Wednesday, September 1, 2010

They Say It's Your Birthday

I'm nearing four years in Europe, but oddly, I've never spent any time in August in Berlin. This year I've remedied that situation, for the last week of the month, at least, which means this is the first time I've spent my birthday here. My times in Berlin and Madrid have become so intertwined that it's difficult to say exactly how that time has split out between the two. I'd have to say Berlin's probably still slightly ahead, but it will soon even out as Madrid finally starting to feel a bit like home makes it more comfortable to spend longer stretches of time there without that longing to get away, namely to Berlin. It still feels best to be in Berlin, but it's always been clear to me that one country would not be enough. The question will be, with time, whether two will be sufficient. I'm pretty sure I could manage three...

This year's birthday was one of the best I've had; I have that feeling of having finally become that interesting woman I always wanted to be. Blogging over these last (nearly) three years has been therapeutic, a stripping down to the bone, that has allowed me to re-invent myself as an iconoclastic American ex-pat, the optimistic misanthrope who is, despite her best efforts, constantly engaged by this frustratingly crazy world of ours. It's good to have celebrated this special birthday in the city that I certainly never ever would have predicted I'd grow to love so much.

Here's yet another reason to love it: the world's first airport to become a rollerblade park (as far as I know). The weird historical redundancies in Berlin yield some very cool public spaces (Mauer Park, East-Side Gallery, the Bernaurstra├če Gedenkst├Ątte). But this is the coolest of them all, photographed on one of a number of glorious early-September days with skies as big as Montana's.

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