Thoughts of Berlin

Just some random, disjointed thoughts about a June 2017 trip to Berlin.

Ampelmann - The peppy little crosswalk light figure has spawned a series of souvenirs with his image, which you can buy at several shops around town. If you want to be like me, you'll shop at the one at Gendarmenmarkt, but I won't judge if you don't. All the cools kids are wearing the black Ampelmann t-shirts. Whether you are cool enough to wear one is something I can't say - but remember, to thine own self be true.

Currywurst - Basically a hot dog (without bun) covered with BBQ sauce and sprinkled with curry. The British and their fascination with curry, brought with them to Berlin during the occupation following WWII, were responsible for this concoction. It was my one experimentation with Berlin street food, my own mini-mid-life crisis. (My wife went with the haloumi cheese, also quite tasty, and a meal in itself.) And don't forget to try currywurst potato chips, or visit the currywurst museum. (I didn't do the latter - hot dog museums, while intriguing, don't generally make the top 10 list of things I'm going to see in a city.) We stopped at "What a wurst" on Bundestrasse for our wurst and beer after a visit to the Eastside Gallery. Inexpensive and good - you can eat cheap in Berlin.

Unter den Linden - I was disappointed in this famous avenue. Our view were marred by a lot of construction - I would even say a plethora of construction. The middle of the road was torn up because of an extension to the U5 subway line. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was closed, and several buildings and plazas on the south side of the road were blocked off. I hope to return to Berlin someday for a more rewarding walk, but until then, I'll have to make do with listening to the Rick Steves audio tour. (Get his app if it's not already loaded on your phone.)

Anne Frank Center - My daughter had recently done a book report on Anne Frank, and we thought the Anne Frank Center was would be an interesting place for her. And it was. A bit small, but very informative, one wall with a timeline of Anne Frank's life, and the other with what was happening in Germany at the time. (Spoiler: Some bad things.) The hardest part was actually finding the place, located down a narrow alley with a fairly small sign pointing the way back to it. If you're playing at home, it's on the north side of Rosenthaler Strasse, just east of the Starbucks. Look for the alley below, from this image from Google StreetView: