Let’s start with the good news: we’ve all survived Blue Monday. Here in Berlin, we even had blue sky. The bad news is that it’s still January, which also means that everything that statistically made last Monday the most depressing day of the year (cold, dark and hopeless) will still apply today, tomorrow and probably for the next two months. And yes, Berlin has a tendency to be a lot more than fifty shades of grey during winter. In order to cheer you – and mostly myself – up, I went looking for the most colourful places in town.
Dong Xuan Center, image courtesy of berlinenmiszapatos.com
2017! If there’s one thing I love about a new year, it’s making travel plans. I’ll start with New York in February and then… Russia? Georgia? Maybe Asia or South America? Travel planning looked a little different for residents of the GDR: most holidays were spent in their own country or one of the neighbouring socialist states. Still, the GDR had its own airline that flew even as far as Cuba, China and Mozambique.
It’s still there, the Haus des Reisens (house of travel). With its 18 floors and height of 67 metres it’s the tallest building on Alexanderplatz after the Park Inn hotel. Until German reunification, this was the place to visit when you wanted to book your holiday. It was the HQ of ‘Reisebüro der DDR’ (the state travel organization) and had counters for flight and train tickets inside and outside the GDR.
Travel advertising in the GDR. Image courtesy of n-tv.de
What exactly are the exhibits on show at alamak! Gallery at Strausberger Platz – pieces of art? Design? Craft? The exhibition, which is open until 20 January, asks visitors to draw their own conclusions and distinctions.
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