We are about two and a half months into our Berlin adventure, so I thought an update is in order.
Landing an apartment and settling in
In my last report, we were still in corporate housing, namely a hotel in a Berlin suburb. After a pretty brief search, we landed on an apartment at the Northern edge of the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood.
Our new neighborhood is dominated by blocks of 5-story apartment buildings, most constructed in the early 1900s. Originally built for factory workers, these blocks were dark, crowded, and cheap. This area was largely spared allied bombing during the war, making it one of the few neighborhoods where you can get a sense of pre-war Berlin. After the war, this was East Berlin, and largely neglected by the GDR authorities and their grand plans to reshape the city. With the fall of the Berlin wall, Prenzlauer Berg became known for its counter-culture movement, and many of the buildings were home to artists and squatters. Now, with rapid gentrification, high rents have pushed out most artists (and, sadly, many native Berliners), while chic restaurants, bustling cafes, and trendy boutiques have moved in.Read more