Tuesday 30 March 2010


I am writing this on the last day before a two months' trip. Tomorrow morning I will be off to the States. The first stopover will be Washington DC. But on 2 April I will arrive at my final destination, Berkeley in California.

WHY AM I GOING TO THE BAY AREA (the region around San Francisco) FOR TWO MONTHS? There is no good answer to that. But it all started last June when I got a visitor in Brussels (where I lived at that time). She was no other than my former landlady from way back, when I was a graduate student in Berkeley in 1976/77. We had a pleasant dinner together and, while reminiscing about old times, I asked her whether it would still be possible to rent a studio for a limited period of time. She was not sure but added that she would let me know if any suitable vacancy should arise. Several months later I got the message that a studio indeed was available for april/may this year and I took this as a ”Sign” to get my act together and venture forth.

WHY AM I WRITING A BLOG ABOUT THE TRIP? The answer to that one is better. Recently, I partook in a workshop for self-publishing authors. The seminar leader, who goes by the impressive name of Bismarck, took great care in informing us about the new world of internet out there, which apparently is rendering it necessary for presumptive authors to build their audience by blogging, facebooking, twittering and, generally, making their presence known on the net. Although I am not writing a book at present I thought it a good idea to give it a go at “networking” and the trip at hand seemed to me a suitable topic to start with.

WHAT PLANS TO I HAVE FOR MY STAY IN THE BAY AREA? Actually none! Usually I am planning my trips “to death”, scheduling every free hour with activities, to avoid the threat of getting depressed when having nothing to do in a foreign environment. This time I intend to do it differently. I will let events come to me and “roll with the tide”. If nothing else turns up, I will of course be having pleasant strolls on the beautiful campus of the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). After all, I spent the most dynamic time of my life there when still young and won’t mind reliving the scenery. Many pictures were taken by me in those days and, who knows, maybe I can supplement those with new pictures worthy of keeping.

Come to think of it, there is a PURPOSE BEHIND MY BLOTCHY SCHEDULING. After all, blogs, as all activities on internet, are supposed to be interactive. In line with that I thought to give you, my dear and trusted friends and readers, a chance to help me out with planning my activities. So, here we go:

Many of you have been visiting or reading about the Bay Area. I am sure that you are curious about the places, events or people you have experienced or heard about. I hereby invite you to make suggestions of what I should do in the Bay Area within April/May. Just let me know which places and persons to visit or events to check out and I will try to accommodate your wishes and publish the results – with pictures  – here on the blog. 

POST SCRIPTUM: What started out here as a happy-go-lucky blog became one of my life's greatest projects: A blog with more than 65 Chapters, about 500 published pictures, a book ("Fiat Lux! Down Memory Lane in California") comprising 264 pages, a slideshow of some 20 minutes and a personally designed webpage. I am amazed myself how such a humbly beginning could turn out to become a three year project! The book can, from abroad, be ordered from my website emsvision.com.

Swedish residents can buy it from BOKUS or Liten Upplaga.


Unknown said...

A beautiful picture! I am looking forward to see more from your trip. Viktoria

Jonas Vlachos said...

Have a nice trip, Emil. I find the coast up north from SF particularly exciting. Once you pass the redwood forests, you basically enter a different country; slow paced and quite desolate.

Andreas Empt said...

Dear Emil,
Once again it's a pleasure for me to participate indirectly in a further trip of yours. Because I never left old europe until now I'm not able to ask you to visit a special place there. The more I am curious about any place and event on your trip to the west coast of America. I'm convinced it's a good idea to let events just turn up. Have a nice trip
Yours sincerely Andreas Germany

r4 said...

Wir sind zwar zwei Staaten weit weg von San Francisco, aber vielleicht möchtest Du gern einen Abstecher nach Seattle tun. In dem Fall wärest Du in unserm Haus herzlich eingeladen. Leider kommst Du ein paar Monate zu früh: ich arbeite noch bei Boeing, werde mich aber Anfang Juli pensionieren lassen. Dann hätte ich viel mehr Zeit für Gäste! Trotzdem wäre es nett, wenn Du aufschientest! (über die Grammatik dieses letzten Wortes bin ich mir nicht im Klaren.)

Robert Rackl

wimpissingernews.blogspot.com said...

Viel Spaß lieber Emil. Solltest Du weiter südwärts in das Orange County kommen, solltest Du meine Tochter in Huntington Beach besuchen (andreawim@yahoo.com). Meine Bay-Besuche liegen 15 Jahre zurück. Aber vielleicht existiert bei Deiner Lustreise ein Hintergedanke: ich lese, Deine Besuchsregion ist immer noch innovative Forschungsspitze und in Europa betreiben wir Kulturpessimismus (Komputergefahren mit Freiheitsbetrohungen etc.). Suchst Du eine neue Karriere, diesmal als Unternehmer? LG Heinz

Emil Ems said...

Thanks Jonas, for you suggestion to venture north. I will certainly take you up on it and report back in a forthcoming blog.

A special thanks to my school buddy Robert from high school way back in the late fifties and early sixties. I will of course start investigating the air fares to your beautiful city and may take the liberty of contacting you per e-mail about further details of a possible visit.

Lieber Heinz, your suggestion of venturing south also sounds very enticing and I will gladly take you up on your suggestion if I will go south as well as north. In any case, I will give your daughter notice of the blog, so that also she can follow my adventures. As to my career plans, they have firmly landed in my ambition to become and stay a gentleman photographer.