BERLIN: Arrival

After 12 months of planning and 12 hours of flying, this is Berlin. I’ll be here for a month, learning German at school and revisiting the former East-West border city that featured prominently in my life and the life of everyone my age. My last trip to the German capital was marked by harassment from Soviet guards at Checkpoint Charlie, shopping at Alexanderplatz with black-market East German marks, a papers check by submachine-gun toting People’s Police on a subway stretch that ran under the East, and a somber visit to Spandau Prison, where Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess was serving a life sentence. The Berlin Wall has been gone now for more than the 26 years it stood, and much more of Berlin will have changed. I look forward to the surprises.

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A photo of the iconic Brandenburg Gate, just to prove I’m really here. The fencing is to create a chute Sept. 15 and 16 for the 44,000 registered runners of the Berlin Marathon, who will charge through here.
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On the way to Brandenburg Gate is the Adlon Hotel of lore.
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Where I’ll be at school: the GLS Language Center in suburban Prenzlauer Berg. As you can see, an international high school language event is under way.
Bornholmerstrasse 2
Bornholmerstrasse, the street where I’ll live for the next four weeks.
Bornholmerstrasse 1
Bornholmerstrasse other direction. A quiet, pretty Kiez (neighborhood).
Entrance Bornholmerstr 78
Home: Bornholmerstrasse 78. I’m on what we would call the third floor. It’s a walk-up.
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In my little apartment, the bed rises to the ceiling to create more living space during the day.
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With the bed in the sky, the office is revealed.
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The blog is created here.
Courtyard at 78
The courtyard that my window looks out on.
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Another view of that magnificent chestnut tree in the courtyard. It’s taller than the 5-story condo building.
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Around the corner is Siebert’s, which claims to be the oldest bakery in Berlin. It’s mentioned in all the guidebooks, so maybe with all that experience, they make really good Kuchen. The line inside is twice that long.

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6 Comments

  1. Good to hear from you, Clint. “Home” looks like just what you need: Spartan. The pics and formatting are coming through fine on my Android and on my PC.

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    1. My host is the building engineer at this 5-floor condo building, so everything works flawlessly. Wifi is strong. At school, however, the signal is weak — or the problem is that a couple hundred students get out of class at the same time, and we all want to use wifi. Cafes and other spots where you’re welcome to use wifi are more difficult to find than in the US. German law is being updated, but right now, it still holds wifi providers responsible for what people post on their site.

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