Goodbye Berlin Wall
With over a million visitors attending the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this week all eyes have been on that fair city. The fascinating and frustrating 30 year closure of part of this historic and controversial European city to the world is once again examined retrospectively. Usually, walls are made to keep something out, whether or not human, but the Berlin Wall was raised for a reverse purpose: to keep its inhabitants in.
For a generation of folks, the Wall, by and large, did just that, except for the occasional, often unfortunate, escapee. Today Berlin is an irresistible mix of a state that previously existed and modernism, wrapped up in a not so homogeneous spread along the River Spree. It is this diversity urban environment that is begging to be explored. A vibrant nightlife helps too. On a superficial level there is something different about Berlin that entices you to stay longer, change plans and linger to discover districts and locales, antiques and people, canals and statues, parks and boulevards, architecture and gates, platz and galleries. The urban art scene exemplifies this lure, public art is everywhere, and obviously not discouraged, under train bridges, in parks, alleys, street corners, restaurants, plazas and canals. The Berlin Wall is one continuous public art mural preexisting the fall of the Wall. East Side Gallery has been preserved as an international artistic expression memorializing freedom. You can feel the power of the art.