Berlin: The Recap, Part Eins.
Berlin was…a complete experience for me. My great-grandma just turned 90 and her husband, Halmut, was from Hamburg, Germany. We took a trek to Ellis Island to find the record of him on the ship and his name in the memorial wall. He celebrated his 10th birthday on the boat.
So, besides the emotional piece for me, the city of Berlin is really stunning. Bold, modern architecture sits next to historical landmarks like Brandenburg Gate and The Berlin Wall. The people were so friendly in a city so clean and safe-feeling that it was tempting to come back and immediately move there. Everyone in our group, at one point or another, said, “I could live here!” And it’s true. We found a sweet Italian restaurant the first night, called Capone’s. It was so startling for some naive reason that everyone who worked there spoke Italian. I suppose it’s easy to assume this melting pot of culture happens only in America.
Anyway, this is at Capone’s the first night.
Berlin felt a lot like an architectural experiment to me. A lot of the buildings followed traditional modern style of industrial-looking steel and glass buildings. Others were completely creative and off-the-wall.
Below is the Jewish Museum in Berlin designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The building is designed to resemble scars and the top of the building is designed to resemble a scar as well.
Inside the Jewish Museum, the Garden of Exile is a concrete garden, with columns filled with soil meant to represent the experience of Jews in Germany for the last hundred plus years. It was a stunning visual experience and story to tell.
Brandenburg Gate was this magnificent building in the center of Pariser Platz, a busy plaza with the embassies, Hotel Adlon (where Michael Jackson held his baby upside-down), shopping, we saw a Native American band playing the plaza as well. One morning, we went to the American Embassy at the crack of dawn and there was no one in the plaza except military. Felt very…surreal.
A lot of living statues gathered in the plaza to take photographs with kids and families and what not.
Our apart-hotel was in the pseudo downtown area just outside of downtown. Everything in the area was boutique. This fruit and vegetables store was thought out before it was built. The apotheke’s were branded brilliantly. It feels like, sometimes, America gets ugly because we need a new Walgreen’s…it’s up a month later. There’s no thought and planning that goes into building. All of Berlin feels like building plans were well-thought out and planned. Each building seems to add beauty to Berlin.
That’s part eins, just on architecture and miscellaneous building-ry. Berlin is a beautiful place.