Sonntag, 8. Dezember 2013

Just another busy Sunday in Berlin

We planned for a long time to have a full time day out, with as many activities as we can do together. Despite the cold and the water on the street and even some wind, we decided that should happen today, the 8th of December. As I already decided that this month will be very busy for me, it received exactly what I was looking for with an open heart and a camera ready to take more pictures.
A couple of years ago, I received a nice shawl with a Mucha imprint that is still part of my special wardrobe. I saw some of his works in Prague and on postcards, but was never thinking of a connection between this Art Nouveau master and Manga illustrations. At the Brohan museum, there is a new temporary exhibition outlining not only the connection with the hippie/psychedelic times - the music covers for Rolling Stones, Santana and Jefferson Airplane are the living proof - but also the influence on various modern Japanese pop culture. I was not extremely convinced about this missing link, as Mucha seems for me much richer, generous with the traits of its characters and with a diverse register from the natural world. Maybe the only sure reference is, in my opinion the flying hair of the women. 

With this thoughts in mind, we took the bus for the main point of our schedule: watching Snow Queen at the historical Zoo Palast.

For the sake of the travel writer, we bought tickets for the biggest hall and with the 3D glasses ready, we waited that the small children running around the comfy chairs are getting tired and ready to watch the movie - spoken in German, as we are used already, but the language is very easy. We munched the salty popcorn delivered in very decorative boxes, almost mesmerized by the red ambiance of the room. The advertising lasted only a couple of minutes, after which we watched for a couple of minutes a short black-and-white Mickey and Minnie movie, intercalated with colourful 3D fragments. It followed our Snow Queen: a good animated story, with funny characters and a wise message: know how to control your gifts with love, otherwise the effects can be destroying. At the end of the movie, we had a look at the VIP Lounge with many glasses of champagne at the bar, but we did not have too much time to consider 'should we stay or should we go', as the answer was: the next!
Zoo Palast, whose part of this side of Berlin cultural geography since 1915, just re-opened a couple of days ago after massive reconstruction and most probably there will be many more occasions to attend movies here. 

I was requested to go to see the Altes Museum exhibition, Predators and Prey, featuring the Roman mosaic discovered in Lod, close to Tel Aviv. Since September 2010, the interesting representation of animals brought there by the Romans from far away for fighting purposes, is on a journey around the world, before being brought back and set in a dedicated museum: Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Center. The realistic and naturalistic representation - even the traces of blood from the wounded animal do have their small pieces of stone - decorated the reception room of a large Roman villa around 300 CE. The surface of 7,2x4 m. is made of thousand of pieces of stone and glass, made of multi-layered bedding of mortar and cement, a common technique at the time, apparently. I never thought that a modest mosaic can be so powerful and this kept us busy for around one hour, turning around and trying to make some stories in our mind about those times.
Besides the rush and crowded streets, the good news for this time of the year is that the shops, most of them, and especially the big commercial centers are open. For the rest of the day out, we wondered around Potsdamer Platz, with a generous stop to check if we really don't need something very urgent for our wardrobe - we did the same last evening, but you never know. We tried to keep everything under control though - especially our budget - and went back home late in the afternoon, ready to sip the good coffee that can be prepared only in the home sweet home. 
And this is just the happy beginning of another busy writing book of discovering the city, its people and its tastes.

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