Saturday, April 13, 2019


In 1981 I was in West Berlin off and on, for love of all things. It was cold, the East was snotty, scared, and pitifully bleak; the Wall was grafitti'd on the free side, mined and patrolled on the other. S-Bahn stations rotted away, Turkish peasants stared straight ahead on the U-Bahn, the Vopos sported submachineguns in its dead Ost stations, punks spiked their Mohawks with glue, the Zoo Bahnhof was as gritty as the movie, and you never knew when you'd see a tank on the street instead of a taxi. The town had a surplus of war widows and elegant restaurants in Schoneberg, Charlottenburg, Dahlem, usw. They were, in good German fashion, more than they appeared to be. One frigid afternoon I had plate of venison & sides at one of them. At the next table was an old Frau kitted out in black, fussing at someone who wasn't there. The staff were kind to her, I think she and her invisible companion were regulars. And the sauerkraut was the best I've ever had.