Despite a forecast of wet and cold weather, Jefe decided to take his bike to Berlin. The transport system has good coverage and is efficient; one 2 € ticket gives you access to the S-Bahn (like the 'El' in Chicago), the U-Bahn (like the subway in London or New York), and the trams and buses for up to two hours. But taking the S-Bahn or U-Bahn only allows you to see things at one place or another, not in between. Since Berlin is spread out and relatively flat, a bike is the way to go, and Berliners seem to agree.
Even during our stay, with the lousy weather, the vast network of bike paths and bike lanes was consistently full of cyclists, who rode everything from older racing bikes to cargo bikes. Sometimes the bike paths are denoted only by differently colored bricks on the sidewalk, and so it quickly becomes second nature to look both ways before crossing a bike path.
On the bike, Jefe was able to explore places that were a little out-of-the-way, like the architectural neighborhood of Hansaviertel.
He also spent one afternoon checking into a few art galleries in the Mitte area of central Berlin. Most of these would be considered avant-garde, or just bizarre. The Zak Branicka gallery was showing a movie called A Summer's Tale, a fairy-tale by Katarzyna Kozyra about midget gardeners that begins idyllic and then turns ugly. The same building housed the Galerie Volker Diehl, showing work by Herbert Volkmann. The show was titled Die Morphinisten (The Morphine Addicts), and syringes featured heavily in most of the artwork.
For more entertaining entertainment, we went to see Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan (with opening band The Miserable Rich) at the Columbia Music Hall. They are from Glasgow and musically, they fall somewhere between Leonard Cohen and The Beauty Shop. They were very good, and we were surprised by the large Sunday night crowd. Maybe they have a cult following in Berlin. We were in a hurry to get home and didn't see any CD's for sale, but we will definitely look for something online.
Before the show, we stopped at Atame Tapas Bar for wine and finger food. One gem we found were these datesWeihnachtsmarkt (glühwein(translation)