Dear Shaded Viewers,
The other night I was watching an excellent gay film that was shot in Communist East Berlin and sponsored by the government of the GDR called “Coming Out” which has the distinction of premiering in East Berlin on the night the Berlin Wall started coming down, November 9, 1989. It reminded me that I had a bunch of photos from my recent, too-short trip to Berlin in September that I never got around to posting here because I was caught up with Vienna Fashion Week and Beijing Design Week. So here they are.
The Give Box is right out on the street and you can take whatever you want from it as long as you leave one of your own items. I can’t imagine something like this being respected on the streets of NYC.
A Stalinist apartment building in Alexanderplatz.
The GDR-era Fountain of International Friendship in Alexanderplatz.
If you’ve been to Berlin, you know that there are many sections of the Wall still standing. I forget where this was but it was near a big outdoor market.
The East Side Gallery is the longest standing expanse of the Wall and a number of artists have been commissioned to paint them. Some of the art I felt was too politically trite but there were some whimsical pieces that I enjoyed.
Yeah, this isn’t racist at all.
Vintage Nazi bullet holes on the facade of a Jewish children’s school.
There was a story behind this but I can’t remember what it was now.
My sister of the cloth, Vaginal Davis, in her apartment in Shoneberg.
Me somewhere on Karl-Marx-Allee
My friend Isabel and I took a long stroll along the entire expanse of the monumental Karl-Marx-Allee and I loved its desolate and melancholic ambiance. Maybe I should get an apartment there. It seemed like only 1/3 of them were full as the street was a ghost town.
A peak inside the famous GDR-era Kosmos Theater whose interior has been preserved. They closed the theater down a few years ago, much to my dismay, but special events are sometimes held here.
Another suspended-in-aspic relic from the GDR, Cafe Sibylle is a combo restaurant and museum.
I found this scene from the 1989 GDR film “Coming Out” to be fascinating as it was shot in an actual underground gay club in East Berlin with the club’s real gay regulars (one may want to watch it for the outre fashions) and was not staged (except for the plot points between the main actor and the number in the clown get-up.):
Thanks for reading.