A sand dune in the forest, and a concert in a living room.
It’s been difficult to catch up with last week–so many things going on! With every week I grow a little bit more infatuated with Berlin’s arts and entertainment. There are seemingly endless concerts and showings; two weeks ago was a cozy concert in a little bar named Laika; last week was progressive folk performance in a little theater with a little bar and little living room.
Last week’s band was Hans Sølo feat. Streichmetall, a string-quartet wielding experimental folk band. They had a few terrific songs and I’m excited to watch and see where they go from here. Also impressive was the cello+saxophone opener that played self-arranged selections from icons such as The Doors and ZZ Top.
Really I think I want so badly to go to these shows because of the German crowds–so far they’ve been cheerful and supportive, and it’s rare to see someone watching the entire concert through the screen of their iPhone. I wish I had more to pictures to share, though I only felt comfy taking pictures between songs.
Berlin also has tremendous parks, the largest of which is the Grunewald (Green Forest). At some 3,000 hectares, there’s plenty to explore. It’s a beautiful place, though mostly deciduous trees. I cannot wait to see the trees leaf! We found the Grunewaldturm (tower) along a 4km jaunt from the S-Bahn station, and took a terrific retro bus back towards civilization.
I wrapped out the weekend with the Flea Market at Mauerpark on Sunday! It’s a huge place, with a few hundred vendors and lots to eat, drink, and bargain. Great finds included Moroccan tea served from a samovar with fresh mint, and a used German translation of a David Sedaris book. I’ll definitely have to go back to pick up some measuring spoons so that I can start baking(!)
More sobering this weekend was the FU-BEST trip to KZ Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp located barely 30 minutes north of the city. It was a terrible place of organized violence and genocide, and as I witness each of these sobering memorials I think my confusion grows. I don’t understand how an entire nation can be perverted in such a way, and I certainly don’t understand how the murderous SS guards could just re-enter society after the war (or after some prison term.)
I wonder sometimes about how these sites effect others; it’s off-putting to see the little group of German students giggling their way through a museum with artifacts of torture and murder. It wasn’t their crime, nor their generation, but the threat of repeating history is very real (in all nations.)