Around the Qasr al-Baron

On my way to the Cairo airport yesterday I stopped in the Heliopolis neighborhood that is home the the Baron Palace. It is a Cambodian-Hindu-temple-inspired mansion that is now gutted down to the stone and metal and an almost ruin. Below is a photographic study of it taken from the outside of the property fence. I don’t think that access is allowed to anyone, it’s very public and there is a guard on duty. Of course I would have paid $100 to be able to roam around inside but the guard looked pretty serious. The rest of the photographs that follow are from the surrounding neighborhood. I didn’t get to spend enough time exploring Heliopolis since I had to get to the airport, but it is an interesting place having been constructed as a New Cairo in the very early 20th century and has been given its own architectural stylistic classification.
The castle itself was originally built in 1910 for Baron Empain designed by the French architect Alexander Marcel. The Baron and his companies are responsible for the construction of the greater Heliopolis development.

Munich Overtures

Last week we spent four days in Munich participating in the exhibit and panel discussions at Overtures – Cultural realms in the post-fossil age. It was a part of the larger Klimaherbst ongoing series of events. Elizabeth was there as the Dubai based representative of Hot Spots and I was offered to sit in as an interdisciplinary participant which meant that I got to go around to all of the artists and have really fascinating discussions with each of them about their work, the world, art and climate change. It stimulated many ideas for everyone about new projects and collaborations. artcircolo kunstprojekt coordinated the event and Serafine Lindemann, artcircolo’s director did a wonderful job of organizing everything and leading the two day panel discussion. It was a part of the larger art series, overtures.

Our first day out, we headed to the Pinakothek Der Moderne.

Beth’s scarf matches the new Brandhorst Museum!

Inspirational fabric geometry of scaffolding.


Charging the Tesla fully-electric car. We had the great fortune of coordinating with the sales team at the Tesla Motors showroom where hot-spots set up its exhibit.

The Tesla Motors showroom is like a Pre-museum with exhibits of objects that are not yet, but in the near future will be a part of our daily lives. They have on display the exposed drive train and battery system which adds to the museum effect.

Photos of the Overtures exhibits and panel discussion.

The next morning we went to the Hausderkunst Museum to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit So Sorry. It was great as you can see below. On the way we spotted some adventurous urban surfers hitting the waves of the canal.

A ton of tea.

Walking around the English Garden.

White Rose Society monument.

Right-wing demonstration. They were very loud and angry.

These above are designed by Picasso.

Puppet theater museum was definitely a highlight.

Dubai Metro!

I took the metro yesterday for the first time. It’s been open for a month now, but there are only a few active stops and the usual places that we commute to and from don’t afford us the opportunity to use it. There is a stop still under construction right at American University in Dubai and we can’t wait until the day that one opens. That probably won’t happen until next spring though. But here are some pictures of my ride from the Mall of the Emirates and the Jafiliya Station just past the central business district. It was smooth and comfortable. The train kept pace with the 100km/hr traffic on the adjacent Sheikh Zayed Road. It took 15 minutes from boarding to disembarking for an approximately 20km journey.

Timeless? What time is it? But at least you can’t fault the designers for being timid with color and texture…