Avant Garde Galleries
Walking through the Mitte district, we ran across several small art galleries featuring contemporary and conceptual art works scattered throughout the area. One of the best known is the Daad Gallery featuring on our visit the work of Damian Ortega, a Mexican born Berlin resident. Formerly a political cartoonist, his wry sense of humor is evident in his most famous works. Cosmic Thing was a deconstructed Volkswagen with the parts hung from the ceiling as the parts would appear in an instructional manual. Controller of the Universe, the featured piece in this exhibit, is comprised of everyday tools arranged to appear as if exploding from an invisible central point. Most of these galleries change exhibits fairly frequently - we visited several on our walks and found them most interesting and enjoyable.
Two Berlins from 1945 to 1989
Berlin was divided after World War II. Every part of the allies got one part of Berlin to control.
Zehlendorf, Steglitz, Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, Tempelhof and Neukölln were in the American sector.
Tiergarten, Charlottenburg, Spandau and Wilmersdorf formed the British sector.
In the French sector there were Reinickendorf and Wedding.
Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, Pankow, Weissensee, Hohenschönhausen, Lichtenberg, Marzahn, Hellersdorf, Treptow and Köpenick were in the sector ruled by the USSR.
The Western and the Sovjet allies couldn't agree on anything though. When the West wanted to put the East under pressure the Sovjets blocked all roads to West Berlin in June 1948. This blockage lasted until September 1949! West Berlin was provided with food, coal and everything they needed by allied planes from the air during this long time. This part of German history is called "Luftbrücke".
On 13 August 1961 the East built a wall that divided Berlin. Over night people who lived in the same street couldn't meet anymore. The people in the East were "trapped". People who wanted to escape were put in prison (if they were lucky!) or shot at the border. The wall wasn't only a wall, there was a death zone behind it on the Eastern side with everything that kept people from escaping (Machine guns, dogs, self shooting mechanisms, watch towers etc)
After a lot of people demonstrated for freedom in 1989 and other seeked asylum in West German embassies in Budapest, Prague etc the wall fell on 9 November 1989. A spokesman of the East German parliament accidently announced the opening of the border for the same day in a press conference. Now the people couldn't be stopped anymore, they climbed the wall in that night and started to destroy it bit by bit.
This happened only half a year after the last wall victim lost his life at Berlin wall...
as I usually come for business...
as I usually come for business there´s always few time to look around - though I like walking in early morning hours along the river Spree enjoying the light and the marvellous buildings along the river side ...
If you're young and you like the fashionable and non-expensive clothes, these 2 stores are for you. You can find H&M mostly anywhere else in Europe, but I think Orsay is exclusive to Germany. However, you will be able to find some neat clothes here and you won't believe the prices... Being everything sooo expensive in Europe, you wouldn't expect to find a cool blouse or skirt for 10-15 EUR .... But there's some great stuff in these stores, and you can buy several nice things even if you don't have a lot of money. I even bought lingerie here, and everything they have is cool. So take a look! Anything you like: dresses, blouses, skirts, jeans, lingerie... I guess my best deal was a black mini skirt which cost me 9 EUR (at H&M) and a sexy black top that was only 7 EUR (at Orsay)... Can't imagine what the prices must be when the big sales are on!!!!
A taste of America
A bar with great atmosphere and jazz music.
The menu is mostly new American style with things like Jerk chicken , blackened catfish and not to forget great burgers.
The prices are reasonable and there is a choice of about 150 cocktails! Casual