Berlin Stuttgarterplatz

Stuttgarter Platz is where my pension is.  I always liked the novel Berlin Alexanderplatz.  Must get to Alexanderplatz before I go.  It’s not far.

The Germans like food.  The streets are crammed with restaurants and food stores, there are little food carts on the street and the main transit stations all have food courts.  And nobody is giving up carbs. Or gluten. It´s all pastries, bread and pretzels.

Yesterday I was in the Gemaldegalerie (Picture Gallery). Spent almost 3 hours among 13-18th century masterpieces – Ruebens, Rembrandt, Botticelli et al.  I felt exhausted.  One of the last rooms was early Christian altars and icons.  I love those! But felt like crashing to the floor.  I had to sit for a while in the foyer, then I managed to get over to the Berlin Philharmonic building nearby for a lunchtime concert.  Handel arias.  Fantastic.  Also saw another church and a few more museums and generally admired the amazing architecture.

Also went to an museum of early music intruments.  Loved the old harpsichords and spinnets! I saw Frederick the Great’s harpsichord.  It folds up.  And there is a tiny painting of a little cherub blowing a flute from out of his rear end.  The king had a sense of humour.

A lot of buildings in Berlin are low – 5 or 6 storeys – so the sky is always a great expanse above.  This makes the parks seem larger as they are not hemmed in. It’s a different feel from Vancouver anyway (mountains and a huge amount of tall green glass buildings downtown). And an extraordinary building is not diminished by higher ones behind it.  It gives the city a great feel.  Bike paths are incorporated into sidewalks which is great, but pedestrians have to watch where they walk. Or get taken out.

Saw Hermann Goering’s Ministry of Aviation Headquarters.  Classical Fascist architecture.  Very creepy.  The Soviets put a `happy citizens/workers` mural on it.  But maybe it should have been torn down.  Hitler´s bunker is gone and is a children’s playground.  No signs point it out.

I found a large metallic-blue, balloon sculpture by Jeff Koons on Marlene-Dietrich-strasse, in the shadow of Daimler’s super-stylistic headquarters.  I got up close to photograph it, for a laugh – to get my reflection on it in the photo.  I am like a tiny black fly on it.  Then I thought, I could probably have a whole career as an artist – just photograph my reflection in other people´s art and show it.  Hey….!

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