A and I took another weekend trip this past weekend to the city of Berlin. It was my first time in Berlin, and in Germany. I was excited to explore this city that was once so drastically divided in two, who’s reconstruction over the last 20 years has developed a unique thirst for culture and arts, and who supposedly rivals New York and Paris in terms of being chic, fashionable and international.
We arrived on a cold, wet, windy day found our way to the bus which would then take us to the UBahn and eventually somewhat near our hotel. They city was gray, and rather depressing. The UBahn looked as though it had been constructed about 80 years earlier, (and probably had, with slight renovations to the cars over the year,) and the people were, well, German looking.
As I tend to do, I spent the first couple of hours wondering what could possibly be so special about Berlin. Why did people love it so much? And then I decided to give it a break. After all, the rain and wind weren’t exactly the city’s fault – and did I see a shopping street up ahead?
Having little to no knowledge of Berlin, except of course for the dividing wall that was torn town about 20 years ago, and some moderate insight into a delicious brunch trend sweeping the city, I was excited to get to know this strange city and find the hidden twists and turns that fill every neighborhood.
My first glimpse of the history of Berlin came a few years back from the great Eddie Izzard who did an impression of the famous words of U.S. President John F Kennedy who stood at the construction of the Berlin Wall and misspoke “Ich bin Berliner”, and instead of declaring that he was a person of Berlin, he declared that he was a donut. It’s an honest mistake that could happen to any of us….
Thankfully, I consider myself to be just a tad bit more educated on Berlin in the years that have followed, but my education continues.