school me

sometimes it’s easier to find out interesting things about berlin from people who don’t even live here. often, when meeting someone new, after answering the question where do you live? it becomes kind of tricky. if your answer doesn’t match up, there’s a quizzical look, followed by hmm… yea i can’t say i really leave my neighborhood much. this phenomenon continues to puzzle me. it’s as if someone who lived in manhattan decided to stay in a 10 block radius: i only go as far as 60th street, in between 1st and 3rd avenue.

in february’s issue of siegessäule, a berlin GLBT mag, there’s an article (szene ohne ghetto) which looks at life in prenzlauer berg, berlin’s 2nd largest gay community. one person was quoted as only going down Kastanienallee 3 times a year, to look at “hippe” people. now not only can you not leave the neighborhood but certain streets within your neighborhood are taboo. only in a city with 18% unemployment can you lead a life that exists on 3 streets.

my latest berlin tip came from someone outside of berlin. lüneberg to be exact. dolores is a dream come true. when i was in new york, my list of to dos included things that i couldn’t find in berlin (or if i can find it here, i’d wish i hadn’t). mexican food was on the list. (chinese, indian, etc. were also on the list) we trudged through the snow for some lime cilantro chicken burritos, with brown rice, black beans, sour cream, and jalapeno salsa. all i can say is: thank you, nate. rosa luxemburg str. 7

the mexican theme continued on yesterday night, at the fat lady, on graefestrasse, near böckhstr. comfy second hand mix matched furniture, mexican themed snacks, burgers and pizza. the cheapest thing on the menu is way more than enough for one. nice neighborhood bar.

later on that night, for a birthday party, i was hipped to the relatively new? cafe am engelbecken. this is definitely the spot. the address? somewhere in between michaeliskirche and oranienplatz. you have to walk down from the street to the canal, which provides a great view from inside the cafe. in summer, it can only get better. more funky couches and wallpaper which matches the drink list covers, a my living room is your living room feel. the bookshelves could stand a donation though. i don’t know why or where they got a copy of ms office 97. besides the really bad ventilation, (i felt like a lung tumor after leaving) i’m all for going back. keep the tips coming…


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