Many of the buildings show the damage from the Battle of Berlin, and there are a lot of empty spaces and unreconstructed buildings just left. Broken Berlin is still shattered, especially on this eastern side that didn't have the pouring in of American money. Imbedded into the footpaths are brass tablets as memorials for the Jewish people who had lived in those buildings before Auschwitz. A very large ruined complex of buildings with a big archway used to be a famous artist's squat but now will become commercial. At last I got to the New National Gallery. Built in 1968 it is Mies van der Rohe's last built building – a masterpiece. O. M. Ungers Cosmos of Architecture is the featured exhibition and includes his own collection of artworks. A knockout Ellsworth Kelly painting, Black Green 1980, Donald Judd's cadmium red, Half Solid Tube Piece 1990, in that show plus other works in the museum's collection, make me feel very happy.
When I lived in New Zealand, I had a neighbour with three daughters. One day, this recent widow intrepidly climbed up onto the roof to try to fix a leaking tile. She fell off onto her head, and from then on lived in an institution, with the eldest daughter Fiona, bringing up the other two girls. They used to bemoan that they would never be married now, saying that in New Zealand men only marry girls that are rich. Not entirely true I'm sure, but true enough everywhere, viz Jane Austen for the reverse. When the mother came for weekend visits, she looked the same, however it was as if her head was an egg, which unlike Humpty Dumpty's, the shell remained unbroken but the insides were scrambled. She used to try to find things that weren't there and ask about "her area".
Still not quite habituated to this routine of living out of a studio and a suitcase with hygienic facilities at a distance, I keep forgetting where I've put things. Today it happened, coming out of my hot shower I realized that the towel was back in the studio across the public, unheated corridor. That's when I thought of that brave New Zealand widow: In my case, same on the outside, but very stupid inside. But hey, for a few years when I was a child, we lived on a farm in Canada with the outhouse some distance away and a pump for the well outside the kitchen door. And that was high snow to get through.