanu..., und was stand hinter Gittern daneben? Steuerwagen und Mittelwagen vom SBB RAm TEE / NS DE IV, der an die Ontario Northland verkauft wurde und als Northlander verkehrte. Ontario und Arktis sind nicht Mitteleuropa und das Material kam mit dem Klima nicht zurecht. 1997- wurde was noch brauchbar war zurueck nach Europa gebracht... Diese wurden zurück gelassen...

Once we got to 503 we noticed the real gem hidden behind gates and obstructed from view... The control-cabbed coach and another coach of the SBB RAm TEE / NS DE IV that had been sold to the Ontario Northland railroad and ran as the Northlander between Toronto and points north up to Hudson Bay. These consists were, however, no match for the brutal climate... In 1997, what was left and salvageable was brought back to Europe, with these poor orphans left to rot.



Die netten Mitarbeiter der Bahn gefragt ob wir aufnahmen machen konnten, und schwups waren wir drin.

Asked the nice people from Ontario Northland if we could come in and take some pictures..., and we were in.
















Und alles war hier zu finden, aber wie lange noch...
And all this can be found here, but likely not for much longer...



Genau meine Gedanken nach diesem Fund!
Exactly my thoughts after this find!

Click here for a great richly illustrated trip report (in German) on railroading in this part of Canada posted to the Drehscheibe Online forum. Link goes to the last of five posts but has index with links to the other posts at top. Enjoy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Buchbinderei and Berlin Stadtbahn

Several years ago I found this image floating around the web with no attribution, date, or description but was immediately drawn to it because of the stark imagery, the decay, and the fact that it was (once?) a bindery...


Searching in Flickr just now, I found another image of the same bindery, in color no less, that provides a bit more context in the form of the concrete protrusion at the top right. Image below by Markus Mayer from 2009 with the same graffiti and a similar reflection of a Plattenbau in the windows...


Flickr had a few more images of it such as this one that clearly show a railroad trestle above... A bit more searching brought me to Berlin, right near the iconic (for train geeks) Jannowitzbrücke and the Berlin Stadtbahn. This is along the Spree in what was once East Berlin.

A link to a quiz of the "where is this" sort provided a bit of history from a genealogy forum. This indicated that this was once the Buchbinderei Scholz. Interesting story for those that can read German ending with success in tracking down a relation/ancestor.

Click Google Maps Street View to view this July 2008 image,
spin image around to see the reflecting Plattenbau...
The TV tower at the Alexanderplatz is at right.
Click Google Maps Street View to view this July 2008 image,
spin image around to see the reflecting Plattenbau...

Would love to have a bindery at that somewhat desolate location. Combine to passion at one location, books and trains.Could even be something to model...