Boros, Bundestag and Bye to Berlin

As Jim already noted in his Facebook post, our week in Berlin flew by. We briefly toyed with the idea of staying for a month, bookended by the Drive-by Truckers concert in early June and Jack White in early July. But we had some Yardley Country Club commitments and decided to just do the week. We could easily have spent the month.

We ended our stay with a place that perfectly sums up my romantic idea of Berlin. The Boros Collection, a modern art gallery in a former Nazi bunker, has it all – history, art, music, hipsters and the very rich.

Jim in front of the entry to the Boros bunker. In one iteration of the structure’s life it was used to store fruit, including bananas. I assume that’s the inspiration for the Andy Warhol style banana.

Berlin was a wild place in the 90’s after the fall of the wall. Like many abandoned buildings, the bunker served as a techno and sex club before it was finally shut down by the government. Karen and Christian Boros purchased the bunker to display their collection, which changes every four years. They also built a penthouse above the bunker, where they reside. The only way to see the collection is by a private tour, which are given on weekends by the cool and chic galleristas.

After our gallery tour, it was a short walk to the Bundestag, Germany’s Parliament Building. The building is an architectural and philosophical marvel. Philosophical because it is a glass dome where average citizens can literally watch Parliament at work below. Architecturally, not just because it’s impressive and allows visitors a sleek, twirling walkway with 360 degree views of Berlin, but also for how environmentally conscious it is. For example, the transparent glass dome brings in natural light, but there is a huge ‘shade’ that moves into place to keep the building cool. The open dome allows in rain that is funneled into the building and re-used. Pretty cool.

Jim in front of the Bundestag
Inside the Bundestag

We finished off with a very short stroll through the Tiergarten, Berlin’s 520-acre oasis. It’s a beautiful park from what we saw, but since we vowed not to walk ourselves into the ground on our last day, we didn’t stay for long. Plus, we needed to get one more ‘walking beer’ and a pretzel before we called it a day.

Memorial to the fallen Soviet soldiers in the Tiergarten.

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