On the surface, and neighborhood-dependent, Berlin is both gritty and gorgeous. The city’s radical history leaves signs of wear; its memorials and restorations exemplify resilience. Today, Berlin is a cultural hub and creative hotspot celebrated for its nightlife, startup scene, architecture, and arts and entertainment. From picturesque neighborhoods and urban art spaces to historical sites and sprawling green spaces, Berlin is a truly unique city that can only be described through experience. As I’ve come to know the city over the past two years, Berlin is vibrant, eclectic, and delightfully unusual.
The end of my graduate thesis is near, so a breather and a quick blog post are certainly warranted. This summer has been incredible; a hot and sunny four months filled with both physical and mental adventures. Amidst a draining (yet rewarding) thesis process and Berlin explorations, Max and I made it outside of the city for a few weekend (and week-long) getaways. We went as close as the city boundaries, to Liepnitzsee, and as far as the states, to Vermont and Cape Cod. A week was also spent in Tuscany, and a weekend on the Baltic Sea in Dranske, Germany. Most recently, we visited Dresden, a German city just 2.5 hours south of Berlin, and the neighboring Sächsische Schweiz national park. The entire trip exceeded expectations, and I highly recommend it to any Berliners who’ve not yet seen Saxony. Dresden is inexpensive to get to (24€ roundtrip per person via Flix Bus), bars and restaurants are equally affordable, the city itself has a nice blend of hip/young and historic areas, and the national park …
I’ve lived in Berlin for six days now, and I’m pleased to say that the uncomfortable flight was absolutely worth it. Wow Airlines is truly something else. The price point in unbeatable, and now I know why With a total of six checked bags at $70 each, we spent an additional $420 on luggage. Although, shipping boxes to Germany is twenty times that, so while I complain, Wow still was the most affordable option.
2016 went out with a bang. After a seriously fun NYE and New Year’s Day brunch, it’s time for a cleanse. The beginning of a new year brings upon a great deal of two things: resolutions and nostalgia. Cleansing is my resolution, and with the big move to Berlin coming up, I’ve been very nostalgic about NYC days. In my last post on the city, I covered my favorite restaurants, mostly in and around the East Village. Here I’ve compiled a few of my favorite bars, also centralized in the EV.
To transition from New York City to Berlin, Max and I chose to settle down in the New Hampshire countryside for a bit. We’ve been here for nearly four months, yet somehow it still feels like vacation. That this weekend or the next we’ll return to our cozy little East Village apartment and routine New York life will be restored.
As promised, my favorite spots on Ko Lanta are here! Noon Sunset Viewpoint Restaurant, Kantiang Bay Deliciously fresh Thai food, the tastiest cocktails (and good wine, which was particularly difficult to find throughout Thailand), friendly staff, and the most breathtaking sunset view make Noon my favorite restaurant that we frequented on the trip. The view is stunning — the terrace-style restaurant is situated on a cliff overlooking Kantiang Bay — and the Thai food is to die for. My favorites were the fresh veggie spring rolls and the seafood curry served in a coconut (totally had to break my veganism for that one, over and over again).