Join us on Thursday, February 1, for Dr. Adam Blackler's Geek Speak, "Berlin Now: A Portrait of a City after the Wall." 4:00 p.m. in Jonas 110.
(BONUS! Dr. Blackler will host a Pre-Speak at the Jacket Zone at 617 Main St. on Wednesday, January 31, at 4:00 p.m. Join us at either location on either day.)
Since the turn of the millennium, Berlin has been one of the most popular cities in the world. Why, however, in an elusive question. One can find delicious cuisine in each of Berlin’s various neighborhoods, for instance, but the Hauptstadt nevertheless lacks the culinary reputation of other European capitals. Though Berlin claims a proud architectural and scientific history, the history of the Third Reich casts a wide shadow, darkening even the most innocuous building and public park. It also boasts no famous architectural monument on the same scale as the Arc de Triomphe, Roman Forum, or Greek Parthenon. Berlin’s most iconic monument, in fact, is what little remains of a twelve-foot high concrete wall that once separated East from West.
What attracts so many people to Berlin are precisely those qualities that are missing in more picturesque capitals—the vibrant history, the perpetual incompleteness, the weirdness, and the general outlandishness that exemplify Berlin now. Few places have experienced the extreme transformations that Berlin has undertaken over the past century. The destruction of the old cityscape in the wake of two dictatorships still marks the architectural and cultural fabric of Berlin. Yet this defect does nothing to detract visitors from falling in love with “the Wall city.” This presentation will explore the architectural, cultural, and historical marvels that make Berlin such an iconic place to experience. From its embrace of John F. Kennedy’s famous ‘jelly-donut speech’ to Mustafa’s Döner Kebaps, Berlin offers something for everyone.