Sunday, October 15, 2006


The neon sign reads something like: All art has been contemporary. Which is true.


The Brandenburg Gate.

Postdamer Platz.

Ach... always in good taste.
This was a huge billboard plastered on the side of a 19th Century building undergoing renovation.

I went to check out Checkpoint Charlie and was disappointed to find out that the famous checkpoint is a replica of the original, which the Germans must have torn to shreds once the wall came down. As is customary, there was a prodigious, lengthy explanation about the history of the division of Germany, the horrors of the Communist state, the people who died or were apprehended trying to escape to the West. It dawned on me that for those Germans who had to live under communism right after living under war and Nazism, it could be fitting punishment for their misdeeds, but maybe not enough. Today, Checkpoint Charlie is also a tacky tourist attraction where enterprising buxom blondes dressed in Soviet uniforms get their pictures taken with clueless tourists. Still, the place is super interesting, the flimsy-looking border between freedom and repression, in the middle of a busy street in downtown Berlin.

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