“Museum Island” in Berlin houses a high concentration of museums, as it is appropriately named. As soon as I got off the bus on the island I saw dodecahedron-shaped building. Curious, I climbed the steps and entered the exhibition finding that it housed a forum for information and discussion about a new museum right behind it that was under construction. The forum included three levels of interactive exhibits, wood models and more for both adults and children. One of the more interesting stations was a video screen that asked you to pick the dividing point between blue and green on a spectrum of blue and green. Afterwards, it showed a comparison between the results from different lingual groups. For instance, in the Vietnamese language, there is no differentiation between blue and green, it is just called “xanh”.
The architecture of the museums on this island consisted mainly of Greek “prostyle” temples (columns only in front), with a pronaos (front “deck” part) and the tympanon (the triangle top part). The Berlin Cathedral, a domed building, is considered to have “Neo-Renaissance” style in its fourth and final version.
A particular beach/bar/pool that I ventured to was one of the most enjoyable times I had while in Berlin. The “Badeshiff,” at only €3 per visit, is a swimming pool that is in the river, accompanied by docks, sand beaches, lounge chairs, a bar, and music. It is a spot-on hangout that I could see myself frequenting if I lived in Berlin. I spent a few hours at the Badeshiff, swimming, talking to the lifeguard, and reading Freakonomics, which had been my pleasure-reading book at that point in time. Right along the adjacent canal is another line of nightclubs, restaurants, cafes, and bars in a very unique, post-apocalyptic scrap metal and wood setting. Later that evening I found myself at yet another unique watering hole! This one was built on the roof of a parking garage! The first entrance to the rooftop was up the sloping driveway of the parking garage. I was told before going to this local hangout that there was a community garden on the roof as well. Not only that, there was a DIY green wall with vegetables and plants growing out of wooden pallets that were hung from the wall!
My final thoughts on Berlin: I would definitely live in this city if the opportunity arose. It is an up-and-coming city and I think a lot of people, especially the younger crowd, are thinking the same thing. Gentrification occurs in the city and is actually a popular topic of debate, specifically in Berlin. Overall, the quirkiness, lack of imposed judgment, and size of the city are the main characteristics of Berlin that attract me.