Street Artist on the Kurfurstendamm, Berlin

Sidewalk artist Peter Heda entertains the crowd while using an oblivious passerby as bait for his gags

April 19

The Kurfurstendamm is still “the” place to shop in Berlin. It lost a bit of its luster when the eastern part of the city opened up but the once and still prime shopping street in Germany’s capital city is still all about the big brand names and shop til you drop. I spent a pleasant few hours here today, just browsing around and not helping the German economy much except for a light lunch at the excellent Lindner deli and a coffee at a place on the Uhlandstrasse with more than 30 different varieties of coffee, about two dozen different types of tea and half a dozen flavors of hot chocolate. Afterwards, I wandered back down the “Ku’damm” to the Alt Berliner Biersalon where I chose a table up front for people watching and a cold Berliner Kindl draft pilsner. Just as I was taking my first sip, I noticed a street performer starting his “show” on the sidewalk in front of the joint. Peter Heda was the hit of the day and he made me laugh til I cried. His talent is instant mimicking of people’s gaits, their stroll, their amble, their facial expressions and their distraction as they talk on their cell phone while pushing a bike while balancing shopping bags. It’s all a gas, and the show is obviously appreciated by the crowd sitting down at this old-time establishment. At the end, Peter goes around with a silver bucket and the coins tumble in with no hesitation. I sent Peter copies of the photos I took so that “daddy can show the kids what he does at work.”

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