I’m a little behind on my posting and the spotty internet hasn’t helped (actually my internet’s out right now). When I finally woke up about Wednesday and got into the swing of things I started to notice the city and the people below the surface a little more. As is I’m more of a watcher and on top of that one of my courses has a sociology angle to it applied to Berlin. On Tuesday we visited some of the main sights Potsdamer Platz, Brandenburger Tor, Tiergarten and the memorial to persecuted homosexuals juxtaposed with the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe across the street, and ending at the Room of Silence to reflect. All of this not as tourists but as students discussing what it means to the history of Berlin and for the people that visit there with an emphasis for the day on what makes a city center. Potsdamer Platz was of particular interest for me with its rich history and superficial present. For a little background; Potsdamer Platz was the heart of Weimar Berlin a worldwide symbol of decadence and splendor amid chaos, it even had the world’s first electric street signal. During World War II it was heavily damaged and later completely bulldozed for the construction of the Berlin Wall. In the late 90s it was rebuilt in homage to what it represented in the 20s but instead it’s a grand memorial to internationalism and corporatism that is mostly populated by tourists and has a false empty feel to it. I love it, especially for a coffee or a beer on the way home from exploring the Mitte or Kreuzberg which are completely different, one being reconstructed old Berlin and the other old alternative Berlin. Berliners don’t really go to Potsdamer Platz they think it’s fake it’s touristy and overpriced. I wouldn’t spend too much time there but nevertheless I think it’s an important part of Berlin one of the city’s many centers even though it’s nothing like the Alexanderplatz area that is Berlin’s functional center. I don’t have anything against Potsdamer Platz because it’s so commercial that’s just the changing times and I think Berliners will warm up to it in a few more years as the city continues to change. For now it’s beautifully modern with relaxing background music and colored lights behind never ending panes of glass.