Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 3 - Berlin

Day 3
1.Quotes of the day
3.How to find things when traveling
4.Take that, Bono

More matter with less art

The sun beat down upon the steps of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay.

70% chance of rain, so we dress accordingly in clothes that will dry fast. Do not take rain gear, it’s too hot for another layer.

Another slow start, up and out around 10:45. Off to our local S-bahn line to see how it works in reverse. No trouble, we even manage a smooth transfer to one of the U-bahn lines. First up, the Libeskind designed Jewish Museum, completed in1998. Fascinating, his building is next door, the only way in though is through the old building, which appears to be pre-war (making it unusual too). The new building contains several “empty” sections, called voids, which at least one you can enter. This void is about 3-4 stories high, with a ladder that starts up at least 15 feet off the ground. It is much like standing inside a Serra piece, pulling and pushing you with no visible means of doing so. Visit the garden (of exile) which contains 49 columns (7x7) with a willow growing out of the top of each (sort of a composite of the memorial of yesterday and the Goldsworthy that I think is on the roof of the Jewish museum in NY).

Contents are a history of the Jews in Europe. You walk up a long flight of stairs to the beginning of the exhibit, with the last flight ending up against a wall at the top (you get “off” before this last set of steps). The building is very much about making you disconcerted, odd angles, non-linear hallways, sloped floors..
After this, we head off to lunch, about a 20 minute walk to Hasir’s, a Turkish place where the namesake owner invented a new style of kebab called the doner. Try the kabobs, another plate that is schwarma on rice (similar to carnitas sliced thin, enough so we think this is pork though we know it isn’t). Both dishes come with side salad composed of tomatoes and onions (not the same salad, same ingredients and slightly different outcome). The kebabs come with thin tortillas and an oiled roll, other dish with same flat roll without oil. Two beers, $40 (cash of course, no Visa).

On the way to lunch, we stop at a schmuck (jewelry, pronounced shmoook) store and find some pretty decent artisan work. Our scout has her eyes open all the time!
After lunch, we head to a Turkish open market and to find the Zozoville art gallery, owned by a couple of Bay area artists, one of whom is the son of friends of friends. Before doing the market, we figure we’ll head to the gallery, another 20 minutes or so away. No problema…except when we get there, no gallery and not a hint of the artists. Down the street, a guy using a laptop is sitting in an open doorway so we stop to see if he has heard of or seen Zozoville. He speaks British English! He’s sitting in the doorway because it gives him better reception on an open wi-fi across the street. He does a search for us and finds out that the gallery is on a different street with the same name, 2-3 miles away.

We hop on the local U-bahn and head back to the open market; it is getting to be mid-afternoon, and no sign of rain, just intense heat and building humidity. Market is mostly fruit and fabric stands. We refresh with small glasses of fresh orange juice, $3.

Back on the local U-bahn and head to the correct Mainzerstrasse. Neighborhood is definitely more arty, and the heat is definitely building, we are walking the shady side of the street whenever possible. Another 20-30 minutes of walking and we’ve arrived! Oops, if we read the sign on the door correctly, the artists are summering in SF until July 11 (our departure date for Copenhagen) and the gallery is closed. Tempt fate, cross into sun and a local snack spot for our threesies, today a coffee milk shake (lost in translation when ordered by THB), apple kuchen (nothing lost here!) and soda for DB. $10 and soft couch to sit on in an empty place (this is the sunny side of the street). Short walk to U-bahn, this time an easy transfer to the S-bahn.

Do some local shopping for dinner: ½ kilo white asparagus (raw, we boil at apartment), smoked fish (two varieties), dark bread, lettuce and tomato salad, wine, $20 and leftovers for dinner tomorrow (NO asparagus left, all those soldiers died a very very good death).

Rain and thunder around 9:15 or so, too tired to notice much, fast asleep.

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