Wandering in Berlin

August 16, 2015

Guten Appetit


There are a lot of reasons why I fell in love with Berlin.
It’s a vibrant city, with an eclectic mix of culture, urban life and history, a legendary nightlife, a culinary scene that rivals NYC, and always something new interesting happening.
Berlin literally has it all: vibe, art, music, food, fun, endless possibilities.

Hauptbanhof

You go to Berlin and you don’t want to leave — just like NYC.
And just like NYC, Berlin attracts people from all over the world.
DJs want to play at Berlin most popular clubs (such as Berghain - a club located in an old power station - regarded as the Mecca of techno music), new and talented artists want to present their artwork in one of the hundreds of art galleries that proliferate everywhere, creatives are flocking to experience no ordinary city life, and tech startups are popping up all over the city.

Inside Neueheimat




Hamburger Bahnhof
At first the crowd may seem contradictory: There are hipsters, punks, emos, indies, rockers, post-rockers, nerds, white collars, geeks, athletes, ordinary Joes. But after a while you realize that everyone is just doing their thing. Sure, there are posers that seek attention; for the most part though you feel that in Berlin people feel free to express themselves.
It’s a diverse, accepting, and trendy city.

Berlin Crowd





Couch


Berlin has an amazing history that is still very perceptible.
It was the center of the Prussian Empire and the capital of the German Reich. After WWI it became the busiest metropolis in Europe and the epitome of the Golden Twenties.
Then came the Nazis who remodeled Berlin as the future world capital.
It was Berlin from where the Führer ignited WWII and it was Berlin where Germany surrendered unconditionally in 1945.

Bundestag



Memorial To The Murdered Jews
The uprising of the Cold War and the building of the Wall set the tone for the next forty years. Berlin was at the heart of the Cold War and the demarcation line of two political systems and superpowers.
Only after the the fall of the Wall Berlin was able to become the capital of a reunited Germany again.

Berlin Wall


Every American student learns about the famous JFK speech — from a platform erected on the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg — "Ich bin ein Berliner"
Rathaus Schonenberg


And Reagan's speech at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987 "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

Brandeburg Gate


But it is one thing to read about it from the American perspective and another to actually see for yourself the results of Berlin's turbulent past with the division of East and West, NATO vs Warsaw Pact, and the post-war buildings that have become part of the historical inventory of the city.

Inside NeueMarket



Kultur Brauerei


Kultur Brauerei (2)
The city remembers its unique past but seems eager to develop into the future. It’s infectious and you can feel it on your skin.
How Long Is Now


Take for instance Tempelhof, an old airport full of history and heritage that has been turned into an open-sky park for BBQ, gardening, and sports.

Tempelhof


TempelBurger
I stayed at Dan’s who lives in Friedrichshain, formerly part of East Berlin, now considered one of Berlin's most hip areas — known for its many cafes, pubs, and burgeoning nightlife — and home to numerous design and media companies.

Oberbaumbrucke



Neueheimat


Light Bulbs
Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, and Mitte are other hip, artsy, and fashionable neighborhoods I fell in love with.
Each one has its own personality and distinct appeal, and each demonstrate Berlin’s changing face, as this European capital has become a magnet for people from all around the world.

Kreuzber




S-Bahn


TV Tower

Kulturbrau
As mentioned earlier, the culinary scene is phenomenal. The caliber of craft and culinary skill that's going on in Berlin is unique. 

Berlin Village Market

It’s home to the first ever Paleo restaurant. You know, just to mention A restaurant. Ha!

Sauvage Restaurant


Each Thursday night there’s a market (Street Food Thursday) with food from all over the world.
Trust me guys when I say that I had one the most scrumptious BBQ pulled beef ever.

Markethalle



Markethalle (2)
Markethalle (3)
An example of Berlin's capacity to turn an old building into something really cool is Burgermeister: a burger joint which operates from a century old toilet, under some overground tracks of the subway.

Burgermeister

Coffee culture is also huge.

Coffee


New Deli Yoga
Concierge Coffee
Distrikt Coffee
The cultural scene, fueled by the influx of young, trendsetting individuals from around the world, is thriving.

Folk Band


Berlin is an open air contemporary art gallery. Everywhere you glance, some artist has left his stamp.

Door


You'll Never Be Happy
Edelweiss
Mong
Aside from the breathtaking parts of the city, the city is full of neat apartment buildings, all with balconies adorned with flowers.

Balcony


Balcony (2)
Believe it or not, life in Berlin is affordable. From rent to food and recreation.

Manu-Tee-Faktur


Tuareg Mint Tea

California Pops
Beer is cheap. So so cheap.
And you can drink everywhere as outdoor drinking is legal. So parks, sidewalks, even public transportation, you name it.
I’ll be honest here, I felt weirded out when I saw a dude drinking a beer at 9am in the subway. Breakfast? After party refreshment? Who knows...

Shots & Snacks

After my 10 day visit I can fully understand why people fall in love with Berlin, stay longer than expected, return frequently, and end up moving there.

Viktoria-Louise-Platz


Berlin has it all. Just like NYC has it all, though in a different way.

DB



Norman Foster Dome


And just like NYC, leaving Berlin, never easy. I saw the lights fading out.

Sunset in Berlin

21 comments:

  1. Gorgeous photos! I keep hearing that Berlin is one of the "coolest" cities in Europe, and from your post I can see why. Though I have to admit I've never thought of Germany as a culinary hotspot...time to investigate this German BBQ situation!

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    1. I don't know if it's the coolest city in Europe but it's definitely the coolest one I've been to so far. It's right there with NYC when it comes to vibe, art, music, food, and fun!

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  2. Mike, it's hard to beat the beauty and the message you chose to associate with the last photo, but your whole post is superb! I am quite fond of graffiti, in fact I collect images of graffiti from Sao Paulo, some are absolutely amazing, so it was nice to see you enjoy this type of art, which is definitely not mainstream

    isn't traveling amazing? It opens our horizons, quite literally... I love "home", but there's something to be said to see other places. And as an immigrant, home becomes a flexible concept, in many ways

    If you are "home" already, welcome!

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    1. I strongly believe that "traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer". Glad we're on the same page!

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  3. Mate, this is one of my all time favourite posts of yours and you know I love your recipes. It really is a great city to contrast with NYC.

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  4. As a young student I used to go to Berlin to party and have fun. The old Berliners have a great dialect, a great sense of humor and I love their jokes and shows. Mike, did you have that curry wurst and Berliner Weiße ? I hope so.

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    1. I did Gerlinde, as you suggested, and I loved 'em. So, so good!

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  5. What an amazing set of photos! I would love to travel there one day, too.

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com

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    1. You really should Bella, Berlin is an amazing city!

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  6. I'm SO jealous! I love Berlin, having spent five weeks there last summer and I'm dying to move there after I finish my studies this year! I feel like everyone who's there belongs there and thrives there... Great pics!

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    1. I merely spent 10 days in Berlin while you were there for 5 weeks and you're going back in a year or so. I'm the one who should be jealous!

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  7. I lived in berlin a whole summer. And I'm part German. Wow, i miss the culture. Great comparison to NYC friend. Glad you got to go and enjoy it all!

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    1. This means you can speak German? I'm envious...

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  8. Lovely pictures, Mike - and loved reading your take on Berlin! This line - " stay longer than expected, return frequently..."yeah, that's how my daughter and I feel about NYC!

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    1. That's why I said that NYC and Berlin are similar in a way. Cities where you go, and just don't want to leave!

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  9. And now I can cross Berlin off my list... However, I actually cannot yet, I need to see some food photos first!

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    1. I'm sure you'd love Berlin GiGi, it's such a cool city!

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  10. MIke, thanks so much for this amazing post, more like an expose, on Berlin. I was expecting to read just about the food scene really and surprise! The photos gave me a great flashback to going there and I really enjoyed visiting again vicariously through your lense.

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  11. Your photos look awesome, Mike! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I've never been to Berlin, but it's on th ever growing list!

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  12. Thanks for such an amazing post, Berlin sounds really wonderful and I can't wait to visit Europe someday! That Thursday street food night sounds like the perfect way to experience the food culture in a new place.

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