Berlin bees + Helmut Newton + Kreuzberg

Berlin bees enjoying some summer sugar.

I made friends in Berlin, many of them bees. I saw at least two people get stung, one after the other, and another woman shed her top in a moment of panic after a bee flew down her shirt. I lost track of the number of times bees buzzed by my face while eating, drinking, or just doing nothing. I'm not sure I ever went more than two or three minutes without a in my face.

During my final few days in Berlin, I visited the Helmut Newton Foundation, and also a couple of great parks: Viktoriapark and Görlitzer Park, both in Kreuzberg, where I stayed for my time in Berlin. Kreuzberg today is a Turkish neighborhood, in former West Berlin, near the old Berlin Wall, and not too far from the Berlin Wall East Side Gallery.

The East Side Gallery features dozens of murals from the former Berlin Wall, in a stretch of remaining Wall that is nearly one mile long. Many of the original paintings were destroyed and later replicated, or damaged and later renovated. It didn't appear as if many, or even any, of the remaining artworks at the East Side Gallery were wholly original.

I tried to do an additional walking tour on my final day in Berlin, but I arrived at the starting point, Brandenburg Gate, at the same time as a massive thunderstorm. So alas, it was not to be.

The Helmut Newtown Foundation was excellent. I'm not especially interested in fashion photography, although Newton didn't exactly make it difficult to enjoy his photographs. There were many interesting personal items from his private collections, including photographs of him, and original copies of old faxes sent to colleagues, both personal and professional.

I remember two faxes specifically: one was a fax he sent to Richard Avedon for Avedon's seventieth birthday, which Newton had already reached and assured Avedon would  be easy, especially because they are both rich and famous; the other was a fax to a business partner or colleague, complaining about 'terrible matchstick women' on his shoots.