Archives for category: Berlin tips
Even in the Rain,
Outside Dining is Possible
at Eintopf

Located on eclectic Gotzkowskystraße in the Moabit section of Berlin, Eintopf is a small neighborhood restaurant specializing in soups. Their homemade soups are made from scratch everyday, which include a vegan and/or vegetarian option. Friendly service, reasonable prices (3,90€ per bowl with unlimited bread), and a pleasant atmosphere make Eintopf a great place to visit for a healthy lunch.

A View From Eintopf 

BTW: Moabit is one of those Berlin neighborhoods that’s relatively tourist free. There’s a lively vibe to this multicultural area that’s full of restaurants, cafes, and music venues. If anything, Moabit reminds me of SoHo during the late 1980s.

Even in the Rain,
Outside Dining is Possible
at Eintopf

Located on eclectic Gotzkowskystraße in the Moabit section of Berlin, Eintopf is a small neighborhood restaurant specializing in soups. Their homemade soups are made from scratch everyday, which include a vegan and/or vegetarian option. Friendly service, reasonable prices (3,90€ per bowl with unlimited bread), and a pleasant atmosphere make Eintopf a great place to visit for a healthy lunch.

A View From Eintopf 

BTW: Moabit is one of those Berlin neighborhoods that’s relatively tourist free. There’s a lively vibe to this multicultural area that’s full of restaurants, cafes, and music venues. If anything, Moabit reminds me of SoHo during the late 1980s.

The Vegetable Orchestra (Das erste Wiener Gemüseorchester) is a musical group from Vienna who perform using instruments made entirely from fresh vegetables. The group consists of ten musicians, one cook, and one sound technician. Tonight, the group performed to an enthusiastic Berlin audience, which included some of Berlin’s most prominent vegans and vegetarians. 


Their instruments, which are all of their own invention, include carrot recorders, clappers made from eggplant, and trumpets made from zucchini. Their repertoire includes some experimental pieces and some standards from the likes of Stravinsky and Kraftwerk.

To ensure perfect sound quality, the instruments are made from scratch just one hour before each performance using only the freshest vegetables available. Then all ninety pounds of vegetables are cooked into a soup following the performance. Nothing goes to waste!
Anna Lehnkering

Anna Lehnkering’s story is not unusual. It’s just one among many that documents the Nazi’s so called “euthanasia” program of the 1930/40s. Anna was a normal young girl who had difficulty with reading and writing in school. Today, she would likely be diagnosed as dyslexic, but to the Nazis, she was considered “unworthy of life,” a “useless eater.”

At the end of 1935, the Hereditary Health Court ordered that Anna be taken from her home, sterilized, and transferred to a mental institution. At the institution, Anna suffered from neglect and malnutrition. She was described in medical documents as “longing to go home” and “sad.” Ultimately, she was sent to Berlin’s “T4” euthanasia facility where she was murdered  She was 24 years old.


According to the law, anyone who suffered from a mental or physical disability, or labeled as “anti-social,” was not allowed to procreate and deemed “eligible” for institutionalization. It was all part of a systematic eugenics program that was administered with stereotypical German precision and efficiency. 

As many as 300,000 people fell victim to one of history’s first planned mass exterminations. There were six euthanasia facilities in Germany and Austria. The best known was “Tiergartenstraße 4” or “T4” in Berlin, which extinguished the lives of 70,000 people. In nearly all the cases, the inmates were killed with drugs or starved to death. 

Located where the Berlin Philharmonic stands today, the T4 facility was demolished after the war and its past nearly forgotten. Last week, construction began on a monument to commemorate those who perished at Tiergartenstraße 4. The monument is scheduled to be completed in 2014, and will join existing Berlin monuments commemorating Jewish, Homosexual, and Gypsy victims who died at the hands of the Nazis.


For more information about Anna’s fate and the fate of other T4 inmates, visit the Tiergatenstraße 4 Open Air Exhibition. It’s located behind the Philharmonic and across the street from the Tiergarten Park. The Exhibition runs until November 17, 2013.

Anna Lehnkering

Anna Lehnkering’s story is not unusual. It’s just one among many that documents the Nazi’s so called “euthanasia” program of the 1930/40s. Anna was a normal young girl who had difficulty with reading and writing in school. Today, she would likely be diagnosed as dyslexic, but to the Nazis, she was considered “unworthy of life,” a “useless eater.”

At the end of 1935, the Hereditary Health Court ordered that Anna be taken from her home, sterilized, and transferred to a mental institution. At the institution, Anna suffered from neglect and malnutrition. She was described in medical documents as “longing to go home” and “sad.” Ultimately, she was sent to Berlin’s “T4” euthanasia facility where she was murdered  She was 24 years old.


According to the law, anyone who suffered from a mental or physical disability, or labeled as “anti-social,” was not allowed to procreate and deemed “eligible” for institutionalization. It was all part of a systematic eugenics program that was administered with stereotypical German precision and efficiency. 

As many as 300,000 people fell victim to one of history’s first planned mass exterminations. There were six euthanasia facilities in Germany and Austria. The best known was “Tiergartenstraße 4” or “T4” in Berlin, which extinguished the lives of 70,000 people. In nearly all the cases, the inmates were killed with drugs or starved to death. 

Located where the Berlin Philharmonic stands today, the T4 facility was demolished after the war and its past nearly forgotten. Last week, construction began on a monument to commemorate those who perished at Tiergartenstraße 4. The monument is scheduled to be completed in 2014, and will join existing Berlin monuments commemorating Jewish, Homosexual, and Gypsy victims who died at the hands of the Nazis.


For more information about Anna’s fate and the fate of other T4 inmates, visit the Tiergatenstraße 4 Open Air Exhibition. It’s located behind the Philharmonic and across the street from the Tiergarten Park. The Exhibition runs until November 17, 2013.

Sanssouci Palace

There are so many things to do in Berlin that tourists often see only the “top” attractions. That’s unfortunate since Berlin has so much more to offer than just museums. To understand Berlin, one needs to explore the surrounding towns and countryside. 

My first recommendation is to rent a bicycle. I often suggest a visit to Potsdam. Although 

Potsdam’s Brandenburger Gate

Potsdam has its share of tourists, one doesn’t feel as overwhelmed as in Berlin. Potsdam is the capital of the German state of Brandenburg and lies about 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest from Berlin. It’s an easy subway ride from central Berlin and will cost 3.10€ for a one-way ticket (tack on another 2.20€ if you bring a bicycle).

Potsdam’s major attraction is Sanssouci Palace, Germany’s answer to Versailles. It gets very very crowded, so be prepared! Sanssouci was the former residence of Frederick the Great, and its vast gardens and Rocco architecture make it one of Brandenburg’s top attractions.

The Cecilienhof

Potsdam’s other major attraction is the Cecilienhof, the site of the Potsdam conference where the allied leaders met to finalize the fate of Germany, Austria, Poland, and Vietnam following WWII. The Cecilienhof is situated in the Neuer Garten (New Garden), and is one of my favorite places in Potsdam. The Neuer Garten borders the lakes Heiliger See and Jungfernsee, and makes for a wonderful day visit. One can picnic, swim, walk, bicycle, or just experience solitude. It’s never crowded. And for film buffs, Potsdam has a great film museum (currently closed for renovations) and is also near the famed Babelsberg film studios.

The Neuer Garten


The Marmorpalais (Marble Palace)
located on the shore of the Heiliger See
and overlooking the Neuer Park
The Dutch Quarter in Potsdam
Sanssouci Palace

There are so many things to do in Berlin that tourists often see only the “top” attractions. That’s unfortunate since Berlin has so much more to offer than just museums. To understand Berlin, one needs to explore the surrounding towns and countryside. 

My first recommendation is to rent a bicycle. I often suggest a visit to Potsdam. Although 

Potsdam’s Brandenburger Gate

Potsdam has its share of tourists, one doesn’t feel as overwhelmed as in Berlin. Potsdam is the capital of the German state of Brandenburg and lies about 24 kilometers (15 miles) southwest from Berlin. It’s an easy subway ride from central Berlin and will cost 3.10€ for a one-way ticket (tack on another 2.20€ if you bring a bicycle).

Potsdam’s major attraction is Sanssouci Palace, Germany’s answer to Versailles. It gets very very crowded, so be prepared! Sanssouci was the former residence of Frederick the Great, and its vast gardens and Rocco architecture make it one of Brandenburg’s top attractions.

The Cecilienhof

Potsdam’s other major attraction is the Cecilienhof, the site of the Potsdam conference where the allied leaders met to finalize the fate of Germany, Austria, Poland, and Vietnam following WWII. The Cecilienhof is situated in the Neuer Garten (New Garden), and is one of my favorite places in Potsdam. The Neuer Garten borders the lakes Heiliger See and Jungfernsee, and makes for a wonderful day visit. One can picnic, swim, walk, bicycle, or just experience solitude. It’s never crowded. And for film buffs, Potsdam has a great film museum (currently closed for renovations) and is also near the famed Babelsberg film studios.

The Neuer Garten


The Marmorpalais (Marble Palace)
located on the shore of the Heiliger See
and overlooking the Neuer Park
The Dutch Quarter in Potsdam

Dieter Schonlau
 Malaysia 2010
Green Gecko
Jodi Cobb
Tahiti 1997
Two sides of paradise: The
natural beauty of Tahiti and the lasting
effects of French colonialism.

The National Geographic Society is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and as part of that celebration, the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin is exhibiting 55 iconic images from the magazine’s colorful past.






Under the motto, “Inspiring people to care about the planet,” the exhibition illustrates the Society’s dedication and commitment to science, history, archaeology, astronomy, and sustainability. Many of these breathtaking pictures seem unreal. For example, Franz Lanting’s African sunset is like a Vincent van Gogh painting.

The exhibition is on view until August 14, 2013. Admission is free, but a passport is required for entry.

Hugo van Lawick
Tanzania 1964
NGS was an early supporter of
Jane Goodall’s research into
primate behavior. What

defines “human” anyway? 
Jim Richardson
The Isle of Skye 2010
Wow! 



Carsten Peter
South Dakota USA 2003
Tornado Hunter

It’s like the Wizard of Oz
Franz Lanting
Namibia 2012
This unbelievable photograph

was shot at Namib-Naukluft
National Park at sunset.
There is no color enhancement.
This is the real thing. 


William Albert Allard
Texas USA 1982
Lonesome Cowboy

Dieter Schonlau
 Malaysia 2010
Green Gecko
Jodi Cobb
Tahiti 1997
Two sides of paradise: The
natural beauty of Tahiti and the lasting
effects of French colonialism.

The National Geographic Society is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and as part of that celebration, the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin is exhibiting 55 iconic images from the magazine’s colorful past.






Under the motto, “Inspiring people to care about the planet,” the exhibition illustrates the Society’s dedication and commitment to science, history, archaeology, astronomy, and sustainability. Many of these breathtaking pictures seem unreal. For example, Franz Lanting’s African sunset is like a Vincent van Gogh painting.

The exhibition is on view until August 14, 2013. Admission is free, but a passport is required for entry.

Hugo van Lawick
Tanzania 1964
NGS was an early supporter of
Jane Goodall’s research into
primate behavior. What

defines “human” anyway? 
Jim Richardson
The Isle of Skye 2010
Wow! 



Carsten Peter
South Dakota USA 2003
Tornado Hunter

It’s like the Wizard of Oz
Franz Lanting
Namibia 2012
This unbelievable photograph

was shot at Namib-Naukluft
National Park at sunset.
There is no color enhancement.
This is the real thing. 


William Albert Allard
Texas USA 1982
Lonesome Cowboy
Mur Végétal
Height 18m [59″]; Width 15m [49″];
 area 270 sq.m [2903 sq. ft.];
water 16,200 liters [4227 gallons]

Berlin has it all, including a tropical rain forest right in the middle of the city. Dussmann, Berlin’s largest bookstore, not only has an excellent selection of books, CD’s, and DVD’s, but it also houses Le Mur Végétal (Vertical Garden), a collection of tropical plants, which grow, not on soil, but on an elaborate drip irrigation system enabling plants to grow on walls.

This living artwork is the creation of French botanist and horticultural artist Patrick Blanc. Blanc, using a hydroponic system invented by Stanley Hart White, a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois, has created a spectacular facade symbolizing the world’s need for ecological and social sustainability. Blanc has a number of other gardens around the world, including artworks in Singapore, San Francisco, and Paris. Le Mur Végétal is free to the public, and is an awesome example of 21th century Landscape Architecture.   

Sphinx of Queen of Hatshepsut
(Egypt 18th Dynasty (1475 BC)
Greets Visitors to Mur Végétal