Projector Test in Berlin
Tuesday 3rd November 2009. London - Berlin
I've been in a coma since getting back from New York but made it up and out today to get to Berlin. I didn't really have to fly until tomorrow morning but I'm so messed up with jet lag that I seem to be sleeping from about 4am till noon each night, so an evening flight was suited to my body clock. The journey was commendably uneventful, though I did get to Heathrow with plenty of time to spare so had dinner at Gordon Ramsey. It was a bit of a revelation to have a really great meal at an airport - I seem to remember an Italian airport (possibly Milan) which has a really good restaurant but other than that you know the general level of fare. We've become accustomed to airports serving only fast food (especially in the U.S., god help us) but there's no rational reason for it. Practically every airport in the world is rammed with stores selling exclusive luxury label brands (though how something can be 'exclusive' and ubiquitous remains a mystery to me) so there's clearly some money being spent. Logic would seem to suggest that if there's a sufficiently affluent customer base keeping Chanel and Prada in business, then it's likely that an airport could probably also shift a decent bit of nosebag if offered.
Anyway, Gordon Ramsey came through for us (and was not cheap, let me tell you) so we rolled onto the aeroplane feeling pleasantly stuffed and snoozed all the way to Berlin. My promised airport pick-up failed to materialise but fortunately I had a pocketful of Euros so jumped a cab to the Hotel Fabulous. This particular Hotel Fabulous is one of my favourites and in this instance has the enormous bonus of facing the Brandenburg Gate, which is where U2 are to play on Thursday.
The big idea for the U2 performance is for them to play on a little stage in front of the Gate, whilst projected images transform the Gate into a huge art backdrop. It was quite late and very cold by the time I got into my room, which commanded an impressive view of the Gate. I could see that there was a projector test going on and it seemed to be going OK. The mock up of the graphics was very promising and it was a rare delight for me to be able to monitor the technicians' progress in the freezing square whilst tucked up in a bathrobe enjoying a hot chocolate in my hotel room. Not very rock of me, I appreciate, but ever so cosy.