It's hard not to have a soft spot for our closest major park in Berlin. I mean, we've got all kinds of green squares and lots of trees right around our apartment - even growing right outside our window - but for a space big enough to meander off of city streets and where Bailey can run, Mauerpark is our go-to. It's not the largest or the greenest or even the prettiest, but it's ours.
Named for a significant portion of The Wall (Die Mauer) used to run, this hip home to performance and graffiti artists, an enclosed hillside dog park and a weekly flea market actually used to be the location of a main city train station. This area of former East and West separation was known as The Death Strip in the time of the Berlin Wall, because of it's landmines, tripwires and guards instructed to shoot on sight deterring anyone from attempting to cross. After the fall of The Wall, it was designated as a public green space by local residents and turned what was once a bleak part of this city's history into a vibrant area of life, creativity and art.
Whether we are meandering through on a Sunday to peruse the Flohmarkt or see the latest artists to put their work on The Wall, or just stopping by to get out some four-legged family member's energy at the dog park, it has begun to feel more and more like home here. There is something about this park that feels so representative of Berlin as a whole - the history, the prettiness juxtaposed with grittiness, the constant state of change from performers and artists to the offerings at the flea market. As the days get longer and warmer, we spend more and more time out in the green spaces like Mauerpark and are increasingly grateful to call this city home.