Berlin with the X-Pro1 - Part the Second

Hi folks.

It's been a while since my last Berlin post. I headed back home to visit my mum and dad (doing fine, thank you) in their strange, dystopian world of no-internet. So for over an entire week there was no checking of emails, browsing of blogs or updating of my website. Instead I gleaned my information through the reading of words, printed in mysterious black fluid on a strange, flexible material made from the pulped remains of trees.

You get used to it.

So, back to Berlin!

The centre of Berlin seemed to me to be a forest of cranes. It is a city that is still, even now, very much being rebuilt. Here and there the same great big blocks of glass, concrete and stone you'd find in any European city are under construction. But on my wanderings I encountered a little place in the old Eastern zone that was a little wonderland of crumbling, broken places - a collection of dusty, battered buildings filled with music, art, beer and bohemia. Located on Warschauer Straße this little area of counter-culture bars, galleries and takeaway stalls is covered from head to toe in graffiti. With the wintry sun of late afternoon giving a pale, gentle light, I swung out the 18mm and began shooting the moment I stepped off the train.

Several of the buildings were just shells, but scrabble up the sides and into the empty window frames and you can get some neat derelict shots. And its in doing this that the lightness and dinky nature of the X-Pro1 and the 18mm really come in handy.

And then, whilst I was prowling the dusty spray-painted spaces for shots, I heard this soulful, beautiful saxophone music rising into the air from somewhere behind the other side of the building. It flowed through the gaping windows and echoed around the battered brick walls. I had to see who was playing...

...and then, out on a vast empty space...


His name is Christof Arn, and he played good that day. Real good. It seemed that no one else was around and that he was playing just for himself, and that silent audience of empty buildings. He played, I shot, we chatted and then I headed back to the local bar, where Vashti Bunyan and Bowie dominated the tunes.

Berlin Landscape 1500-2.jpg

And then, after a couple of beers, when I emerged it was dark in Berlin. There was much wandering of the streets. But as I headed West again there was nothing quite to compare with that scrappy, atmospheric charm of Warschauer Straße...

I hope you enjoyed this pictorial ramble through the streets of Berlin. I'm hoping to pop back again soon, perhaps this summer, and I strongly recommend that you do too.

I'm still not sure about the Currywurst though...