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Berlin: Then & Now

GERMANY | Sunday, 17 August 2014 | Views [815]

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

In Berlin, where a serious-looking older woman in a suit sits next to a punk on the U-bahn, there seems to be a juxtaposition between the old Berlin and the new Berlin. The older woman who remembers “East” and “West” Germany; the same woman who passes the wall on her commute every morning and wonders, “Is this real?” The punk sips her beer slowly and laughs as her friend says something funny.

The towering concrete Berlin wall is painted with colorful murals, it’s significance overpowering; a reminder of the past, and hope for the future. Although somewhat desolate, love declarations scribbled hurriedly fill the empty spaces in each section, while love locks, keys discarded in the river nearby, sit locked in defiance of the past. Young tourists take selfies in front of the wall, in spite of its past. There seems to be a reoccurring theme in Berlin: rebirth. 

Young musicians crowd the U-bahn entrances, happy to share their music with commuters. The older woman walks quickly away, paying no attention while the punk dances on her heels for a minute before hopping on her bike across town. Maybe that’s Berlin; the wall standing as a testament between the old and the new. No blurred lines, just a clear picture of how it was and how it is. Perhaps we’re all better for it.

Tags: berlin, berlin wall, east side gallery, germany

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