Sunday, June 7, 2009

Berlin - Bring It Baby.

This was my second trip to Berlin. The first time, Thomas' best friend Marc gave us a great whirlwind city tour of the top sights complete with a stop for that Berlin specialty - the Currywurst. This time, we spent the whole weekend with Thomas' Aunt Gabi and his cousin, Carsten. And we had a blast.

How exactly is Berlin different than Munich? It's hard to describe except that, to me, Berlin feels more like a proper city. And Munich feels more like a postcard city. There is seemingly more diversity in Berlin (along with more poverty) but also more of an appetite for life. I felt like the energy was completely different than Munich - of course, this could have been influenced by the numerous caipis I consumed while there. But more on that later...

Berlin has a strong bohemian artist community, a great music/club scene, museums, architecture, cafes, shopping. It's bigger, it's dirtier, it's louder, it's crazier, it's funkier, it's cooler - it's just different than Munich. And I love it.

The annual Karnival der Kulturen was taking place while we were there and we spent the entire day at the massive street fair. Caipi in hand. Or Corona. Or Prosecco bottle. Pick your own poison. The event boasts a parade that lasts over six hours with representation from every continent. There were Brazilian dancers, rasta guys, Thia, Indian, you name it they had it. All along the streets (and rooftops) every kind of person imaginable was celebrating life by dancing, drinking, eating, smiling, laughing. Girls pulling up their skirts to pee behind bushes, dogs underfoot searching for dropped delicacies, kids on shoulders, crazies collecting bottles, teenagers flirting, adults flaunting flabby tattoos. Great. Just great.

We had a very NYish asian fusion dinner while there (oh, how I miss my spicy girl roll), had a coffee under the Deutscher Dom, met Thomas's sorta' kinda' cousin Franziska and her boyfriend Uwe for a yummy Italian dinner. And basically filled in all the spaces with lots and lots of walking. On our last night, we were fortunate enough to be the last group of people allowed into the Reichstag Building and despite the rain, Thomas managed to get some nice shots.

Reichstag at night.

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