September 9, 2008

wall to wall

Since the street fair on Saturday was my main reason for coming to Berlin, I've been mostly focused on events around it most of the time I've been here. Like any event, they stretch it out with other things for days before and after, and I was realizing that I had yet to leave the neighborhood since being here. Several people have also said I'm probably staying in Prague too long and may get bored, though I probably have to plan for at least a day or two of work to do in a hotel room, so maybe that would be okay. At any rate, I decided to book a nearby hotel and add an extra day to my time in Berlin. So I finally ventured out farther today. I started at the Jewish Memorial that I didn't know about last time I was in Berlin, though had unknowingly come as close as a block away that time. From there I wandered across where the wall once stood and through the Brandenberg Gate, continuing through whatever random streets I ended up on. I ended up down around Checkpoint Charlie - one of the most famed passages between East and West Berlin when still divided. Its still hard to fathom how recently this city was still split in two and try to imagine living in it that way. I met a friend later for a couple beers who mentioned that he had luckily moved here in 1989. When I asked him why he said 'luckily,' he said 'because I got to dance on the wall the night after it came down.' Can't beat that.

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