Escaping another winter for a European Summer was absolutely mind-blowingly, life-changingly fantastic! (except for the agonising distance from my children)
From catching up with long lost friends, checking out ridiculous amounts of art, both old and new, a reawakening of my old addiction of taking photo-essays of countless reclaimed abandoned spaces. . .
I could almost handle that the Art and Environment conference in Budapest ( For which I originally booked my tickets) had been canceled and postponed till next year. (2013) When i Surely wouldn't be on the other side of the world.)
A Romantic in Europe:
Abandon Spaces; Berlin- Abandoned Theme Park.
I had just bumped into Brodie Ellis, an old Melbourne art traps friend and past work colleague, and close friend to some of my closest friends. I had a just bought a vintage bike and was keen to find some abandoned spaces. Brodie had just hired one, and she had also heared of the charms of the abandoned theme park and was keen to come along for the ride.
My memory is not the greatest for filing events in order, especially when looking back over 12 months, but im pretty sure I got the heads up from Michella Gleeves, who I had met randomly on the ICE train from Frankfurt to Berlin. (That's a good story too, i'll hopefully get to that a little later) However Rob Longstaff, street musician extraordinaire, by this stage was showing me around the traps in the east, swore he was the first Australian to ever go there. . . and no doubt would also swear it was him. . . ( love ya Rob, there's a tale or two to tell about you too)
This was one of the less spooky over-grown empties i found in my hunts in Berlin and as good as any a place as any to start.
. . . Ghost train. . .
Hiding from security. . .
(apparently you are not "allowed" into the abandoned them park, so not being seen is better.)
This place, while having the implicit vibes of any abandoned space, had the overarching feeling of the fall of this place to the Communist government of East Berlin. It speaks volumes of this part of the world and its journey through time. All while effortlessly telling a story of the resilience of nature and urban decay.
It was great to share the experience with Brodie, too. Whilst company can generally make for a more enjoyable foray into the unknowns of the lawless terrain of an abandoned space, Brodie's sensitivities to time and place and general caution, were also a fantastic asset. It also helps to have a 'cute', well spoken and quick witted female companion when you do actually get caught. (we did push our luck a little)
This turned what could have been legal trouble into a thrill and a story.
Its a good easy empty to navigate and when they are not setting up a corporate event (like we expected that!) its a pretty easy in to urban exploration in Dickes B. (big B. . . aka Berlin)