30. May 2009, ca. 15:00, Mariannenplatz, Berlin-Kreuzberg
As Marko and I were passing by the big construction site in front of the Bethanien (an old brick hospital, once site of squatters’ movement, now home to arts organizations), he pointed and said, “There’s something for Urban Plant Research.” In a strip of newly laid asphalt, there had already been some kind of small-scale upheaval. It looked like the blacktop had been broken from underneath by some very determined plant!
We wriggled under the construction fence to get a closer look. Indeed, erupting dramatically out of the crumbly black asphalt were crumpled but vigorous-looking green-red leaves and stems, bringing with them a quantity of sand.
They seem to have done their work before the asphalt had even had time to dry, for it was all loose and fragmented. Clearing away the larger chunks revealed that the plant was not content to send up just a couple stems, but was already busy making dozens.
I am perplexed as to what kind of plant this might be and what stage of life it was in, at the moment the asphalt was laid. It seems too well-developed to have just recently come from a seed. Maybe it was already a fairly large plant but was only chopped down to its roots before being paved over? At any rate, it seems like a good illustration for the word tenacity.