FvF Explores: The Mojave Desert in California

The late, great John Steinbeck – Nobel laureate, California native and a definitive voice of The American West – wrote that The Mojave Desert is “a big and frightening one. It’s as though nature tested a man for endurance and constancy to prove whether he was good enough to get to California.” As much as any desert is about survival, it’s also symbolic of rebirth and renewal. Like a blank canvas, the white sands stretch as far as the eye can see. Artists have long been bewitched by it’s energetic impulses, quiet mysticism and other-worldly landscape.

Along with some two thousand species of plants, the Mojave is home to the hottest place on earth, the dunes of Devil’s Playground, a Rainbow Basin and an Owl Canyon. Ghost towns, hot springs, crochet museums and Ed Ruscha all have their place in the desert. It’s a magical and mysterious place that defies definition and is without a doubt a sight to see in this lifetime.

With our FvF contributor, filmmaker and photographer Claire Cottrell in tow, Los Angeles-based artist and former FvF guest Lauren Spencer King takes us on a weekend trip to see some of her favorite desert haunts.

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Meet Companion Magazine, a New Way to Explore FvF’s Berlin

To celebrate the opening of the 25h Hotel Bikini Berlin we have been asked to produce a unique A3-size magazine called Companion that will guide hotel guests through Berlin with the help of our trusted local network of creatives. Companion is our chance to take a closer look at our home city while discovering new insights along the way.

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Calling on our wide network of friends in the city (including those you’ll know from our online magazine), Companion presents local neighborhood spots and places of escape, home and studio interviews with a range of creatives who call the city home as well as digestible tips for when you’re on the go. Hear from Paris Bar founder, Michel Würthle about his Kiez’s gentrificaion, for example, or from Werner Aisslinger about what constitutes good design. Spend a day in Berlin following the suggestions of Newsletter Cee Cee or a night on the town thanks to Pierre and Matze from Mit Vergnügen .
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Meet the FvF Contributors: Anna Rose

Raised in Berlin by a German father and an American mother, photographer Anna Rose was influenced by both cultures. After exploring the work of German photographer Gundula Schulze Eldowy, Anna became fascinated by the medium. In her early twenties she went on what was meant to be a “short trip” to New York City, ultimately staying there for more than a decade.

Anna began working in photo production before starting to shoot on a freelance basis, eventually moving back to her hometown of Berlin with plenty of experience in her field. Today her portfolio includes work for magazines such as Vice, Refinery29 and Spex.

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In line with the fundamental simplicity of her portrait photography and the more narrative imagery showcased on her tumblr, Anna has supported Freunde von Freunden over the past two years by capturing inspiring insights into the lives of many Berlin-based creatives. She explored the exceptional home and workplace of artist Friedrich Gobbesso and visited filmmaker Sam Fleischner‘s Brooklyn apartment and beach house in Rockaway Beach. Just recently Anna met with well known DJ and producer Scuba and accompanied him from his Neukölln apartment to a performance at Boiler Room Berlin.

We asked Anna about her main sources of inspiration, her favorite image on FvF and where she goes to find the best slice of cake in her neighborhood.

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FvF Explores: The Schorem Haarsnijder En Barbier in Rotterdam

As part of our ongoing FvF Explores series our contributor and photographer Marco Annunziata recently took a trip to Rotterdam and uncovered a hidden gem. Taking us on a tour of an authentic barber shop – The Schorem Haarsnijder En Barbier – we meet the large personality Bertus of Schorem as he discusses his aesthetic and love of tattoos.

This meeting was one that happened by chance while Marco was walking towards the Rotterdam train station on the way to Amsterdam. Uncharacteristically not in a rush for once, he decided to stop by The Schorem for a haircut and we are glad that he did. With a crazy line out the front of the shop, instead of getting a haircut, he had a frozen beer, captured the authentic community, and interviewed Bertus.

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The FvF Year 2013 in Numbers and Pictures

It seems impossible to wrap the gone 2013 up in one article and describe within a few sentences how much we have learned, explored and experienced the very last year. It has been quite an intense and diverse ride with great events and many changes for us and everyone involved. So let’s take a few minutes and see what was new and most popular on FvF in 2013. We took a close look at our numbers and checked the statistics and analytics with our siblings and experts from MoreSleep to find the best content and stories from 2013.

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