Who are we?‎ > ‎Manuel‎ > ‎

Manuel's Log

Casa Dolca Casa <3

posted Oct 24, 2009, 5:50 PM by Manuel Lombardi

Home sweet home questionnaire – part 1

"What is my home?” 

  • What is your definition of “HOME” and “HOUSE”?
    Whenever you come back home and for some reason you don't feel comfortable there, you say: "I don't feel at home", therefore home is a place where you feel comfortable... most of the time
  • With how many people (min. and max.) are you willing to share your home?
    Dependws mainly on the house: in a flat, although big, but on one single floor, I wouldn't share with more than 8 permanent residents, also because I like to host friends and strangers without feeling packed.
  • You are now living @ PHB: Permanent Hospitality Berlin. What does it mean for you?
    Oh, I don't live there :P
    But I can say what the name PHB means to me: that in building a living project, we are inspired by values of good hospitality: open-mindness, will to share, curiosity, respect.
  • You are now living in a houseproject (oder HausProjekt). Why did you choose so?
    Ah-ha. I choose not to move to the hausprojekt because it was unaffordable for me since the very beginning, and because I like to have private space. Well, not really "private", let say just space: example: I love making music. Where I live we have many many instruments, most of them shared (few days ago I decided to move my sinth in the living room, for everybody to play). In a small Hausprojekt like the Caravan I would just keep the instruments in a case and use them once a month.
  • What is the best definition for the people with whom you are sharing the house? Flatmates, family, tribe, group of friends, acquaintances, collegues etc...? Why?
    It's something really close to family, at least this is the relationship I always try to create, not always works
  • Living in PHB: what is great and what is awful?
    great: company, having people around willing to help you, hearing stories and sharing experiences, living always in a "traveller's mood"
    awful: having so many people around and trying to be friendly with everyone can lead to enourmous stress. Other issues are symptoms of this stress. Also seeing a great potential not making the most because of small but big problems (like lack of space, laziness, lack of organization or experience) is pretty stressfull.

Home sweet home questionnaire – part 2

"a new place?

  • Does the Project need a new place?
    Oh, yes! Better more new places! I dream of a network of small (and maybe also big) houseprojects in constant contact with each other, organizing activities together and sharing experiences. But better start with one new place...

  • Should we keep the Schoenhauserallee 146 WG and extend the contract or not? If yes, are you willing to take over the contract?
    I'm not willing to take over the contract :P
    And, after a deep analysis, it doesn't look convenient to keep that place.
    Moreover, changing is good!

  • How big a new place should be? Only one or several?
    Several, and not incredibly big. I'd say it would be ideal to keep the size less than 200sm, with no more than 12 permanent residents. The kind of place that suits me the most is around 100 - 130 sm, with 5 to 8 ppl

  • What kind of place? Living space, workshop/rehearse space, public place?
    Getting a spacial place for other activities is untimely and unaffordable. But I'd like to consider space for workshops in a living space. For me, having a "music room" is essential (like our current living room)

  • Which range of price? Rent or buy or squat? How much are you willing to pay?
    I consider too much when is more than 200€ per person. Buy is a strong decision, don't think anybody is ready. Squatting is unsustainable.

  • For how many people?
    6 to 12. Who's interested, by the way?

  • Are you going to move to the new place? For how long?
    Right now, I'd prefere to transform Big Pink in this kind of place, and here is where I put my efforts. In the future, maybe moving in a bigger place.

  • How do you prefere to manage the space? Common dormitory or private
    bedrooms? How many rooms and for which purpose?
    mmm, private rooms help you to have an active sexual life, and since sex makes you happy, and I want you to be happy, I support the idea of private rooms.
    The experience in Schoenhauserallee made me think there was (is) a room too short: separating living/workshop room from guest room would be good, for example.

Big Pink's map of cool stuff

posted Oct 15, 2009, 6:09 PM by Manuel Lombardi

Just wanted to share this with you.
So, if you are lost in Schoeneberg, you know where to get food. And I can just send a link to this page to all  new residents in Big Pink.

And of course you can suggest things in the comment.

Or get inspired and make a map like this of your area.

Reflections on our dreams

posted Oct 1, 2009, 8:10 AM by Manuel Lombardi   [ updated Oct 1, 2009, 9:14 AM ]

The title is too poetic: sorry, try to read it in a non-romantic way.
In the past months I spent hours talking about the project, now I'm going to write down my reflections.

Although we never tried to define PV in unique way, I realized that my vision of the project was different from anybody else's. Right now, it seems to me that ProjectVolunteering is:
- confined into the physical borders of the flat in Schoenhauser Allee 146
- focused on the minimization (does this word exists?) of private belongings
- led by statements and rules, more than by common sense
while the picture I had of this project as a baby was:
- structured as a network with various active partecipants, not necessarly living together, sometimes even living abroad
- focused on mutual sharing of ideas and knowledges
- led by common sense in a friendly way

everything changes, and now I see our dream vanishing and turning into something completely different I don't have anything to share with.

Few hours ago I watched this video:

I don't want to blame who spent his time in the making of this, but I feel it wrong in multiple ways. For the first 4 minutes I reapeted myself that it had to be a joke, something realized a long time ago in a moment of boredom, a bit like the signs "<--couchsurfers - humans-->" in the hallway few months ago.
Why I think is so terrible? because if you search youtube for "projectvolunteering" that is the only result, so I believe that whoever uploaded it thought it gave a good impression of the entire project. What I saw was Jeremie, singing and playing, listing what are the rules of the flat, showing proud the outbox with a full backpack inside, saying that you should "throw away what you don't use" and so on. I feel all this wrong because I thought rules were guidelines, not statements (don't you remember that "we don't know what is good for you"?); because I believed in reusing, repairing and recycling, not in throwing away, and also because nobody posted that video here, in the official platform of the project. If this is meant to be seriously an "educational video", I'm surprised in the most bitter way by who made it.
Ok, stop with the video now.

Often I asked myself why it's so great to live at the Caravan (as I still call the flat). My conclusion is that that place has several issues we are not able to get rid of:
- is expensive: the current residents spend 230€ monthly to mantain it
- is small, too small for 15 ppl (too small for 10, in my opinion)
- doesn't promote knwoledge sharing: there's no space for everybody to work, not to mention how difficoult is organizing workshop there. I'm still saddened from when I organized a food-photography workshop and someone asked me to have it at my place (big pink) because at the Caravan was impossible, then nobody came.
- is not anymore a party place, and lately not even a resource for couchsurfers
- is difficoult to find time to enjoy each other's company, as discussed in the past 2 meetings
Now I ask you, people living in Schoenhauserallee 146, why is still worth to stay there? I'm really, really confused, especially because I see many people enthusiast but not willing to change anything. At the past few meetings we only discussed about cleaning, collecting the rent and getting food; important issues, I believe it, but that's it?

At the Big Pink House often we discussed about ProjectVolunteering. We don't have a common conclusion or some relevant suggestion to improve the project, unfortunately, but fom those discussions I still have some open questions:
- why nobody (me included!) thinks is time to look for another flat?
- why many people is still pushing to live at the Caravan, even if it's obvious that there's no space for so many ppl?
- why nobody uses the website? I always found it a good tool to document everything!
- in february the contract will end and Vicky doesn't want to renovate it with her name. what is going to happen? the decision should be taken before november ends, why it's not discussed often?

WeekPlan 15-22.06.09

posted Jun 15, 2009, 3:46 AM by Manuel Lombardi

- Wednesday: goodbye Voku @ brunnen183
- Saturday: either Tempelhof or gay parade, or both
- record 2 minutes of music everyday
- study nutrition and panchakarma

Music from Big Pink volume 2 - The Food War

posted Jun 12, 2009, 6:40 AM by Manuel Lombardi   [ updated Jun 12, 2009, 5:38 PM ]

Take your knives and potlery, there's a war to win! Once again Big Pink has been invaded by free food.

Few weeks ago a new obsession conquered the hearts of some inhabitants of the Big Pink (Manu&Vicky): going to the Night Shop. In Berlin there are many Night Shops, even if we've already chosen our favourites: they are full of surprise (good) food, with scarce illumination, open all night long and absolutely free.
Last wednesday we found more food than we could carry, and we came back home with 2 big backpacks and a shopping bag full of veggies, as you can see in the pictures. Then started the cleaning part:


Good food for free is always appreciated. But we didn't consider that the same day we collected a lot of stuff from the turkish market... On Thursday having a huge vegan meal was compulsory.


The line-up:
Manuel: stove, wok, knives, chopsticks
Vicky: oven, cutting board, big-box-of-veggies
The Devourers: Manu, Vicky, Fernando, Jurgen, Dani, Seth (indirectely), Mariangela and who was at Big Pink at the moment

Later in the long afternoon we enjoyed the company of the youngest member of the Yellow Castle:



Grosse Gemuse Pfanne
Take a huge box full of green onions, broccoli, peppers, fresh green beans, aubergines, apples, carrotts, celery-like salad, garlic, ginger. Then you need tofu, salt, broth and (olive) oil [seed oil is also ok], coconut milk, gomasio. And few spices: oregano, cumin and Magic Paprika.
Set up:
- 1 or 2 cutting boards where to chop/cut/slice vegetables
- 1 pan to fry
- 1 wok to mix everything together. I used al lectric plate to cook with the wok, and the normal stove for the pan.
Prepare 2 glass of vegetable stack in the wok with boiling water, broth and spices.
Warm up the pan with oil and start fryng vegetables in this order: first garlic, green onions, broccoli, beans, ginger. Then peppers, white salad (?), apple, carrot. Then aubergines and tofu. As soon as the stuff is cruchy fried, tranfer it in the wok, where the stack is boiling on a low temperature. Once everything is inside the wok, add coconut milk and correct saltyness with gomasio.

A big lettuce, 2 apples, 2 peppers, cherry tomatoes, raddish, soy sauce, gomasio

Plum-Peach Chutney
Let garlic, green onions and peppers stir fry on a pan, add sugar and vinegar, then cooked peaches and plums and apples, stir regularly and cook on a low fire, add vinegar several times. Is ready when is creamy.

Vegan Cake with Plums
Ask Vicky

About Night-Shopping:

Things I would like

posted Jun 3, 2009, 6:32 AM by Manuel Lombardi

Here I list things I would like to be realised for the project, if you agree on some points please communicate it and we can work on them together

I would like to have an online discussion forum board, a new one, since the Google one is terrible and nobody ever used it. I think is quite unconfortable to use logs as threads for discussions, and there are many good free providers. Unfortunately I'm quite bad in making internet stuff, so I'll need help if we decide to make one.

I would like to realize ideas suggested when the project was a little baby: see this page

I would like to make language classes, it seems obvious since together we speak uncountable languages. If you're into learning some basic italian, let me know

I would like to introduce some good practices on our everyday life: critical consumption, dumpster diving, energy saving projects, recycling food, fixing things. Tell me if you're interested in workshops, I wouldn't like to organize activities I'm the only one interested in.

I would like to organize a series of theoretical/practical workshops about natural medicine involving Sebastian and Paul Br

I would like to start personal websites on the network. Is possible for everybody to create and administrate wikis on projectvolunteering.net. I tried few months ago with sustainable living, but I was too lazy to mantain it alone, so I'd like to delete it, transfer the content into a personal website (crediting your job, Anick & Tau ^_^) and talk about everything I'm interested in. I encourage you to do the same, unless there is some kind of technical limit.

I would like to "reconcile" some people we don't see in a while with the project: Jose, Sonia, Charlotte... where are you?

I would like to have more activities outside since summer is here. Even stuff we usually do inside: what about language lessons in Mauerpark? with chalkboard and everything? sounds cool to me!

I would like to restart playing music together!

Things I don't like

posted Jun 3, 2009, 5:21 AM by Manuel Lombardi

I don't like that the huge list of ideas and projects we planned together has been ignored
I don't like that most of the personal profiles in this site are empty or so
I don't like to push people to my interests, so I'll quit suggesting activities you're not interested in
I don't like the lack of organisation
I don't like that we're always partying
I don't like some behaviours I noticed recently, especially lack of respect (Christian)
I don't like you feel the need of scheduling everyday activities like cooking and cleaning (Jake)
I didn't like the pool around the tree, it was a pointless waste of water (water belonging to someone else, but still water someone should have used to drink or clean)
I don't like the lack of activities outside the Caravan and the difficoult way to pull people out of that building
I don't like food going rotten on the shelf without being cooked and eaten
I don't like my sleeping bag bag (sic) got lost when I left the sleeping bag at the caravan to be used by residents
I don't like the lack of a common shared vision on the project (but I like different pov on it)
I didn't like that, during the last meetings, a lot of people repeated: "I'm in the project because is cool"
I don't like the idea of promoting the project trying to reach the more people possible
I don't like the Caravan has more than 10 permanent residents and sometimes people living there loose the overview on who's there
I didn't like that some important activities were not communicated efficiently

Since I feel involved in the project as you are, this is not a j'accuse or a critic that doesn't involve me: I'm at least partially responsible for most of the voices in the list.

HalfWeekPlan - end of May

posted May 20, 2009, 6:36 AM by Manuel Lombardi   [ updated Jun 2, 2009, 4:20 PM ]

- Ill be in Italy next week, so:
  - Remember to pay the rent before! did
  - Remember to pay Mariangela's kaution before! did
  - Set up the room for eventual change on the fly almost, the change will be after the 4th Vicky managed
  - Find something nice to bring to my parents partial fail, but dad will appreciate Sambal Oelek and Sriracha
  - Wish a happy BBC to everybody

- explore new spots for dumpster diving and it was amazing

- write something in the berlininterestingplace page uhmm, I wrote something

In Livorno:
- manage the bank account and blablabla oh, yeah!
- Italian SIM card? maybe. (ma anche no)
- see friends mph
- see family did pretty well
- gather my stuff from p.zza 20 failed. No space in the backpack anyway
- take knives, musical instruments and other useful stuff I left there
- Eventually donate/sell some stuff bike to dad

WeekPlan 11-17 May

posted May 11, 2009, 3:12 AM by Manuel Lombardi   [ updated May 20, 2009, 6:35 AM ]

- Less italian Ok
- More work Ok
- Get to know new flatmate Alvaro (pron. àlvaro) Didn't see him at all
- Less italians
- Movie night Didn't see Alvaro
- Find something nice to read tonight (drink a book!) (MON) We'll drink a book somewhen else
- Return Kaution to Strauss Ok
- Aftermarket visit to the YellowCastle (WED) Ok (it was actually friday)
- Find a big jar and a bowl for the yeast Ok

WeekPlan 4 -10 may

posted May 4, 2009, 9:41 AM by Manuel Lombardi   [ updated May 11, 2009, 3:11 AM ]

The main task regarding the project by now is for me trying to understand wich direction are we taking. There are some new habits/decisions/behaviour I don't completely agree or feel comfortable with, and since I still think this situation is somehow temporary, I'll keep trying sending suggestions through this website.

I totally failed the main points of the weekplan last week:
be more present at the Caravan and suggest workshops. This week I will, instead, trying to understand the reasons why I feel like I cannot suggest anything interesting with the Project. I have many ideas about workshops, but they are probably not realizable now.
So, let's list the tasks regarding the project:
- Stimulate dialog and communication especially through the website   I consider this quite failed, especially regarding the bread workshop
- Think about open-air activities to realize instead of indoor workshops   Weather not so good
- Convince Lucian to put a sans-serif font for the recent site activity (trebuchet or verdana)  Tnx, dear!
- Musically Minded @ Big Pink or outdoor
   We had pastaMadre instead

out-of-the-project tasks:
- Turn the living room and/or the kitchen into a disco tomorrow night (WED)  We didn't, too tired
- try Jelly (
jellyberlin website ). You should try it to, maybe!  JellyBerlin need a new host!
- breed 1 kombucha baby and give it to someone interested and interesting  The Kombucha baby is ready!
- visit the small thing without name and his parents at the Yellow Castle, maybe cook for them and bring vegetables from the market (WED)
  Dani and the little thing were happy ;)

1-10 of 24