Berlin Walls: Photo Gallery

Wall Art, Berlin: “The Kiss” Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing East Germany President Erich Honecker

Photo: Russell Johnson

Tear down those walls. On this anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, we might also be celebrating the elections in Myanmar which, if they hold, further chip away the wall that has divided that nation from the rest of the world.

But walls come down, walls go up: In Europe, blocking immigrants. In Israel, further dividing that nation. Along the US border, red meat for opportunistic politicians.

Thankfully, I think it is safe to say that the Berlin Wall is down for good. We photographed some of the art painted on what is left of it.

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Floating Through the Canyons of Chicago (Video)

The Chicago “Bean”

Chicago is no longer Carl Sandberg’s “Hog Butcher for the World, Stacker of Wheat” but is still, self-assuredly, “City of the Big Shoulders.” Forget Hong Kong, New York, London…Chicago rules in weight and substance. Its architects — Burnham, Sullivan, Wright, Gehry, dozens of others — gave birth to monuments: to chewing gum (Wrigley), merchants (Sears, Montgomery Wards) who shipped tractors and brassieres to little houses on the prairie, to massive egos (Trump) and architectural movements that swept the world. The skyscraper was invented here.

We are here on opening day of the very first Chicago Architectural Biennial, celebrating ideas from some 100 world architects from Chicago, itself, to Africa and Bali.

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Going Gray: World Elephant Day

Elephant Threesome Sri LankaAll photos (c) Russell Johnson

Hard to believe that there are only 40 thousand or so Asian elephants still alive and that six African elephants are killed each day. Reversing this is what today, World Elephant Day, is about.

It is a time to both celebrate and pray for the elephant.

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The Kiss 2015

Photo: © Russell Johnson

Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra painted this tribute to Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous The Kiss photograph, which celebrated the ending of World War II. Eisenstaedt shot the original in New York’s Times Square. Kobra’s mural is visible from the Highline on 25th Street and 10th Avenue.

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