Thursday, 2 April 2015

Schloßstraße

How are you all doing? The clocks went forward last Sunday but spring seems to have, ahem, sprung back. It's been blustery, hurricaney, hailstoney and snowy.

I've been getting up a little later than usual these days... weird, not only because I tend to wake up naturally at 8:00 or so due to light beaming into my room, but also because I just love to get stuff done in the morning. When I get up too late, I'm irritable. During sixth form and university I definitely would have described myself as a night owl, but those days are gone.

Recently, I have also been finding myself in Steglitz suspiciously often. It's a district in south-west Berlin, and quite an odd place... being there reminds me of this Rugrats PlayStation game I had once. In the past, I had passed through it a couple of times before, on my commute to the language school in 2010 and also when I travelled to Zehlendorf to register my new flat.

Its "high street" is Schloßstraße (with a whopping six occurrences of the letter S in its name). This is almost the only part of Berlin I've seen that could be literally anywhere in Germany - or indeed, Europe - with all the usual stores. The only thing is that when you look up, you'll see this most peculiar construction: der Bierpinsel. As far as I can tell, it was built in the 1970s and does not serve a particular purpose these days.


There's also a Goodies tucked away inside a branch of hiking/travel shop Globetrotters. It's tiny, and I guess in this case I'd only stop there if I was in the area and really couldn't find anything vegan to eat - it just has the way overpriced salads.
Another discovery I've made recently is San Francisco Coffee Company. Since the Freie Universität is in this neck of the woods, I guess they had to put something in that would attract students. There are two in Berlin - one in Zehlendorf on Teltower Damm (heads up: great place to do some work), and then one in the Boulevard Berlin mall in Steglitz. I like the atmosphere - it's nice and turquoise and the coffee is pretty good, if not a bit expensive.

Overall, for me, this area around Schloßstraße epitomises this inimitable West Berlin kitsch that hasn't quite gone away. Meanwhile in Mitte, there's a lot of new building going on and a lot of renovation, yet nobody seems to be in a rush to do anything around here, despite Steglitz-Zehlendorf being the wealthiest of the Berlin boroughs. Is this because most of the population there (aside from FU students) are Urberliner, and so no-one bothers trying to get new people to move in there?

I hope it doesn't change. I may as well love it, anyway, as it's the closest retail area to where I live!