Riding the Old-Time Rails // Charming retro trams in Köpenicker Forest

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Some things are so self-evident, they don’t require justification. For example, sunny weather is good. Autumn is nicer than winter. And old-fashioned trams with wood-trimmed windows and brass bells that ding are simply more fun to ride than modern ones. For example, the very cute, very cool old-school tram line still running at the edge of ...

Karl-Marx-Allee 99 // Berlin, nostalgia, and a bygone Briefmarkenhandel

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Like everyone, I have my vices. These include: Haribo candy; buying more lip balm than I could ever use; a mild Google-stalking habit; nostalgia. The word "nostalgia" was coined by a Swiss medical student in 1688. Back then, it was considered a disease, to be treated with leeches, opium, and bracing Alpine air. In her 2007 ...

Subterranean Subterfuge // Berlin Wall escape tunnels from Treptow to Neukölln

Curiosity is a highly underrated virtue. Especially in a city like Berlin, where curiosity--along with an observant eye--is frequently rewarded by an unending array of things to discover. Amazing things, beautiful things, tragic things--or oftentimes, a combination of all three. The memorial plaque outside Heidelberger Str. 35. On a recent meandering walk through one of my ...

The Schrebergarten Diaries // One girl’s adventures in Berlin-style urban gardening

A tenacious garden wedged between S-Bahn tracks and power station. I am the proud owner of a Schrebergarten, a.k.a. a Kleingarten--you know, one of those expanses of fenced-in gardens you've most likely seen from the S-Bahn. The English translation of the word, allotment garden, doesn't really do the concept of Schrebergarten-ing justice. For there is ...