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Once again down Karl-Marx-Allee

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Yes, Karl-Marx-Allee. Again.

Karl Marx Allee — From Frankfurter Tor to Haus der Statistik

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I realized that I hadn’t posted anything for a very long time and thought I would do something about that by posting photos from a walk  I took in December down Karl-Marx-Allee.

Karl-Marx-Allee is one of my favorite streets ever, I think. Basically, you can’t really do anything particularly interesting on it (except going to the cinema, Karl-Marx-Allee has two beautiful cinemas; the International which is still operating and Kosmos, now some sort of conference center-for-hire, it seems). The thing you’re left with when walking down the ridiculously long and wide street is to admire the architecture. And it is truly splendid. At least until you come to Kino International. After that, towards Alexanderplatz, the boxy housing blocks which follow become a bit too boring in comparison to measure up to the worker’s palaces heading up towards Frankfurter Tor. These are also spectacular on a sunny day when their glazed tiles catch the sun.

The most interesting house down by Alexanderplatz on Karl-Marx-Allee is certainly Haus der Statistik, a former statistics headquarter for the GDR, I suppose. Since 1995 Haus der Statistik has been abandoned. Close by are the House of Teachers, House of Travel and House of the Electrical Industry.

Treptower Park

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This Sunday I went to Treptower Park to get some exercise, some fresh air and to say hi to the dinosaurs in Spreepark.

Ich bin ein Berliner

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After two attempts at Bürgeramt I am as of this morning a registered citizen of Berlin. I’m not sure if it means anything else than a go-ahead to press onwards towards a Finanzamt tax number and a Berliner Sparkasse bank account. Though right now I’m unsure of how these two missions can be successfully completed, since Finanzamt says I need a bank account for my tax registration and Sparkasse says I need a tax number before opening a bank account…

Registering your address at Bürgeramt should be quite easy. To avoid the potentially long queues you can make an appointment via the Bürgeramt webpage, which I did. My appointment was for yesterday, half past one, and after some initial language difficulty I was shown to an administrator who spoke English, and the whole thing was over in about 12 minutes. However, when I later took a closer look at my confirmed registration the address I had gotten registered at wasn’t my own but my landlords. So this morning I went back to Bürgeramt to get my registration corrected, and although I was there precisely when they opened, 21 people were already in line before me. And it was a actual line. A queue to an office where you state your business and get your waiting number (basically a queue before waiting some more). I managed to (in German, very proud about that) state my business and since it was regarding an error I was moved to the top of the queue. This made one guy freak out (a bit too early for a freak out I think, since the office had only been open for ten minutes), but I managed to explain (again in German(or some sort of German)) that I had already been there the day before and that my registration needed to be corrected. After which he apologized. When I think about it, maybe his unwillingness to spend an extra second at Bürgeramt was kind of understandable. The whole atmosphere there is boring (to me fascinatingly boring, but then I’ve only been there two times and never really had to wait for any substantial amount of time). Bürgeramt is the perfect stereotype of a grey or beige municipal bureaucratic institution. They have chairs. And rooms. And walls. And photocopied papers. There is also a rumor that in an office somewhere there are still GDR flags, but sadly I saw none. They do however also have stamps, which I really liked, and my registration paper got two of them. One with the bear, which certainly should be the best one.

The pictures above were taken last week when there was sun. This week there is none.