Montag, 20. April 2009


The winter was rough... I bet not as bad as Chicago's... but, it was still low. Seasonal depression, not wanting to venture outdoors even for a good event, colds, eating a lot of soup, baking and baking and baking for some warmth in the kitchen and in the belly, and the like. I wont say i hate winter. I don't even 'dislike' the season- but after a while, the cold hits you- and the snow becomes less of a luxury and just another barrier to dodge on my way to work or school. Oh, and Senioritis mixed with the wintry elements just made it that much harder to finish school! Class? Id rather sleep. Snuggle in the warmth of the apartment.

But now, now, its warm, the air smells alive, and a breeze can be quite refreshing... it was worth the wait. Here are some flicks some outdoor adventures I was able to brave, now that spring is here!

Rooftop at the 'Soundcloud' office up the street from us- they had an open invite for breakfast barbeque- which of course went on till the evening- good time to lay out in the sun and enjoy a nice becks, or bionade in my case. Hanging out in a really large park in Kreuzberg called Victoria Park. Babysitting has really brought me to alot of parks and playgrounds- ive probably been to about 15 thus far... lol

And in the same neighborhood (Kreuzberg), there is a turkish street market twice a week- good for fabrics, and veggies mainly- but there is a pic of a basketballhoop and bags and bags of tees availiable there.

There is a district called Erkner, outside of berlin. Its one of those places that would confuse people when you mention it- "why did you go there?"
Well the weather was nice, and Ike and I were up for an adventure- so we went the absolute farthest we could east on the Berlin city trains (BVG). Our initial hope was to see some former east Berlin destruction, huge, abandoned buildings, industrial ruins... and history that has been lost in the city due to new constructions. We saw none of that. Erkner was interesting. The ride out there was like a Metra ride out to Plainfield. Big houses, suburbia, and lots of land. Take a look.

Sonntag, 12. April 2009


A friend visited the city, and he wanted to see those sites he's heard of- and cover as much territory as possible in the short week he had here. And, if you don't have endless months to just stumble upon those sites.... being a tourist is the only other option. Unfortunatly, with being a tourist, comes crowds, lines, and other annoying tourists.

I thought I'd make a postcard- me, traveling in the city- checking those sites that guide books classify as "must see" attractions, and spend a bit of time getting to know the history behind this once divided city. This adventure and interest began 6 months after my arrival. Six months after becoming part of the city. And I wonder if Id ever have done it if I hadnt got a visitor!

I came here and became one who is looked at by the tourists, not one of the tourists. I suppose I felt I didn't need such an introduction and determined attitude to get to know the city. Since moving here, day by day, I discover new parts of the city, uncover secrets I've never even dreamed of imagining, and piece together the history of Berlin- Its my own unconventional self-led tour of Berlin-

Dienstag, 7. April 2009


Max Von Senger on the left, Jakob Krueger on the Right. They adopted 2 Americans, and are quite a pair of characters- (as seen in image above) Max and I went to the same Uni, and Jakob goes to one is a far away place called Potsdam (not shown in diagram below- but just imagine a place further southwest)

We live in Mitte, and to give you a better idea of where that is, it is right where it says it is- 'middle'. All those little names are the equvielent to new york burrows, or chicago's 'neighborhoods, like little italy, or ukranian village. and here is my best attempt at coorelating each area with the neighborhoods of the chi:

mitte: loop
prenzlauerberg: wickerpark
wedding: rogerspark
kreuzberg: humboldt park
tiergarten: uptown
charlottenburg: lincoln park
wilmersdorf: oldetown
shoeneberg: andersonville mixed with pilsen
neukoelln: Southside mixed with west side mixed with pilsen

-but really.... they cant be compared... its just different.

and here is the massive train system! (click on it to enlarge)
its based on the 'honor system' primarily, although if you get caught without a ticket.... you get to pay a handsome fee of 40 euro :)

Montag, 6. April 2009


Yes, a big city usually coincides with big violence- or calls for 'street smarts' I automatically watch my back, and make sure no one is following me in when I open my building's front door at night. Making sure my cell phone has enough juice to make it home, and even put my mean-'dont mess with me face' on when i am out by myself- but these routine precautions were learned in Chicago.

Berlin is different. And although I never felt super threatened in Chicago- there are places that you know not to go- and things you know to look out for. And stories youve heard, about rapes and muggings. And then there's Berlin. Berlin is like a big, gentle giant. I really don't have to do anyof that. ever. Now, this isn't to say that I let my guard down completely... but I mean walking down the street bymyself at 3:30 in the morning, almost anywhere in Berlin is just about as scary as walking down the yellow-brick-road in broad daylight... the worst that could happen is that i run into a stranger, that ends up wanting to be a friend, or find myself in a new and glorious place- like Emerald City.

heres the latest street-violence reported in berlin:

Jogger mugged by 7-year-old boy

Published: 30 Mar 09 09:05 CET

Police have returned a 7-year-old to his parents after the child mugged a teenage jogger in a Berlin park on Sunday afternoon.

The boy overcame the 17-year-old girl while she was jogging in the Wedding district, a police statement said. He hit and kicked her, then took her mobile phone and attempted to flee, but she held him down.

Witnesses observed the attack and held the boy until police arrived, the statement said.

“The officers conducted a disciplinary discussion with the boy and informed his parents of the event,” police said. “The responsible youth services office was also informed.”

The jogger was not injured.

The Local (