Monday, December 19, 2011

Berlin! Berlin! Wir fahren nach Berlin!

I still haven't had a chance to get out and photograph anything recently, so I'm reaching back into the Europe bag one more time (at least). My favorite big city in my 2004 trip to Europe was Berlin. I was really intrigued by the city: the West looked like so many other European cities, but the East was a contrasty enigma; everything was either run-down and concrete from the Soviet Era, or sparkling and new, having been built in the previous fifteen years. Remnants of the wall that severed the city for four decades still remain, and the photo below has become my favorite from that city because of the inherent symbolism.

Canon A-1, FD 50mm f/1.4, Fuji Provia 100F (Orange Filter)
In thinking about this post, I looked up some quotes about Berlin that I could incorporate. Ultimately, I decided against that, but there were some gems that I felt compelled to share.
  • "Berlin is the testicle of the West. When I want the West to scream, I squeeze on Berlin." - Nikita Khrushchev (1963)
  • "Berlin is the newest city I have come across. Even Chicago would appear old and gray in comparison." - Mark Twain (1892) [As a side note: at that time, Chicago was a young and burgeoning metropolis, earning a reputation as the country's Second City. For an incredible read about Chicago in and around 1892, I suggest Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City.]
  • “We want that Berlin becomes richer and stay sexy.” - Mayor Klaus Wowereit, during his 2011 municipal election campaign (2011)
  • And finally, the post title, "Berlin! Berlin! Wir fahren nach Berlin!" ["Berlin! Berlin! We're going to Berlin!], was a chant during the 2006 World Cup.

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