So Back to Berlin

So after Kevin was such a gentleman to escort me to Annette’s with my luggage, and Olivier showed up we all shared a tea with cake and just got to know one another better, hanging out in Annette’s oversized kitchen. What a great huge place she shares with her roommate and keeps her studio. Olivier and I then took off to Libeskind’s Jewish Museum. This is the major project he was working on before moving to NY to work on the reconstruction of the World Trade Center Site. It is quite an experience of space. Especially when you first enter into the sort of crypt below. The base forms a cross section memorial to the Jewish Diaspora and the Holocaust. The floors are not only set at a rising and falling angle but also tilted so that when you first enter you cannot help but feel rather nauseous and disoriented, which you later realize is his goal, recreating a sense of the disorienting trials the Jews have experienced over time.

For Olivier it was fascinating to see how the whole study of Jewish History and practice was so new to him, and had never considered the subject before meeting me.

We then rushed off to the Philharmonic to listen to a concert of Bach, Hyden and Mozart. Unfortunately we arrived late and could not enter for the Bach piece because (1) Germans always start on time. And (2) for some reason Berlin seems to have a bad habit with not providing proper signage. We were running around all over Potsdamer Platz trying to find the place. Perhaps this has to do with the constant reconstruction of the city, which is overwhelming. There has been a great deal of scaffolding put up around New York lately, but in Berlin you really feel like it is the whole city that is in transformation. I wonder how this will contrast with visiting the smaller Bavarian villages around Munich, which were not so affected by the war and Soviet Control.

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