Tanja took us to a very flash indian restaraunt for dinner, cheap, but flash. Stunning decor, and waiters who insisted on us trying everything out. Then it was off home, to get ready for a night out. We were meeting up with Norman and Henning, both of whom I'd met when they visited Tanja in Iceland.
We went to Möbel Olfe a converted furniture store, which looked like someone had ripped down half the wall decorations, and then changed their mind, polished what was left, and opened the doors. Not a bad place. Three doors, only one of which was the actual door, led to some fun moments with new guests all trying to come in through the wrong doors. (All the walls are glass)
The bar filled to bursting, so we headed off to a quiet secret bar that Tanja knew. It even had an art show on the walls, and during the night, the barman came and snuck off into the trapdoor beneath our seats. We planned our attack on the city the next day, and what galleries we were going to see.
Little did we know that we were sitting in pretty much the best art gallery we would see.
We started off the day with a tour of Alexander Platz and Karl Marx Allee- in old East Berlin. I didn't think it looked that bad, obviously a uniform architectural style, but not nearly as ominous and forboding as I'd been expecting. I'm also told that the whole area has been given new pain, and balconies added to the buildings, and so forth. So it's not quite the same.
Still, they have their own pedestrian crossing signals. And it definitely looks different. And it felt different too. They just behaved differently.
Then it was off to see some art. We went to Martin Gropius Bau, a stunning building, beautiful both inside and out. Some really nice pieces even in the foyer.
Here we split up. Tanja and I went to see Rebecca Horn, while Tanja went to see something else. She said she didn't like Rebecca Horn. We should have listened.
Everything that's wrong with artists comes together in Rebecca Horn. Too much name. Not enough originality. The display probably would have been reasonably interesting if it had been perhaps a quarter of the size. But just seeing endless variations (bigger over time) on the same themes, most of which were highschool or 1st year physics and electronics projects with brushes attached is not my idea of art. She might win because she is getting away with selling it, but I don't care, I just felt used. Tanja didn't like it either.
Lovely building though.
From there just some more strolling around. We visted the holocaust memorial, which I'd visited ten days earlier, on my way to Munich. Funnily enough, it was completely different in daylight. Hundreds of people, crawling all over it, warm sun.
It really is a spectacular installation, but the description of "A whole heap of big concrete blocks of various sizes with passages between them" doesn't really do it justice :)
The great comparison of currywurst was next, as we journed back to some special famous place in east berlin. Different to the hamburg ones, but equally yummy.
And so, time flew, time to drive back. Back to Hamburg. Back to artistes, and openings. Back to Astra!
Another day or two, and then it was all over!