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Kreuzberg: Into the West

February 10, 2009

On Friday, I finally ventured to the West.  I am staying near the Spree River (which, as you remember from a previous post, separated East and West Berlin), so it was only a 10 minute walk to Kreuzberg, a Western neighborhood.  After a few minutes, I was in love.  The architecture was beautiful.  It is similar to the other areas of Berlin I have commented on in that the streets are lined with apartment buildings five or six stories high, but these were much more “European” looking (not that I really know what that means), but they had a different character than their Soviet inspired counterparts across the Spree.  I walked down one of the main streets of the eastern end of the neighborhood – wide sidewalks with bike lanes, two lanes of traffic headed in either direction, and an above ground train between the two sides of the road.  I also headed down to the Landwehr-Canal, where the Freikorps disposed of Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemborg’s body in 1919.  After a solemn contemplation of the historical significance of the canal, I walked along it for a while, admiring the apartment buildings on either side, the park that flanks the canal, and stumbling upon a market that apparently is open two days per week.  Imagine a farmers market in the US, but push everything closer together so that it is just one walkway with stand after stand on either side.  Then take your traditional farmers market fare and add a lot of Turkish food to account for the large Turkish population in this area (olives in bulk!  Huge blocks of feta!  Delicious thin fried bread with cheese and spinach inside!), rolls of cloth, clothing, shoes, meat, fish, spices, silverware, silk scarves, etc.

There are photos to the right.  This isn’t the last you’ll hear of this neighborhood.

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