Posts Tagged ‘Kreuzberg’


30 April 2008, ca. 17:10
School, Mariannenplatz, Kreuzberg, Berlin

Adults’ windows – in workplaces and homes – are populated with plants in Berlin. But in school and kindergarten windows, paper flowers grow and paper people and animals play under paper suns and moons. Here are 13 paper tulips, just down the street from those wild and graphic real tulips in their dying throes.

Was each one colored, cut and pasted by a different child during Bastelstunde (craft time)? How did they achieve those vivid color gradients? How are the shapes and colors so similar – was there a dotted line to cut along? If so, what adult decided that tulips look like this? I grew up in California, where I saw nary a tulip in my childhood, yet had a firm understanding – most likely from arts+crafts-time at school, that they looked just like the ones here: perfectly rounded bottoms, with three points on the top end. But in real life, they eventually look like this.

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30 April 2008, ca. 17:00
Baumhaus an der Mauer (Treehouse on the Wall), Bethaniendamm, Kreuzberg, Berlin

I was intrigued by this place the first time I heard of it – in a German language course at the adult school (Volkshochschule) in Friedrichshain: on an odd triangle of land that technically belonged to East Germany but lay on the west side of the Wall, a local man had planted a garden and built a cottage – a squatter’s Schrebergarten in No Man’s Land.

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30 April 2008, ca 17:00
Front yard of an apartment house, Bethaniendamm, Kreuzberg, Berlin

Sara and I were both struck by these tulips, which were totally ausgefranzt – frayed out. They had violently crimped and ruffled and green-yellow streaked and crumpled petals. The photo doesn’t really capture the weird violence of their form, like some kind of f-you to the common image of tulips as a closed, smooth, almost designed egg of even, cheerful, inoffensive color.

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