Friday, November 22, 2002

Readers may remember my recent visit (See Archives) to the official reopening of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, where I was privileged to see Bill Clinton whiz by in a limousine.

The newly restored and refurbished Brandenburg Gate

Now it appears that a major ruckus has broke out in front of the Brandenburg Gate. And, no, I am not talking about the latest Michael Jackson episode in which he dangled his baby off the balcony of the Adlon Hotel, located on the square in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Adlon Hotel, largely destroyed during the war but now completely rebuilt and back up
to snuff as Berlin’s toniest hostelry (at least it was before Michael Jackson’s visit).

Instead I am referring to the fate of bratwurst vendor Curt Boesenberg who was just recently evicted from his spot in front of the Brandenburg Gate, where he sold bratwurst from a cart for years. Apparently he is considered too déclassé for the environs of the new, refurbished Gate. “They say my bratwurst stand isn’t appropriate for the square’s historical surroundings. That’s ridiculous. Sausages have a long tradition in Berlin,” he told the International Herald-Tribune. There were some heated public protests in the square in support of Boesenberg but to no avail. The authorities have decided that Boesenberg and his bratwurst have to go. I agree with the protestors on this one. It’s a helluva world when a guy can’t get a beer and a bratwurst in front of the Brandenburg Gate! This is especially galling because one of the corners of the Brandenburg square, right across the street from the Adlon Hotel, is now occupied by a Starbucks. So it “Bratwurst – Nien, Lattes – Ja” for the hallowed precincts of the Brandenburg Gate. Is this what the Greatest Generation fought for?