Monday, January 24, 2011

From New York to Berlin

Berlin could become the victim of its own success. Robert Mapplethorpe, the late New York gay activist and photographer has an exhibit at Gallery C/O Berlin at Oranienburger Strasse, at the former Postfuhramt near Tucholskystrasse. C/O Berlin is showing all of his pictures, including the ones that have been censored by various galleries for being ... well, to gay, and too shocking. The exhibit will tun until March 31.

Oranienburger Strasse, an avenue that stretches from Hackescher Markt to Friedrichstrasse has, however,  turned into a tourist mile after 1990. Now an investors group has bought the Postfuhramt. They want to turn it into a hotel. At first, they had promised to C/O Berlin that they can stay, now it looks like they're out on the street. But why would tourists visit if the cultural places they are coming for are gone?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Streetcar Named Time Machine

Berlin has a new attraction: A city tour for only 2.30 Euro. Well, not really, but you can actually ride one of those old-fashioned tour buses where you can sit on the upper deck for the price of a regular metro ticket. Which is 2,30 Euro. This is because the BVG - the city's transportation agency - has run out of buses. Really, they have run out of buses because some subway lines are being repaired, the S-Bahn is more or less defunct, so they need more buses to replace subway and S-bahn cars. This is why they are sending everything back on the street they can get their hands on, including museum cars usually used to chauffeur tourists up and down Unter den Linden.

On the plus side, the S-bahn is not late any more, because the average speed was reduced from 80 to 60 kilometers an hour (about 40 miles an hour). In 1933, when the S-bahn from Wannsee to Downtown switched to electricity, it ran with 140 kilometers an hour. Berlin is the only city in the world where you can actually time-travel while riding public transportation, but sadly, just in one direction.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Airport and Airlift

Here is some interesting news from Berlin: The Allied Museum at Clayallee is thinking of moving to a bigger space. The museum is devoted to the Airlift and other historic events of the Cold War; it houses quite a few airplanes and other objects from that period. However, most of the planes are being kept in an outdoor area, so they are suffering from rain and snow, especially now. The museum is considering to move into the famous, but now defunct airport Tempelhof, the world's biggest building (in terms of bulk). In any case, that might take a while.


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