Berlin ’82 in Pictures

Say cheese! This cheery Checkpoint Charlie family portrait was the crowning glory of my entry—a slideshow on the Berlin Wall—in the 1982 Lee County Media Show. Despite the unfair advantage of my on-location shots of the Wall, some kid who was actually talented and had created a claymation Super 8 film won.

The Checkpoint Charlie snap comes courtesy of a disk of images my dad just mailed me. They are all from our Berlin trip in the summer of ’82, and there are some interesting comparisons with how things look now. The Wall is of course gone—in fact it’s pretty hard to find any sign of it except for a few pieces still on display at Potsdamer Platz and the double-row of cobblestones that traces its route in some parts of the city (Berliners, understandably, wanted it this way).


The Reichstag looks shockingly drab pre-Norman Foster’s glass dome.

And the Wall and watchtower-lined Spree gives new meaning to Berliners’ current fondness for pop-up riverside beach clubs.  Then…

and now…

But if I’m honest, my favorite part of looking at these pictures is admiring the fashions my family was wearing at the time. My mom is rocking a pair of oversized transluscent-framed sunglasses, my dad has a whiff of Burt Reynolds about him, and my sister and I are perpetually dressed in Izod shirts with high-waisted jeans. My sister also favors a lavender satin bomber jacket with ice cream cone pin that I remember coveting. It was much cooler than the stupid cardigans my mother bought for me. Here are the best of those pics.



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