I only have one 3 weeks left in Berlin! I’m already getting sad about leaving and wishing, of course, that I could stay here through the summer. The city is just beginning to open up under all the sunshine. I can see all the festivals and warm weather in the future and I want to be here for it! But… I have other things I need to do so I know I’ll head back to the states in 3 week. However, until then I need to suck up as much Berlin as possible before I go.
Street art! Do I sound like a broken record yet? I’m just astounded by the amount of color and art in this city. I feel like I could live in this city for years and see something different on these walls every single day.
Jon and I went down to the Kreuzberg neighborhood yesterday. Kreuzberg is the home of the May Day riots and also where the punk rock scene was huge in the 70s and 80s. It’s still a gritty colorful rough neighborhood but it’s getting more gentrified, pushing the hipsters, artists and rockers down south to Neukolln. But there’s still a lot of street art everywhere in this neighborhood, perhaps more than any other single area of Berlin.
This mural of the cosmonaut by Victor Ash is one of the landmark tags in the neighborhood. Like Banksy, Ash is a former tagger whose work now goes for thousands of dollars in galleries around Europe.
Street art doesn’t tend to last long around here. Even giant tags get painted over. But this one went up in 2007 and it’s still survived.
I love the range of street art, from massive wall sized pieces like this creepy guy who gives “lost in the crowd” a whole new meaning
to small emotional reminders, like this one.
I love the expressiveness of a few simple lines and two colors
Is that his heart? someone else’s heart?
And of course the political statement
Pointed at anything particular? perhaps just the whole neighborhood.
Kreuzberg has a large Turkish population so it was fun to see these ladies in their koffee klach
And the Oberbaum Bridge over the River Spree represents some of the oldest architecture in the neighborhood with beautiful brick vaulting
This bridge leads into the neighborhood of Friedrichshain where the remains of the Berlin Wall and the East Side Gallery line the water. Jon hadn’t seen that part of the wall so we went down and walked the length of it.
It’s a silly photobomb but the painting as a lot to say about choice and who has it. Every time I see these paintings and the wall I’m reminded to be grateful that I have so much choice, in large part because of sacrifices others have made on my behalf.
This is a good reminder.
We ended the day at Street Food Thursday at Markthalle in Kreuzberg and it might have been one of the best food experiences of my life. More about that tomorrow.