My trip to Berlin was marred by a stomach bug that I think I must have caught from Owen. So I didn't do much other than lie around the plush digs at the Academy for two days, which honestly wasn't such a bad way to spend a vacation. I was staying in Anne Carson's apartment-- she is a professor of classics-- and she did have a quite good selection of books.
Here is the Academy in all its kick-back-and-relax glory:
Here is the view from the windows of the apartment where I stayed, of the Wannsee.
I perked up by Friday night and went to dinner with Mark and his two buddies from the Academy, Gary Shteyngart and Liz Goodstein, a writer and philosophy professor, respectively. We went out for Greek food in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, a former east german area which has flown through gentrification at the speed of light and is now thoroughly yuppie-fied. The resto was delicious. Then we went to the club Tresor for dancing. Tresor is an club that opened in Potsdamer Platz right after the wall fell, and it was famous for being a great dance club as well as one of the first things there-- Potsdamer Platz was along the wall so it had been basically a wasteland beforehand. These days Potsdamer Platz has the brand new Sony Center as well as various other temples to commerce, so the club was forced to move elsewhere. According to Mark the club is probably coasting on its old reputation a little but it was fun anyway.
A strange mural at Tresor.
Gary, acting disaffected. Note the cool font on the wall.