At these stalls, we buy enough (maybe €15-20 at each stall, which doesn't seem like that much to us), that the sellers give us extra "freebees". Or maybe it's just their way of trying to get us to come back to their stall over a competitors. Either way, we get extra dolmas (which is nice, but actually we may not eat, not anyone's favourite) and at the other stall, we got an extra spread.
So, Venice likes my boots and wants to try for a pair of her own. I'm so in love with my new boots and the store is right across the street, so, we take her over there to try some on. A different woman is running the store today, she's young and laughs at everything we say, all the while working so hard to get boot, after boot, after boot down for us. I tried on a few others as well... and well... both Venice and I got a pair of boots. So, now I have two pairs to be in love with!
Venice took our boots home while Chris and I went next door to the Patagonia store. It's cold and we're looking for more layers. Chris gets a jacket and I get one that matches my new boots! Hallo!
Shopping this morning took us a lot longer than we thought and lunch was a bit late (around 2pm). Timing is a bit of a bummer as we'll need to eat dinner early so we can see the Festival of Lights on the earlier side. But, perhaps it'll be ok as the kids are always hungry and Chris and I can eat a light lunch.
First thing on the afternoon list is to visit the East Side Gallery. We are doing all things "Kreutzberg" today. We thought about living in this district, but after seeing how far it was from Chris' work, we ended up in Prenzlauer Berg, which, having lived here for a while now, is the better lifestyle fit for us. The East Side Gallery is in Kreutzberg and we're off to see the art on the Wall there.
|The beginning (or the end?) of the gallery (left)|
Standing in the middle of the Wall. East is on the left, West is on the right. (middle)
Gorbachev... haven't seen him in a while (right)
The East Side Gallery was painted in 1990, but wasn't done "right" (no primer, and other problems) and the art eroded quickly. Refurbishments were done later (with some surrounding controversy). And of course, dumb dumbs put graffiti back onto the pieces of artwork again. So, it's a bummer to have iconic paintings covered in graffiti, but it is what it is.
Of course, the East side is in the shade and we just about froze. Keep walking. Take quick photos. Keep walking. Take a break on the West side to sit in the sun. Keep walking! The coldest part was probably taking the photos which meant you had to expose your hands. Brrrr. Good thing I have a new jacket and lined boots to help me out!
|Some iconic images.|
Test the Rest (used to be Test the Best) (left) and artist Noir (top and right)
|We didn't even capture all the art of this one, it was long.|
This is probably my favourite of the day.
We skipped the very end (or the beginning) of the gallery. Instead, we bought water and headed towards the bridge. I'm thinking we missed out on seeing another iconic painting of the Soviet and German leaders embraced in a kiss. Kind of bummed. But, I see it depicted on my walks in the morning, so I'll take a photo of that to make up for missing it at the gallery.
Next, we cross the Oberbaumbrücke bridge. I read (at the Fernsehtrum) that on this bridge (I don't know when), they hold an annual, symbolic, water fight. "Although the demonstration is run along peaceful lines, the fighting is intense with water bombs, flour bombs and rotten eggs being happily tossed around. In the messy aftermath, both sides naturally claim victory and local pride is regained."
We pass by a bear, not a Buddy Bear, but another bear. The kids will take a photo with it anyway.
Next on our journey is a store, Original Unverpackt, I heard about from Tori. A store that uses little to no packaging in attempts to reduce waste. We almost walked right by it, the store front is very small and non-flashy. The store, inside, was also small. We invisioned no packaging, however, they sold drinks (in bottles) and some prepackaged items. But, in-line with their mission, most of their inventory is sold in bulk. You can buy their bottles, tupperware, etc. and then fill these containers with the food (and refill another day) you want to buy. Below you can see their Sweet and Sour section (this would be a favourite area, for sure) and the plastic glove you use to grab food so that you don't touch it all while getting the amount you want. And, of course, Spaghetti Hell! Sometimes we think so too (but really, hell is "light", which isn't as funny).
|No packaging store.|
Next, to warm up, we stop for a good cappuccino.
And when adults get a cup of coffee. We know it's boring for the kids. What to do to keep them from getting bored? Try being a model? There was a giant magazine on our table, so we flipped through it and Venice, from the comfort of her place on the couch, emulated each model to prove anyone can do it. We were pretty discrete, I don't know that anyone knew what we were doing. Sneaky fun!
|Venice's Black and White series.|
|Even Xander got in on the action, by the end.|
Thus ends part 1 of our day.