Saturday, November 7, 2009


My first day of site-seeing in Berlin, and it was a doozy! We started off in Alexanderplatz*, which is sort of the center of East Berlin. They have they crazy TV Tower that looks like Sputnik on a pole. We walked around that whole area, which has a number of neat shops**, wide streets and was filled with people. The weather was sunny today, for the first time that I've been here, but it was still pretty cold.

We saw a couple neat art exhibitions. The first was Scorpio's Garden, which was just a sort of temporary gallery of contemporary art made by Berlin artists. The highlight was a video of a guy blowing up a raft with a tube connected to an accordian that he played.

Then we went to the German national museum for a retrospective on Berlin art during the Cold War. There was a bunch of stuff, some of it explicitly commenting on the division of Germany, and others more abstract. My favorite was the Literature Sausage made by an artist who would shred books by authors he disliked, add spices and wrap the pieces up on sausage casing. 

Finally we chilled out at this little coffee shop with a pig for a logo, where over the speaker a woman sang "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd in German. All in all a good day. Pictures soon and more fun tomorrow!

*"I've platz-ed myself" and "I almost platz-ed myself" have become my go-to comedy phrases for the time-being.
**One of them had nutcrackers. I was delighted to learn that the German word is Nusseknocker, or Nußeknocker if you're feeling sassy.