Thursday, February 02, 2006

March 5th, 1901

Harry,

Today I awoke feeling rested and ready to conquer the task at hand of viewing the operations and technology of the Marklin model railroad company. Yet, when I arrived at the address “Marktgasse 21,” I thought I had fouled up my research because when I arrived at number twenty-one I did not find a building, I found a metropolis! I think that twenty of our stores could fit into this mammoth of a structure. It makes me ponder whether or not they are producing full-sized trains! Here is a postcard that I purchased at the gift shop located inside the entryway. That entryway, under the canopy in the middle of the card, was the farthest I got. It seems they do not allow visitors in to witness their operations. Do not be worried friend, I have a plan that will succeed but I will need to wait a few days before I can implement it fully.

With the rest of my day open to explore Berlin, I walked the few short blocks to the metro station to catch the 10 o’clock express. I decided that if I was going to travel around the city I should try what the Berlin public relies on. I found the train to be very confining though and I am quite glad I am not forced to use this method of transportation. Traveling through this “endless tunnel” was very disorienting as there was not much light and no objects out the windows as to judge one’s speed. In fact I wonder what the point of windows is on this train. Still, Manhattan could benefit from this as the speed is a great connivance in a hurry.

When I arrived at my station, I stopped at a small merchant’s setup just a few feet from the tracks and purchased another postcard, this one of the metro. I do hope you intend on starting a collection from my travels.

Upon leaving the metro I headed for the Altes, an art museum unlike any I have ever seen. The building’s exterior contains enough columns to satisfy the likes of any Roman emperor. I had seen a poster announcing that the works of a younger artist, by the name of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, would be on display for one final day. As I walked through his gallery of paintings I noticed one particular painting that caught my eye. The painting depicted a crowded street scene in Dresden, Germany and I thought Kirchner had truly captured the feeling of the modern times we live in. The faces of the people, mostly women, were blurry, similar to the blurred scene out of a train window and everything had a feeling of acceleration.

As I left the gallery and was walking towards the exit I passed a large set of doors and heard the sound of many men laughing inside. When I approached the doors and peered through the crack in between I saw a bearded gentleman speaking to the crowd of men. He thanked them for some Nobel award he had won and noted that the fact that this was the first annual award ever, meant very much to him. The man clapped and cheered after his speech and they began to exit and I moved just out of sight of the doors. After the room had cleared, I tiptoed in and picked up one of the programs on the table. The man was Wilhelm Roentgen! He was the physicist who had discovered the x-ray. I pocketed the program so you could see his picture and a copy of what the x-ray looked like.


I left the Altes around 6 o’clock and after a short metro ride home, found the comforts of my hotel room once again inviting. Will write tomorrow!

Very sincerely,
Joshua

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