Stories From California

Sometimes I want to write more than just journalistically about my experiences as a reporter. That is why I started to write down my thoughts, observations and emotions beyond scripts for radio, print and TV. This experiment is a lot of fun and scary at the same time. But, as they say, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

Who is Oprah?

“What exactly does she do?” “Didn’t Tom Cruise go crazy on her sofa?” “Doesn’t she give away cars every week?” “Isn’t she one of the richest women in America?” “Didn’t she run for president once?” Germans ask these kind of questions when the conversation turns to Oprah. Most Germans would not recognize the world’s most popular and influential talk-show-star if she were drinking a beer next to them at the Oktoberfest. The Oprah show has been broadcast in almost 150 countries worldwide; Germany isn’t one of them. Unless you count a small selection of her shows on a very obscure network.

Erdnußbutter und Entenfett - Gourmetimbiss für Hunde

Der butterkeksfarbene Kleinlaster, der durch Los Angeles fährt ist beklebt mit einer bunten Speisekarte, die für Kekse und Speiseeis wirbt:

Joghurt-Eisbecher Hamilton, Geschmacksrichtung Erbsen, Erdnussbutter und Speck. Für den Truman wird Erdnussbutter-Eis mit Johannisbrotstrudel gemischt.

No-Frills Mindfulness

First I thought I had written down the wrong address. Looking for the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, I was certain I was going to see lush gardens, floating lotus-flowers on a lake and at least one Buddha-Statue. But no--as it turns out, there were no such things at this center. It is on the second floor of one of the nondescript office-buildings you can find anywhere in the United States. The practice room is a converted conference room; the huge flat screen television still hangs on the front wall and mercilessly shines light on meditating students.

Los Angeles - eine Fahrradstadt

OK - die Überschrift it etwas irreführend. Los Angeles macht es Radfahrern nicht gerade leicht. Genauer gesagt, ist es an den meisten Orten der Stadt geradezu haarsträubend gefährlich, sich auf zwei Rädern in den Verkehr zu stürzen.

Veterans: “I’ll Get the Story Out!”

More than two million US Veterans live in the Los Angeles area. Most of us might not be aware of them unless we see them asking for help at an intersection. We rarely hear the stories of their lives --which are indeed influenced by military experience but really, so much more than that.