I haven't posted in an exact month, oops! My parents visited NYC, and then I went to Turkey, and then LIFE. But I can tell you that things are going REALLLLLLY WELLLLL, despite everything moving so fast.
Sooooo...I went Berlin over a month ago, and it finally deserves a post.
*Post on Berlin Commencing*
Berlin is an interesting, sort of cold, sort of ugly-duckling-turned-into-beautiful, sort of hip, kind of place. I would describe it as a lot of "sort ofs." Obviously you all know the past of Berlin, so let's skip the history lesson. What is very true today is although the Wall has been torn down, there's still a huge difference between the look and feel of West Berlin vs. East Berlin.
Some examples of East Berlin, once ruled by the Soviets:
I like to call the above photo "the propaganda building." It's got a militaristic feel, and that's not surprising! Lot's of art, quirky cafes, and concrete-buildings-turned-into-new-flats litter the city. It's amazing what people can create out of sadness; yet, how what they create is still very influenced by the sadness. I was mesmerized by East Berlin!
On the other hand, you have West Berlin, once ruled the by the U.S.:
It's pretty! And very European, no?
The difference between the two sides is STRIKING. This makes Berlin one of the most interesting cities I have visited! Despite feeling the heaviness of the past, the residents have made Berlin something to be proud of, something that is a true phoenix.
Just look at the pictures! This is a special place:
This is Checkpoint Charlie (border between East and West Berlin), by the way. I wasn't gonna take this photo, but homeboy on the right grabbed me, stuck a Soviet Hat on me, and had me pose. Oh goodness...
Above: A Beer Garden in Tiergarten. Yeah, it rhymes :) It was a little cold the day we went, but I imagine this place is BANGING in the summer. Below: GERMAN DESSERTS, YUMMMMM.
And the parks in Berlin, splendidly green!
I've been told that Berlin is very different from the rest of Germany, and that makes sense. I have yet to see the rest of Germany (one day!).
However, in Berlin the beer is grand, the sites are super interesting, and the history is still very alive in the city. I love that humans can learn from the most dismal of times, and something utterly gorgeous can still come from it. Berlin is not gorgeous in a traditional sense. It's gorgeous in it's resilience.