Here is an abbrieviated version of our "must-see" attractions for Berlin. If you are interested in buying the full Monk List for this city please CONTACT US for more information about our customized MONK POCKET GUIDE to this featured city. Enjoy!

ALEXANDERPLATZ
Address: Bordered by Karl Liebknecht Strasse and Grunerstrasse
District: Mitte

East Berlin’s answer to retro Vegas, featuring one huge, monumental, paved pedestrian plaza, surrounded by boxy, tinted glass, mid-sixties high-rises housing shopping malls, hotels, a train hub, and an elusive casino. This is Communist architecture at its garish best, though most Berliners loathe it. Why do we like it? Because it's stark, gaudy, and Space Age, and features an awesome over-the-top needle that takes you far above the city streets. Then again, we didn’t have to put up with the Communist reign of scarcity either. Apparently, while most East Germans suffered severe food shortages, the neighboring storefronts of Alexanderplatz were showcases of coffee, chocolate and liquor, with prices only the Commie elite could afford.

A centerpiece of Alexanderplatz is the World Time Clock, which keeps time for all the cities of the globe (in fitting tribute to GDR inefficiency, during our visit the clock was two hours off for every city on the planet). There’s also plenty of open air food stalls, including the quirky sight of portable food vendors cooking Bratwurst on stoves that hang off their necks. Germans love a good circus. And there's no better circus in all of Berlin than Alexanderplatz.

DIE TAGUNG
Address: Wühlischstrasse 29
District: Freidrichshain

Ever get the hunkering to sit on the head of a socialist martyr? A concrete head of Marchlewski, which serves as a bar stool, along with countless artifacts from the GDR, illustrate a recent phenomena called Socialist Nostalgia. Yes, The Wall is gone and the hipsters behind this endeavor are not lost on the irony of decorating their bar with the icons of that era. We were first told this was an old "commie bar," but the only commie we found was Marchlewski. The patrons were quite content discussing their capitalist schemes beneath the weathered bar sign, which states "KultureZentrum."

GALERIE KORNERPARK
Address: Wittmannsdorfer Strasse @ Schlerker Strasse
District: Neukölln

A spectacular, sunken, manicured garden setting which neither the tourists nor the little old ladies from Potsdam have discovered. This makes it one of the best places in town to live out an intoxicating (or intoxicated) romantic fantasy. Outdoor tables offer a view of the grounds with hardly a trace of the city. Indoors is a long, elegant gallery with some of the best exhibits in town. It helps if you bring a date and settle in for serious eye contact.

KUHUUNST
Kollwitzstrasse 18 at Belforter Strasse
District: Prenzlauerberg

Sergej Alexander elected to install a herd of life-size plaster cows grazing on the side of this five-story apartment building. The bovines look quite content protruding from the green wall and create an optical quandary as to which way is really up. A delighftul artistic sleight of hand.

MUSEUM DER VERBOTENEN KUNST (Museum of Forbidden Art)
Address: Schlesische Strasse at Puschkin Allee
District: Kreuzberg

This former watchtower for the GDR, at the site where the Wall once stood, has been converted into a gallery with a changing exhibit each month. There are three floors. The second floor is an art exhibit. The top floor contains the original guardhouse as it appeared in GDR times, replete with radios, military paraphernalia and a mannequin in full uniform (which someone took the liberty to adorn in makeup). There’s a chilling photo narrative of the former, barren, no man’s land near the Wall that is now a public park where Turkish families BBQ on warm summer days.

TEUFELSSEE AND TEUFELBERG
Address: Teufelsstrasse in Berliner Forest Grunewald
District: Charlottenburg

Literally translated means Devil's Lake and Devil's Mountain. Sitting atop a pile of rubble from WWII, the miniature, manmade mountains ("trummerbergs") are pretty much the largest hills in town. And from Teufelsberg you can see the entire metropolitan landscape. This will undoubtedly be the open air party spot of choice, New Year's Eve 2000. The Lake sits further down the street in the middle of a pristine forest. Germans being Germans means you will see more naked flesh, saggy tits and uncircumcised penii then you ever bargained for. The Krauts have no bodily shame and consider nudity and fresh air a sovereign right. Everyone is in the buff--from Grandpa to baby Helmut. So park your insecurities, strip bare, and join the masses in their unique doggie paddle swim.

TV TOWER
Address: Panoramastrasse near Karl Liebknecht Strasse
District: Mitte

This is absolutely our favorite landmark of the city, the Berlin equivalent of the Seattle Space Needle. All it’s lacking is a landing pad for Hovercraft with the Jetsons on board. Erected slightly west of Alexanderplatz, it is the perfect centerpiece for the nearby glass and steel buildings of the platz. The towering Sputnik-inspired edifice, with its angular ground level star-fish shaped entrance was built by the Commies in ‘69, and is topped by a huge silver globe that can be seen for miles around. Go up, have a good look at the city. If you sit in the Telecafe you’ll make a complete spin every half hour. In the bright afternoon sun a huge cross forms on the globe, a metaphor for a martyred city soon to be resurrected.

UNTERSUCHUNGS HAFTANSTALT
Address: Köpenicker Strasse
District: Rummelsburg

Rising from the banks of the river Spree is one of Berlin's oldest standing prisons. Over the past seventy years Untersuchungs Haftanstalt incarcerated everyone from rank and file criminals to political prisoners to a host of undesirables. Asylum seekers from Serbia-Crotia were housed here as recently as the early 90's. The prison now stands empty. Thank God, for this is the face of hell. It's surrounded by impenetrable walls. The brick and mortar buildings are crumbling toward the ground. And the bleak industrial landscape is severe, especially in winter. Poor asylum seekers. We'd rather go face a war then live in this gnarly dump. Few locals even knew the place exists. Even the local police who reside in the station at the corner didn't know what the prison was called or when it was used. We ultimately found the name on a forty-year-old map of Berlin. Untersuchungs Haftanstalt gets our vote as the most likely place to be used in a gangsta rap video or the next Diesel ad. Don't miss it.

WARSCHAER BRIDGE
Address: Warschauer Strasse over rail yards, opposite U-Bahngleisen
District: Friedichshain

This is where Michael Monk wants to be buried. No film noir has ever come close to the aesthetic deprivation of this site. A dozen rail lines converge through a bleak landscape of debris, with the TV Tower looming in the distance. You can just imagine the Nazis, the Russians, the whole oppressive bunch riding these nerves of steel. Scary, even on a nice summer day. On the other side of the bridge and below the U-Bahn is Matrix, a pounding techno club where the under-20 crowd converge.

ZUR IETZTEN INSTANZ ("The Last Appeal" or "The Final Authority" or "To the Last Instance")
Address: Waisenstrasse 14
District: Molkenmarkt Area
030-242-55-28

Local esthetes scoff at the traditional German fare served at this traditional German pub, the city's oldest. Around since 1525, the Last Appeal got its name from its proximity to the Berlin court system. But, more important, it is known because it straddles the original city wall. As vital as those footnotes are, let us tell you, if you want authentic artery-clogging, fat and filling Kraut cooking, this is definitely the kneipe. Red cabbage, dumplings to die for, huge legs of succulent pork fit for a marauding Visigoth. You'll walk away feeling like Helmut Kohl.





   
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