My mind is now flowing backwards against time. I was going to update all the photos that I so ambitiously promised to post when I am back in the hotel room. Well, I am now back in my Singapore bedroom, yay!
So let’s start with Berlin (East).
Then again, honestly, I really can’t tell which is East and which is West, because it is not clearcut compass direction. First photo is definitely Berlin East looking at Berlin West, because that is where the wall was. I walked along the wall and its graffiti for a long stretch while waiting for the rooftop party to start. The building (hotel?) had its roof sticking up above the wall, and a sign of the divide too, I suppose. As compared with the concrete buildings of high density in rudimentary design in the second photo. Exactly looking like the public housing in Singapore which is way higher density, and ironically, I am writing from one of the little pigeonholes in the block of Singapore. Other telling sign of it being East is that there are tram lines. So I guess, the third picture of the glass building with a round of graffiti must have been East too. I like the graffiti all over town. Third photo is taken from my hotel, which is definitely East. I had currywurst even back in the hotel because .. well.. because it has turned into a habit, I suppose. I had been snacking on currywurst every now and then.
Next, let’s stop at Checkpoint Charlie. Pretty amazing, Berlin must have been a very precious pie that everyone wants a piece of. It was cut into American, French and British, and of course Russia. Checkpoint Charlie was the point of entry/exit between American and Soviet (Russia? Soviet? I cannot be politically correct because I forgot my history class). Not sure if it’s a new thing or always been there, but the KFC and MacDonalds were smack in my face when I reached.
Okay, then comes the rest of Berlin. The rest because … I seriously have no idea which part I am, but presumably West. 🙂
The riverside is very calm and zen, without loud buildings cuddling too closely together, unlike most other cities I have been to. That was probably why I was initially feeling like, “hey, this city has no character”. Their character is they are happily spacious and happily sprawling.
There was an area which had many civic buildings – churches, cathedrals, City Hall, concert halls, etc. I passed by a huge square which had many people relaxing and sunbathing in their chairs or mats, and enjoying the opera. The opera was happening indoors, and they projected it outdoors. If I had more time that day, I would have just lazed there for the whole concert, with a Moscow mule in hand.
I walked to my friend’s neighbourhood while waiting for the party to start, and it was really lovely. There was alfresco dining all around, and everyone was looking really chill. I did not take any photos because I was enjoying the atmosphere too much. There were also huge parks around, and they were usually outside some civic buildings. For example this gorgeous brick cathedral in the neighbourhood. I never took any liking to brick buildings before, but this one is really cool. Never thought brick can make something so pretty.
Next comes the Berliner Dom! Dom means Cathedral, I think? But visually, it just means nice pretty Dome to me. 😀 (ditsy description … don’t tell people I teach architecture. 😀 )
The building opens to public! There is access all the way to the top. But there was warning every few levels to say how many more levels to go. I was thinking of how many more kilometres I have to go, and thus gave up on the elevational gain just for a view on top. The staircase was murky and dark, I doubt I can make it to the top. The circulation was funny, the exit was through the crypt. For the unknowing, it means you have to walk through a “grave yard” for kings, queens and royal children, in order to get out of the building. Then again, it is symbolic of life too, isn’t it? Death is part of life. And then we move on.
Lastly…. the Jewish Museum… by Daniel Libeskind. I talk enough about it in design studio, so I shall just post pics here.
If you click into my Instagram, there is one video which features an artwork (very contextual artwork! very cleverly done. Remember to turn on the sound) that has tonnes of heavy steel anonymous faces dumped on the ground. We are allowed to walk on it. When a person walks on it, the sound of the steel on top of one another is really really heavy. And the space, ohmygawd, the space is very enclosed and very high. It makes the echoes really painful to bear, one can feel that emptiness. And that pain of the void. So heavy, so painful.