The Smell of Spring

After so many weeks of rain, sleet, and sunless days, it is strange to be basking in the sunlight again, be able to takes sunset walks along the river, and more importantly, finally take my dearest adventure cat Champagne along again! She has been cooped up since November, and with the ever-present scaffolding around the building which eats up half of our mini balcony, she hasn’t even been motivated to sit outdoors for some fresh air. Winter in Berlin with all its grey and dreariness has completely ruined my sense of outdoor pleasures, so it will take a while to…

Lost Places Berlin: S-Bahn Siemensstadt

If you are into photographing Lost Places, the blogs of others who have explored before me are an invaluable source of information. The list of Lost Places for Berlin 15-20 years ago was incredibly long and fascinating. Sadly, many of the locations on such lists have since been gobbled up by real estate conglomerates for renovation or been fenced up and access denied completely. The abandoned train station of Siemensstadt has been on my list for a while and I have passed it a couple of times, always wondering how on earth to get in and onto the tracks. Originally…

Berlin Through Frog Eyes: Tegeler See (Lake Tegel)

There are certain places that I prefer to visit during winter, not just because of the absence of people but for the presence of light. There is something very special about the crisp winter light that fights its way through the overbearing clouds and the overpowering wind. The conditions for photography were far from perfect (at least by my standards), and I could barely feel my hands while holding the camera. Yes, one could wear gloves and technically I had some with me, but wearing gloves and holding the camera is a very clumsy activity, so I ditched them. I…

Three Kings in Alt Kladow

There is absolutely no trace of the religious aspect of the Feast of the Three Kings in Berlin whatsoever. Had it not been for the Sunday mass in the morning, I would have overlooked the Feast of the Epiphany, which would have certainly earned me a frown from my parents. As a child in Mexico, Three Kings was a big thing to us, as this was the day all the children received their toys. My parents had no trouble adapting to the local culture back then, not just for my sake, but because it was in tune with their religious…

Berlin: The Opposite Is Also True

Having grown up mostly in megalopolises around the world as a privileged expat, I am a spoiled urban princess who thrives on the offerings of a multicultural city of millions where city bibles (i.e. guide books) abound by the hundred but everything opposite to what is written is equally true. Small towns where nothing has changed for the past 150 years are not my cup of tea (to live in), and a village is great for a holiday but I suffer from withdrawal symptoms after a week. By blood has been poisoned over the years from the fast-paced CO2 to the…

Why I Don’t Go To Photography Exhibitions Alone

As a general premise, I don’t like going anywhere alone, especially to a restaurant. I recently learned that there is one other activity I don’t enjoy doing solo – visiting galleries. The irony of the matter is that if I visit a gallery with someone, I want to be able to view the works in peace and quiet and not engage in a running commentary. So why can’t I visit an exhibit alone? Well, the thing about going to a gallery with someone is that 1. If I get lost, at least there would be two of us… 2. The…

I Brought Johnny Home

I have always dreamed of having my own apple tree ever since I read the story of Johnny Appleseed as a child. Some years ago I tried my luck raising one but after a month or so it either decided that it didn’t like the tropical urban weather or me. So yesterday I decided to get myself an early birthday present and visited a nursery I had seen a couple of times out in the Potsdam area but never stopped to visit. Unlike the fancier nurseries I usually visit in my corner of Berlin, Baumschule Kania one was more of…