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August 13th, 2010

Berlin Neighborhood

My time in Berlin was, sadly, short, but I had the opportunity to make a few observations. My first night there, I arrived at the apartment share I’d rented using AirB& and met my roommates for the four days I’d be there. After settling into my (large, roomy, gorgeous) room, I freshened up and decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and get something to eat.

The neighborhood I stayed in was filled with bars, restaurants and clubs; definitely the place to be in Berlin, which is known for its vibrant nightlife scene. I walked into a late-night burger joint and was astounded to see not one, but four different veggie burger options on the menu. I ordered a veggie burger (only 3.5€!) and a beer (only 1.50€!) – both were delicious after a full day of traveling.

The first thing I noticed about Berlin is that the streets at night are not well lit at all. The streets were quite dark; very few street lights provided luminosity.  This was markedly different from any city I’d been in, and to be honest the lack of light made me feel rather unsafe, despite the fact that I’m a tall woman who can most definitely handle her own. I certainly didn’t feel threatened in the least by the people in the streets; it was simply the lack of illumination that made me feel a bit insecure.

jam session with DJ Craft in Berlin

I had another beer at a pub and then went home to get some sleep. The next morning I went to a café next to my apartment to have an espresso and noticed that the barista was playing some DnB over the speakers in the café. After enjoying my espresso and croissant, I asked the barista if she knew where I could find a club that plays DnB music. She said she didn’t, but pointed to a young man sitting outside having his breakfast, and said he should know. So I walked outside and asked him. He was quite friendly, and we got to talking. His name is Sil-Yan, and he told me that he was a pretty well known DJ and also part of a very popular hip-hop band in Germany. He invited me to a jam session he was doing that evening, and since (obviously) I had nothing else to do, I agreed.

Let me say, I love music. It is one of the more important things in my life and gives me such pleasure. I loved sitting in the Berlin penthouse apartment listening to music for hours, drinking with my new friends and talking. It was such a wonderful way to spend an evening. After the jam session, Sil-Yan and I got a midnight snack and then went back to his studio (up the street from my apartment) and hung out talking and laughing until about 4am.

graffiti along the park in Berlin

The next morning I woke up with the worst sore throat and body aches. I don’t know why I felt so sick, but I was definitely knackered! Determined to see some of Berlin, however, I dragged myself out of bed and took the subway to a spot in Berlin Sil-Yan had suggested and walked around. I felt so horrible, though, so I stopped at an Apotheke and picked up some throat lozenges that had a bit of painkiller in them. Bad idea. About an hour after finishing a lozenge, my sinuses had a serious reaction to the small amount of painkiller. I got stuffed up almost instantly and felt completely miserable, so I took the train back home and spent the rest of the afternoon and night in bed with a fever and headache. I just drank water and slept on and off for about 24 hours.

The next day, I felt a lot better after all the sleep and water. I still had a wicked sore throat, but I no longer had a fever and my sinuses had stopped reacting to the painkiller. I walked around my neighborhood and spent some time in the park, then met my new friend for dinner. That evening we went to a Biergarten where Sil-Ya

graffiti along the park in Berlin

n was playing a DJ set. I had a great time, despite my sore throat. I just nursed a few whiskeys and had a fantastic time listening to excellent music.

My overall impression of Berlin is highly positive. I had such a good time and made some wonderful new friends. Berlin seems to be a very expressive, artistic city with a pulsating nightlife scene. I loved how the young people expressed themselves through their hairstyles, clothing and personal style. I also adored the graffiti everywhere; there was literally no surface in the city left untouched by artists and their paint. I also appreciated how affordable the city was – definitely one of the cheaper places I’ve been to in Europe. The people of Berlin were astoundingly friendly as well, or maybe it was just the people I met, either way, I was quite impressed. I’m really looking forward to spending more time in Berlin, that’s for sure.

One Response to “Berlin”

  1. Robert says:

    I can’t believe you met a very popular DJ there. How HOT is that?

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