Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our New Apartment!

In just over a week from now, Pauli and I will be moving into our new apartment. It's in Belin Mitte on Kleine Alexanderstrasse. It's on the first floor (one above the ground) of a relatively new building. The building is ten years old, well fabricated and well taken care of. There is a 24 hour doorman service and the courtyard is very sweet. Although the street itself is not very exciting and lacks some of that European charm, as the building is directly across from the Belin Newspaper, the street is very clean, quiet and safe, plus we have a really great view of the TV tower if you poke your head out of the bedroom window. But the very exciting and beautiful Hackescher Markt is just around the corner. Tons of cafes, restaurants, boutiques and nightlife spots awaiting our discovery! Yay! Relative to the city, we are in a great spot, close to everything exciting.

The apartment itself is great. The layout is perfect. It's a two bedroom place, with a semi open kitchen, two full bathrooms and a little balcony overlooking the courtyard. The finish-ings of the apartment are more than acceptable. A tiled entrance and kitchen, newly carpeted bedrooms and hardwood floors in the living area. We have storage space in the basement and a bike room for our bikes in the garage.

Pauli and I have just ordered a bunch of furniture, appliances and accessories for this place, since we came here with nothing. We have spent a lot of money and more expenses are to come, but the excitement of it all makes it worthwhile. Everything we've chosen is because we liked it and we want it. I can't wait to see this all come together. It's definitely a really fun project.

Oh yes! And pets are allowed! I think Jack will love his new home. I also can't wait for his arrival because I miss him so much, everyday =)

So here are some pictures of the place. Of course it's empty and the lighting in this place sucks, so we still have to think about planning the lighting scheme. And the carpets are being pulled out and will be a light gray color as opposed to this blue.

I can't wait to post pictures of it all furnished =)

The floor plan

The building from the courtyard

From the bedroom looking into the apartment


Guest bedroom with an exit to the balcony

Living room with exit to balcony


From living room looking into the apartment

My eyes enjoy...

This week, I took pictures of two sights I'd like to share.

This first picture is of an almost daily market that gets set up on the street near Handjerystrasse. I walk by it on my way to work and I always like it. I'm actually disappointed on the days its not there. I like it because it represents original trade. Merchants set up their tents in the morning displaying all their produce - foods, clothing, jewlery, crafts, trinkets ... And people are gathered all around examining these products and making deals, trading money for a product. The vendors yell out their daily specials as you walk by and the place is bustling and it always smells good. On this day the smell of marinated olives was very present. My favourite are the fresh fruit and vegetable stands.

This second picture is of this evenings' really great sunset. The picture is taken from Pauli's mom's roof top terrace. What a view!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Germany celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall

"More than 100,000 people celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Monday evening, as world leaders gathered in the German capital for emotional commemorations marking the spread of freedom across Europe. Chancellor Angela Merkel joined luminaries past and present to remember when communist East German finally opened the despised concrete barrier on November 9, 1989."

After I finished work on Monday night, I came home to eat and change. The tv was on and we could see live reports of the events at the Brandenburg Gate. There were speeches being given by politicians, concerts by various artists and even local people recounting their stories about their memories of that day. 1000 giant hand painted dominoes had been arranged along a 1.5km stretch of where the wall used to be. They were going to be toppled over during this ceremony and were meant to symbolize the fall of the wall and how Europe's communist regimes toppled one after another. Pauli and I made our way over there shortly after the first domino was pushed over.

The atmoshere when we got to Potsdamer Platz and walked over to the Brandenburg Gate was very festive and happy. People everywhere celebrating freedom. It was great. We drank Gluewine and enjoyed the scenery and celebrations. I ran into my friend Kristin (in the same surprising fashion that we met in Munich!!) and went out for some drinks with her and her friends at the Hackescher Markt.

It was a great night to be in Berlin. I'm so happy I got to experience it!