One of the radical realizations I've had in Berlin, which differs markedly from life in New York, is that you don't actually have to do anything to relax. In New York, I would possibly schedule another session with my personal trainer, or get a massage, or acupuncture, or go to yoga. If I have free time, people assume I want to schedule it. Here, I just sleep more, and, as was the case last night, read the riveting new Catherine the Great biography (in the midst of typical court intrigues that include her betrothed's insistence on "ordering his servants, dwarfs, and gentlemen-in-waiting to march and counter-march in parade ground drill around his bed," and the complaint of minor courtiers, e.g. "He said that she was involved in adultery with Prince Repnin, who, during Carnival, had tried to sneak into their house dressed as a clown," she writes a self-"Portrait of a Fifteen Year Old Philosopher" in the course of one day in order to assuage the suspicions of an intellectual Swedish diplomat that she is becoming shallow) for four hours when I wake up pre-dawn, and then go back to bed. I depart for Frankfurt tomorrow, and there is much I might have liked that I have not done: visited Schloss Charlottenburg, Peacock Island, gone to the Opera. I did make time this afternoon for the Neues Museum, which holds the undeniably stunning bust of Nefertiti, mostly for research for my Christmas tree, which I intend to do in Egyptian Revival, in homage to both the Arab Spring and Lord Carnarvon, funder of the discovery of Tut's tomb and former scion of the house beloved as Downton Abbey. My planned day-trip to Dresden will have to wait for another trip; it deserves its own long weekend (very much the opposite of my attitude a decade ago). Tonight, I'll go out with my friend, photographer Fette Sans again (we had such fun last night at Lokal), and her friend, a sculptor from London.
Previously: New Portrait by Berlin/LA-based artist, Fette.