That's the door to the apartment we stay in when we're in Berlin (oh - we're in Berlin.) It's in a part of town that was far into East Berlin when the Wall divided the city and the magnificent old buildings were devastated by neglect. Slowly, building by building, that's been changing in the years we've been coming here. It's quite thrilling to see.
This neighborhood, Prenzlauer Berg, is kind of like Soho was in the 70's -- pioneers, cool galleries and an amazing yarn store, more people on bicycles than in cars (though that's changing) and an air of expectation, thought and excitement. It's a joy to be a (pretend) part of it in our little weekly rental.
I want to tell you all about it - the way this city puts your brain into overdrive, the restaurant a block away where President Bill Clinton turned the town upside down by coming to dinner, the parent- created playground, the fancy apartment house that used to be a Gestapo HQ - but I've been up for 24+ hours so all that will have to wait. We're here and it's cool to be here and I'll share as much of it as I can over these next few days. OH - and for all my Jewish friends who "will never go to Germany" - I respect your feelings but one of the most exciting things happening here is the re-creation of a young, vibrant Jewish community by Jews determined to go past the Holocaust and take their rightful place. More on that later, too.