|The iconic walking man of the Berlin traffic lights|
|No beach access ....|
|... no problem!|
|Maibock is a strong, seasonal beer that is smooth and kicks|
While yesterday’s weather was cool and wet at times (I got caught in rain during my ride through the city center with all the must-see sights, and there are no pics), today was a gorgeous pre-summer day. Central Europeans love the sun; I remember a photo I took of Parisians lined up in chairs against a wall in the Jardin du Luxembourg. In the morning, I walked around my dad’s neighborhood in Neukölln, a melting pot of Turks, a few young Germans, more Turks, Africans, the occasional foreign student, lots more Turks, and a generous helping of old German folks like, well, my dad. You can tell who the Europeans are because they will sit in street cafes, shed layers of clothes, and sun themselves in private or not so private places. Turks, by that definition, are not Europeans.
|Obviously not a Turkish citizen.... Yes, Harriett, that's a Full Monty.|
OK, some of them are a bit more extreme than others, but then, WTF, right? To each his own. It makes for an interesting day, though. (Almost) Equally interesting is the amazing infrastructure for cycling that exists in the German capital. If you read my glowing report of Albuquerque’s bike paths, well, start thinking a few sizes bigger. In two days I rode about 70 miles on bike paths and bike lanes that were well maintained, featured bike-specific traffic lights, and were marked with meaningful directional signs. But that’s not all: I witnessed exactly one car disregard the right of way of a bike—one in 70 miles of urban traffic! The drivers SEE bikes! They COOPERATE with bikes! Most likely, they RIDE bikes themselves!
|Not exactly Copenhagen Cycle Chic material, but they sure beat the naked guy above|
|Still Life with Flowers and Shopping Cart|
|His sign reads "Piss on Disco," and both sported amazing tattoos, none of them tribal.|
To wrap things up: Even if visiting my dad was the main reason for stopping over in Berlin I have to admit that I feel much more alive when I am out-and-about, be it on foot on or the single-speed Ritchey that I keep here. Berlin is a dynamic city, and I really enjoy coming here and wouldn’t mind spending a few weeks exploring the city on my own schedule and terms. But for the time being, I’m damn glad that dad is still living here in Neukölln and is keeping the Ritchey.
|The older of the two Ritchey siblings, steel and single speed|
|Feel the mammoth in you, can you?|
After all this I hope you will sleep well. I intend to do so to flee Berlin and run off to the safe harbor of Freising, in Bavaria, where folks don’t strip down nekkid—unless they go to the local Baggersee for an after-work swim or strut around in the buff while visiting the Therme Erding. Holy Moses, why did I even bring that up? I suppose I forgot, because it is part of genetic material. G'night.