berliner dom (cathedral, mitte). climb to the top of the dome for a 360-degree bird's-eye view of the city; pause on the way up to take a seat and listen to early-evening choral selections; be sure to get down to the crypt for some outstanding sarcophagi. the dom is the best thing on museum island, and there are a lot of excellent things on museum island (which is a UNESCO world heritage site).

the bird express (restaurant, mitte). you will need cheese fries after climbing all the way to the top of berliner dom; get them a few blocks away at the bird express (a barbecue joint helmed by an expat from staten island and his angelic german shepherd, charlie, who sits patiently underneath a wall-mounted painting of a german shepherd [no relation]). ask for all of the fixings, including three kinds of house-made hot sauces; use them liberally, then congratulate yourself for conjuring english-kebab-van-style chips and cheese in germany.

chapel (bar, friedrichshain). we just learned that odd, the delightful norwegian bartender who made impeccable drink after impeccable drink and performed magic tricks with barware for us after i remarked on how he'd name-checked tommy's on his menu, will be returning to oslo in the new year; that said, the bar he leaves behind is a wonderful one. i sincerely hope he's training his replacement.

dunmore cave (bar, kreuzberg). upon learning that we'd be in germany for a week, our friend edwin—a member of joe's darts team at our local when we lived in hell's kitchen—announced that he would meet us there to play darts. he actually did (dive bar friendships, i salute you), and after a dirndlful dinner at hofbräu münchen in alexanderplatz, we set off in search of a darts bar (odd told us a few nights earlier that they were plentiful and everywhere). boards are everywhere, or are at least easy to find, but most of them are electronic, alas. the glorious exception to that rule, on landwehr canal, is dunmore cave, a well-established, mostly-locals scottish bar with two boards in their own room. we got some gentle heckling from the germans beside us ("ah, phil taylor!"). it was just what we wanted.

eiszeit kino (cinema, kreuzberg). i have felt strongly about movie theaters in foreign countries since we saw snakes on a plane at a quiet theater in belfast on our honeymoon. berlin happened to be hosting a short film festival (more on that in part II) while we were in town, and the sci-fi program was showing at a local indie theater not too far from our hotel. we talked american-youth movies with the young french photographer behind the bar (we recommended heaven knows what, she and joe were both shocked that i had never seen kids, we all liked american honey), she disparaged instagram, and we took a couple of complicated german beers into our space movies. eiszeit kino (lineups chalked on the wall, homemade cake at concessions, international indie programming) feels like sunshine's german cousin, and i loved it.

gute falafel (restaurant, kreuzberg). naming your restaurant "gute falafel" is like naming your bar band "happy hour," and while i have an intense sensory memory of the world-altering wrap i ordered three times in my six days in berlin and can picture the storefront's location, i cannot use the internet to send you there. it's sort of across a half-plaza from angry fried chicken ("so so angry!")? it's kind of near oranienstraße? that wrap's pickled veggies and mysterious sauces (there was a slight mango situation, and a note of...mayonnaise?) are the most effective falafel-support team i've ever met. i pine for you, team gute.

1 comment:

babyjo said...

hey, can you travel to all the places i want to go before i do? that'd be handy. thanks!