Getting around Berlin solo.. and Pictures!

First Berco sighting in years... so exciting!

Starting off this post with a picture from the beginning of the weekend in Philly before I started the trip. Or, as I was calling Manan’s Bachelor Party weekend, “Jimmy’s traveling practice using only a single backpack”. Needless to say, we had a great time, and Manan’s excitement level was chartless.

Now let’s get to some Germany pictures. The first construction site we passed by as Jane and I walked along one of the canal’s that cross Berlin. I felt that this was an appropriate place for the first picture of my not in the US of A.

The scaffolding is a bit different overseas.

(I am going to let the photos direct the course of my blogging… if you have a better idea, or tips/tricks to blogging let this newbie know!)

1/2 of my fabulous hosts! Jane met me at the airport outside Burger King, arguably the only time in the last 5 years that I have been happy to be chilling near massive amounts of HFCS. My smile, and relief, when Jane first met me was way bigger than Jane’s in this picture!!

The first German sign I stopped to actually read. Initially it did not impress on me that the Germans had begun to like the Jewish people all that much in the last sixty years… but I was quickly told that “die” has a different meaning in German, and that this place of worship was not a sacrificial area. That made me feel better, and then I felt quite silly, as “die” means “the”. Those articles always messing with my head!

See, everything is allright, the synagogue is still standing and in great shape with lovely colors!

I am just going to skip over the Brandenburg gate and the Reichstag parliament building and show by far the most powerful structure I have seen so far in Berlin. The holocaust memorial is really amazing, as the artist accurately captures the “overwhelming” feeling of just trying to wrap your head around what happened. I spent more time here and took more pictures than other tourist areas. The waves of the floor and inability to see where you are going, other than looking orthogonally was quite moving. As people will have different views on such an exhibit, and how to react, I thought it was important that there were no instructions on how to interact with the exhibit, so some people were running, others somber, kids were giggling, but regardless the feeling of not being able to  comprehend the enormity of structure remained. My second picture shows a bit more of the varied attitudes that I saw in the many people that passed.

Pieces of the Berlin wall were also striking to see in person. Graffiti is virtually omnipresent throughout the city, making me feel that certain areas are more “ghetto” than others, but Jane tells me that graffiti is almost seen as standard expression in Berlin, partly because graffiti was one of ways to protest the separation of the city before the wall came down. Also, never saw so much gum per square foot stuck on concrete before…

I spy a full fledged Sox fan! HOLLER BREAD. Actually… Jane told me that likely his name just starts with a B and he thought the colors were cool and he has never heard of Boston, or Andrew Bailey’s lack of a thumb.

Really cool urban agriculture space right in downtown Berlin that acts as a community teaching space as well as trying to produce food in not the most ideal climate. The Berlin hippies showed no regard for my interest and disdainfully looked on as I pretended to eat their Kale. I was impressed, they were not.

So Germany may be known for weiners and schnitzel, and whatever else kinds of animal protein, but there are clearly some people trying to make a statement about dead animals. What they are trying to elicit from viewers I have no idea, so I will just take it as vegans are everywhere… and ASSUMPTIONS are DISASTROUS.

Day 2 got a late start as I slept for 12 hours and then got in some super-duper stretching and workout/PT in the apartment before heading out for the afternoon. I took my first U-bahn subway ride solo and walked around a more southeastern, and very Turkish, part of Berlin. I made it over to the old airport for Berlin that was been closed down and is now a place for many different groups to use as exhibit spaces, skateboarding with a large sail to capture wind, another community garden, and many different sporting uses — the first full basketball court, and so far the only, I have seen! I included a map below so you can actually see how big this place is. It was super cool, and the highlight of my second day. Alex, see below for a great shot to add to the “Jimmy stretching in exotic locals Calendar”. (No hip pop this time… I know you were wondering.)

Along the way home I found this awesome park with outdoor ping pong, skateboard area, lots of green space, and the first set of side by side half courts I have ever seen in my life. Could have easily been a full court… so somebody tell me how the Germans figured this was more efficient? Mrs. Brady is hanging out all over Berlin, and was watching over this Park. I prefer Tommy, but hey, there are also tons of Nicki Manaj posters throughout the city and only one Taylor Swift, so overall I am not impressed with the advertising.

This little coffee pot is shaped like a penguin and definitely keeps liquid warmer than when actual penguins squat on top of their eggs for long periods of time. I have not been instructed to say any of this, I swear, but Tony and Jane are arguably the most handsome and attractive couple in Berlin, as well as the best hosts one could expect.  Coffee has never tasted better in my life, due specially to Tony’s skill. Tony was a little skittish of photos taken at the bar last night, as he did not want the flash to set off the paparazzi, so for now all you get is Jane doing the best Berlin model impression….

Throughout this I apologize in arreas and advance for all spelling mistakes, both English and German. After a run this morning, this afternoon is for museums and tonight has basketball planned, while tomorrow is hopefully a day trip to Potsdam and some Yoga (Tony would so proud of me).

Much love to everybody reading!

ps. this blogging thing is difficult. hats off to joelio and julia for actually doing this thing and getting paid.

pps. simon, you are the man for setting this up. if anybody wants awesome SEO help or other web shit done right at an awesome value, I totally recommend simon dice, so just email me for his contact information.

About Jimmy

Just a young man living. see -- "Clinton Portis"
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One Response to Getting around Berlin solo.. and Pictures!

  1. michelle says:

    hilarious. i would have expected nothing less. especially the jew jokes while in germany.

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