Not in the same way or with the same gravity that seeing the wall or Alexanderplatz did, nor was it even comparable with being reuinted with my friends who lived there who I hadn't seen for over a year.
CC offered something intangible. Back in 1996 the streets around the area were already aligned with makeshift carpets, covered with pins and badges bearing old Communist designs, but the surrounding streets were oddly deserted in contrast.
The museum which was already in place there felt like a sobre reminder about how the world got things so wrong back in the thirties and forties, and although it had the authenticity of the Hard Rock Cafe, it had a spirit and purpose which couldn't be faulted, and a gift shop that made perfectly light of war paraphenalia and imagery.
Berlin is no longer just the whacky, cool city that inspired me back in the 1990s, a burgeoning place of beer gardens and awkward conversations and a Northern German mentality. It has become one of the premier cities of Europe again, where aside from the architecture, it gets harder and harder each day to distinguish the differences between Old East and Old West. The film Goodbye Lenin! is as good a summation of the new versus old mentality if you want to look into that further, but sometimes history and culture are intangible, especially when the representat structures have been razed or destroyed. Even when things are based on replicas or rebuilds, they can still be authentic homages to or reminders to another time, another event, another history, assuming that the surrounding area adds that otherwise missing authenticity.
So it was with complete dismay that I read this article about even more changes that seemed to have been made to the area around CC.
Where is it that we, as people, as cities, as governments draw the line between rampant commercialism and maintaining at least a semblance of dignity?