Sunday, August 3, 2008

How to make a stuffed vegan and find a lose of inspiration

Today I met up with a friend and we decided to go to the Sunday brunch at Hans Wurst Vegan Cafe. Let me tell you, a brunch buffet on Sunday is a really big deal here. You can walk down streets lined with cafes and just about every one will be offering a brunch on Sunday.  In my 10 weeks thus far, I still have not managed to actually go to one.  Unfortunately, I found out too late of the amazing offerings at this particular buffet.

(Shown here are our loaded plates and me having a third helping of pancakes.) 

There was so much good food. The favorites were the pancakes with the chocolate mousse, and the tomatoes with the feta style tofu. It was really fun and low key. It was also really neat how the pricing was done. Basically, after you were finished eating, you pay somewhere between 7-12 Euros based on how much you ate or how good you thought the food was. I think that is a really good concept, and I will definitely be going next weekend for my last Sunday here. Plus, I ate so much that I wasn't hungry for the rest of the day. (Yes, that is indeed possible.)

The somewhat disappointing aspect to my day was my visit to the East Side Gallery.  I was there three years ago, and two years ago during my previous stays in Germany. On both occasions my group made trips to Berlin. The East Side Gallery is a large section of the wall that was painted by artists as a memorial and source of inspiration after the fall of the wall. Today, many of these amazing murals have been lost to time and graffiti. Some portions are hardly recognizable as how I re
member them a few years ago.

Usually I am a big fan of street art. It can be really interesting and makes you think on occasion, but there is also a big difference between street art and graffiti.  Graffiti I do not admire as much because I feel like it does not usually have an artistic purpose and mostly only a form of vandalism. In the case of the wall, the graffiti is more akin to vandalism and has ruined large sections of what was once a source of inspiration.  I walked along the whole 1.3 kilometer stretch, and just seeing the extent of the damage just made me want to cry. The artwork on the wall had a message of freedom, hope, and overcoming what was once thought to be impossible. 
Here you can see a portion of the wall, and how badly the original artwork is covered up. This was actually a favorite section of mine when I first saw the wall.  In my picture from three years ago, almost none of that graffiti is present, and the message is still easy to read. 

It really does make me sad that the young people have chosen to rebel in this way. I am all for going against authority and rebellion, but, when you destroy a message of hope such as this, I think it is in bad taste and shows a poor understanding of the bigger rebellions that have already been accomplished. 

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