Tag Archives: Kreuzberg

Tempelhof – From abandoned airport to urban park


Lately my bike rides around town have included a loop around the runways at Tempelhof in Berlin. I can’t get enough of this former airport turned urban park. Like so many places in Berlin, it is the site of incredible history that in recent years has found new uses in today’s world. Continue reading

Playgrounds of Berlin – A photo essay

Wood, rope, metal, recycled tires. Sand, grass, brick, cobblestones. Benches, foliage, shade. Inventive, inviting designs. Suitable for little kids, engaging for pre-teens, durable enough for adults. Whimsical. Surprising. Never boring. All over the city. No two alike.


Trampoline Park, Prenzlauer Berg


Trampoline park, Prenzlauer Berg


Rope swing, Frankenstrasse, Schoeneberg

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Schwarz rider

u-bahn berlin

A subway rider without a valid ticket is affectionately called a “schwarz rider.”

It happened to me, or I should say, to my friend, on a visit to Germany a full 20 years ago. My friend was in school in Heidelberg to work on her already-good language skills and figure out what came next for her.

I’d come with my boyfriend to visit her and tour the lovely old city. She met us at the train station and took us around town for the afternoon. We rode the quaint local trolleys through the city, and I recall her handing us small paper tickets that we were supposed to punch in some ancient contraption in the rear of the car.

To make the tickets last longer, she said, we don’t have to punch them; it’s an honor system here, and they rarely check.

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