Saturday, June 26, 2010

One Woman, One Camera, One Love

I had my two babies when I was ready to have my two babies and I've never regretted it. Still, what no one tells you before you get that bun in the oven is that, with small children, it will be several years before your life is truly your own again. If you're breastfeeding forget about going out at night because there's nothing like getting that "Come home now for a midnight feeding," call when you're hanging out in some swanky cocktail bar. Not that you will even have the energy for swanky cocktail bars or, indeed, swankiness of any kind because running after small children all day and dealing with tantrums and wiping little bottoms clean can take it out of you in a way that almost nothing else can...But now that my youngest, Little Li is finally in pre-school and (nearly) weaned, my life finally has some more room for, well, me.


Today I met up with Erica, a good friend of mine who is also an American ex-pat (a Michigander) who has lived in Berlin just a few months less than me (counting in at ten years, baby!) We strolled down Oranienstrasse, my old haunt and still where she currently hangs, where I relived old times.


Oranienstrasse is still in Kreuzberg, but it's Kreuzberg SO36, not Kreuzberg 61 where I live. For anyone who knows San Francisco, the difference between the two areas is like the difference between The Mission and Noe Valley: one is grittier, more intense, younger and quite hipster-filled while the other is a bit older, with organic food loving parents of small children who still want to live an urban life. Although I still go to Oranienstrasse sometimes, I mainly spend my time in Bergmann and Graefekiez, so spending the afternoon there is like visiting an old friend. And with my camera in hand...




I peeked in at Bierhimmel, a gay run cafe with an 80 percent gay clientele where I used to spend a lot of time. Just look at these gorgeous cakes they have there. Gooey and decadent but, unlike their American counterparts, none of them will be sickly sweet. If I weren't trying to loose a bit of weight this summer, I swear....;)


Afterward Erica and I headed for Bateau Ivre, a very hip cafe with good coffee and tapas and, also, notoriously bad hipster service (when we asked the waiter for the bill he mutter a very surly "Sure." and then disappeared for at least 20 minutes. Ach, Berlin!) We had lots of good girl talk there...


...and drank some good coffee....


...and did some good people watching through the large window open onto the street.



When I went to the bathroom I took a self portrait in the mirror, a habit that has a well-established tradition for me at Bateau Ivre (the second picture is a self portrait I took in that very same bathroom circa 2005.)









After we had somehow managed to pay the bill at Bateau Ivre (they were lucky we just didn't walk out as we easily could have...) I went with Erica and sat with her as she had a Sushi special, delicious and only 5 Euros baby. Berlin, thank you oh so much for still being so ridiculously affordable....



After sushi, Erica and I wandered down Oranienstrasse which had now transformed itself....


...into Christopher Street Day. The second one this month. This one had the march.
















Happy CSD, happy freedom, happy shutter bugging and to all a good night. ;)

4 comments:

petoskystone said...

great shots! thanks for sharing the sunshine. how does li like preschool?

Schaufensterbabe said...

Thanks! Always happy to share. :) Li liked pre-school a lot at first, but now I think she's figured out the situation is permanent and part of her is like "Hey, wait a minute. Crap!" I miss having alone time with her sometimes, but mostly I'm just happy that I finally have more time for myself!

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Enjoyed the virtual day out in Berlin! Beautiful photos.

Schaufensterbabe said...

Thanks Karen. :)

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