BERLIN: Odds and Ends

This is a post for snaps that didn’t fit anywhere so far or that I didn’t think to include when it would have fit nicely with the narrative.

“My” cafe, the Elf, on the north end of Arnim Park, 5 minutes from my room. I eat breakfast and often other meals here. Other times, the Elf is just a great place to hang out. Cool music, staff and customers
It’s very pleasant to sit outside the Elf, but the chairs are horribly hard. My max is 30 minutes on those chairs. The “roof” overhead is because construction is under way on the floors above. The park is just to the right across the street.
Arnim Park, across the street from the Elf. Berliners, who hate their long, cold winters, are holding on to Indian summer with both hands!
Rewe, the supermarket where I shop for food and other essentials. That young woman in red at the door is there every day. I think she’s hoping for a handout, but maybe I’m naive.
Just about every block has a corner market like this one, which is maybe a block from my room. It’s bigger than it looks; inside it extends partway down the block. It’s close. It sells a little of everything. It’s open late and open Sundays (when most other stores close).
What’s wrong with this picture? Not a single stop sign on any of the four corners! The rule is: Yield to the car on your right. They do, and these cars are zipping through here at around 5 p.m.
This is how the mail gets delivered door-to-door in this neighborhood.
This is how the sidewalks get cleaned in this part of town.
The sign on the cab is an ad for a hotel-related website. There’s no company name or phone number on a cab. That means everybody but me knows the number to call (or they schedule online). I checked five cab web sites; only the company name was different. The layout and language are identical. Maybe the owners figured a taxi is a commodity, so why not throw in together, drive costs to the minimum and make a little extra in advertising?
This is the Bücherwald (something like “forest of books”). People take books and leave them. It’s free. The tree trunks stand right next to the sidewalk in a highly gentrified area of the former East Zone.
“The biggest festival of the year.” This poster is everywhere along the tracks, even at abandoned stations that the trains pass. It’s promoting the Day of German Unity, when the eastern and western parts of Germany were reunited. The day, October 3, is a national holiday. About 1 million people are expected to party at the Brandenburg Gate.
I found this room-size apartment through Airbnb. Part of its charm is that free clothes-washing is available right next to my “Reich (empire),” as my host calls my space. No hauling dirty laundry down the street! Washing machine has half the capacity of ours at home, though, so it takes twice as many loads.
This Schnitzel plus a beer would cost close to $30 in Munich. In Berlin, it cost about $22. My host says that the cost of housing, including apartments, has skyrocketed in Berlin, as it has all over Europe in big cities. But the other costs, such as food, have remained lower in Berlin.
These photos are made with an iPhone X. I keep data roaming turned on, Google Maps guiding my every step and the camera app running. I thought that would use a ton of data. It doesn’t. But it drains the battery. Once the phone battery gets to 25%, I connect the phone to an external battery in my back pocket that could charge the phone several times over.

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  1. I’m glad to see the corner markets survive in Germany. It was so nice going to the corner market next to our house in Rossdorf to pick up dinner for the night. That was in the 80s, of course, and I’ve often wondered if they were still there.


  2. Thanks, Clint! Very interesting. I’m impressed with how modern and clean everything is.



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