…Is a quote from President John F. Kennedy in a speech given 1963 in West Berlin. In President Reagan’s speech in 1987 he said: “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall” I remember this speech, but was already in the United States. He visited Berlin in 1982 and was met by tons of demonstrators. I lived in a commune in the district of Schöneberg right behind Winterfeld Platz, a hot bed for what seemed like daily demonstrations for or against something. It was an amazing time and place to be in. Our commune was on the fifth floor in a Belle Époque era building with no elevator. The heat was supplied by us going into what seemed like a dungeon like basement with dirt on the floor, minimal lighting and a musty smell. I remember I liked that smell though, old and mysterious, although I would never go by myself. With my enamel buckets in hand I would fill both with bricks of coal and ascend the 5 floors. Lots of times we would wait for the boyfriends to come to do this chore, lol. I found this picture on Pinterest to give you an idea just how beautiful my heater was. Floor to ceiling! Below that are pictures of the building today. Pink? Really?
When I moved in, the heater was an ugly black. Punks lived the before me, but I painted it a beautiful ivory. Today I would probably remove all paint and restore it to its original tile.
Sorry just rambling on. So aaaaaanyway, every time I come back to this city I still feel this same energy. Yes, sure, lots has changed, but also lots has not. It’s true, I think we tend to romanticize some things from our past, but having again spent more time here, not necessarily doing all the touristy things, but submerging in the local culture, I can honestly say, I could live here again. I recently mentioned this to my brother and he said: No. Remember: It’s summer now. People do not put on their ugly faces ”
He didn’t say ugly, but I can’t seem to find a good translation.
I don’t know, every town, every country and every government has its own good, bad and ugly side. I find the Germans friendlier these days for the most part. I already found that to be true when I came in 2017 with the fam. As long as they are in front of you at least. Different story when you have to deal with them over the phone. It’s complicated, nothing can be done, period!🙄
Berlin has always been one giant construction site. Always building, tearing down, and building again. I can only image what it was like the many years after the wall came down. They did an amazing job restoring the old neglected buildings and river banks in the east.
If you love art, you won’t have enough time to experience all that Berlin has to offer. From the old and traditional, to the modern and the underground, it’s all present.
I am staying across The street from an old air raid bunker that was built in 1943, initially to house up to 3000 Reichs Train travelers in case of an air raid, but soon was anything from a dried fruit storage, to a prisoner of war camp, to a hard core techno club among other things and was purchased by the artist Christian Boros in 2003. He lives on top, penthouse style and houses his acquired art in the remaining bunker. For €15 you can get a guided tour. Just waiting for my friend to arrive so we can go. There are still bullet holes from WWII visible.
I also went to a Dali exhibition that had some of his lesser known works of art. For an extra €3 you were able to take pictures inside. I took lots🤓
There is so much more. I’m finding out that blogging is not as easy as it might seem. It’s all still stuck up there in my head. I won’t give up though, or maybe I’ll get a ghost writer, or maybe it will just click one day and the flood gates will be released. 🤮
Auf Wiedersehen for now