I stumbled upon Blu murals on my last two trips to Europe. While I love Blu’s mind-blowing wall-painting animations like Big Bang Big Boom and Muto, it’s cool to come upon his still images—and remnants of his animations—on facades around the world. Especially when you’re not looking for them.
The outdoor East Side Gallery, free and always open, is a 1.3-kilometer section of the Berlin Wall. While you can start your stroll at either end, the gallery begins on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain, a short stroll from the Oberbaumbrücke bridge. Reach it via Warschauer Straße station, then cross the River Spree.
The yard retains a silent strength—the collective presence of stuff, old and discarded, is strangely comforting to those who wander, for things live here in peace. And it’s an unconventional space, in ruins, that defies time: here, you feel and see Germany’s history and Berlin’s cutting-edge present at once.
Today, I was on my way to check out a place I had read about, but got off at the wrong U-Bahn station, Oranienburger Tor, in the historic Mitte. Instead of getting back on the train, I wandered in the neighborhood, hoping to find something.
And I did.