here's the conclusion - i love berlin - in a crazy way. my first day was spent in mitte-scheunenviertal.after checking in, taking an anti-climatic run & having a glass or two of wine on the hostel's rooftop, i decided to go out for dinner & a walk around. this part of town falls on the east side & most buildings are covered in graffiti & very run down, but the art, fashion & goods that they stock are beautiful. it's in the air here, i swear it. after walking for a bit, i stopped into monsiuer voung, a cheap eats vietnemese spot with lots of style. i had the perfect meal sitting amongst over solo dinners at the low bar while groups of people chatted & laughed all around me. i continued to walk around the neighborhood until 10:30 or so before retiring early.
the next day i went down the street to pick up a bike for the weekend, just 24 euro for a 7-speed cruiser. i decided to hit up some sights before meeting marques & the resting spot near the brandenburg gate. by bike i was able to see the east side gallery (a short stretch of the wall covered in murals of over 100 artists), checkpoint charlie, a long stretch of remaining wall, the topography of terror (a great open air exhibit telling the history of germany, the nazi regime & the rise & fall of the wall), the brandenburg gate & the dv bank (frank gehry interior). seriously, how did i do europe without bikes before?! it's the best way to see a city.
once marques got here we shared a couple pitchers by the river than walked past reichstag, the holocost memorial & along the water. the promenades around the government district were gorgeous & we hit it just at dusk - a perfect time.
today we biked through the tiergarden, past a beautiful abandoned church (surrounded by tourist attractions), through charlottenburg then to prenzlaur for a day of people watching & shopping. i loved the prenzlaur neighborhood, again full of energy & all the young kids enjoying their day. i'll give a list of shopping the area & street art later as we are running out of time before the friendly fires show tonight - hurray!
i am a jelly donut!