Friday Photo Blogging: commerce recolonising the death-strip

A cheery title, no? The Wall’s destruction brought as many contradictions to Berlin as it removed, if not more, and they grow in sharpness over time. This is one of the last remaining sections of the “death-strip” that was caught between the two layers of the wall, in this particular case just next to the River Spree, a few minutes walk from the Ostbahnhof:

Graffiti on the "death strip"

This area is best known as “The East Side Gallery“. The side of the wall facing the road (to the left of this shot) was painted by many famous graffiti and mural artists just after the Wall fell; their art is now scabbed over by the felt-tip scribblings of tourists. Here in the former death-strip, however, the other side of the wall is where the more hardcore painters would come to work without the legitimacy that the post-Wende hysteria leant to the Gallery.

Looking in the opposite direction to this shot, you would now see tent-town beach-bars bristling with brand names. Then, further still, the crowning irony: a section of the Wall that has been fenced off completely from public access, pending the arrival of more entertainment and retail venues. This is prime land for development, and commerce will have its way, despite the (arguably justifiable) resentment of those with long enough memories. Selah.

Writing about music

This week has been a bit of a screwed one for The Dreaded Press, largely due to me dropping a few balls in favour of other priorities. But that’s just the way I’m currently doing things; businesses with incomes come first, which puts TDP way down the list.

Album of the week

Still got some writing done though, and without any doubt the greatest pleasure was derived from reviewing Tail Swallower And Dove by These Arms Are Snakes. Fantastic and nigh-unclassifiable heavy music with rich inscrutable symbolism and brooding malice… something to watch stock tickers to.

Writing about books

To my shame, I’ve made no inroads over the last week on the reviews I have waiting to be written. That said, it’s probably be better to be in a position where I have four books that I’ve finished and just need to write about rather than four books waiting to be read and clamouring for a review as well. Silver linings, silver linings.


Ah, now this is where all this week’s effort and energy has gone! Should have a new author site to launch early next week, and have been doing some design preliminaries on a new project that promises to be a lot more visually ambitious (and hence tricky and lengthy) than anything I’ve done as of yet. But hey, guy’s gotta raise his game, right? It’s a challenge, and I’m feeling confident about nailing it, too.


Nothing out of the ordinary to report at Futurismic, except an exceptionally persistent spammer who seems to bear a rather nasty grudge against a certain New-Yorican singer-songstress. The weird and omnidirectional obsessions these people possess never cease to amaze and appal[1].

Books and magazines seen

It’s been another week of high volume and low interest on the books front, with yet more care packages from both Orbit and Tor/Macmillan packed full of stuff that drew nothing more than a resounding “meh”[2].

But there’s one title that does look quite appealing, namely Lou AndersFast Forward 2 anthology from Pyr, which as some interesting contributors on its contents page as well as a garish but undeniably eye-catching Picacio cover:

Fast Forward 2 anthology - ed. Lou Anders

Another brick for the to-be-read wall. Life’s such a chore, isn’t it?


Well, that was the first no-gig week in what feels like months[3]. And as them what follows me on Twitter will already know, this week I got my lazy arse out of the house and down to the swimming pool – twice! The end results are a much clearer knowledge of just how horrifically unfit I’ve become[4], and calf muscles that feel like someone’s clamped them onto my legs with an immense bulldog clip. But hey, you gotta start somewhere.

And the weekend starts right here; most of it will involve the ceaseless battering of CSS and PHP into this very keyboard, but there’s band practice to look forward to on Sunday as well as beers with friends this evening. And as I’ve been a good boy this week – staying in in the evenings, eating cheaply, getting work done and exercising, no less – I’m going to indulge in The Friday Curry. Biweekly is better than weekly, after all… 🙂

So have a good weekend, and do yourselves a favour – don’t watch the news, because worrying won’t make any difference. Auf weidersehn!

[ 1 – Although, now I come to think about it, they’re amazing simply by merit of being as banal, bigoted and stupid as the ones you encounter in real life. Go figure. ]

[ 2 – Especially since the postman got me out of bed half an hour early for them both this morning. Grumble grumble. ]

[ 3 – Looking at my calendar, I think it actually is months. Blimey. ]

[ 4 – When I was nine or thereabouts, I could swim for literally hours at a time – if you lived in an ex-pat compound in Saudi Arabia, there was little else to do for kids. Currently, twenty lengths of a definitely-not-Olympic-size pool has me stiff-limbed and breathing like a nylon fetishist at an Ann Summers evening. ]

One thought on “Friday Photo Blogging: commerce recolonising the death-strip”

  1. I’m waiting for my copy of FF2 to dispatch from Amazon. Unfortunately, Amazon appears to be under the impression that it’s not published until January.

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