I wrote almost half of this post on a piece of paper in a japanese restaurant today but I don’t want to copy and paste so I’ll write another “version”, here, from scratch. I don’t know why but it’s the second or third time I’m feeling this urge of writing and I keep asking random people for a piece of paper to write onto.
Today began with me saying goodbye to my room mates and finding myself alone in a 6-bed-bedroom in the hostel. 10.20pm and I’m still the only one in the room. I think it’s the first time I get to be alone in a half-empty hostel, it must be the time and the weather. Only crazy people do this kind of trips in winter.
My phone is definitely gone, I bought another one at the T-Mobile store next to this building with a prepaid card. Now I have a German SIMcard and a phone number that I don’t remember at all, who knows if they will come in real handy someday.
American Gods. I started reading “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman. I’m already at page 107, I didn’t know anything about it, I just bought it because I liked the cover and the title. Crazy luck, right? I think I’ll end my day reading another hundred or so. I keep reading (instead of taking pictures) on the S-Bahn and U-Bahn. I also noticed that with a little courage you can travel for free. There are no turnstiles and I have yet to see a ticket inspector. In and out, just like that. I have a weekly ticket anyway.
Sun. As soon as I climbed up the stairs at Orianenburgerstrasse S-Bahn station I saw the rays of lights hitting the buildings, the air felt chilly but there was no wind. Something clicked and I started smiling. It takes a little to change a day. Everything went smooth from there on.
C|O Berlin. It’s the kind of place I would like to put my photos on exhibit if I was a “real” photographer. The spaces are great, there’s a lab for kids, they promote young photographers and sell prints right there. They have a small collection of books too. Very nice. I went there to see Peter Lindbergh’s exhibition, he needs no introductions. His photos (some never published before!) were printed hugely, the kinds of things I like the most. I hate going to galleries and have to crawl 2 centimeters from the picture itself to do my “mental scan” and memorize the details. Huge prints, forever. I would have liked going to an Avedon’s exhibition, he was famous for his huge prints! Going back to Lindbergh: the photos were exquisite, as you know I love to stare in the eyes of the portrayed people and he photographed glimpses of the souls of many beautiful and fascinating women. Some of my favourite pictures of the exhibitions are Jeanne Moreau’s, Kate Moss’s and this one. Some photos were covered and there was a message saying that due to a controversy between the photographer and the model (Veruschka) we weren’t able to see them. That’s a pity. I managed to see some of them through a video that was rolling in one of the rooms. Take that, Veruschka :P
New Synagogue. Still in Orianenburgerstrasse I just walked like 2 minutes and entered the new synagogue. After an X-Ray inspection I realized that I was tricked. There was no synagogue to see, just a museum of the Jewish life in that community and about the reconstruction of the synagogue after Nazi’s raids and the bombings. I climbed up to the dome too but I wasn’t allowed to take pictures so I can’t share the view of Berlin from there, sorry!
Kunsthaus Tacheles. Asking the policemen right outside the synagogue I easily reached the Tacheles. I don’t have words to describe it. It’s amazing and odd at the same time. Imagine an entire building covered inside and out with posters, stickers, graffiti and so on. At the ground level there is this artist doing amazing sculptures with iron. Inside the building there are other artists: painters, sculptors, graffiti artists and on. I saw some posters about teaching sessions and about workshops. It seems a collective of artists right in the centre of Berlin.
I then went into a Japanese restaurant, I was actually heading to a thai restaurant to be truthful but I entered the wrong door while I was looking around. Thankfully I feel at home inside a japanese restaurant so I stayed there. I stayed there and I stayed there. Watching Berlin’s stream of life flowing outside the window’s. The Ramen I ate was perfect and the soup warmed my cold bones. The strangest thing happened: a german girl approached me asking if I was some guy named Leonard that she met years ago in New York. I wasn’t but my “saudage” for the US awakened a bit. I’ve never been in the US but I feel like I have to set foot there, the sooner the better. Perhaps it will be my next trip, if I find the money.
I payed the bill, put on my furry hat and with “American Gods” in my pocket and I left the premise and went underground. I was satisfied and now I have a bit of Berlin in my mind.
ps. now I’m going to have a drink with Rocio and a friend of hers. Rocio is a spanish girl whom used to live in Sacramento, California. She’s trying to find a job in Berlin because there are no jobs for a business major where she comes from: Andalusia in Spain. The unemployment and the crisis are hitting the Spanish very hard.