cupcakes and bullet holes


Berlin fills Sundays with the bizarre and the beautiful.

In an attempt to fill a memory card with inspired pictures of Berlin flea markets, the rain came to visit. With an umbrella safe and at home and having made the premature decision to wear a jacket without a hood, I had to seek shelter somewhere. A few blocks later and I was in cupcake heaven. Well. Almost. Berlin has two cupcake shops that I know of, one in between the clearly marked borders of Prenzlauerberg and Mitte, the other further east in Friedrichshain. The former serves cupcake baked by sweet american girls in printed skirts and strawberry aprons. Even the plates look like icing. The latters serves cupcakes baked by tattooed bikers that play punk music and sell beer. Having been raised myself on ballet and rock ballads, I tend to prefer the latter. However, with rain in the picture I did not have the luxury to decide.

Two delicious cupcakes later, banana with chocolate icing and peach with vanilla icing, it was off to use a rainy Sunday the way all rainy Sundays should be used: museum hopping.

And so it was cupcakes followed by bullet holes.

Living in Berlin provides the enlightening experience of witnessing two sides of Germany: a Germany that was built up again after the second World War and a Germany that hung out for a few decades and then was built up after the fall of the Wall. Museuminsel, Berlin's prestigious island of museums, falls into the second category. East of the Brandberger Tor, one of its finest museums, Neues Museum, became the home of trees and plants during the DDR. Once regarded as one of Germany's most important, it slowly became an indoor park.

Reunification marked a massive renovation project. Efforts to reconstruct the former home to ancient art and artifacts, first began in 1986, but at rather a communist pace. In the 90's, things began to move a bit more in tune with a capitalist pace.

This weekend, from the 6th to the 8th of March 2009, the doors of the musuem were open to the public for the first time since the Second World War. To celebrate, the public was invited in for free to take a look at the building before its former objects of display are reshelved and it returns to its function of a museum in the fall.

The rain did not prevent Berliners from lining up, myself included. However, both the wait and the wet socks were worth it. In the process of restoration, the English architecht, David Chipperfield, decided that the building would not be returned to its pre-war state. Instead, the building should function as an artifact itself, a witness to war.

Thankfully I had a sweet taste in my mouth to mix with the reality of history.

For cupcakes

www.cupcakeberlin.de
(bikers, cupcakes, and sock monkeys)


www.cupcakebakery.de
(pretty cupckaes and pretty girls)

For bullet holes:

http://www.smb.spk-berlin.de/smb/standorte/index.php?lang=de&p=2&objID=25&n=1&r=3
(a very long and very german address)

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