I know those words shouldn’t be coming out of my mouth just yet— I mean, it’s technically only day 4 of 29— but I’m so exhausted in such a fulfilling way.
After catching up with Ben yesterday at the film museum, we walked a couple of blocks to the Neues Nationalgalerie, Berlin’s more contemporary art gallery. IT WAS AMAZING. I’m kind of a sap for contemporary art anyway, but the Neues Nationalgalerie collection blew my mind. For one, they had all sorts of multimedia pieces, from a “light room” with projectors set up to create patterns on the walls to a liquid timer that formed super neat bubbles. I guess that’s the nature of art pieces lately, but it was fun to experience it here in Berlin. (That being said, I’ve never seen museum guards get so furious when people stepped too close toward art that shouldn’t be touched. Whoa, baby.) The American pop art fan in me also found it fascinating to see Andy Warhol’s double Elvis piece in person. How incredibly iconic is that? Maybe I’m just biased after visiting Graceland over Spring Break.
Ben and I followed up the Neues Nationalgalerie with a trip to the Gemäldegalerie, which houses work from the Old Masters— think Rembrandt and Botticelli. I actually got thrown out at first for having a water bottle with me (who knew that was a crime?) but I snuck my way back in to spend a solid hour or two in the museum. Ben thinks it’s funny that one of the first things I said upon seeing the collection was: “Hey, look! A picture of Jesus!” Little did I know the museum is almost ENTIRELY comprised of religious paintings. Ben found it particularly interesting to trace Jesus’s skin tone through the years. (For those interested, apparently artists portray Jesus as whiter and more European-looking as the centuries progress. I wish I had stopped to consider that idea as I walked through the gallery, but he didn’t mention it until later.) I found it entertaining to study the hundreds of poses in which people chose to paint the Madonna and child. It’s hard to notice that sort of thing until you’re presented with three or four full rooms of Madonna and child portraits.
By the time we finished at the Gemäldegalerie, it was already approaching 6 p.m. and we hadn’t even eaten yet! So we trekked across town with expired metro tickets— now THAT is a hilarious story— and I enjoyed a true Berlin dönner kebab in one of the neighborhoods Aline suggested we visit today. One word: delicious.
Like last night, we ended the evening in Aline’s kitchen with more yummy food (two types of bread, lettuce, sandwich spread, and peanut butter) and fun conversation. I think I could really get used to life in Berlin… assuming I started to get a little more rest!