by James Glazebrook
How long have you been here?
Well, I moved to Berlin in December 2009, so the short answer is that I’ve been here for three-and-a-half years. But the long answer is that I was born here and spent my childhood between Berlin, where my mother lived (still does, actually) and Boston, where my father and I moved after my parents divorced. I went to high school in Berlin and then left for college in 1995. After finishing university in the States, I got a job in New York and stayed there for ten years before deciding to move home again in 2009.
What brought you here?
A combination of factors: my lifelong homesickness for the city and my love affair with my husband being the most important ones.
Tell us about your Kiez, and what you like about it.
We live in northwest Charlottenburg, near Klausener Platz and across the street from Schloss Charlottenburg. I wasn’t sure about the neighborhood when we first found the apartment. At first glance, it seemed weirdly anonymous. But now that we’ve settled in, I love it so much, I never want to leave. It’s a really peaceful neighborhood. Incredibly quiet and verdant, but it still feels like you’re close to all kinds of things, with the Schloss across the way and the Berggruen and Bröhan Museums, among others, visible from our living room window. Klausener Kiez is a real mix of Turkish families, young professionals and old ladies – to me it feels very much like the old West Berlin I grew up in.
What are your five favourite things in your neighbourhood?
I can walk to the Antikmeile Suarezstrasse, the Lietzensee or the nearby Restaurant Engelbecken in minutes, or I can get lost in the Schlosspark Charlottenburg with its manicured hedges and gardens. I can have delicious Börek from a wood-fired oven or organic tomato-fennel soup with a slice or two of Vollkornbrot from one of Berlin’s oldest Vollkornbäckereien, Brotgarten.
Especially now that we have a baby, I feel like there’s no better place for us to live.