Sunday, July 6, 2008

Don't Rain on My Parade

I've been crazy busy lately. Work, play, work, play... and hey... maybe some sleep in there once in a while.
Last weekend (yes... I'm WAY behind) was filled with so much cool stuff, I really wanted to write about it. Unfortunately I didn't have ANY time throughout the week.

Friday night we went to an event celebrating the 65th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech at Rathaus Sch├Âneberg .

It was pretty much a video show of JFK's most important speeches culminating in the famous speech he gave telling West Berliners that the American government would protect them.

I was born five years after the death of JFK, but just listening to his speeches I can easily understand how the American people could look toward him with hope.

Part of me really hopes that Obama can be the man that the American people are wanting, just the same way they WANTED and NEEDED JFK. What I hope doesn't happen is that he is cut down in the same way JFK was... I'm not sure America could handle that.

The picture is the front facing of the Rathaus itself. Yup, those are gay pride flags flying in front. I took the pic in the middle of Gay Pride Week, when most government buildings in Berlin display the rainbow flag. Here is another picture from the inside.

This building also holds a separate significance for me... this is where N. and I "tied the knot". To this day every time I pass this building (um, twice a day - on my way to and from work) I look up at it and smile just thinking about that day.

The next day, Saturday, was the Christopher Street Day Parade (CSD - Gay Pride Parade). N. wasn't feeling very well, so I just took a few hours and headed down by myself. I took Mimi and may I say there is a certain advantage to driving a scooter to these things. Since the parade itself was so long, I thought I would just drive to different locations and get a nice overview. Mimi and I were often allowed to sidle right up alongside the parade itself, so I ended up hitting the parade in six different spots along the way.

May I say that the people seemed to be having a great time even though Mother Nature wasn't really very cooperative, spitting rain for a few minutes an hour doesn't really help a parade, but it is much better than a constant downpour I suppose. More Pride pics here.

Sunday we went to the Bergmanstrassenfest, a jazz festival, and had a nice walk among the vendors looking for music at one of the three stages. It was a shame that we managed to come in one of those hour sections that no music was planned at ANY of the stages. As an event planner it bugs the SHIT out of me when I see incompetence like this. This is a music event which closes off about six streets for two days. There were three stages which sat empty almost the entire time we were there (over an hour). They didn't even play recorded music in the intervals through the sound systems which were already set up... nope, silent. While we walked through the fair, the only music we heard was coming from one of the open bars... and it was Salsa music.

As we were walking toward the exit we came across two dancers who were an advertisement for a local dance lesson studio. They looked like they were having a great time, so we hung around there and enjoyed a few dances.

The main stage is directly by the main entrance/exit. As we got closer to it we heard the familiar wheeze of Scottish bagpipes as they are "warming up". What? Bagpipes at a "Jazz Event"? umm... well.. Yes.

Upon getting to the stage we saw a heavily tattooed young man at the microphone with one half of his head shaved bald... the other half had long dyed red hair draped partly over his face. Behind him was the guy with the bagpipes, and there were several other "normal" guys wearing kilts, rounding out what was to be a band... finally.

We decided to stand there for a few moments and let them start up to see if we would opt for staying around a little while longer. The sign behind them said Numbskull Puppets as well as a few shirts of people standing around in front of the stage. They began to play a wild conglomeration of what they called Scotch-rock which was surprisingly interesting. The first song was "Here We Go", and wasn't bad at all. They aren't superior musicians, but they all mix together just fine. The second song started and N. and I looked at each other and simultaneously started for the exit. The music was ok... but not what we expected from a jazz festival.

After a nice nap we took off to the Fan Mile to watch a sadly disappointing German team get outplayed by the Spanish team at the European Football Championship. Awwww... Oh well. I've always believed that the best team should win, and even get frustrated and annoyed when "my" team plays what I believe is sub-standard and still manages to win. This reminds me of the Germany/Turkey game in which the Germans came out on top. I wish the Turks could have played the Spanish... this would have been an interesting game.

Yes, N. went with me to the Fan Mile even though she had told me earlier that she wouldn't attend another such game in public. A friend of ours had more influence than me and we made a deal to leave the game in the final moments so we could get away before the crowds which was a good move. But of course, since Germany didn't win the celebrations were held to a minimum, which really helped ease her tension on the way out of the congested area. We got stuck in traffic, but it was just normal traffic, and not a big problem at all.

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2 comments:

Goofball said...

bagpipes on a jazz festival...hmm that is odd yes.

CrackerLilo said...

Looks like there's all kinds of fun going on in Berlin! Is it as hideously muggy there as it is on America's east coast?

And hey, Obama's just coming to make you feel like you're back home! :-)