Donnerstag, 15. September 2011

AlliiertenMuseum - Allied Museum - Musée des Alliés

All those passionate about WWII and Cold War should visit - for free - this museum situated in the middle of a quiet green residential area close to Krumme Lanke. The information displayed - in the yard and in the two separate sections - is available in German and English, you are offered movies documenting the daily life of the UK, French and American troops and the personnel speaks English. 

You can take pictures - without flash - or buy books about the West Berlin and the period following the end of the war. You need to spend here maximum two hours and at the end of the visit you'll conclude that it was an useful choice. 

The Hastings TG 503, produced since May 1946, the largest transport machine of the Royal Air Force, used during the Berlin Airlift

Checkpoint Charlie guardhouse - 1986-1990

The Strasbourg-Berlin French military trained, used till 1982

Memories of the Berlin Blockade

Douglas C-54 propeller

Remember the nuclear hysteria?

Berlin spy tunnel - A Reconstruction

French memories
A former outpost from the Wall

Enhanced by Zemanta

Eating out: Spice India

If you are around Ku'damm and hungry, try to find Uhlandstrasse 161 for a good Indian delight at Spice India. From the point of view of design, it looks as a combination of Thai - the Buddha statues - and Indian and Singaporean - the umbrellas -, with modern furniture. I was there around 4pm and wasn't very busy thus the service moved very fast. Happy Hours for cocktails from 6pm and Business Lunch offers from 12 to 4pm are also available. 

The menu is very rich and you can find all the classical Indian foods, with many meat-based choices. Two days after, no health problems - as happened in the case of another Indian restaurant in Berlin, so you could try it without worries. The prices are moderate and the service is worth a good tip.

The welcoming set: Indian bread and spicey sauces

Vegetables, rice and salad - a fresh choice

Bhatura bread, of course

Enhanced by Zemanta

Montag, 12. September 2011

Monday exhibitions' tour

In general, Monday is a quiet and lazy days for museums, but if you have some insights you'll discover that there are a couple of places where arts could be admired, sometimes for free.

One such an example is Automobil Forum Volkswagen, at Unter den Linden 21. Periodically you can see here interesting exhibitions. Long time ago I've seen an exhibition about salt, today I admired a couple of wonderful photographic trips across Australia, by Peter Jarver, an expert in capturing on camera the mysteries of storms. The corners discovered by him are an amazing invitation to go and live there, as you can deeply feel the freedom of the high distances and the colors of the wild nature. The exhibition is presenting for the first time some black-and-white photographies, the result of Jarver's exploration in the indigenous areas. Each picture - on purchase for prices starting from 1.100 Euro - is accompanied by a short explanation of the context the picture was took, in English and German. You can still visit it till the end of October.

As a good example of public diplomacy, the exhibition is also offering a short introduction into the works and life of Ludwig Leichhardt, a famous German scientists who explored Australia's wildlife at the end of the 19th century.

Another stop on today's visual adventure was Deutsche Guggenheim offering each Monday to the visitors free entrance. Until 9 October you can watch a collection of videoinstallations titled: Once upon a time. Fantastic narratives in contemporary video. There were plenty of people around, including the guides - nice youngsters offering explanations in English and German. A labyrinth of short movies, exploring the human condition in various circumstances - dealing with the daily mechanical work, the present projections and recreation of the past, the daily routine. The exhibition is an investigation of the ways in which the realities could be re-written and re-interpreted taking into consideration the smallest details neglected in the originary meta-narrative. 

Overall, it was a pleasant start of the week. Looking for other surprises kept in the Berlin's box. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Postcard from Unter den Linden

Today, on a very sunny day

Movies to skip: 1.Mai - Helden bei der Arbeit

This could be the worst movie about Berlin for me: a normal Mayday in Kreuzberg, where blind violence is the word of the day. Not even the 11-year-old Turkish kid Yavuz isn't spared as he is almost about to kill a Maoist/Anarchist freethinker/or freelancer he met on the street. Any single minutes you see blood, violence, aggression and anarchy, with or without reason. 

The kitsch of the characters and their actions is the bitter taste I got after watching this movie, telling maybe something about some people from some part of Kreuzberg. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

A short look at Robert Koch Institute

Every time some terrible virus is invading our quiet EU lifes, you'll hear for sure about Robert Koch Institute. Created in 1891 and headed from the creation until 1904 by Robert Koch who discovered the tubercle bacilus, it represents today the German federal institution responsible for disease and control prevention. Initially it was called the Royal Prussian Institute for Infections and Diseases. As all the German institutions, the institute wasn't secured of the National-Socialist bio-policies and after the war played an important role in the newly GDR health policies.

For the photographer, the Institute is having a rather humble appearance. A sober red-bricks buildings, but with nice Art Nouveau decorations. A place inspiring for meditation and quiet research in the industrial Wedding.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday stop in Westhafen

I wanted to visit Westhafen for a very long time but I succeeded only yesterday, running up and down across the city, looking to take the full advantage of the wonderful weather - followed by a storm, but still a wonderful weather. 

One of the main reasons for my curiosity was to observe the industrial architecture, old and new styles, as an interpretation of the change taking place in the history of trade since 1900 - when the port was fully established - until today. It wasn't possible to visit the port so I took a tour around and tried to understand the spirit of the place. 

The transportation to and from it's relatively easy, as you have U-Bahn, S-Bahn and buses relatively rapid.  Bayern factory is having its Berlin headquarters here, and many of the old buildings are getting a new colorful face. 

As everywhere in Berlin, you'll find enough traces of green and parks, many local restaurants and movie theaters. Maybe it is not the most wanted place to be in the city, but given the dynamics of the city, you'll never know when you'll read for one month in the newspapers that Moabit/Westhafen is the hottest location in the city. 

This is the reason why we've been there before and took some pics for our readers.

Dienstag, 6. September 2011

Sun Avenue, Berlin East

Ossi life
During the years of the Wall, Sonnenallee was one foot in the West - for hundreds of meters - and another in the East - for kilometers. I've been in the area for the first time a couple of months ago and I don't think I will visit the place soon: the high concentration of the social problems is reflected in the strange behavior of its inhabitants, mostly if it is late in the evening after a couple of beers. 

I couldn't resist the temptation to see the movie with the same name, introduced as a comedy, in fact a sweet-bitter comedy of the communist life as we wish to see years after we learned - or been teached - the daily practice of freedom. A book dedicated to the same Sun Avenue - Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee - was published shortly after the release of the movie, in 1999, and includes several individual stories of younsters' lives in East Berlin.

Teenagers from the wrong side of Berlin are living their "normal" lives: listening to rock music - smuggled from the "evil" West, challenging their brain-washed communist teachers, falling in love, betraying - when Stasi temtaption is high, getting drunk or making public apologies. You will find a highly neutral and humorous presentation of the daily life-style. Actually, it was normal for the citizens of the DDR to cue for food, to smuggle everything possible, to enjoy the pleasure of some cheap capitalistic luxuries - coffee, cigarettes etc. And maybe, if not the rock'n'roll, we would still need a passport to go in the East - of course, not for asking the citizenship of the "real Germany" but only for the fun of some anthropological experiments. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

The Egyptian Bazar in Charlottenburg

Egypt is a very fashionable common place in the intellectual conversations nowadays, and although I am trying as desperately as possible to keep politics away of the doors of this blog, I will make a little exception. More the sympathies for the latest events taking place in the Middle East - naively sometimes - merrier the economic and cultural opportunities (a kind of public diplomacy with impredictable effects).

The Egyptian Bazar from Charlottenburg could be such a good will messenger, although you could easily call it "Oriental Bazar": there are Egyptian models and products - some jewels are really interesting to look at and to buy, but there are equally products made in India or Singapore or Turkey or China or Morocco.
Though, a visit here is worth your time and you should take some savings with you as the temptation is big and the prices not as you can find in the 1 Euro shop.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Lazy sushi @Cube - Kreuzberg

Unusual enough, given the weather disaster in this wonderful city, today was a very sunny day and as I was hanging around Kreuzberg for various logical and less justified reasons, I decided to stop and taste some sushi.

Without any reason I took another decision: having a kind of fast luch at Cube, on Zossener Str. 18.

The offer was a couple of pages rich, with very cheap choices. And, for the first time in my life full of various Asian experiences, I was offered chopsticks made of metal. For hygienical reasons, but also from the point of view of the maneuvrability, I prefer the wooden ones, of unique use. But, anyway, I survived graciously the metal ones as well. 

The service was very fast - maybe too fast for my assumed laziness - and the (vegetarian) sushi acceptable - the rice a bit gluey. For 5 euro and something I got 18 small pieces - the avocado was the best - and a miso soup. 

The restroom is clean and the interior colorful enough to make you stay longer during the winter. Overall, it was a good choice for the afternoon. 

The Indian summer continue apparently outside!
Enhanced by Zemanta