At the Ref Desk (1/16/19): Today's funny: Got an IM from a student asking who to contact for an overdue book. I texted him the phone number for Access Services. Student replied back that he'd call once his class was over. Um, right. [more...]
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Personal/Family

Berlin, Oct. 3, 1990

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 10/3/10 (1:17pm)

I remember the ceremony out in front of the Reichstag very well. The flag was raised and they played 'Deutschland, Deutschland'. It was the cumulation of events that had started a year earlier with the opening of the Berlin Wall (11/9/1989) and the upheaval all over Eastern Europe.

This date has always had personal significance for me. I had been in Europe by that time for 10 years (Paris, Rome, Berlin). The reunification of Germany represented a new beginning. I had known the old way: the two Berlins, the Wall, the crazy lovable nut-house ('Bonnie's Ranch') on one side and the police state on the other.

That was coming to an end -- and thank God it was -- but the new beginning prompted me to think about what I was doing and where I wanted to go.

I got into an airplane and flew back to the United States the next day.

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9/11

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/11/10 (1:36pm)

9/11 is always a time of reflection and memories for me. I was living in Manhattan on 12th St. at the time. Here are some of the scenes I video-taped in the days following the attack.

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Place I Was Born in Now Up for Sale -- $2.6 Mil (Marked Down from $3.1)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 4/4/10 (5:28pm)

Daddy had good tastes. The apartment at 155 W. Burton Pl. was his 'bachelor pad', designed by friend Sol Kogen, where he lived in the Fifties. At the time, he was owner of United Film & Recording Studio on Erie & St. Clair and producer/announcer of the German-language radio show, The Germania Broadcast.

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Old Colleague, New Colleague

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 1/22/10 (2:47pm)

An old colleague from NYU, Jen Schwartz, just started at DePaul. It's a small world.

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In Berlin When the Wall Came Down

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 11/9/09 (8:57am)

I was in Berlin when the Wall came down. In fact I had been living there since 1984.

I had just woken up from an early evening nap when one of the people from the Wohngemeinschaft where I was living told me the Wall had come down.

This seemed strange since it looked perfectly intact only an hour before when I had gone to sleep.

Of course my room-mate was exaggerating. In fact, the Wall hadn't come down -- it had simply opened up. You still had to show your ID to get through. There was one or maybe two cross-points. These are important distinctions which I'll get back to in a moment but at that point it really didn't matter. I like everyone rushed out to welcome the incoming East Germans at Checkpoint Charlie, buying a bottle of Sekt (German sparkling wine) along the way.

[read more...]

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My 9/11 Home Video: Lower Manhattan Two Weeks After the Attack

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 9/11/09 (9:40am)

I've posted this before but every year at this time I'm reminded of the incredible tragedy that happened while I was living in New York and its aftermath.

It's strange but maybe understandable: my initial reaction immediately following the attack that morning -- after the shock and confusion -- was simply to go to work, show my face and help in any way needed.

In November, we'll be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was there and it easily has to be the most significant public event I ever personally witnessed in a good way. By the same token, 9/11 had to be the worst.

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More Berlin Stories - Stew and 'Passing Strange' on NPR

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 8/30/09 (7:17pm)

So I'm listening to NPR's 'All Things Considered' and they start talking about an old pal of mine from my days in Berlin, Stew. The segment is called, "Wondrous 'Strange': Spike Lee Makes A Musical" and it's about how Spike Lee produced a film version of Stew's musical 'Passing Strange' which won a Tony last year (see my write-up).

The musical is about Stew's experiences growing up in L.A. and then going to Amsterdam and Berlin. Since that's when I knew him (we were in the same group called the 'Wonderful Guise'), I look forward to seeing the film. Below is the trailer.

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Holiday Dinner at Mom's

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 12/28/08 (11:16am)

Yes, we were able to fit in everyone who came. Got back home late.

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Three Events in My Life

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 11/7/08 (9:10pm)

They're selling Obama hats at my local 7-11. I know 'business is business' but this is the first time I can recall when the 'swag' from a presidential campaign was thought valuable enough to hit the retail shelves.

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Old Friend Mark Stewart Up For Tony Award

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 6/15/08 (7:57pm)

Finally someone I know is famous!

In the 80's in crazy Kreuzberg, West Berlin, a bunch of us belonged to this good-time group called the 'Wonderful Guise'. Mark Stewart Stew was one of the lead musicians.

Well, Mark Stewart Stew is now up for a Tony award as "Best Musical" for his show 'Passing Strange'. According to a write-up in the Village Voice, this Bildungsroman in musical form "takes him to Amsterdam and then to Berlin, where he's indoctrinated into hardcore bohemian life."

Hardcore bohemian it was! Above is a shot from a concert we gave at the venerable SO36. Mark's on the left, followed by Enrico, Freie Freya, Art and me. Not pictured were Marek the drummer and Anthony Millionaire (of Maakies fame) who did the costumes and sets.

UPDATE: Results are in. 'In the Heights' won out over 'Passing Strangely' 'Passing Strange' for Best Musical which kind of makes sense considering the subject and location of each show. 'Passing Strangely' 'Passing Strange' did get the 'Best Book' Award which is still pretty good.

UPDATE (5/27/2013):The content of this page is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License.

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