~berlin bound~

May 30th, 2009

click on images to expand. Place des Halles – the Market Square–all loitering, all the time. Maison des Halles sits at the end. The spot of the Tues, Thurs, Saturday market.

A mere two and a half weeks after news of his layoff (thanks to Le Crisis), my honey landed a better gig, and the countdown to big (and much longed-for) change begins. In twenty-one days we will pack our stuff in a rental car and head over to Berlin, stopping off in Tuscany to do justice to my 40th birthday. Take that, Universe! Or should I say “Thanks!” ?

We will land in an area called Schöneberg in west Berlin–Kennedy gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in this hood, Marlene Dietrich was born here (and is buried in the cemetery in the Stubenrauchstraße), as was Blixa Bargeld of Bad Seeds and Einstürzende Neubauten fame.

One of the towns 140 fountains, Banneret Fountain is on the Croix-du-Marche – Market Crossing. It was designed and carved by Laurent Perroud. The clock tower–Tour de Diesse–was once a prison.

From the time Christopher Isherwood was a resident, Schöneberg has been known as a gay mecca, and our new street, Fuggerstraße, is basically the Castro Street within it. Isherwood’s semi-autobiographical novel Goodbye to Berlin which served as the basis for the musical Cabaret chronicles the folks he met here from 1930-1933 (such as Jean Ross–the inspiration for his character Sally Bowles), in the dog days of the Weimar Republic.

Maison des Halles was built between 1569 and 1575 and was once a covered market selling grain and cloth. Now its a cafe and restaurant. Dig the turreted orioles, designed by Laurent Perroud.

I am thrilled to my core to be heading to a city again. Village life has much to recommend it, but the downsides were rather tough to bear for a couple of city kids.
I am dreaming of: friends!, books in english, used!, flea markets, spicy food, cafe culture, bicycles, art house cinema, places to have dinner for under 30 bucks a plate. I’m especially looking forward to that plate being handed to me by an enchanting tranny, such as the gal who serves at FraRosa.

La place Pury kiosk, sort of a Belle Époque scarab space ship. Buy train tickets, candy, kebap, and a few illegal things as well.

I am also thrilled to be adding a new city to the Los Angeles-San Francisco-New York trajectory. I’ve visited a handful of times, but living in a city is something else entirely and I’m excited to see how Berlin unfolds. Alfonso begins a new path in his work life, I plan to finish draft two/final of the book (she wrote drunk on optimism). We’ll take turns being Bowie and Iggy. A new career in a new town…

~Stay tuned for Alfonso’s guest blog from Beijing’s Forbidden City~

Fräu Wood

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