AROUND BERLIN

Any place that requires me to buy a hat, scarf and gloves upon arrival has a tough chance of becoming a favorite but Berlin plowed through my cold-weather prejudice and left me smitten. 

When faced with a menu in a language I don't understand, I like to just pick at random and hope for the best. I was particularly pleased when ALL THIS arrived at my table for 4 Euros. 

When faced with a menu in a language I don't understand, I like to just pick at random and hope for the best. I was particularly pleased when ALL THIS arrived at my table for 4 Euros. 

My favorite day in Berlin was when Gianluca (an Italian from my hostel) and I rented bikes and did a self-guided street art tour. I'm usually a bit wary of bicycling in the city (face planting on South Huntington Ave in Boston and having to be rushed to the hospital in a stretcher will do that to you) but it was fantastic and definitely the best way to get around Berlin. 

We stopped into the Michelberger Hotel to warm up with some coffee and I've never been more enamored by cafe/bar. So colorful and charming. I can't imagine what the hotel rooms look like.  

We stopped into the Michelberger Hotel to warm up with some coffee and I've never been more enamored by cafe/bar. So colorful and charming. I can't imagine what the hotel rooms look like.  

Berlin is quite big on repurposing abandoned places (there's even a website) so the next day I rode over to Tempelhofer, an abandoned airport turned public park. The massive space was lovely for riding around (on the runway!) and in better weather would be perfect for a picnic. 

The Jewish Museum proved to be the best historical museum I've ever visited. Certain sections of the actual building were designed to conjure up physical sensations within the visitor as they walk through (feeling sick, feeling alone) that symbolize the past, present and future of Jewish-German co-existence. It was tremendously effective.

This installation examined the industrial reproducibility of the torah as well as the relationship between man and machine. Titled "bios [torah]", it illustrated how the bios system (that all computers are built upon) is as "fundamental to the development of the machine as the Scriptures are the cultural history of mankind". 

This installation examined the industrial reproducibility of the torah as well as the relationship between man and machine. Titled "bios [torah]", it illustrated how the bios system (that all computers are built upon) is as "fundamental to the development of the machine as the Scriptures are the cultural history of mankind". 

LASTLY: before arriving, I figured the food in Berlin wouldn't be anything of note (bratwurst or whatever) but oh man, was I wrong. The food selection was epic. After a month of pizza and pasta in Naples, I was psyched about all the delicious ethnic food in Berlin (particularly Thai in Kreuzberg) and the doner kebabs were UNREAL. I barely consider kebabs to be serious food, just something you eat post-party at 3 AM but there's something about the bread they use that just takes it to a whole other level. 

Burgermeister, a burger joint in an (again) abandoned U-Bahn station (metro station). 

Burgermeister, a burger joint in an (again) abandoned U-Bahn station (metro station). 

In conclusion, German's excel at doner kebabs as well as engineeringI don't even have a photo of a kebab but I just needed to share that with the internet.