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Food/ random thoughts

My 28th Birthday in Berlin

Hey Folks,

It was my 28th birthday yesterday, August 2nd. This year was much better than the last. I figured this time I would have a small get together with the people that I have felt close to over this past year. I have had a hard time making friends, but yesterday made me feel good that people would come out just to see me. Thank you my friends. I really appreciate it.

Normally, I would be out in some club, but I have been really try to whip myself back into my ‘LA weight.’ It is hard when you really just sit a desk all day to balance that with eating right and exercising, but I am making a routine. We had a small dinner with some old co workers that have become friends over this time, and my girl who is from D.C. I had a good time, and had lots of Sangria. Well here are a few photos from last night.

Food

Food in Berlin: Volta Burger

Hey folks,

It has been so hot lately, I love that, but this humidity is no joke. This is the problem with being a California native; we have great weather and it is hard to live any where else. I have to remember that the world is not like that, and this is why I was paying so much rent to live there, LOL.

Anyways, on my endless quest to find good food in Berlin, I just saw this Volta Burger place in Wedding. There are little burger places sprouting up throughout Berlin. Many are American style of burgers. The best again so far is of course The Bird, but I have to give it Volta, it was good. They open each day at 6pm, which I thought was late, but it really made sense. Wedding is the new up and coming neighborhood, and frankly there isn’t anything around this area it seems. I think it will take time, and perhaps they will have better hours.

The place is not really just a burger place. They have one burger on a very short menu. We basically came for the burger. The place was small and in a commercial complex of other buildings. No a/c inside so we sat outside. It is 80 to 90 degrees every day right now in Berlin. The meat tasted fresh, they use grass fed beef. Although, it seems the patties were perhaps frozen, I am not really sure. I like when a place uses ground beef and makes the patties. It was pretty typical American gastro pub type of burger. I liked the seeds on the burger, and the fact they had a real pickle. I ate about half the burger, it was too big for me, and I am trying to worry about serving sizes.

If you find yourself in Berlin, or you live here, and you cannot get to the Bird, this is a nice alternative, but at 12 euros for a burger and fries, I thought it was a little overpriced. #

Volta Berlin
Brunnenstrasse 73, Wedding
Berlin, Berlin Germany
https://www.facebook.com/v4volta

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Food/ music/ Uncategorized

Karnival of Kulture Berlin 2013

Hey Folks,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. This weekend in Germany was another holiday. I had someone explain it to me as the ascension into heaven, so we were able to get Monday off. This weekend was Karnival of Kulture. This is an event that shows the multi cultural side of Berlin. For those who think Berlin is not a multi cultural city (personally I feel the same), this event may change your mind.

The event last four days and it is in Kreuzeberg, one can exit Hallesches Tor or Merhingdam exit from the ubahn. The first two days are primarily music, and food, while on Sunday there is a parade of the different cultures in Germany, and on Monday, there is some great jazz and music booths. These are the days that I went.

Sunday, I went about 4pm with the German. We did not see the parade. He does not care for it, I like to go personally to see how many different types of people actually live here. We live in a neighborhood, where I see white Germans only, so it is nice to see who else lives here. We brought some Jamaican food, and found a seat. Of course it was in the German beer booth, so again, I am the only one. He does not seem to see how uncomfortable for me to never see another person that looks like me, but this is another post that I think I will never write about. We got some drinks, and relaxed until his friend came, and we separated so I could explore. I love to explore alone, so I can make my own fun. Shame we do not have anything in common anymore.

Anyways, I headed down a couple more stops on the train and went to a bar where I ran into some music friends and we drank and chatted for a few hours.

For Monday, I had a lot to do. I had a job interview in the morning. I am desperately trying to stay in Berlin, but it is hard if you do not have a job. My only requirement at this point is to have normal hours, and it is not sales. I know I am an immigrant, but I feel that does not mean I cannot at least get this out of this country until I figure out if I want to go home to America. I feel this may be coming up soon. My bassist friend from the jazz session invited me to see him play. I called my friend from DC, who is an Ethiopian woman who grew up in Russia who is quite beautiful, and very intelligent. I said she should come down I the daytime to see the whole thing. We met up, got some african food, and walked around until we could see the show. It was quite nice to relax. I ran into all my new music friends, and hung out with the bassist after the show. We live really close to each other, so I knew it would be a good idea to stick together so I could have someone get me home. It is always interesting hanging with him. He thinks I am a men magnet, and every time we are walking or talking, people just stare. Germans have absolutely no shame when it comes to staring. I have to see if there is even a word for it. That was my weekend. I do not think there are more holidays coming up soon, but I have to lay low until I find another job in Berlin.

Here are some pictures from the festival:

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The jamaican food .. so much

The jamaican food .. so much

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This guy was awful

This guy was awful

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Saturdays band for jazz

Saturdays band for jazz

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A couple hours into it.. a little tipsy

A couple hours into it.. a little tipsy

He just told me to go home.. the look on his face is priceless

He just told me to go home.. the look on his face is priceless

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Daryl on the bass..

Daryl on the bass..

Rico McClarrin

Rico McClarrin

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Food/ Uncategorized

Best Burger in Berlin

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It has been a while since I have posted. I just found a new job that I started in February, and have been busy trying to learn this. Another sales job, I will write a post about how great that is soon. In the meantime, I finally got to try what some are saying is the best burger in Berlin. I usually think that most of these people have no idea what the hell they are talking about. I needed an American to recommend this to me.

I had a long weekend, so the German and I decided to try the place. It is located in Prenzlauer Berg. This area is for the posh hipster. Expensive rents, and lots of bars for those who can afford to party there. The Bird is the name of the place. It was started by two Americans from New York. They use grass fed beef that is mostly imported from America. I was excited. When I got there, I decided to try a steak. The German got a burger. He ordered some bacon burger, and he absolutely loved it. I ordered a flank steak. This steak was one of the better ones in Berlin. Our bill came to about 76 euros. This is VERY expensive for Berlin. I was really surprised, but thankfully we came prepared. I would have to say it is a good burger. The place is always packed, so make sure to make a reservation.. 4 days in advance.

My burger places list, just in case you find yourself in Berlin:

1. The Bird- Prenzlauer Berg. They speak english, they are friendly, and the music is great. It can be expensive, so I would suggest sticking to burgers.

2. Rosenburger- This place is in the heart of Rosenthaler platz in Mitte. Its cool for a quick bite after drinking too much. I thought it tasted similar to In and Out burger. I would say for quick, cheap and GOOD, this is the place.

3. Kreuzeburger- This place is ok, everyone said it was a great place, but I really do not see the appeal.

4. Sunshine Burger- If you want a good veggie burger that I swear does not taste like one, this is the place. I really did not know it was a veggie place until someone explained what vegetarisch means in English.. LOL.

If you know a better burger place, just let me know. I will add it to the list

Black Girl in Berlin

Food/ Uncategorized

Halloween in Berlin

Hello,

I hope you had a good weekend. Mine was spent hungover. I hosted a Halloween party for my coworkers and friends. It was really fun, at least I think it was. I had too much to drink and went to bed. Here are some pictures of my party. It was nice to bring this American tradition to Berlin. It seems that it is really catching on. I was foxy brown in case you cannot tell.

Food/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Carnival of Culture

Happy Memorial Day weekend if you are in America. Here this it is Carnival of Cultures weekend. I really have no idea what is going on with it, but it seems like a huge parade and party representing all kinds of countries. Everyone assumes I already know what is going on. Anyways, we went and I was expecting a crazy night to ensue. It happened to be my boyfriend’s friends 30th birthday so we were trying to stay in a group to drink together. I wanted to walk around and take pictures. There had to be at least 1 million people there. It was tough to walk anywhere. So many folks were out. It’s Berlin, so they are all pushing you around as they walk. Great experience. First we found our friends and got some drinks. I noticed the price listed is NEVER what they charge. It could say 4 euros and they say 4.50. I think they charge what they think you should pay I guess. We continued to walk around. My boyfriend wanted to get towards the street party because he had seen the parade so many times before. Which is awesome because I haven’t, and I am glad he thought of my needs. We finally get to see some of the parade, and we make our way towards the party to find some jerk chicken the guys were clamoring for. I decided to walk off and make some new friends. There are so many Africans at this party. They all hang out in their groups. I found some people from Ghana, and Sierra Leone. Everyone was really friendly and nice. Their question is the same as the White Germans I meet here. Where are you from in Africa. The same reply: I do not know. We are the descendants of stolen Africans. They didn’t exactly make it easy to find where from. The Africans will always try to claim you. You must be from Sierra Leone. I see it in your face. You are one of us. Now try this food. I have to say, it was nice to feel so welcomed. I am not naive. Many people do flirt, and that is fine. It is how I meet new people. Works for me as long as they know I am taken.
Here are some pictures from the first part of the Carnival-

I make it back to the group to sit down and let these drinks that I keep getting sink in. I really didn’t want a hangover. I just wanted a nice buzz. My back began to ache too, so it was nice to sit. We ran into more of my boyfriends friends. One is married to an African lady from Sierra Leone. I have mentioned her before and her comments on my hair. Today she revealed that she loved my hair but she could not get hers to look like that. I said, you gotta start over, and use all natural products. I thought, it must be the alcohol, because she is being really nice, but after meeting a few more African women, I realized they are just tough ladies. I can get used to it. I also realized that starting a beauty supply needs to really happen. So many women wearing awful weaves. If they only had someone providing them with quality hair… (mind is drifting off). End of the night, we had some awesome Talapia fish. It was the best I have ever tasted. I mean that. I have to get some Sierra Leone food. Have a great rest of your holiday weekend.

Food/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

A Day at the Park

Normally you would never catch me at a park on a Sunday for a party, but these Germans sure do love the park. I was invited by a couple we met at a party, and decided to take the chance and go. They were Americans. Normally, the Americans I have met have been a bit flakey, but this couple was super cool, and had traveled the world together. This is what I want my relationship to be someday. I am very bad with names and faces, so we took a risk. As soon as we got there, it all came back to us. We went to Treptower Park. It is in East Berlin, and it is quite beautiful. Again, my boyfriend is about 40 years old and from West Berlin. We don’t make it over to the east very much. He in fact said he had never been to this park. I really don’t get it. I think the coolest stuff I have seen so far has been in the East part of Berlin, and the west seems to be for families. It is boring to me.
Anyways, we BBQ’d and had a good time drinking beers and talking. I managed to take some pictures.

Some of the meat we grilled. Not on a real grill, but came out pretty well.

I walked around the park. The Soviets built this monument back when there was a wall, and I took some pictures of statues.

This was the first one I saw.

This guy is supposed to crushing a swastika with his sword.

It’s a pretty large monument. Reminded me of the mall on Washington. the rest of the park was almost like wilderness to me. It was not full of people, and we had a large section to ourselves. I had a great time. I love Berlin in Spring.

Candid picture of me doing what I do best.

On the drive home, I managed to get some more pictures of this angle lady who for the life of me I cannot remember who this is.

I really wish that we could spend more time in East Berlin. Just have to find more things to do I guess. This week is “Carnival of Cultures.” This should be fun. A friend is turning 30, and should be over 1 million people on the streets of Berlin. Can’t wait.

Food

Tipica Authentische Mexikanishe Essen (Food)

My boyfriend and I try to get out once a week to get some food. Berlin has many cheap restaurants, and many many types of food. If you look at my food section, I have no made any entries here despite our frequent trips out. I think most times, I never get to take any pictures, or form any good opinions about the place we went to. However, this week, I visited a place that left such a negative impression, I had to blog about it.
While Berlin does have a diverse array of quality food selections, Mexican food is really bad here. I understand, Mexico is really far from Germany. There are not many Mexican people here. Of the ones I have met, they are here to be engineers, and probably do not want to waste time running or cooking in a place (obviously). The Mexican food is bland and the salsa tastes like ketchup. I have been given so many recommendations. All of them are bad. Sorry, no German unless they have eaten Mexican food, knows what it should taste like. Even my boyfriend, who I have taken to many places in Los Angeles, and San Diego, forgets that.
With of these thoughts in my mind, I still give these Mexican places a try here in Berlin. I thought, Tipica would be different. The online menu looked good (they focused on tacos) and it was in a hip place in Mitte. To get my boyfriend to do Mitte things is a tough sale. I think because he is older and from west Berlin, it never even occurs to him to go to places in the east. He always suggests something in the west part of Berlin (he is 39). So, we take the train over, and we find the place. It was in a very clean street on the corner of Rosentrasse and Rochstraße. We read the previous reviews on the place, and a few mentioned the service. I tried to prepare myself for that. The place was rather full, so I said “ok”, the food will be slow. This place has horrible service. We order our drinks after sitting down for several minutes. We were not greeted or seated. It looked like that type of place. They seem very short staffed. We decided to order everything at once, because we could see this was really going to be a problem. about 40 minutes later, when another couple had been sat and had gotten their food before us, we had a hard time flagging down a waitress who was not running around frazzled. A woman who was NOT our waitress, came and said our food was coming, when the people who came in later than us, and the couple we just mentioned, had gotten their food as well. I was pissed. I would like to think of myself as a nice person, and calm most of the time. I did not know what to think. In my mind I wonder, is it because we are a mixed couple too? I know that is a stretch, but I thought, there is no way these people are this inept to forget our order, there has to be a good reason for this.

I had to step outside to smoke a cigarette, came back, and our food still was not there. About 60 minutes into placing our order, we got a small plate with the seasoned meat we had ordered, tortillas, and salsa on the side. I cannot believe it took this long for that, and that they charged us 11 euros to do so.The meat was dry, and lightly seasoned. As usual, no spice. What is up with that? I could not even finish the meal, because I was so angry at this. I really just tried to calm down and remind myself, that that finding Mexican food is this big of a deal to me, and maybe it should not be that serious. I just have to eat some other stuff and get used to it. I guess my new fast food will be the Doner kebab.
As far as Tipica, I would say go there if you had a lot of time on your hands, and want some bland Mexican food.

Food/ Tourist Trips

Valentines Day

Hey,

Hope your week has been going well. Mine has been quite hectic. Valentine’s day, and then dinners with friends and things. To let you know, it seems Valentine’s day is considered an American thing. This was a nice change though. Normally in Los Angeles, every place is packed, and I hated the whole experience. This time it was quite and intimate. Here are some pictures from that day.

My outfit

We stopped out for drinks before dinner

I have no idea what this drink was called

This is where we went to eat

The inside of the place

It was so good

Food/ Tourist Trips/ Uncategorized

Up and Running

It has been over a week since writing a post. After I went to see Lauryn Hill on Thursday, I just kept feeling worse and worse. Also with trying to balance out my German classes, and my online class for my MBA, it has been wearing thin. Not to mention, I am smoking cigarettes more, and going out drinking. I think my body is mad at me.

Well, Thursday, I went to see Lauryn Hill. It was at the Tempodrom. It was a place my boyfriend says he used to see his favorite hip-hop groups when he was a teenager. I really did not know what to expect. I knew to be casual since it is Berlin, and I was sure everyone would also come that way. We got there, and it was packed. We got some drinks and I had to sit. I was having back aches all that day, and just needed to sit. They have seats around a larger standing room only pit. My boyfriend thought this would give us a better chance at seeing her. The concert of course did not start on time. I would of thought there would be an opening act, but there was only a DJ playing top 40 rap songs to a crowd of Berliners who are there to see Lauryn Hill, they are probably not into top 40 rap (that’s just my guess). I had a buzz going, so I was able to dance it off and have a good time. Finally, Lauryn came out. She performed most of the songs on her Miseducation album. Most of them were flipped(remixed). She did not play anything new. Throughout the show, she was still asking for a soundcheck. Personally, I heard her fine, but I was in the pit. Now, the people towards the back, I heard that they could barely hear her. The show was over rather quickly. She came on about 930ish, and we were out close to 11pm. I wanted to get on the train and go home. I had four gin tonics, and wanted to sleep everything off. I heard the reviews of the show were bad, but I enjoyed it. It was my Christmas present, and I have always wanted to see her. Would love to see Dialated Peoples there next, they are supposed to have a show coming up.

So, next day I woke up, and felt bad, but had my last day of school. Finally got my A1 certificate for German. Now on to A2. To be considered to have enough German to speak it in work settings, you have to go up to B2. That means about 3 more months of school, and finally speaking.

Saturday, I woke up feeling really bad, and finally took my temperature. I was running a 101 fever at the highest. I felt like crap. However, we had errands to run (specifically, I wanted green for my backache). I really hate taking pills all the time. That knocked me out. Finally a few days later, I feel I am going to get better. Just trying to slow things down and take better care of myself. Well…this weekend, I am going out, so I will make sure to blog about that experience.