Monday, October 21, 2013

TRAVEL | berlin photo diary

EDGY, EDGY, EDGY, is the only way I can describe Berlin. I was astounded by how effortlessly cool the city was. The place was filled with gorgeous street art, unlike the horrible tagging I see back at home. The people, men and women alike, were all sporting tattoos that covered them from head to toe, punk-rocker chic side shaved hairstyles, and piercings--oh, so many piercings--on just about anything you can get pierced. They also had some of the coolest street styles I've ever seen; very bold colors and mixing of textures and patterns--I felt like a granny walking amongst them in my black on black outfits. Berlin is definitely the coolest place for people watching, for sure.

Alongside Paris, Berlin has been one of my favorite places to photograph. Thanks to { Sandra Juto's } amazing photography blog, inspiration was never more than a click away. Berlin is such a metropolis and steeped in so much history. I stayed in a hostel right in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough of Berlin, and only meters away from the { East Side Gallery }. It was quite surreal to see the Berlin Wall in person; it is described as a "record of the social, political, and artistic expressions of the wall surrounding the city of West Berlin" (via berlin wall art). 

Although I stayed on the Eastern side of town, I actually spent most of my visit in the Alexanderplatz/Mitte side of the city. It was interesting to see a shift in architectural style as I moved from one side of the city to the other. The communist ways of the past were reflected in some of the older buildings on the East end. The results were a very simple, efficient, and standardized apartment blocks. They had a cold, uninviting look to them just because they seem to lack any unique qualities--the buildings were mass-produced and in a short period of time as well. However, I did find them very fun to photograph--I guess it's the graphic lover in me.

I also had a lot of fun exploring the food culture in Berlin. Like most larger cities, Berlin has a large population of international inhabitants, which means you can find cuisines from just about every country, and when you're traveling for a longer period of time, having a wider option of cuisines to choose from is an absolute godsend--I don't always crave Asian food, but it's comforting to know that there's a take out spot around the corner in case of emergencies. But surprisingly, while in Berlin, my favorite meal of the day turned out to be breakfast (I am by no means a morning person). I lived down the street from this great little bar/cafe that serves a beautiful breakfast platter (photo no. 4) of cheese, fruits, cold cuts etc. I loved it so much I went back my second morning for the same breakfast. And around the corner was a tiny hole in the wall coffee shop that made the best flat whites I've ever tasted. I still dream about it to this very day.

Unfortunately, the three nights I had in Berlin was not nearly enough time for me to explore the whole city. I still had about 1/3 of my itinerary left when I had to leave. I guess I'll just have to book more nights the next time I'm in Europe!

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