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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Third Place

Sad that Miroslave Klose could not get to play and an opportunity to tie or break Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima's record.But what a good sport for giving up that (most likely last) opportunity for team & country.
©Nina Buesing Corvallo

For a moment today there I was worried Germany wouldn't get it together. The rain was pouring, no Neuer, no Podolski, no Miro...and Diego Forlán!
Diego Forlán came out one of my favorite players in this world cup. He is just really good.
Germany goes home, same as last world cup, with the Bronze Medal. Not too shabby, but hopefully third time's the charm: Brazil 2014!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Renewal (Soccer as Catalyst)

New Germany ©Nina Buesing Corvallo

Soccer Wrap Up.
Tomorrow I am suiting up again, so to speak, and I will watch Germany play Uruguay. Just as some Germans players were not thrilled at having to play this match, I wasn't sure I wanted to watch the game. We lost. It was disappointing. But life goes on.
If Miroslave Klose's back injury doesn't prevent him from playing tomorrow, he could still tie or beat Ronaldo's record of most goals in a world cup. Exciting. I am sure "Miro" would prefer to have gone for the record in a final match, but as we like to say in New York: 's**t happens'.
Four years ago, the German team gave their all one more time and won third place beating Portugal 3:1. Germany cheered as if they won the final.
And I guess, that is what you have to do. Dust yourself off and get back in the saddle.
My husband doesn't care about sports and neither do I really. How soccer slipped in there, I am not sure.
As an expat, the World Cup let's me travel home without getting on a plane. It gives room for emotions that are usually stored away. But I don't think it is just about being an expat.
While watching old footage of previous world cups, a rush of childhood memories washed over me.
My parents are not sport fans either, but as a child of the seventies and eighties, images of Paul Breitner and the names of Rummenigge and Beckenbauer were inescapable. I suspect that my affection for soccer started then.
In 1989 shortly after the wall came down, I moved from Paris to New York. Off from school I spent the summer of 90 home in Germany.
90 of course was the year of German Reunification and also the year Germany last won the World Cup. I remember the feeling of that night vividly. It was a night of history.
Germany has such a difficult past, and there is no hiding from it. Germans are born with original sin. July 8, 1990 began the road to internal redemption. Reunification of East and West, was followed in the late nineties by a long overdue change in attitude towards immigration. Then in 2006 Germany hosted the World Cup and shared her new self with the world. A whole nation dared to breathe.
What made Wednesday's loss so disappointing, is that Germany came so close to the end of the road. Technically in1990,West Germany won the World Cup, so I cannot help but think that perhaps my place of birth would like to share the trophy with all of its people. And to show the world that a strong Germany no longer is a scary Germany.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jessica Hilltout's Stars

Head over to the The New York Times, to read about and see photographic work by Jessica Hilltout. To Those With Nothing, Soccer Is Everything written by Celia W. Dugger speaks about Jessica Hilltout's journey across the continent of Africa photographing everyday people playing soccer.
“I want to do an exhibit in South Africa, and while all the big stars are in the stadiums, I want you guys to be the stars of my show.” Ms. Hilltout is quoted as having said to her subjects.

What a beautiful thought and project. To me this is what photography is all about and soccer too.
It is also the reason I think the rules of soccer should not change and no instant replay should be added. Let me get back on my soap box: soccer is a metaphor for life. And FIFA should make sure the game is played as much as possible as it is played everywhere everyday.

courtesy Jessica Hilltout - get the book via www.jessicahilltout.com.

Visit www.nytimes.com or click here to see a slide show of Jessica Hilltout's project Amen: Grassroot Football. I also love the look behind the scenes the photographer provides on her website at: www.jessicahilltout.com/roadbook/.
If you are in South Africa you can also catch an exhibit of the work at JoaoFerreira Gallery until July 24, 2010 and in Johannesburg at Resolution Gallery of Digital Art through July 31, 2010. if you are in Europe you can see the work at Botanique Gallery in Brussel until July 18, 2010.
And speaking of poignant photographs, I did like Luca Bruno's (AP) image of Gerard Piqué of Spain comforting Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany after yesterday's game. You can see it at: www.nytimes.com or by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Done. (Sieger der Herzen)

Life's a pretzel and washes down better with a cold beer ;) ©Nina Buesing Corvallo

It's been almost a month of world cup madness. Today my team lost. But there is no shame in loosing to Spain. They won fair & square. Germany played well enough. Paul remains a winner. It's all good.

The German team still won my heart and I know they will be greeted with open arms when they return home too. They certainly delivered some spectacular play and made the summer a boat load of fun for Germans everywhere.
Modern Germany is much more comfortable in its (new) skin. And when you feel good about yourself, it is easier to roll with the ups and downs. Most fellow Germans interviewed post match echoed my sentiment (from Bild.de to Welt.de). And expressed their affection and pride for the Nationalelf. Fans even voiced their hopes for 2014! (Collective Optimism is a new one for us ;)

Ghana's (another favorite of mine) loss was more emotional, because unlike today's game, that was a match filled with controversy and strive. The Black Stars of Africa came so close.

As to the finals: Who will I be rooting for come Sunday, here in New Amsterdam? No clue. Neither Spain nor The Netherlands have won the World Cup before, so that's exciting. I guess La Furia Roja (what a name!) has an edge over the Oranjes, but you never know. Just like you never know what life has in store for you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

103 & 3:1

We reached a 102 degrees Fahrenheit in Manhattan today. And the Oranje remain undefeated.


more red, white & blue; you know it's hot when the hydrants are open ©Nina Buesing Corvallo

It's already a steamy 89 degrees Fahrenheit in Manhattan and it is not even 10 AM yet.
Supposedly we will make it to 101 degrees today which is the previous recorded record for July 6th and was reached in 1999.
It does seem that whenever we have an intense winter it is followed by an intense summer.

Speaking of intense, Uruguay is playing against the Dutch today. Uruguay has been playing well & aggressively and the Dutch haven't lost a match yet this world cup. Tomorrow Germany will play Spain, the Euro Champion. Let's not even talk about it. It's too intense.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New York, New York

Postcards from the Holiday Weekend. Stay cool New York. Black is the color of choice for New Yorkers, but you are better of wearing lighter colors during the heatwave. ©Nina Buesing Corvallo

We are in the middle of another heatwave. July is usually a scorcher in the city and this year this is most definitely true. I remember in my first apartment in the West Village I did not have AC and my cats laid flat like pancakes on the the bathroom tiles, flattened by the heat. Now in their old age they get the luxury of AC.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Hi Rona! Little footage from back home for you. © Nina Buesing Corvallo