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Workers trail a motorized cart on trolley tracks, east Berlin

In the spring of 1998, Mark Dann and I were invited to Berlin for a concert by our good friend Guntram Gudowius. We made an after-midnight tour of east and west Berlin, finishing up the following afternoon.

The Brandenburg Gate, the historic checkpoint between east and west Berlin.

Modern skyscrapers in the west sit side-by-side with historic buildings.

The eastern sector of Berlin is a city remaking itself before one's very eyes; immensely long, monolithic blocks of apartments line the main avenues, while in the side streets cafes and boutiques are thriving.

Stalin-era towers on Frankfurter Allee frame the ghostlike radio tower, by far the city's tallest structure, barely visible in the haze.

Statue on a traffic island

This east Berlin apartment building shows bomb damage from the Second World War.

Entrance to the Zentral Flughafen, Berlin's old downtown airport. Its unvarying windows make a large rectangular horseshoe.

Modern culture in the western part: chic checkerboard apartments.

The two halves of Berlin have evolved under separate styles of architecture; each seems to ask the other "what if?"
Or, if you prefer, satellite dishes.

Painted windows

Were the windows at left painted over to prevent people from seeing out over the Wall, which sits across the street? Local artists convinced the city to leave this section standing, so they could paint it; dozens of artists created murals along this stretch. And one graffiti artist had the last word.

The Berlin Wall, 1997

Guntram With Wall Heads

Up Against The Wall


These two photos are by Guntram Gudowius.

Test The Best

All photos © Rod MacDonald 1997, except "Up Against The Wall" and "Test The Best" by Guntram Gudowius, used by permission.

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