Wouldn’t you know it? The Berlin Wall is one of the swankier parts of Manhattan. And no one seems to know it.
A section of the wall was brought to NYC in 1989 after the partitioning of Berlin broke down and East Germany (and European Communism in general) collapsed. It isn’t a secret installation, but no one I spoke with at work had been aware of it.
Even on 53rd Street, they didn’t seem to know. As I was taking my pictures, a gentleman came up and asked whether it was the Berlin Wall. He had seen it a number of times, he said, and suspected it; but wasn’t certain. I assured him that it was, but I don’t blame the guy. It’s thinner than I suspected:
Obviously, it isn’t the entirity of the wall as my favorite memory of it is people standing on it, dancing on it, and (especially) swinging at it with a sledgehammer. So, this must just be the facade. There’s also a plaque that makes the history a little murkier:
It says that the “artists” were Thierry Noi and Kiddy Citny. Well, the Wall was an East German construction, and not an art installation so I briefly wondered whether it was a “re-creation” or a simulation of the Wall done by these two. But, it isn’t. Apparently, they were responsible for the art work done on the Wall (as opposed to the actual construction – that is, they just painted the blank wall facing them when they lived in Berlin).
In any event, I’m delighted that the Wall is down and inhabits 53rd Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue (right near a Burger Heaven, actually).