Thursday, May 7, 2009
As I type, a man across the street is cleaning a squiggly purple line off the yellow building facing ours. Later he'll paint over the remaining traces of the squiggle with more yellow paint. I know because I've seen him do this many times. Berlin has a lot of graffiti (at least where we reside), but I generally think the graffiti says less about art than what my then-toddler-aged sister accomplished when she walked through our small apartment dragging a marker along the wall as she went (ability to draw a straightish line, statement of independence, etc.). I know the Berlin Wall is known for its decor, but today we are mostly inundated with scrawled initials or statements such as, "vegan" (believe what you will about this movement, writing the word on a wall doesn't strike me as a much of statement, let alone a compelling argument). But lately, someone has been defacing property more to my taste: dog stencils! Of course, if they really wanted to impress me they would stencil terriers up and down my block, but still ... I find them quite endearing.
And while I am singing the praises of my neighborhood (not mine for all that much longer - we've just decided to move across town in the summer), I share with you the window display of a former electrician's office down the street from us. Last Fall there was a medieval scene with knights and horses and (to my wedding-minded) delight, a pig turning (this being the electric bit) on a spit! Until recently, Easter was theme: daffodils, Easter baskets, and a slowly twirling Easter bunny. Now I am entertained by a cowboy-and-indian scene (the Germans can't get enough of this theme...it's rather odd). The powwow to the right of the picture spins! The typical-in-these-parts cheap lace window curtain (usually framing tacky nicknacks like miniature fake flowers or ceramic hedgehogs) really accentuates the wild scene, no?
Finally, this is what happens when you are too stressed, running on too little sleep, and have one of those awful flat stovetops where you're supposed to be able to figure out which knob works which burner before you make your coffee. Oh how I yearn for my little Manhattan gas stove (among other Manhattan delights (human, culinary (anyone want to bring me a pack of those date bars you can buy at any NYC deli counter for (what was once) $1????) and otherwise....).