March 13, 2011 |
I had two goals before I booked my flight to Europe: Get the lowest price, and travel with the fewest stops possible. Air Berlin offered the best fare, but little did I know its name would be so prescient. For the first trip outside the country with my 7-year-old son, Carpenter, I had planned a monthlong itinerary that started in Rome and proceeded to Bologna, then Venice, Copenhagen and London. Berlin was not on the docket. At least it wasn't until we got to LAX and, with two hours to kill at the gate, met another single-mom-and-son traveling combo who was moving to Germany's capital.
March 13, 2011 |
We were on our way to see the Brandenburg Gate when they came unexpectedly into view across the street — rows of muted gray concrete slabs of varying heights, their rise and fall taking up an entire city block. The sight stopped us in our tracks. "That must be the Holocaust Memorial," I said. "It can't possibly be anything else," said Jon, my husband. As a Jew, I always have mixed feelings when visiting such places. I am repelled by the horror they represent yet drawn to them for the recognition they offer.
November 6, 2009 |
Irish rockers U2 returned to Berlin for a free mini-concert Thursday in front of the Brandenburg Gate, playing its classic singles and a duet with Jay-Z even as the show was obscured from public view by a nearly 6 1/2 -foot- high metal barrier. Bono greeted the crowd with the German words "Berlin, Du bist wunderbar!" (Berlin, you are wonderful!) and the band played a 30-minute, six-song set that featured "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," "One" and "Beautiful Day." The show, free to 10,000 ticket holders who snapped up the tickets online last week in just three hours, drew controversy because of the barrier surrounding the gig. Both Berliners and tourists alike saw the irony in building a wall around a concert dedicated to the wall that already has come down.
November 1, 2009 |
One thing does lead to another. Last spring, I was obsessed with cleaning my garage; a week later, I had scheduled a trip to Berlin. As I admired my handiwork, I eyed an old cedar chest along one wall, and I realized I hadn't looked inside since 1988. I hadn't wanted to. After all, it was filled with mementos of my husband, Jerry, who died in 1987 when he was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. But now I was curious; I couldn't remember what was in it. Surely, it was long enough to brave the memories.
July 25, 2008 |
He has drawn record-breaking crowds to rallies all over the United States. But it took a trip to Germany for Barack Obama to attract his biggest audience of all: More than 200,000 people packed into a central Berlin park on Thursday to hear Obama call for closer ties between Europe and America. The sea of people in Tiergarten, Berlin's central park, stretched a full mile, from the Victory Column where Obama spoke to the historic Brandenburg Gate. Obama's rhetoric was no less sweeping.
July 19, 2008 |
So much for Barack Obama's Kennedyesque moment in Berlin. Obama campaign officials say that the Democratic candidate has decided not to speak at the city's historic Brandenburg Gate, where President John F. Kennedy visited before famously declaring in June 1963, "Ich bin ein Berliner!" ("I am a Berliner!"