Where I live in Berlin
Where Stephanie Frick lives in Berlin may not be 'pregnancy hill' anymore but it has many other claims to fame.
Some say it’s Berlin’s nicest street: Oderberger Strasse in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, also known to locals as “pregnancy hill”. However, let me get that myth right straight away: statistics have lately proven Prenzlauer Berg is behind Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg regarding birthrates in 2010.
Certain locations within Prenzlauer Berg do, admittedly, show a respectful density of childcare, children’s yoga, cooking courses etc., but around Oderberger Strasse this phenomenon is much more widespread. You do see (usually quite hip) mums and dads proudly pushing prams, or women's bellies in varying degrees of pregnancy. Otherwise the street picture is dominated by artists, and fashion victims. The majority of people in the area seem to be around their 30s or 40s.
Not only tourists flock to the Mauerpark flea market (open every Sunday from 8:00-18:00), but ‘local foreigners’ who have decided to live in Germany’s coolest city. At right angles to Oderberger Strasse, dividing it into a longer section towards the Mauerpark and a shorter part on the other side, you will find Kastanienallee – or “casting allee” as some call it. So if you’re seeking a career as a movie star, why not give strolling up and down this trendy street a try? Especially recommendable is a nice sunny day, when the numerous cafés, bars and restaurants all have their chairs out and all sorts of creative folk relax with a soy chai tea latte.
Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg: Flohmarkt am Mauerpark
Apart from in-bars and all kinds of international culinary delicacies there are a number of mentionable front-room-atmosphere-cafés to choose from with second-hand-shops sprinkled between, giving ample choice to design-seeking shoppers.
Gentrification has definitely hit ground here. However, you don’t get the feeling of living amidst some kind of scenery. It rather feels very unique, authentic, lively – and yet green and open. Lately, there has been quite a lot of protest from a citizens’ initiative against the district exchange’s plans to reconstruct Kastanienallee and to build a broader road, new bike paths and to narrow pavements; no consensus has been reached so far. If you’re interested in the latest developments, please check http://stoppt-kastanienallee21.posterous.com/.
Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg: Kastanienallee
Back to Oderberger Strasse, which is a current target of much roadwork activity, you also have Germany’s oldest operating fire station, an indoor swimming pool (the “Stadtbad Oderberger Straße”) originally built towards the end of the 1890s and mainly used for events and parties nowadays, as well as the so-called 'Prater' – Berlin’s oldest beer garden and theatre venue the Volksbühne. It is also a street with historic meaning: during the time when Berlin was split in East and West, Oderberger Strasse was located in the border area and thus a cul-de-sac.
With all this beautiful and creative district has to offer I can only highly recommend a visit. Whenever you are in Berlin, come and see for yourselves!
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