Merry Christmas!

This creche is from the Schloss Charlottenburg Christmas Market. It's one of the biggest and prettiest in Berlin and they always have a nice manger scene. These figures were handmade by a local chainsaw artist. I always wonder how they can get so much detail with a chainsaw.

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas, hopefully surrounded by friends, family and those you love.

Hark the herald angels sing!

I really liked these angels that decorated the Schloss Charlottenburg Christmas Market this year. They're quite simple, but make a big impact, especially in the dark!

My best wishes to you this holiday season!

Big wheel

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make the rounds to all of the Christmas Markets in Berlin this year, but I did make it to some of the best. This giant ferris wheel was set up at the market near the Nikolaiviertel. The colors are not so Christmas-y to me, but it does make a good landmark when you're meeting other people there (don't ask me how I know this).

I hope that you've all been having a wonderful holiday season so far. We are headed off to Florida tomorrow for a bit of relaxing golf under the sun before celebrating with my family. I have a few posts scheduled, but I probably won't have time to get around to all of your blogs. Enjoy this time up to Christmas and see you in the New Year! 

Inspired by a great

I found this colorful mural at the Picasso Elementary School in Prenzlauerberg. Do you see inspiration from the great artist himself? It certainly is eclectic and eye-catching! For more murals, take a look at Monday Mural.

Park tour

We're back to Ernst Thälmann Park. It is actually not the prettiest of places, there was a lot of graffiti and vandalism, but I managed to find some nice things to show you during my stroll. These round benches must be popular during the summer months.

The pond and the vegetation around it was also really pretty with all the autumnal color in the trees and being reflected back.

And a last quick look at the leaves in close-up. Hope you've enjoyed the park. You'll find more reflections at Weekend Reflections.

PS: Don't forget to take a look at Halcyon Travels for more from my trip to Israel.

Larger than life

Here is a likeness of the man himself, Ernst Thälmann. It's only unfortunate that his life and death became a kind of propaganda story for the communist party of the DDR. I am not sure he would have agreed with all of the practices and policies of the German communist party that re-emerged after the war.

I also find it unfortunate that his memorial is covered with graffiti and broken beer bottles. Perhaps he'll never get the respect he deserves as a man who lived and died for his ideals.

PS: Don't forget to take a look at Halcyon Travels for more from my trip to Israel.

Memorial park

Ernst Thälmann was a German communist party leader who was arrested by the Gestapo as a political dissident in 1933. He spent more than ten years imprisoned under the Nazis, where he was most likely tortured, before being assassinated at the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1944. Check back tomorrow to see the centerpiece of this park which bears his name. Until then, you'll see more signs at Signs, Signs.

PS: Don't forget to take a look at Halcyon Travels for more from my trip to Israel.

Selfie in black and white

Käthe Kollwitz only started sculpting during the later part of her life, but her works from this period have become some of her most well-known. In both her painting and sculpting, she did a lot of self portraits. This is one example that was on display at the Kollwitz Museum here in Berlin. The collection is small, but the museum is definitely worth visiting, if you're ever in the city.

PS: Don't forget to take a look at Halcyon Travels for more from my trip to Israel.

Famous corner

I found this old postcard on display at the Kollwitz Museum when I visited awhile back. It's funny because this is actually the corner where I now work, although it looks much different today. We don't have streetcars in this part of the city anymore and the church down the street (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) was heavily bombed during WWII and never fully rebuilt. My building stands on the left forefront corner of the intersection of Ku'damm and Joachimsthalerstrasse. The area is known today as the Neues Kranzler Eck. There are certainly worse places to work in the city!

PS: Don't forget to take a look at Halcyon Travels for more from my trip to Israel.

Naked man in the Tiergarten

I guess I'm just on a naughty roll... I actually took this picture a few weeks ago at the height of fall. All these leaves are probably gone now, but don't they look pretty scattered on the grass? And to be fair, you do see quite a bit of nudity in the Tiergarten during the summer. There are areas where nude sunbathing is tolerated, if not explicitly allowed.

Reflective rump

A quick look back at yesterday's window. I couldn't resist this rather naughty view of one of the mannequins! Hope you enjoy the myriad reflections in his bum. You'll find more of them at Weekend Reflections.

It's been an interesting first week at the new job. Working really wears you out, but it makes the weekends even sweeter. After almost a year in our apartment, we're also finally having our housewarming party this weekend. I'm cooking a Thanksgiving feast, so that's going to be a lot of work, but a lot of fun too!

Another window

Originally, this was my choice for the December theme day, but I liked that pink bench so much, I changed my mind. These black and white mannequins grace the window of a store on the Ku'damm that's going out of business. It's a little sad actually, as I have been shopping there ever since my first trip to Berlin back in 2005.

PS: Don't forget to take a look at Halcyon Travels for more from my trip to Israel.

Holiday windows

 To be fair, the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop is a year-round Christmas shop, but they still put in an extra effort at this time of year.

I especially loved this display of all sorts of Santas, Father Christmases and Weihnachtsmanner. I could take them all home! For more signs, take a look at Signs, Signs.

December theme day: Shop window

Berlin has so many wonderful shops and most windows are decorated for the season now. Despite that, I couldn't resist showing this unique tailor-made jeans shop window. The combination of the funny shop name, the bright colors inside, the reflection and most of all that bright pink bench makes for a perfect shot. Hope you enjoy it!

Today is my first day on the job. I hope working won't cut into my blogging time too much! Don't forget to check here for other variations on this month's theme.
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