Hackescher Markt, a little area just south of me, has a couple of fun rabbit trails leading to yet more beautiful street art. I have an almost limitless capacity for street art, apparently, but there’s so much here that even I’m getting a little jaded and all “yeah, it’s pretty… seen that… ok, that’s interesting…” about it all. Here are some highlights that got past my filters:
And this painted backdrop that looks so real
Overall, Hackescher Markt is pretty touristy but there are definitely a few things worth seeing outside of the square.
And for something completely different, how about the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church?
Mostly destroyed in the war with just this spire and entrance hall still standing after 1945. This is the roof inside the old church, complete with resealed cracks from the bombing
They “rebuilt” this church by leaving the old church standing but creating a new modern church space beside, around and attached to the old church. I think it’s an unusual choice since the two spaces could not look more different
Although the new space is quite beautiful with all that stained glass.
Hung on the wall of this new church is the Stalingrad Madonna
Lt. Reuber, a German soldier, physician and pastor, drew this Madonna and child on the back of a Soviet map during WW2 at Christmastime. He was subsequently captured by the Soviet army and died a POW but his letters and this drawing were flown out of the encampment on the last transport to leave that part of Russia and eventually made their way to his wife. This Madonna has since become a symbol of peace and reconciliation so copies are on display in the former Stalingrad, but this one is the original.
We checked out Bite Club, a food festival that happens on Friday nights.
It was fun, with many of the same vendors we saw at Street Food Thursday. That seating on the boat is quite cool plus it backs into an outdoor pool/beach club called Badeschiff
but still… nothing matches Street Food Thursday.
But while we’re on the subject of food, this is a dining room in what has to be the fanciest McDonald’s in all of the world.
That’s a crystal chandelier. I saw people eating off of real plates. But still with the red plastic chairs. I’m at a loss for words.
These guys are a notorious motorcycle club from Russia called the Night Wolves.
They’re here in town to commemorate the Nazi surrender that happened on May 9, 1945 and they drove here from Russia, though they were denied entry into Poland probably for political reasons since there’s no love lost between those two countries right now. In Russia they’re good friends with Putin – who occasionally rides with them – they’re associated with the Russian Orthodox Church and they’re funded by the Kremlin while also running tattoo parlors, rock concerts and the occasional shoot out with rival gangs. While trying to picture any scenario in which Obama rides with the Hell’s Angels, I think words fail me here too.
As a final note, this is Berlin’s most notorious after hours club
It opens at 2AM sunday morning and stays open until Monday. The stories from here are legendary and I’m hoping to see more than the outside but chances are I won’t get in as they turn away 8 of every 10 people in line. Matt, get ready because we’re going to see what we can do to get in.
If we do get in, you may (or may not) get a report.
Ok… that’s it! More tomorrow from Poland.