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

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 […]

Game Time // Hertha BSC Football at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium

Perhaps I should start with a few details about myself. For starters: I do not like large, raucous crowds. (Especially large, raucous crowds that have been drinking copiously.) I do not like getting very cold, a state that results when one spends long lengths of time outdoors in late November. I do not like excessive […]

A wee tour of Berlin’s historic public toilets

If there’s one thing that unites the people of Berlin, it’s that we all, every now and again, have to go to the bathroom. Public toilets were once a mainstay on this city’s streets, the most famous of which is the cutely nicknamed Café Achteck, or “Octagon Café.” A bit of architectural history unique to […]

Past Present // The Last Unrenovated Building on Hermannplatz

One of the first things that struck me about Berlin is the way the city bears its wounds. Unlike, say, Dresden, which reacted to the mass destruction it suffered in WWII by rebuilding much of its Altstadt as an exact replica of its pre-war self, Berlin shows its scabs and scars, and does so with resilience, […]