Posts Tagged 'OstBerlin'

The KINO INTERNATIONAL lamp!!

international_a02

In an earlier post I was referring to those difficult years, the 60s. The media give us today a golden vision (very much an American one) but those years were not so sorgenlos…neither in Italy and nor in Berlin.

Our WestBerlin 60s flat had to contain some reference to the Divided City that Berlin began to be in those years. So, DDR design. And possibly the best one.

I found this lamp. The shape is classic, a standing metal part with a white cylinder-shaped textured lampshade. But what a texture! The material used for the cylinder must some sort of Ost-polymer, and as soon as I saw it, it remembered to me the external wall of the KINO INTERNATIONAL on Karl-Marx-Allee. The Eastern Bloc idea of what the sorgenlos 60s had to be…

If I will be lucky, also the next lamp will be, for the materials used, an architectural quote of an OstBerlin landmark. Fingers crossed…

PS

This wall was reproduced on a Berlin compilation of 2003 I quite like, F.U.N., featuring the wunderbar Tiefschwarz & Eric D’Clark “Blow”

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Boring, tedious, envious or just plain lazy?

“Gentrification has hit Prenzlauer Berg at a speed unmatched even by the most tarted-up quarters of other European capitals. Ninety per cent of the district’s apartments have been vacated by their original East German inhabitants since the Wall’s fall. They have been replaced by a generation of young Germans who have arrived as rich invaders from the West. The standing joke in Prenzlauer Berg is that the borough is populated exclusively by Swabians from wealthy south-western Germany. Like most jokes, it contains an element of truth”.

This morning I found this article on my virtual shore, the Google tide brought it from The Independent.

A flavor on the pros and cons of gentrified Prenzl’berg. A panoramique on the former-DDR Länder demographic, economic and neo-nazi problems. All in all not so original. Frankly, I expected something better from the Independent. This piece feels stale, like a “Panorama” article, full of clichés and made of rechauffé themes.

Or is it just envious? To me, the british society doesn’t seem so “full or harmony” or heavenly homogeneous in terms of economic and social opportunities. Heathrow airport or some stops of the Tube don’t even evoke “poor but sexy” thoughts like some rusty rail platforms in OstBerlin. And there was never an iron curtain in between Putney and Islington.

If you want to read articles criticizing Germany, read the German press…it’s more interesting. Be it on the debate on prams in Prenzl’berg. Or the unemployment rate in Mecklemburg. Or Rostock gangs. Or the Swabian invasion.

Continue reading ‘Boring, tedious, envious or just plain lazy?’

Bohemian Berlin’s coolest landmark to be sold off to the highest bidder

Hello! Buona Befana! (how do you say that in english…?)

Today on the Independent an interesting article on Tacheles…another building of Historicismus era (1908), more famous for its “between-ruin-and-a-squat” cultural centre. Let’s hope that Tacheles survives without becoming another hub of trendy (sic) boutiques…Mitte is becoming toooooo mainstream!!

Our marvellous Berlin Architecture Guide says that the building initially hosted a department store, in 1928 AEG moved in, only after WWII it became a a cinema and an art school and the Fall of the Wall marked the start of the artists’ association.

Berlin’s coolest landmark to be sold off to the highest bidder

Artists’ collective fights to stay in Tacheles building visited by thousandstacheles-berlin-2_109544a

Continue reading ‘Bohemian Berlin’s coolest landmark to be sold off to the highest bidder’

OstBerlin Mystique…

Trabi

Trabi

Reasons for being fascinated by OstBerlin:

1) corresponding with my DDR penpals for twelve years, until the Mauerfall…(I remember Michael driving his Trabant on west-german Autobahns to engine meltdown and eventually reaching by bus his friend “in the West”, where he would buy his fourth-hand Golf and drive back to Karl-Marx-Stadt in triumph…poor Trabi…! it would be worth a fortune today!)

2) the great Daniel Bruhl in “Goodbye Lenin”

3) the ubergreat “The life of others”…

4) countless cold war movies, hard-boiled spy-stories…

East or West?

mumble mumble…..east or west?


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