Thursday, January 15, 2009

Augen in der Grossstadt

Ok, so this is why I absolutely love living in a big city:

I'm out the other night with Andrea getting my coffee on at this place called "Bild und Buch" which is a giant coffee house with indulgent cakes, overstuffed arm chairs, and superfluous books laying around. We had our fill, and we were wandering back to my subway stop, and we decided to take a detour. She wanted to show me the...errr...Halstead (if you know Chicago, you know what I mean, and if you don't then there's a reason [Kate is inside to the power of inside]) in Berlin, and so I went along. I enjoy discovering new places, and this one was so close to the route that I take every day to and from work that it kind of behooved me to go along and see what I've been missing as my subway zinged away under the earth.

Anyway, we're walking along dark streets, thrift shops, art stores, and the occasional Mexican-inspired fusion cafe, when we turn a corner to see this:

These diamond-shaped lamps, many of them, just suspended there, glowing for no apparent reason. They weren't particularly holiday themed, and they are still hanging there even though Three Kings Day is over. A brushed it off as "probably an exhibit or something," but I put it squarely into the category of little bursts of whimsy that just sort of happen when you put so many beautiful spirits together in one quarter of the city. In Copenhagen there are similar outbursts of beauty and quiRk, and it's always a big treat to witness. I ran home, fetched my camera, came back, and captured this picture(up here ^) before it disappeared or something else wonderful distracted me.

Additionally, while I'm talking about how much I love living in a city, I have this poem (it might also be a song...the internets are telling me different stories there) that makes me cry whenever someone reads it to me. It's pretty, it's nice, and it's only slightly tragic. I'll post a translation a little later, but for now here it is in German (it's even pretty when you read it in that language):

Augen in der Grossstadt

Wenn du zur Arbeit gehst
am frühen Morgen,
wenn du am Bahnhof stehst
mit deinen Sorgen:
da zeigt die Stadt
dir asphaltglatt
im Menschentrichter
Millionen Gesichter:
Zwei fremde Augen, ein kurzer Blick,
die Braue, Pupillen, die Lider -
Was war das? vielleicht dein Lebensglück...
vorbei, verweht, nie wieder.
Du gehst dein Leben lang
auf tausend Straßen;
du siehst auf deinem Gang, die
dich vergaßen.
Ein Auge winkt,
die Seele klingt;
du hast's gefunden,
nur für Sekunden...
Zwei fremde Augen, ein kurzer Blick,
die Braue, Pupillen, die Lider -
Was war das? Kein Mensch dreht die Zeit zurück...
Vorbei, verweht, nie wieder.

Du mußt auf deinem Gang
durch Städte wandern;
siehst einen Pulsschlag lang
den fremden Andern.
Es kann ein Feind sein,
es kann ein Freund sein,
es kann im Kampfe dein
Genosse sein.
Er sieht hinüber
und zieht vorüber ...
Zwei fremde Augen, ein kurzer Blick,
die Braue, Pupillen, die Lider -
Was war das?
Von der großen Menschheit ein Stück!
Vorbei, verweht, nie wieder.

Have a beautiful day, y'all!

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