Still Silly

Or, of course, what you call the dog days. Supposedly ruled by Sirius, the dog star, which is strong in the sky at this time of year. But whatever you call them, they’re days not exactly filled with excitement around here. Nervous tension, yes, but excitement? Nope.

Still, one has to do this and that, and so here are three extremely silly things I noticed in recent peregrenations around hip! edgy! Berlin.

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Like that huge poster on the building they’re renovating on Rosenthaler Platz, which gets sold to one advertiser or another for a while. Current occupant is Coca-Cola, and the part of the ad I see, doubtless having something to do with some download scheme or another (I think they’ve got something going with iTunes, actually), and it screams “Music on the Coke Side of Life!”

You can tell this is an ad aimed at younger folks, of course. The rest of us who lived through the ’70s have had quite enough of music on the coke side of life. Every time I pass that thing I think “What, do you want to chain me to a chair and make me listen to David Crosby albums?”

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Rosenthaler Platz, the derelict building across from the Coke billboard, which once housed a Beate Uhse and then part of Sony’s ill-considered street-art cooptation, sprouted some ghostly inhabitants a few weeks back:

But I guess they wanted privacy, because the last time I walked past, the place looked like this:

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One of my weirder international moments came one night in the ’80s in London, as some friends and I were passing through Soho, and they — all British — stopped and pointed. “Wow, look at that!” I saw a very well preserved ’52 Mercury. “Cool car,” I said, and they all gave me a weird look. “It had Texas number plates!” someone said. Well, I’d just come from Texas the night before, so that didn’t even register: most all the cars in Texas have Texas license plates.

Still, it was a valuable lesson in paying attention to where you are, which is why I did a double-take while waiting for the light yesterday at Friedrichstr. and Unter den Linden. A genuine Ford Crown Victoria with New York Police Department markings, a visibar on top, and what looked, in the seconds it took to turn the corner, like two of NYPD’s finest in the front seat.

Turns out it lives here and you can rent it for special occasions. Like, I dunno, arresting your ex or something.

Not that they have a monopoly on this. There’s a more generic, Blues-Brothers-y, black-and-white for rent at Sage Cars, who have a lot on Brunnenstr. I pass often. They’ve also got a yellow Checker cab, which brings back memories of the Checker Metropolitan I once had. But that’s another post.

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Advertising in this country has always made me a little crazy, but then, it’s not aimed at me. That’s been driven home by the creepiest ad campaign I’ve seen in a while, BVG’s “Augenblicke” posters. As you can see from the website, it’s sort of a lonely-hearts thing, where you submit the story and they illustrate it. The artist is so bad that the posters attract attention to themselves, actually, so while whether he/she’s capable of actually rendering a human visage so someone would recognize it is questionable, it might (shudder) accidentally work.

Ah, well, it’s better to look out the window anyway, right?

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