Garrison & Co.
If you haven't already left Berlin, here are a couple of places
to see Sunday. The former East Berlin TV tower & the museum
that houses a real sputnik .. can't remember the name, sorry,
but it is also in the former East Berlin. Lastly, if you have
any more time and energy left .. take a tour on the Museum
Insel, lots of beautiful buildings and things there. Oh, and
stop on at the former East Berlin Opera Restaurant and get
yourself a nice cup of coffee .. that is a must. Good Show
a dane in Connecticut
My half-sister lives in Berlin (Waidmannslust) so I have been
there several times. She lives about 10 minutes from Tegel!
My tip? Walk around the Eastern part of Berlin. You come appreciate
what Communism did to that part of this great city. As you
know the entire city is under construction but much of the
east is still as it was at the time of "the wall" (what Berliner's
call the time when the Wall came down). If possible, go to
an Opera or a classical music concert. Tell THEM to through
out McDonald's and Walmart! Ride the train out into the country
side. Of course the southern part is prettier, but the entire
country is wonderful. If you are still in Berlin on Sunday...go
to the great flea market in the Tiergarten...close to the
Brandenburg Gate. It is truly an international feast for the
eyes, mind, and heart.
is a gigantic building on the corner of leipzigerstrasse and
wilhelmstrasse that was built in the 1930s to house hermann
goering and hitler's airforce. it is a perfect example of
the war, it was (just barely -- it was right up against the
wall) in east berlin, where it was used as the house of ministries
for the german democratic republic. to celebrate the triumph
of socialism over fascism, a wonderful socialist-realist mural
was painted on the outer wall facing leipzigerstrasse.
unification the building housed the treuhand, the controversial
agency responsible for the privatization of east germany.
now it is the ministry of finance. where else but berlin could
a single building so dramatically reflect the twentieth century
and all of its most important ideologies, from fascism to
socialism to capitalism? It makes you wonder what's next.
a stone's throw from your hotel. and by the way, not only
is the hotel adlon way too expensive for npr, but it is among
the least attractive contributions to the developing berlin
skyline. i mean, what's up with that fake green roof? wouldn't
you rather be sleeping in the bank next door? i hope you are
at least taking the s-bahn, another great contribution berlin
has made to the world. and cheap -- it's something all those
bublic broadcasting membership fees i scraped together as
a student can justify.
to see you saturday,
One thing that must not be missed in Berlin is Currywurst: a
grilled sausage (pleasantly greasy), burried in a warm sauce
that looks like ketchup but has a nice tangy flavor: hints of
vinegar (no balsamico) and lots of curry powder, which is also
dusted over the whole concoction in generous amounts. Ideally,
the Currywurst is cut into pieces and eaten with a little wooden
fork. They have little machines to cut the sausage, the kind
you wish you'd had when you were canning string beans many summers
ago, but back then you had to use a knife and after the first
bushel you'd stop counting the cuts on your thumb. Currywurst
comes with a small wooden fork and a crispy roll to scoop up
Currywurst is the food the fueled the Wirtschaftswunder after
WWII. It's a comfort food for those who want to take a break
from being part of the brie-and-chablis crowd. It's a Berlin
institution. Everybody congregates at Currywurst joints: professors,
housewives, cabbies (and chefs from fancy-shmancy restaurants
after midnight). Two good places to go to: Fleischerei Bachhuber
bei Witty, right across the street from the Kaufhaus des Westens
department store and the one at Kurfürstendamm 195 (this one
might actually be pretty close to the theater). Enjoy!
Try to make
time to visit the Check Point Charlie museum. It's a great tribute
to those seeking freedom in the West. Tschuss,
Hi Mr. Keillor
and the PHC Crew,
From my experience of living in Berlin since the early 70's,
the one most useful tip I usually give to casual tourists in
Germany is: " Don't jaywalk " Too many German drivers are stubborn,
i.e., if the traffic light is green, they will drive through
the pedestrian walk irrespective of if pedestrians are there
or not. They will insist on having their right of way. You don't
want to sample the hospital emergency room while you are here.
Restaurants are aplenty in Berlin, but one needs to look hard
to find ones that serve good traditional German food in enormous
portion, if one is into that kind of things. Try 'Hardtke' on
Meineke Strasse near the Kurfuerstendamm or 'Hardtke' on Hubertusallee
(at the western end of the Kurfuerstendamm). See you guys at
the show. Uff Da !
With best wishes,
Your timing may be a little off, sounds like you will miss most
of Carnival or Fasching. Last year at this time I took a long
weekend to Germany with my seventeen year old daughter. It took
us a while to figure out what was going on in Frankfurt, but
finally figured out it was Fasching. (Just because we are German
does not mean we were familiar with our heritage.) Be aware
the shops close early on Saturday afternoon and many are not
open on Sunday. Possibly next year, the folks back in Lake Wobegon
might want to practice Fasching. The public transportation is
so great in Germany, or in Europe. Don't forget to hang on to
your mass transit ticket till the end of the line. Don't be
intimidated by the blonde military police at the airport with
submachine guns. They give a whole new meaning to "the angle
of death". (Check out which Kaiser is on their tee shirt!)
In Berlin, be sure to try the local dish called Eisbein. It
is a pork knuckle, cooked so that it just falls off the bone
and is quite tasty.
Wash it down with a Weizenbier, or Wheat Beer. The Berliner
Weisse is a wheat beer with a shot of something raspberry in
it. The straight stuff is better.
In the section of town not far from the Dom and the old arsenal,
(which by the way now houses a wonderful museum of German History)
there is the Nickolaiviertel, or Nicholai quarter. There's a
brew pub called the Georg Braeu there, that will serve up both
a good beer and eisbein.
Be SURE to zip out to Potsdam, and do not miss the chance to
see Sans Soucci, the pleasure palace of Frederick the Great.
Have a good trip. Wish I were going with you!
Since I saw him in Munich, I've always thought that Max Raabe
and the Palast Orchester would be a natural for the PHC. Glad
you've already arranged to have him on the show. Please Please
Please ask him to sing "In meine Badewanne bin Ich Kapitaen"
or "In my bathtub, I'm a ship's Captain."
During 5 years in St. Louis, Mo, I became a avid listener of
your show - and was most proud after I started understanding
(some of) the jokes. Berlin was the place where I did my PhD
and had a most enjoyable 5 years - with the radio playing in
the background (most favourite show: Klassik zum Frühstück presented
by Julian Brettingham-Smith uttering his flawless German with
a beautiful touch of an English accent).
Anyway, Berlin needs to be discovered on foot. Walk through
the streets of the Friedrichsstadt, visit the Bertolt Brecht
Haus on the Chaussee Strasse and the adjacent cemetery, where
Brecht and many other greats of German literature have been
laid to rest.
Oranienburger Strasse and adjacent streets have much to discover,
a Jewish quarter of sorts for example.
All the best.
Almost two years ago, after my wife and I got married, we spent
the summer in Berlin. For six weeks, I worked as a street musician
while she studied German full-time. I can honestly say that
Berlin is one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities -- all
the culture and excitement of New York, without the crime, pollution
and traffic. As Americans, you should have no trouble staying
in Berlin. However, bear in mind that the public transportation
system, at least when I was there, shuts down at midnight. I
know firsthand because, one night, I had a gig on the opposite
side of town from my apartment. I got out around 11:30 p.m.
and, after getting hopelessly lost finding the train station,
ended up walking home through the night, carrying my trombone.
I arrived at 7:30 a.m., just in time to wake my wife up for
class. Hopefully you guys have a tour bus.
a disposible scrapper for your shoes 'cause there is a lot of
dog poop on the sidewalks. I'm not trying to embarrass the Berliners
but it is pretty disgusting.
ps Hamburg is reportedly a much more exciting city
A wonderful venue
for lunch is a modern bar called "The Barge" in Ranelagh. There
are many rooms there, which are all big and bright with high ceilings
and huge windows perfect for viewing; it overlooks the canal and
is sufficiently on the fringes of the city centre not to be packed
at lunch time. (Evening onwards is a different story!). The food
is very good, of the home cooked/personally prepared variety and
there are, of course, the usual plethora of liquid refreshments.
A good place for a quiet comfortable lunch.
New York (and erstwhile of Dublin)
Dear Mr Keillor,
Two very interesting thing to do in Dublin are these: 1) St Michan's
church in Dublin has some vaults below. What ever is the correct
explanation, the fact is that the remains of several people who
were buried there are surprisingly well preserved - like leather.
So much so that they (used to) allow one to shake the hand of an
honest-to-goodness Crusdader - from the crusades, the real crusades!
It isn't one bit creepy even though it sounds like it would be.
An added bonus is that George Fredrick Handel used to be the organist
in this church and one can see the keyboard he used to play on.
They used to allow visitors to touch and pretend to play on that
keyboard. (Needless to say, it pre-dates plastic and accordingly
the keys are made of bone/ivory and are *very* worn down from use.)
2) 20 miles
north of Dublin is a magnificent big, ancient - as in the time of
the pyramids- tumulus called "Knowth" It is surrounded by great
big white stones (about the size of small cars) which were mined/quarried
many miles away and somehow transported by the ancients to this
site There is also a smaller tumulus close to it called "Dowth".
It is absolutely
fascinating to go into the larger one. The entrance is by a long
low tunnel - 75 feet long, 5 feet high - and on winter solstice
but on no other day, when the sun rises, it shines directly down
that tunnel into the central crucible. This place is awsome (in
the true sense of the word). An interesting aside is this. When
the President of France visited it 20 years ago or so, his minders
would not let him go inside because they were afraid that his "button"
might not work in there. [Sounds like an additional reason for him
to have gone inside, if you ask me.] No doubt other people will
recommend other touristy things to do. I hope you have set aside
enought time! Regards.
Victoria, British Columbia
Of course, you have to go to Fitzsimon's Pub in Temple Bar, where
practically every night there is traditional music and dancing (not
to mention an immense crowd, so get there early). If you haven't
already, you should also tour Dublin Castle (the underg round ruins
of the original 12th century castle are amazing), Christ Church
Cathedral (where Strongbow is buried), and all things literary (Oscar
Wilde's House, the James Joyce Institute, etc.) There's a literary
pub crawl that takes you to all the pubs where such famous writers
hung out. The cool thing about Dublin, aside from everything else
that's cool about it, is that everything you could possibly want
to see is pretty much within walking distance of each other. It's
a heavily populated city, but there's still that strong sense of
community (missing in most American cities) that keeps the city
centre grounded in spatial and interpersonal intimacy. It's an amazing
city, and I'm absolutely jealous that you will be there and I won't!
Enjoy the Guinness!
Dear wayward midwesterners,
Absolutely do not miss the Dublin pub scene if you can find the time
- amateur Irish musicians are a rare and exceptional breed. I was
lucky enough to be in O'Shaunnesy's the night after Christmas to hear
four absolutely top notch bouzouki players tear through traditional
tune after tune until a guitar player showed up and they all semlessly
switched to old timey American blues. Unbelievable. Some of the best
music anywhere gets made in such sessions by regular people with day
jobs, for the sheer joy of it. And as we were leaving, one of the
zouk players mentioned that they were all a bit tired out from Christmas
and the music was a bit slow that night.
The only tip I
have for your time in Dublin is to enjoy all the Guinness you can!
(Bring back some to share, too!)
North Manchester, IN