I was there when the wall was up ... and down
BERLIN, GERMANY —
This is a self-portrait at the Berliner Dom at night, with Alexander Platz (tower thing) in the back. Camera set on my backpack - no tripod.
I was here when it was the DDR in 1988 - I was very young and what i remember was that there was nothing really - no people, nothing to buy to eat, everything concrete and cold and then I walked to a field and there was Marx and Engels. You could not get near to these statues.
I remember talking to two people: One asked me for oranges. One asked me to go and return with jeans from West Germany and sell them to him.
I went into the one restaurant I could find and mistakenly ordered raw beef. I bought three notebooks: what there was to buy. I left by a border patrol and have a photo of myself at Checkpoint Charlie with an East German guard looking at me through binoculars over the wall.
I forget that the Berliner Dom was in the East; it is such a different world here than it was in 1988, 1989 (a month after the wall fell), 1995, after and 2015... that I did not recognize the history I had witnessed.
I was surprised by Marx and Engels; the statues are about 500 meters from here. They surprised me in the dark as I walked. Were they always there? Or maybe I don't recall because they are surrounded by restaurants and buses and sightseeing tours?
I am grateful to have seen a full circle of history pass, and it is a reminder how fleeting it al is and how one or two things can spark a new world, for good or bad or entirely different.