Cafe Biaggio owner Shari Breed doesn’t look nearly old enough to remember the Cold War.
But that was her perspective the other day as she looked out the window of her University Avenue eatery near Raymond.
“East Berlin,” she says with a rueful grin.
Her perspective? Just outside Cafe Biaggio’s front window is a narrow span of sidewalk and then a seven foot high cyclone fence.
Beyond that, two lanes of University Avenue are missing and several feet of earth have been removed, creating a kind of no man’s land populated with folks piloting heavy equipment.
East Berlin, you’ll recall, was the post-World War II half of Berlin claimed by the communists and barricaded with fences and gates.
The barricades on University Avenue as light rail construction ramps up are not nearly as onerous, but you do need to navigate with care as the landscape literally changes daily.
The advantage on University Avenue compared with the bad old days in East Berlin is that no one tries to shoot you should you cross the barricades.
On the contrary, Shari Breed and the other business owners along University will welcome you with open arms, and in Shari’s case, with an appealing menu of Italian fare including “chicken under a brick”, or pollo al mattone.
Oh, yes. The bricks are from a friendly construction worker who found them while digging up University Avenue.