Berlin and I haven’t seen a lot of each other in the last few weeks. Within a little more than a month I’ve been to London, the Netherlands and Hamburg. While I was away, I missed Berlin. Traveling is fun, but I love my life and my home. And it’s more than that: I actually missed just being in Berlin. Not just sitting on my couch, walking through the nice neighbourhoods and dancing at good parties, but also the people, the buildings, the Berlin vibe. Let me try to describe what I miss about Berlin – the essence of the city – when I’m away.
How can you not fall in love with that? Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans
Most visitors to Berlin are familiar with the exteriors of the magnificent buildings at Strausberger Platz. After all, their ornamental architecture and ceramic cladding are hard to miss. For the lucky tenants who moved into these “Workers’ Palaces” once construction was complete in 1955, the spectacular exteriors were only part of the reason they felt so privileged to live here. While the majority of the population in Berlin was forced to huddle in accommodation barely fit for human habitation among the ruins of pre-war buildings, the new apartments at Strausberger Platz met cutting-edge design standards.
Strausberger Platz with its impressive buildings
For many people living at Strausberger Platz, moving here was a conscious choice to make a very special place their home . Ingrid Roosen-Trinks, the managing director of Klassik Radio, chair of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation and curator of the Hamburg Art Week, is one of them.
Let’s pay her a visit and find out what motivated her to come here.
Given that I’m Dutch, it’s actually a small miracle that I haven’t written about bicycles before – or at least not a lot. But since I couldn’t imagine my live without a bike and use it for 98% of all my travel within the city, it might be time to pay a little more attention to cycling in Berlin. The stories are true: it’s a great city to cycle. But there is still plenty of room for improvement. Please allow me, as a concerned Dutchie, to explain everything a ‘Cycling Metropolis’ should know – and please forgive my frustration, I still love you, Berlin.
Two-legged animals are not the only residents at Strausberger Platz. Dogs, man’s best friend here as everywhere, are a great ice-breaker that gets – and keeps – neighbours talking to each other.
image courtesy of Andreas Tölke