A stroll through the Tiergarten

Two weeks ago, a travel website named this blog one of the top Berlin blogs, citing my “fresh” views on German culture and Berlin. Since then, I’ve done everything in my power to disprove this notion by ceasing to post anything new.

I’ll try to remedy that, starting with a post that’s admittedly not terribly fresh.

On a beautiful Saturday several weeks ago, a friend and I took a stroll through the Tiergarten, Berlin’s second-largest park (behind the former Tempelhof airport) and certainly its grandest. The park is full of little treasures. One of my favorites is the memorial to gay Holocaust victims, an anonymous-looking box that curious (and sometimes homophobic, or at least not very homosexuality-exposed) visitors approach and peer into, only to back away in shock as they see a video of same-sex couples making out vigorously.

That doesn’t lend itself very well to photography. But this does:

If you look closely, you’ll see the word “love” inscribed along the central polished ribbon of this beautiful stone in different languages. That’s because it’s the love stone. Sounds innocent enough — except that it’s maybe the most controversial rock in the world.

Read more of this post


German transport minister takes to the piano to quell road rage

The American transportation secretary is, by executive branch standards, pretty cool. He says and tweets quirky things, and for a lifelong Republican, he’s an unusually strong advocate of biking and other eco-conscious modes of transport.

But it seems he’s got nothing on his German counterpart:

Germany’s transport minister is sharing one of his own stress-reducers — the slow movements of Mozart’s piano concertos — with drivers in hopes the soothing music will help reduce road rage on the nation’s autobahn freeways.

A new CD called “Adagio in the Automobile” features Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer playing part of Mozart’s Piano Concerto Nr. 21 accompanied by the orchestra of Berlin’s Deutsche Oper. Read more of this post

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