The plaza on the east side of the Brandenburg Gate feels like just another European central square, teeming with tourists and street performers and souvenir-vendors (in this case, a guy dressed as a WWII Russian soldier, selling WWII-related trinkets; you can see him the the second photo below) and random costumed characters of unknown significance. It's a classic example of Berlin's split personality and seeming inability to decide if it wants visitors to focus on the memorials and museums and reminders of the city's tangled, sometimes-terrible history ... or just to overload on the standard tourist schlock.
Some not-so-flattering photos of the Gate and the adjacent plaza:
And here's another interesting photo of Berlin. See the odd line of cobblestones cutting through the parking lot and running into the Marriott?
Or rather, in this small version of the photo, see the orange arrow in the lower left corner? Okay, now see the thing it's pointing to, the thing that looks like it could maybe possibly be a line of cobblestones? Just trust me: that's what it is.
That's the former line of the Berlin Wall.