Berlin Two halves that make one

H ow would the residents of a city feel if they woke up one morning to find it divided in two by a wall at its center separating them, maybe forever, from friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors or even just their beloved places, cafes, bars, parks. This is what I was thinking as we were riding our bikes with Sofia across the part of the Wall of Berlin that still stands. I was trying to realize (as little as I could) the ferocity of the decision to build a construct that would break up families and friendships, that would divide a city, a country, a people and to a certain degree the whole humanity as it would become the artificial border between the so called western world and the eastern block.

The remains of this separation are still clear, mainly in the architecture of the city, as the buildings of the eastern districts are very different than the ones on the western side. Almost 30 years after the fall of the Wall, Berlin gives you the impression of a metropolis in constant motion throughout the day and night, unpredictable, modern, sassy. A city that sets its sight towards the future without disrespecting the historically tense past.

The trip to Berlin had what excites me the most when I visit new places: the sweet agony about what I’ll meet at the next corner of the street.

George Schetakis
Berlin, December 2015 / January 2016

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