Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fairy Tale Frivolity In Volkspark Friedrichhain

Today I went with the fam on a little Sunday outing to Volkspark Friedrichhain. Volkspark Friedrichhain is a large park in former East Berlin. Although Friedrichhain is a neighborhood in East Berlin, the park seems to be in Prenzlauerberg and has a more Prezlauerberg-ish crowd (big difference between F'hain and P'berg for sure...) I've never actually been able to figure out why this is. Maybe part of the park is in Friedrichhain and the other in Prenzlauerberg? Hmm...I guess it's time to pull out the map.

Anyway, one thing I know for sure is that we entered the park at the Märchenbrunnen (Fairy Tale Fountain.)

I've always loved the Märchenbrunnen. It has just that right touch of grandiose kitsch I love so much. Not only that, it was also a popular gay cruising area in and even before the GDR (maybe it still is?)
I also read a Bernie Gunter mystery where they found a body there that had been mutilated in a particularly gruesome way. I really recommend those books by the way. They are by the English writer Philip Kerr and, besides being great hard-boiled mysteries, they really give you a feel for what it must have been like to be a German who detested the Nazis but felt helpless against the madness that was all around you...
Miss Mia was there as was Baby Li, though she seems to have decided to go through the terrible twos a little bit early, so the photo below is pretty much the only one I was able to take of her.

At some point I left a very cranky Baby Li with her daddy and went off to get Miss Mia a light pink, Hello Kitty ice cream (marshmallow flavored, of course! ;) ) I love how she looks here like eating ice cream is serious business.
And isn't her dress so adorable and so tres 60s? I thrifted it a while ago at the Goodwill on Fillmore in S.F. and just now it finally fits her.
It was funny to be in Prenzlauerberg because it is SO different than Kreuzberg, though both areas have definitely been experiencing a baby boom for a while. I'm
generalizing of course, but most mothers in Kreuzberg are largely left wing feminists passionate about saving the environment. They'd be happy to wear a burlap sack as long as it was made out of organic cotton. In other words, long on hippie, short on glamour. The mothers in Prenzlauerberg, however, wear wedge heels, 200 Euro jeans and designer, white lace blouses. It's hippie versus urban yuppie or, to put it in Bay Area terms, Berkeley versus the Marina. I really don't fit into either category but, for the day, it was nice to at least see something different.

3 comments:

petoskystone said...

eating ice cream on a stick is a *very* serious business when you don't want it to melt off of the stick! (at least w/my oldest grandchild) grandchild #2 is a boy--such a difference between isa & eli! he must needs take apart everything he touches. & being 2, is giving to whining, yelling, & collapsing on the floor in fits.... what a lovely park! i will definately look up those books.

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

I love this! The statues on that fountain are wonderful, and I am also in love with Miss Mia's outfit. Great dress, and I'm loving all the stripes. (Children always get to wear the best clothes!)

And this is so funny--I just recently added Philip Kerr's books to my To Read list. I think I heard about him on NPR, but your rec seals the deal! I'll have to request one from the library soon.

Schaufensterbabe said...

Thanks ladies! Let me know what you think of the books. :)

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