Neighborhoods of Berlin: Discovering Hidden Gems
Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.
From top: Park Guell, Barcelona; Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, and Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Barcelona, Milan, and Berlin have been crucibles of culture and experimentation for centuries, instrumental in changing the course of European history. They’ve also long been magnets for talented and unconventional residents, many of whom gravitate to distinctive and colorful neighborhoods. In districts as familiar as the Ramblas, the Piazza del Duomo, and the Brandenburg Gate, there are still many special places beloved by locals that are overlooked by visitors.
Fred Plotkin, a popular Smithsonian speaker on culture, history, and music, has lived in and visited Barcelona, Milan, and Berlin over more than four decades. Join him for a richly illustrated series in which he looks at these places through the eyes of a flâneur—a French term for a person whose casual strolls through city streets produce delight in their chance discoveries. He shares what he’s found on his walks: churches, theaters, specialty shops, restaurants, cafes, and unusual museums just a stone’s throw from world-famous landmarks.
Germany’s capital has changed more radically than any city in Europe. Its people jealously conserve all evidence of its glorious and tormented past, reflected in neighborhoods throughout Berlin’s sprawling urban spaces and abundant green zones. The city abounds in offbeat museums—some devoted to sugar, erotica, hemp, and pacifism—and boasts the best food hall in Europe, part of the KaDeWe department store. You can take in a performance at the Admiralspalast, the stunning 1928 theater favorited by Hitler that became the first in Germany to stage The Producers.
If you are interested in other sessions of this course, click here.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)