Friedrichstraße right now (the Yonge St/Regent St/Broadway of Berlin). Not a car in several minutes
Our weekend entertainment now consists mainly of long walks, which is fine because we have a big city to explore. Today, a downtown stretch of the Berlin-Spandau canal, with ruins of the Wall lining its banks
This included a lengthy linger in the famous Invalidenfriedhof war cemetery, its graves still pocked with WWII bullet holes. There are a lot of WWI flying aces here, including the official tomb of the Red Baron, built by the Nazis. Some of them are decidedly disconcerting
I really liked the design of the park benches, though
Here’s Alexanderplatz with exactly zero people in it. I don’t know if that has ever occurred, at least since the Battle of Berlin
Today’s walk took us to Ernst Thälmann park in Prenzlauer Berg. You walk through an urban wilderness of duck ponds and waterfalls and then, in a Planet of the Apes moment, in a clearing looms the POST-APOCALYPTIC FACE OF A TOTALITARIAN RECENT PAST after whom the park is named
Continuing the theme -- here's Bebelplatz, population zero. Lots of reminders here -- bullet and shrapnel scars in the buildings, window into the memorial to Nazi book burnings -- that this place has been emptied for reasons even more terrifying
I had half hoped that we’d see walls pasted with AUCHTUNG posters but instead we get more clever bus-shelter ads. This one says “Don’t being Corona to granny” which handily almost rhymes in German
This tweet has been corrected by the Germany Explainer
I think I’ve found the closest thing to an ACHTUNG poster we‘re going to get, over by the Reichstag
Today’s long walk was down to the most famous part of the Spree, past the Reichstag dome, the parliamentary library, the Hauptbahnhof etc.

Quite a good scattering of people compared to previous days, but distance being maintained mostly
The memorial to the folks who were gunned or drowned to death trying to cross this stretch of river pre-‘89 when it was between two countries. Things could be worse
Some lonely bicycle ballet by the parliamentary library
When they decided to make Berlin the capital in the ‘90s the requirement for all the new architecture was “transparency.” The result is an endlessly reflective futuristic village of democracy
And then through the Luther Bridge (1892)
And finally to a shockingly empty Hauptbahnhof, one of Europe’s greatest train stations carrying the slightest trickle of people travelling for Very Good Reasons
The parks were very full today — our little one must have had 200 people, but mostly sitting in 2-3 person clusters 3-5 metres apart, as per regs. Some younger groups and weed dealers breaking distancing rules. But as long as infection curve is flattening they may stay lenient
Today’s long walk (with tram assistance) was to Weißen See, a terrific old lake on the far edge of Pankow.
It was pretty busy but people generally kept a 1.5m distance. And fun! Banghra playing on ghetto blasters, old ladies sharing a beer, people having a good time
People found a lot of ways to stay isolated and have a blast. A few dared the chilly waters.
I hope people are allowed to maintain this ‘smart density.’ Most people around here live in not-so-big apartments
Highlight was this epic drag queen doing a spot-on Amy Winehouse in a delicious baritone while practicing impeccable public health. All parks need this
Long walk through Kreuzberg and along the Landwehr Canal. Compared to the scenes that started this thread, there’s a LOT more population. (Though the only thing that seemed inappropriately close was the U8 we took there... think we’ll avoid the underground for future walks)
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