The oldest of them bear the style in which cities used to be built in the past. Their ornate decorations reflect the optimism for life in the big urban centres which were being completed at the time. Those designs ascribe a triumphant tone on the lamps standing above the streets: they are columns of light towering over people’s heads, anchoring themselves in the middle of the night like tall and lithe Atlases. Continue reading
Kollhoff Tower rises like a monolithic statue surveying reality. The most famous law offices of the city are housed there. It is a matter of prestige for these careerists to be based in the Tower. This granite and glass edifice has contributed towards the renaissance –or the renewal- of Potsdamer square. Continue reading
Train miniatures indirectly narrate an aspect of history. They are small reproductions of material civilization exalting an important parameter of the world. In their compressed dimensions they try to intimate the history of movement of people, despite lacking the awe-inspiring power of real dimensions. Continue reading
She is reading a book I cannot make out. I am watching her from the window as she slowly walks by, stopping every now and then to turn a page of her book. She is in her sixties, wears a stripy shirt and on her head rests a hastily placed beret. As I am watching her, I am listening to the exit polls final countdown in the room and know that in Greece everyone is waiting in front of their TVs. She continues to read. Continue reading
It is the shortest metro line in the world according to newspapers. Principally known as the “Chancellor Line”, U55 has been from the start a victim of its own vanity, aiming to mark out the borders of the newly established government complex following the reunification of Germany. It would supposedly provide fast transport for politicians, even though all of them continue to use limousines. It took almost fifteen years and millions of euros to build the line that serves no one, except for a few tourists who use the U55 to verify what they already know from the TV and the Internet. Continue reading
A handful of coins in exchange for a conversation. All those voices that used to call nearby houses or distant countries have now familiarised themselves with other forms of communication. The mobile phone invasion has turned telephone booths into witnesses of a lost time. They are dotted around the city like extinguished lighthouses; reminders of a habit hurriedly cancelled by the laws of supply, not of demand.
The city itself will have to envisage their future now. Continue reading