Berlin Art Market

As you cross the Spree along the Unter den Linden, in the narrow space between the river and the Zeughaus there is a little art market every weekend. We’d missed the weekend. Luckily for us the Monday was a holiday, and the Berlin Art Market was in full swing as we walked through.

We found painters and photographers in small stalls. Others had sculpture and ceramics. Although the atmosphere is like a flea market, the people manning the stalls are the artists selling their own work. Also, unlike a flea market, the prices are fixed. We walked slowly past the stalls of several photographers. I struck up a conversation with some of them. They have all spent some time traveling and working in several of Europe’s larger cities before coming to Berlin.

I bought a print of Lisbon from one of them at the end of a long conversation. He came to Berlin from London. The rents are lower in Berlin, he told me. From his collection of prints, it seems that he also found more visually interesting material in Berlin.

It seemed to us that we were perpetually short of time in Berlin. We would have liked to linger in the market for much longer than we actually did.

The bookseller

Unter den Linden was dug up. My favourite war memorial, the Neue Wache, was closed for renovation. We walked along and at the gates of Humboldt university, found a stall of used books. I’m a sucker for a bookshop. After I’d admired the bundled-up shopkeeper, I ran an eye over the books.

Many of the hard-bound books were about the history of the second world war. I sort of recognized the book called “The Battle for Moscow”, by the prolific and generally well regarded Polish author of war history, Janusz Piekalkiewicz. The other table contained CDs, records and paperbacks. These were for three Euros each. Used copies of books like the one by Piekalkiewicz sell for less on Amazon. I wonder how these books sell on the pavement.

As you can see, the bookseller was deeply engrossed in a tablet, reading a e-book by the looks of it.