Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Terrible!

As in: I am terrible at updating this website!! I love all y'all, and I would be loath to keep you in the dark as to my whereabouts and my adventures. It's just that I get overwhelmed sometimes when I think of the pictures I have taken and not uploaded, or the detail with which I would prefer to go into regarding the things I have done here, some of them now weeks ago. I'll make this post about a great moment in time in May: Erica's visit to Berlin!

Erica arrived on a warm day that also happened to be her birthday. What a way to celebrate your birthday - traveling for 16 hours or so to come visit a friend halfway across the world. I love you Erica! Thanks for coming to spend time with me in Berlin!

Erica at my U-bahn stop. It is close to my house and hard for English speakers to pronounce
Görlizter U-Bahn station
Every Thursday night, friends of mine hold a billiards night at a pool hall at Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg. Erica arrived on a Thursday so I dragged her out despite her considerable jet lag.

Thursday night is Billiards night!
Chi takes aim
The next day, we hopped on bikes and set out to see the tourist attractions in the center of Berlin.

The World Clock at Alexanderplatz
Erica on one of my bikes, neither of which she liked very much

Brandenburger Tor
We decided to settle down in a biergarten and play some Mad Libs. The place was overrun by soccer fans getting ready for the championship game for German league soccer.
Mad Libs at the biergarten

Nap time after biergarten in the Tiergarten
On Sunday, it was time to check out Mauerpark, where they have a big flea market and Bearpit Karaoke every Sunday. We didn't see the karaoke, but Erica did buy some rad lego earrings.
Mauer at Mauerpark

We looked for the karaoke people and found this instead

The anti-yuppie movement

The anti-Nazis and hipsters movement, but not anti-gays
Nights out in Berlin involve drinking beer on the street. It's legal here so everyone does it. I've heard it referred to as the "dress code" of Berlin: it's hard to stand out here, but you do so automatically if you don't have a beer bottle in your hand. It's pleasant to be able to drink beer on the street without risking trouble from the police, but it can be annoying too.

On this night, we went out to a place near my house called Club der Visionaire. It's on the water and has music, so it's pretty popular right now, and they can charge admission based on that, apparently, even on a Monday night.

Which drink to choose?

At the Club der Visionaire

Erica needs 3 photos to get a good one, it's kind of a rule

Take #2

There it is!

Mathias meets us for a beer in the biergarten

The red and green beers are Berliner Weisse, where they add syrup to make the beer kind of disgusting. If you like sweet drinks that taste like gummy bears, then you should order it.

Had to at least try it!

Leaving the biergarten

Jubilation

We are goofballs.

Oh man! So happy!

There are lots of photos in this series...

On to the Jewish Memorial

Tons of stone blocks of various heights

They start off really short at the edges and grow up bigger and bigger in the middle. You are not allowed to walk on the tops of the pillars, as we found out from a stern German woman.

Blue sky above, concrete blocks below

Taken just after some Asian tourists were posing and smiling next to the Führer himself. Erica and I agreed that you should not smile if you are having your picture taken with Adolf.

Topography of Terror exhibition

Taking in the history of 20th century Germany

Wow

Page from a children's textbook from the 1930's

"I know you and love you like father and mother. I want to always obey you like father and mother. When I grow up, I will help you like father and mother. And you should rejoice in me like father and mother."

Don't forget how to use your gasmasks, kids! It might come in handy around 1944 or so.

Occupation of Berlin
Continuing the tour at Checkpoint Charlie
Erica and I got to see the Fleet Foxes, as they came to visit the same time Erica did. If you don't know the Fleet Foxes, please play the video below and allow it to be the soundtrack to the rest of this blogpost.



AAAARGH

Fleet Foxes concert, May 25, Columbiahalle

The show was great, the venue not so much. Still fun!
Warm overpriced beer but we got some great harmonies and dancing in
Waiting for the bus to Paris

Please don't leave? Or maybe take me with you?

End of a glorious week
Then we did a goodbye bus dance.

video

Left to my own, I wander into a field of lavender

Mauerpark, without Erica :(

But it was a beautiful evening





Sun and rainclouds and the TV Tower

Rainbow!

A nice ending to a great week