May 3rd 2017

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night
····in Berlin—a child’s paper stars in the lighted
········window
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I visited Check Point Charlie. Most who were visiting were young(er) and visiting something that only exists in a history book. I used to go through this checkpoint when I was in my late teens.
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The fragment at right is on the wall of a museum shop right next to checkpoint Charlie.
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Besides that, I spent most of the day walking around former East Berlin. While I wasn’t impressed by Alexanderplatz or Unter den Linden, the nighborhoods to the north are beautiful and just as beautiful as anything in former West Berlin. They are colorful, full of bakeries, cafés, bookstores, restaurants, small grocery stores. And what makes these streets so beautiful, like all the most beautiful neighborhoods in Berlin, are the trees. It’s said that Berlin is the greenest city in the world. I believe it. Perhaps the best clue that one is walking around former East Berlin is the size of the trees.
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They were far less common in East Berlin. The streets were drab, gray, decaying and lifeless. When the renovation of East Berlin began in earnest, buildings were restored and trees returned. Most of them have only had about twenty years or so to grow. When the trees are finally fully grown, former East Berlin will really have come into itst own.
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I’m not sure how many miles I walked today. I did much zi-zagging, following streets that looked beautiful or interesting, and also followed where the wall used to be. One would never guess unless otherwise knowing. I did, however, find a length of the wall still standing and not where any tourists would normally go (or it wouldn’t be there any more).
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A piece of the wall can be found at Potsdamer Platz, but stands as a kind of memorial. While standing there I saw a couple teen girls try to chip off a piece for themselves. Some German bystanders scolded them.
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123 May 3rd 2017 | bottlecap
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