The walk/don't walk guy
The walk/don't walk guy in Germany is the coolest walk/don't walk guy in the world. It must be the hat.
Postscript: AlexBerlin emailed me a little more info. about the little guy. "you could add that the don't-walk/walk-guy on your photo is the old
East-German-guy - but they keep it and you eaven can buy it in shops - its
called Ampelmänchen". I was wondering if there was some kind of history behind him. Mystery solved. But now I am going to have to try to figure out what Ampelmanchen means when translated.
Simplicity-Searching For the Meaning of Life
There is a searching. There is a great need and desire for a thing. For spirituality, the meaning of life, the return to simplicity, to the earth, to natural ways which bring a greater sense of fulfillment, purpose and peace. A number of those who I have attended spiritual retreats and discussion groups with comment about the growing trend. Yoga, tantra, new age medicine, mediation, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American shamanism, herbalism are all the rage among a certain age group. I'd say mid-20's up to the 40's and 50's, but there are exceptions of course. Living in such a high energy city where every type of pleasure, vice, and wickedness can be found, so many get burnt out and tired, and look for something or someone to give them new direction.
Schools of yoga are in almost every neighborhood now, shadowy rooms for trance dancing, sign-up sheets for spiritual discussions. The meaning of life can be found in the self, but first one has to really find out who they are I suppose. Such places help people discover.
Spandau - The Citadel
Just a few stops by the subway U7 away there is this old castle, the Zitadelle in Spandau. You'd never think you were in Berlin. The castle is from 16th century, with some parts being older and some younger. It was used as a bank - money was hidden there - and the Nazis used it as a laboratory for chemical weapons. There are still some rumours that you can find a hidden treasure there, but the police had looked so hard for any traces of chemical weapons that they would have found a treasure, had there been one. Still, this doesn't keep children from hoping and looking. When I was there a little boy was determined to find the treasure.
It's a museum now, you can walk around, climb the tower and have a great view across the roofs of Berlin.
If your eyeglasses break...where to get new ones
Before I arrived in Berlin, my eyeglasses (4 years old, anyway) snapped in two in Krakow. Luckily, I had some contact lense with me, but as I have a stigmatism my contacts don't fit my eye as well as they could.
So, I had to get new eyeglasses in Berlin. What to do? Well, head to the place where you can get just about anything -- The Kurfuerstendamm.
Germans are know for their functional style, so finding a cool pair of specks should be a snap- no matter what your tastes.
I found Apollo Optik and after I explained that I only had five days in Berlin, they put a rush on the order and got the eyeglasses made in just four days.
The optician, Ulrich, has worked there for 20 years and is a very genial, helpful guy - who speaks English. All around a great, stress-free experience. They were even running a special on anti-glare and other cool features for the prescription, so I actually got a bargain in the process. They had designer frames costing around 200 euro, but in the end I found the perfect pair for me at around 69 euro. So I was pleased. 60 - 300 euro for the frames + 80 euro for a simple prescription.
Berlin Bar SOULTRANE
A relaxed city flair at Berlin's fancy Stilwerk building woos every real barfly for a drop in. The atmosphere is a bit like in particular clubs in NewYorkCity ... Eat, drink and listen !
That special mix of music and dining for reasonable prices is really cool. They serve a veriety of tasty fingerfood and really good drinks and cocktails while you listen to the coolest life bands in town who play the blues, modern jazz, cubano or acid after 10:00 p.m.
... Enjoy ! A bit more stylish but mostly be yourself ...