The first thing to know about Berlin is that it has many walls — and there is graffiti on almost all of them.
I was in Berlin for a week and only left the former East Berlin once, and then just by a couple of blocks. The Fernsehturm was almost never out of sight.
Was the profusion of graffiti and street art a hold-over from the Berlin Wall, I wondered? An artist friend who has traveled more widely than me said she thought Berlin was the most graffitoed city in the world.
Some of the street art was overtly political,
much of it was whimsical,
and some of it was uncomfortable.
It was rather like touring an open-air museum—
albeit one with warring curators,
some of whom squatted on the premises,
came out only under cover of darkness,
and paid loving homage to fellow squatters.