Berlin, 2022

After a quick visit to Paris we flew to Berlin. A few of our friends moved there during the pandemic, and I am glad I got to see them in their new habitat.

Visiting Berlin is full of mixed feelings for me. I love the culture and the vibrancy but obviously I also associate it with my family’s dislocation, hardship, and loss.

I hadn’t been there in 10 years and had high expectations coming in, remembering how much I enjoyed my time living in Germany back in 2012.

2/3 Berliners. We were lucky that Zach was also visiting.

In the morning, we took the train to the Brandenburg Gate and did the Rick Steves audio tour.

Seeing the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was as impactful as the first time I visited, if not more.

The area around Pariser Platz is full of diplomatic buildings. The tour directed us to walk towards the British Embassy, where there was a huge crowd mourning Queen Elizabeth.

Walking on Unter den Linden was strangely emotional. Just being there and reading the street signs made me think of my mom singing a song that her grandpa used to sing to her and about the counterfactual lives her mom’s family could have continued to live there.

I’m pretty sure I took exactly the same photo last time I was there.

My grandma lived on this block, near Alexanderplatz, until a neighbor knocked on the door to say they were on the next day’s trains’ list.

Here I’m cheating. This was an iPhone photo. I love the mix of cultures in big European cities. Oddly, Berlin felt less cosmopolitan than I remembered it, but maybe it was just the contrast with Paris.

You might have seen this building in an episode of House Hunters International.

It was really cool to hang out with our SF friends who moved to Berlin and to see the new lives they’re building there. New friends, new hangout spots, same ridiculous bits.

I went on a walk to meet a Twitter friend in Kreuzberg and walked through Görlitzer Park.

I don’t ask as many people for their portrait when I’m shooting film, but I thought the framing with the river could be interesting.

I really liked this piece.

Hannah joined me later. We biked through Templehof, walked through Potsdamer Platz, then through the Tiergarten and deeper into the West side.

We had lunch at the restaurants in KaDeWe, an insane department store and walked around Kurfürstendamm.

I love the contrast of old and new.

We grabbed a drink at the Tiergarten Biergärten. It was a cool spot.

I was about to run out of film and picked up a roll of Fuji Superia 400 at a random photo store. I am not a fan of the green tint.

The next day we walked around a flea market in Friedrichshain and strolled aimlessly a bit more.

We got some Döner and went back to Zach’s apartment to pick up our stuff.

Then we took the train to the airport and had to head home.

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