At the weekend we have slow mornings and usually don’t get out until lunch time, when we go to Görlitzer Park, then potter about and get flowers from a quirky little store called Blumen Paradies on Wrangelstrasse. The lady there has a secret drawer where she lets Iyla pick out a toy. Then we head to the best nut place in town next to Sumak Teahaus (I’m obsessed!) where I buy wasabi cashews. For lunch we’ll maybe head to New Deli Yoga, as they have delicious smoothies. Depending on the weather we’ll have a walk along the canal or go back to the park, we don’t really leave the kiez as we have a few friends around the area who we can meet up with.
I really like pubs and cute little bars, there is a great one called Oberbaumeck on Bevernstraße, then for amazing cocktails and mexicana shots there is a place called Lerchen & Eulen. If you’re feeling like a really fun night out, there’s a karaoke place which is a short walk across the canal, called Monster Ronson and you can hire a booth with friends and stay till whenever. As we are separated, Iyla spends some time with her dad, so I plan these kind of nights when she’s not at home.
I love this kiez, but the obvious downsides are the drug dealers in the park. Sometimes they harass me even when I have Iyla with me, and I’ve seen some crazy stuff happen. Having said that, I still feel safe here, but wouldn’t walk past midnight alone through the park, just like in any big city.
Do you have any favourite things to do in Spring/Summer
Apart from hanging out in the park and along the canal, the U1 now goes straight to Krumme Lanke, which is a pretty lake out west. I’m Australian so I miss the beach, but having nice fresh clear lakes is wonderful. I really love Schlachtensee as it has sand and forest and feels like a little slice of heaven.
Do you have any favourite things to do in Autumn/Winter
Forest walks at Liepnitzsee followed by a pub lunch close by or picking mushrooms in the forest then cooking them in a big creamy pasta together with friends at home.
There are many German kitas around, but they’re very hard to get in to, like everywhere in Berlin. I do think if you live next to a park its even more difficult. Iyla actually goes to a bilingual kita in Mitte, as there aren’t many bilingual kitas or schools near us. We applied for 3 international schools but she has actually ended up going to the local German school, which is fine.
Are there many playgrounds within easy walking distance?
Yes! This area is great for playgrounds, there’s a lot in and around the park. I love the German playgrounds, as they are generally made out of wood and ropes, not plastic. We usually go after kita if its a nice day and will stay outside as long as we can. There is also the petting zoo at Görlitzer park, and our favourite playground is Spielplatz Am Flutgraben, which is good for all ages.
Yes, loads. We love Biergarten Jockel, on Ratiborstrasse. It’s the best through Summer as there is a massive playground near the canal so kids can play while parents can relax with a beer. You can also have your own picnic on the other grassy side too, and in winter the canal freezes over so you can walk across. Café Mugrabi (hot choc and amazing tahini and hummas breakfasts). Maison Umami – great Asian food, very busy though.
Is the area well connected for transport?
Yes, the U1 is great and there are lots of buses. Plus, it’s only a short walk to Warschauerstrasse, to get on the S bahn.
Any tips for families thinking of moving to your area?
Good luck finding a 3 zimmer apartment for under €1500, prices have gone up so much lately. I’m afraid I have no brilliant advice, I feel lucky to have the place I do.
Back to Perth, Australia, with my family around me! However, Iyla’s dad is from the UK and his work is here, so we have come up with a 10 year plan so Iyla can go to school here with shared custody. I wasn’t happy at first as I didn’t feel I could live up to my full potential as a mother in Berlin, and not being able to show Iyla everything I had grown up with. But now I’m committed to Berlin and am happily in a beautiful new relationship (with a German man). It changes everything when you surrender and accept what you have to do for your child. She needs her mum and dad in her life and I have had to come to terms with not being able to be back in Perth. When she turns 18 it’s her choice, but I’m going home, back to a very slow paced natural life. But for now, Berlin is my home, and I am making the most of it, with my partner, my job which I love, and a new baby on the way.
Look after your body and be kind to yourself. Don’t listen to negative stories your friends or family tell you because you get so caught up in their story that it’s possible you will make it a reality. Make your birth story your own story, and of course, look into hiring a doula or find out more what doulas do, as they can be extremely helpful preparing for birth, during the birth and after the birth. Make sure you know your options through research, doulas can help with this too; don’t let fear be your guide.
Vibrant. Family-friendly. Young. Grimy. Busy.