Pentimenti

I really like finding old urban relics, although they rarely last very long once they’re unearthed. There are some exceptions: a small-scale model of the Statue of Liberty which once stood in Madison Square in New York while the real thing was under construction used to (and may still) stand atop a building which used to house the Liberty Warehouse right across from Lincoln Center, and could be seen from the top steps there. And in Austin, someone’s kept the old winged-wheel Studebaker sign and the old hat-shop sign in good shape.

Berlin, of course, where construction is fatally married to destruction, is no place to look for such things, but occasionally one appears, for however briefly, and I try to grab it.

This one (not my photo, but used with kind permission) is a reminder that the Berliner Zeitung of today was once an East Zone paper.

Wiceguy photo

And, up in Prenzlauer Berg, one which has been there for ages, reminding us that there are still parts of this city heated by coal.

I also wonder about that odd half-timbered building you can see in that shot.

There are a few more of these around here I should grab before they’re gone. I fondly remember the one near Friedrichstr. station advertising the DDR lottery (kind of hard to imagine, but apparently there was one) which vanished one day, not to mention the lovely old neon sign by the Friedrichstadt Palast with the ad for the Berlin-Moscow Railway (“Comfortable, Quick, Convenient,” it lied) that gradually fell apart before it was stripped from its wall. Someday the powers that be will have had their way and Berlin will look like Paramus. Until then, I’m going to grab what I can.

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