August 2010


Moving On: An Update On What I Want.

I have to say that my decision to not take any of the apartments that I saw in June was a good one: In retrospect the area I was targeting was gay, but not diverse. It wasn’t until I settled into Kreuzberg that I realized that there were better parts of Berlin—places where there were wide varieties of food choices within blocks as opposed to overpriced places to be seen and get laid.

Of course, as most of you know, I really came to dislike my temporary home in Kreuzberg—and not because of the diverse food offerings, but because I live across the street from a park crawling with drug dealers.

Lots and lots of drug dealers.

To be honest, I don’t mind the drug dealers—although I would prefer the Dutch model of quasi-legalization to this model of drug dealing—what I do mind is the noise of people walking home at all hours of the night, usually drunk. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to people walk home at 4:30, 5, and even 6 AM. My alarm goes off at 6:20 workdays and I like to be at the office by 8: those early hours are my most productive.

So what I’ve learned from this is that I do not want to live across the street from a park that is actively used 24/7.

I might note that I once stayed in a hotel, without air conditioning, here in Berlin that was next to train tracks that were used 24 hours a day. I was able to sleep the whole night through, with my window open—so it seems that I can tune out regular motorized noises but when it comes to drunken humans smashing chairs as they walk down the street (see Monday), I don’t do so well.

Another thing that I’ve learned is that having a restaurant on the ground floor is a bad idea. Of course I actually have a vacant restaurant on the ground floor, but whatever was there before had outdoor seating that was attached to the building and people seem to think it’s an excellent idea to sit on the remaining chairs and smoke cigarettes in the evening: smoke that goes up and into my apartment.

It makes me doubly, if not triply, happy that I did not take the apartment two stories above one of Berlin’s oldest and most famous gay bars.

The one thing I’ve come to appreciate about my current Kreuzberg home is the diversity. There are lots of people with a variety of backgrounds and they all seem to have opened a restaurant of their own. Within 10 minutes I can eat Turkish, Vietnamese, German, and Mediterranean.

I even have a plethora of burger restaurants that serve up the best hamburgers I’ve had this side of the Atlantic at really good prices. I’d given up on hamburgers in Weimar, I now know that Kreuzburg is the place to go.

Fortunately my new home has many of the good traits: a diverse selection of ethnic cuisine, a large Turkish-international supermarket within reasonable walking distance, and a wide variety of transportation options that will whisk me away without having to make connections to almost every part of Berlin.

I even have two reasonable ways to get to work—one that leaves me underground, warm, and dry for the vast majority of the commute, ideal for winter; and one that lets me look out the windows and enjoy the passing scenery, ideal for the rest of the year.

2 comments to Moving On: An Update On What I Want.

  • koko

    Super congrats on the new place! It has to be a relief to get that squared away. Look forward to seeing it…soonish 🙂 xo

  • Best of luck with the Umzug tomorrow and, of course, with the new Wohnung! Hope the neighbours enjoy the show! 😉