Showing posts with label Berlin Bleibt Berlin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berlin Bleibt Berlin. Show all posts

Friday, December 14, 2018

Random Barking Friday: Euro-Girls

Eee-Urrp u. Deutschland

All kinds of stuff is happening with Euro-Girls. This just another way of saying that it's year-end, and things at the Place O' Witless Labor are heating up so budget dollars can be spent. The Ghost Of Exmass Past has arrived, and that Guy With The Salmon Mousse is just outside. And the time and energy for Das Blog is slim.

So we offer The New and Improved Theresa May, struggling for relevance in a World That Doesn't Care.

But, let's skip To Hell With the politiki.  Woof ! Muss Sein. Es ist so:  Enjoy.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Berlin Bleibt Berlin

Berlin is a good town; in the arts, there's a great deal happening that's amazing -- and now yet another terrorist attack in Europe appears to have been carried out there, in the Charlottenburg district, near the Kaiser Wilhelm Church. At least twelve are dead and over fifty injured; the brainless coward perpetrator ran off is still at large.

Germans I've spoken to in the past few years have been very matter-of-fact in saying that they expected terrorist events to occur in their own country; and they have. This one happened against a backdrop of a million migrants seeking asylum in Germany, and a resurgence of rightist, nationalist politics which smacks of the nazis organizing before 1933 -- and no one thinks this attack will be the last.

Still, Berlin is a good town. Let's keep the people there in our thoughts.

Obligatory Cute Street Art Pooch: Jeder Deutscher Ein Tierfreund.
Berlin has more street art than any other capital city in Europe.
(Clicky = Bigger)

Friederichstrasse; The Checkpoint Charlie Museum
(Click -- Nett u. Spass !)

Night In a Restored Section Of Neukölln
(You Know The Drill)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Am Grünen Strand Der Spree


(Photo: Ebertstrasse, Berlin; ©Wikimedia Common)

 Unter Den Linden, Lovis Corinth, 1922

Thursday, July 12, 2012


What I'm Missing

Thunderstorm Over Berlin, June 29 (Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters)
Click On Image To Expand: Einfach und Spaß!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

...Am Grünen Strand Der Spree

A River Runs Through It

Bodemusee At North End Of The Museums Insel; Monbijou Bridge
At Left, The Pergammon Museum And Neue Galerie Further On;
Fernsehturm At Alexanderplatz In The Background (

If you know much about Berlin, you probably remember that the river Spree curves up through the city from the south, tracing a lazy S[pree]-shaped path back down before turning north again; eventually, it makes its way to the Baltic. It was the main reason Berlin came to be; the city began as two trading posts on either side of the river, southwest of what is today the Alexanderplatz.

Tour Barges Navigate Locks On The Spree At The Friederich
Bridge; Berlin Cathedral In The Background (

For hundreds of years, rivers in Europe like the Spree were the principal means of getting trade into the city -- everything from fish to timber, beer, hides, cloth and vegetables -- before the advent of the train and the automobile. Today, the Spree is a highway for tourists and some private traffic -- and the Wasserpolizei, of course.

UBahn Station At Wittenbergplatz; KaDaWe On Tauentzienstrasse
In The Background. (

...And aside from a river running through it, another kind of river travels through the city -- but that's for another post.

(Incidentally, these pictures of Berlin were taken by a vacationing Czech (or Slovak) in July of 2010. You can see their full photo collection of their journey around Berlin here.)

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Berlin Bleibt Berlin

The Wall At Potsdamer Platz; March, 2009 (Wikimedia Commons)

Because it isn't all about Angela, you know.

Sunset, 2009, Looking Southwest

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wir Sind Die Piratenpartei!!

Berlin Tells Chancellor Merkel's CDU: ARRRRRRR!

Harrrr! Und (Trotz Der Witze) Dann Ihr Hab Gesiegt!

Ooo. Here's some news: Elections were held in the Mark of Brandenburg and Stadt Berlin today -- meaning Germans were going to the polls, even though there was Bundesliga action on the teevee. And when Germans voluntarily give up watching soccer to vote, it's serious. Trust me.

The vote went decisively for the Center-Left, rather than Chancellor Angela Merkel's Center-Right coalition.

Per Bloomberg News, The SPD (Social Democratic Party, the Socialists), the main German opposition party to Merkel's government, "extended their 10-year rule in the German capital after beating Merkel’s Christian Democrats [CDU] into second place." Merkel’s coalition partner in the Brandenburg-Berlin Council, the FDP (Frei Demokratische Partei, or Free Democratic Party) lost all its seats in a Regional Assembly for the fifth time this year.

This appears to be significant, though Berlin's politics don't necessarily reflect the rest of the country. But, it's clear that voter sentiment towards Merkel's policies, principally the 'New Austerity', won't win her any votes and may eventually remove the CDU's Center-Right coalition in a populist-SPD comeback.

Klaus Wowerweit, the extremely popular SPD (and openly gay) Regierender Bürgermeister of Berlin, not surprisingly won an easy re-election. But most surprising of all, the Pirate Party, Die Piratenpartei (be advised their site is in German, so Gib' Ihren Deutsch An!), ran a slate of candidates on platforms of digital freedom -- principally free access to wireless and Net Neutrality -- and won a not-statistically insignificant 8.9% of the city-wide vote.

This is significant because even if a portion of those who voted Arrrrrrrr! did so as a protest, it means support for the coalition which pushes Merkel's policies is deteriorating. We'll see.

Meanwhile, Fünfzehn Mann auf des toten Mannes Schrankoffer - Yo Ho Ho, und eine Flasche auf Broadband! And three Hochs! for the Pirates Of Berlin!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Peter Falk, 1927 - 2011

I can't see ya, but I know you're here.

Ex-Angel: Falk As Himself In Wim Wenders' Wings Of Desire (1987)
(Photo: The Unstoppable dvdBeaver: Sing 'O Canada'. Right Now.)

He's on the other side of the fence, now, and for real. Those writing his obituary can fill in details of his career. I'll remember Falk for Columbo (which made him a household name, after nearly twenty years of paying his dues as an actor). But I also remember him for cameos, like the grandfather in The Princess Bride; and, particularly since he appears in one of my favorite films, Wings Of Desire.

Falk's appearance was a bit like Columbo's, an Everyman conjured up out of clay as common as yours or mine. He always seemed to pay his audiences the best compliment through characters that reminded us of our humanity -- that we face the same struggles in a world we don't know the meaning of; rumpled and preoccupied, but in a self-mocking, genial way.

Spazieren; that's what grandma would've said; 'Go spazieren'...

And, frankly: In a film, who else would you cast to portray a former angel but someone who seemed to have knocked about (and been knocked around) a bit; trustworthy, streetwise, but not cynical: Look, pal; we're all just tryin' to get by, here; so don't worry. We'll take care of it, whatever it is. Now, where did I put -- oh, it's here ; ah, good. Yeah. Now; where were we? Oh, right...

So another Mensch leaves us. And as I've observed before, the world has a limited supply of Mensches.
“This is, perhaps, the most thoroughgoing satisfaction ‘Columbo’ offers us,” Jeff Greenfield wrote in The New York Times in 1973: “the assurance that those who dwell in marble and satin, those whose clothes, food, cars and mates are the very best, do not deserve it.”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ich Hab' So Heimweh Nach Dem Kurfürstendamm

Berlin Webcam Near the Zeughaus, Looking Southwest Down The
Unter den Linden To The Brandenburger Tor; Neue Wache Hidden
On The Right, And 'Alte Fritz' In The Traffic Island At Center

Google Earth View Showing Approximate Position Of Webcam (Red
'X') And The General Berlin Vicinity (©2011 Aero West/Google;
Click For Larger Image. It's Easy And Fun!)

Monday, November 9, 2009


Vereinigung means 'unification' - and discussing the significance of the reuniting of Germany's West and Eastern halves would take more space and time than I have (as I'm posting this from my Place Of Employ™).

The main reason is, most people in the United States can't be bothered to understand what November, 1989 meant from a European perspective, not to mention a German one -- and while it's a little simplistic to describe it as the real end of the Second World War in Europe, that's close.

Germany's history is marked by both extremes of the human spectrum: High Culture, Art and Philosophy; Totalitarianism and Industrialized Genocide. Since 1918, Germans have been asking themselves, one way or another, How the fuck did this happen? Jeez; we were doing so well, and then -- bam! We're at war! Then, we lost -- and we're broke! We're pushing wheelbarrows full of money to buy a loaf of bread, and tomorrow it's two wheelbarrows! So we work like crazy, and pull ourselves out of the hole -- and then... bam! The Depression!

Thanks, America! Boy, we didn't see that coming!

Then this Guy shows up and starts yelling about Commies and purity and Germany, and how we don't ever have to be Losers, ever again -- we all said, Jawohl! All right! Yeah, baby! Then -- bam! We lost again! Except this time, we had the shit bombed out of us, and we're all complicit in over ten million murders!! Holy shit!

The 20th Century, for Germany, could be summed up in How am I going to live with myself after this? and What's going to happen when I get out of bed tomorrow?

When the Wall 'fell' (starting about three hours from now, twenty years ago), it was more than a reunification of a national group which shared the same language. It was the beginning of a process for the Germans -- and to a lesser degree, most Europeans -- to come to grips with their national, cultural and political past -- everything from the Holy Roman Empire to the Holocaust. They would have to answer the questions, Why? How? What does it mean to be German, after all this? and, Where do we go from here?

(Incidentally, as 1989, '90 and '91 unfolded, this was no less true for other parts of Europe, occupied first by the nazis and then by Stalin's armies. Some countries, such as Czechoslovakia and Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic States could do it without bloodshed, more savagery and genocide; Yugoslavia did not.)

Crowds Of Germans At Bochum For the 2006 World Cup

Germany has managed, in the past twenty years, to redefine itself -- without amnesia, without bankrupting itself, and without falling back on failed political models. A lot of people, in Europe and elsewhere, looked at its reunification with a sense of foreboding (not without reason) -- but, while no one should ever be allowed to forget what the Germans have been responsible for (and the majority of Germans, as it happens, fully agree with that), the face of Germany is also changing.

I was recently in a 1 California bus on the way to the Embarcadero, when I overheard a couple behind me, talking in German -- very unselfconsciously, with an assumption that no one else could understand what they're saying. They chatted about San Francisco, the differences between Berlin and American Intracity buses (Germany's = Cleaner, more fuel efficient; Muni buses "smelled like piss", and they couldn't believe the City alowed it), and seemed to have the same general feelings about life in These United States as most Germans I've met. They feel America has a long, long way to go, in almost all senses.

They were still talking when I got up to leave, so I turned in their direction for a few seconds. Outwardly, they appeared Indian, as if they'd just flown in from Mumbai, but they were speaking an unaccented German. Their cultural observations which I'd overheard were ganz typisch Deutsch -- and I considered: These are children born of parents who came to Europe in the waves of immigration during the 1970's and 80's, and are first- or second-generation Germans.

On my way off the bus, I had to move around them, and excused myself in German as I did so. I did it in part to be polite, and partly to remind them not everyone in America is a cultural moron -- and, like any German I've ever done this to in years of riding San Francisco's buses, they were surprised. Perhaps I shouldn't have been, but I was pleased.