Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down That Wall ... - 9 1/2 Weeks - CycleBlaze

September 29, 2019

Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down That Wall ...

... and put some if it backup a little to the east for folks to paint on ... Another day hanging out in Berlin

Mikhail sat back and thought about that for a bit, then said to Ronny "Okay, sounds good. I'll get right on it but it might take a couple of years".

And that was it. 

The wall came down and parts of it were put back up along the Spree river as an outdoor art gallery for Street Art. More on this later .. you'll have to wait.

I would like to clarify one thing before I go on though. 

I don't normally quote Ronny Regan, but he did come up with a couple of good lines. He was an actor after all. Also, folks who've been reading along and who may continue to do so, will come to realise that I 'hang a little to the left' politically, at least by Alberta norms (also like most men, physically as well.  A Saville Row tailor will always ask you this, meaning  on which side do your balls hang lower, and will then adjust the cut of your suit accordingly. Interesting but largely useless information). So, by adding a few Ronny quotes, I'm trying to balance out the politics of this blog. 

Honest.

Ok, back to the day! as I wrote yesterday, the marathon course runs right in front of hotel, so after breakfast we walked out the front door, turned left and went about 20 m further up the street and camped out to watch the race. This was the first Marathon I've seen (K's run a few half's) and it was pretty impressive on so many dimensions.

First, the elite racers are just that. Amazing athletes. They are by so quick , and as we were at the 11 km mark, they barely looked like they were breaking a sweat. It wasn't till I was looking at some of the pic's I took that I realised how long their stride length was compared to everyone else's.

Second, the sheer number of people that were racing / running. It was an endless stream of people.

Third, the diversity of the people ... age, gender, size, ethnicity, physical ability and...

Fourth, just how damned happy everyone was. Granted, this was at 11 km and it wasn't raining. It may have been a different story at 40 km then it was pissing down pretty good ... but from our vantage point, it was one big party!

After  most of the race passed us by we set off for a little more sight seeing. Today was a combo of indoor and outdoor sights as the weather was continuously deteriorating. We took a river boat tour, which turned out to be a bit of a wash (pun intended) due to the rain and followed that up with a tour through the Berliner Dom. Great Organ and fresco's in the main dome.

Next stop,  the East Side Gallery with the Wall being the canvas for street artists. Very cool, drizzling as well which I think lent a grittier feel to it. There are about 100 'official works' on the street facing side, all very good, with the river facing side seeming to be a 'working' regular graffiti space. Both K and I agreed that this was the highlight of our 'sight seeing' today. To us, this is Berlin. Street art and people. Not all of them 'flowers and moonbeams' folks, but authentic and straight forward.

The rest of our afternoon had a few of these 'people encounters'. First, we saw a bunch of people wearing Chicago Blackhawks sweaters heading towards the Mercedes arena. We stopped to have a chat with a couple (the first group I saw I started off with 'The Blackhawkes suck! I'm a Flames fan". That didn't work so well. With the next group, I asked where they were going and why the sweaters? This was Glen and Liz, from  Chicago, and it turns out that the Blackhawks are playing a preseason game against the German National Team today. Turns out Glen and Liz are also staying in the same hotel as us.

Next small world encounter .... when we were checking in the other day, we have a brief conversation with a guy in the lobby ... 'You here for the race?' .. "Yeah, my wife is running. None of that for me though. She's upstairs sleeping, I'm off to find a liquor store!" Laughing, he's out the door. Fast forward to today ... we are just about back at out hotel and pass by a 24 hr convenience store .... that also sells booze. Kirsten spots 'liquor store guy' sipping an airline size bottle of vodka. 'Hi, how's it going? How did your wife do?".... 'Oh, it's you guys.... great, she ran 3.58 ... she's upstairs in the hotel resting!" .... 'and you found a liquor store!'.... 'Yeah man, open 24 hrs too! " Laughing ... everybody's happy today.

We finished the day with a great dinner at The Long March Canteen, another M Michelin recommendation. Multi - course dumpling's and satay. Very very good food  and service in a very cool space and area.

Even the 15 minute walk from the subway station to the restaurant was an artistic and cultural adventure. Great graffiti, kebab shops, Gasthauses ... just lots of life out on the streets.

We like this place, but tomorrow it's back on the bikes and we keep heading south.

Song of the Day, Brothers on the Slide by Cymande.

As I said yesterday, the band at Orania put an ear-worm in my head and it would just not leave. A lot of their music sounded like Cymande, and their classic "Brothers on the Slide". Queue this 1974 classic up, lay back in your velvet upholstered chair, tall drink in hand, and just feel that your back in the Orania listening to the 3 dudes. 

Amazing live version of this great song from two years ago. Remember that these guys recorded this in 1974 ... and 45 years later they are killing it still!

The lead pack. Bekele, second from right won he race in 2:01:41, he second fastest marathon ever!
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all shapes, all sizes, all having a great race
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First female athlete coming by right in the thick of it with the elite men
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Dawn Grunnagle, USA. She came 13th
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Looking at this picture, it strikes me that the two guys behind are looking a bit like old creeps!
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Just love the action in this shot. These folks are really running....
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and now it's time for the Marvel Comic versions...
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Len DeMossHow the hell do you do that?
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1 month ago
Lyle McLeodIt’s an art filter setting (key line) on my Olympus OM-DE5II camera.
It’s a mirrorless 4/3 system camera, about 1/2 the size of a conventional DSLR and about 90.% or more of the picture quality.
I love this camera!
Note that all the pics I’m posting here I’ve cropped and shrunk so they are only ~20% of the size ( and quality) of the originals
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1 month ago
..love the day-glo colours in this one
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... and the determination on this guys face
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... 100 and still smiling! Good job!
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Marx, Engles ... and Kaaraoo . Here's Kirsten pulling 'serious socialist pose' for her husband again ... even though her father and grandfather are probably rolling in their graves . The things she does for me! These statues were put here in 1986 ... hey made it in just under the wire. A few more years and I doubt there would have been much appetite for them around here.
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Inside the Berliner Dom
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Great pipe organ ... I take lots of pics of them but rarely get to hear them played.
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Look, it says right here that you are supposed to be enjoying this!
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Yeah, right.
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The English put the heads on a spike, the Germans put a spike for the head
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Off to the East Side Gallery ... has a bit of Pink Floyd feels to me
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on the 'graffiti' river side of the wall
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quite the juxtaposition - street art and corporate art
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Len DeMossIn 1990, there was an old church that sat right next to the "new" Mercedes building, which was left standing, half bombed out. Is it still there?
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1 month ago
Lyle McLeodI don’t recall seeing it, and it’s the sort of thing that I think I would notice
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1 month ago
More for the graffiti side .... and well said too. Worked for you and works even better today!
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The 'art' street side. I'll let the works speak for themselves
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Gallery interrupted by a parade of oil belching 2 stroke Trabis
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One of my fav's ... maybe it's the bananas?
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depicting the wall opening
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Glen & Liz off to the game .... blurry shot , didn't have time to focus properly!
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One of the thousands of BMW Baggie people walking around after the race. You got one of these to keep you warm until you could retrieve your stuff
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on the 15 minute walk from the subway to dinner .... a classic parking job that would make a Parisian proud
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.... a rather militant way of showing how 'open' and 'inclusive' you can be ... but to me this is classic Berlin. Just be yourself and tell it like it is.
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...cool 3-d mural on this building
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Just loved this little guy stuck in a doorway. Almost can't argue with the logic, but I don't agree with the sentiment. If you don't vote at a minimum you've given away your right to rant about the outcome!
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... this is just mean ... but funny too. Welcome to Berlin
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Great meal at the Long March Canteen
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and another day done .... daily toast done at lunch!
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