Berlin orientation

We arrived yesterday and are all turned around time-wise but we’re starting to find our way around this little corner of Berlin called Prenzlauer Berg.

Our apartment is fabulous. On the top of one of the many 6-floor buildings that line the streets; it’s bright and sunny and has a rooftop deck:

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K. had to go to the university (known as F.U. [ha ha]) so the kids and I, bravely equipped with sun hats, snacks, water and apologetic smiles to compensate for not speaking German, headed out to explore the neighbourhood. We had our sights set on Kollwitzplatz but never made it there because we found this:

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It’s the best park ever! It has everything and it’s really big (but not too big) and is full of people. And it’s right around the corner. I’m pretty excited and expect to be spending a lot of time there. On the way home we indulged Malli by stopping for a snack where he could watch the trams go by.

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It’s hard to pay attention to the kids when I’m looking all around marveling at the perfectly proportioned avenues with dedicated central light-rail lanes lined with 6-storey buildings with retail at grade and residential above and internal courtyards and wide wide sidewalks with bike lanes and sidewalk cafes and all the things Toronto planners dream of promoting by putting in new regulations and then taking all the regulations away and then trying different regulations and then flying off to Europe and wondering why why why can’t we build this kind of stuff in North America?!

Enough. One last thing. Emma, here’s your they-never-do-this-in-Canada photo. I think our building has been retro-fitted to put in an elevator. I suppose it’s hard to carve out an elevator shaft after-the-fact so this is the smallest elevator in the history of the world (as Akka would say). It has a posted and actual capacity of 4 people. We have to fold up the stroller just to get in.

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6 responses to “Berlin orientation

  1. SUPER FUN!!! That park looks great, and your little street looks great.

  2. what a great adventure, enjoy! love the tiny elevator!

  3. Alice Birnbaum

    OMG, LOVE the elevator shot. And the park. And the light rail and big sidewalks and whatever else you said about retail or was it residential space? Why can’t we have that in Hull?

  4. Oh I looooove Berlin. It is such a fantastic city! The elevator is so awesome. Enjoy getting to know the city. So fun for you.

  5. Oh, it looks wonderful! Great pictures. I really want to visit now – we keep talking about it …

  6. Pingback: growing food « Chapter Four

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