The city has a memory buried in concrete and ash, a memory of two cities cracked and forged into one. We searched the new city, stumbling over tripwires onto remnants of the old, a jigsaw of rubble underneath polished glass and steel. We walked over and under bridges, along cobblestones fading into blacktop, paving the way toward new ends. The streets echoed long-gone-ghost-calls from the great war, the cold war, and the old days of desperate freedom-longing. And all the along the canals birch, wild reeds, and willows dug their roots into underground passages locked and sealed with whispers of what was, of what will never be and should never be again.
Cities bury their dead, their secrets, their crimes, their triumphs, and hopes. Cities bury themselves, level their land and make way for new cities, new dreams, new ways, new hopes, and new fears.
The Potsdammer Platz where we stayed was a far cry from the wasteland Peter Falk is wandering through in that clip up there (Wing’s of Desire, dir. Wim Wenders, 1987). Unfathomable how much that city has changed over the past two decades.