Berlin 2012 – Day 1
A reunion with my parents in Germany + a nighttime wander to the Brandenburg Gate

So good morning, happy Easter (if you’re into that).
Here I am in my West Hollywood abode, drinking from my trusty squirrel mug and avoiding some household chores.
I’m picking Alyssa and Alan up from the airport at 1 PM – and I want Alyssa to come back home to a perfect house!

I figured, while I wait for new photoshop-opportunities to arise, I should share some photos from my family’s Berlin trip!
Yes – this Berlin trip was waaaay back in October 2012. But hey, at least it hasn’t taken me a full year to complete this!

When I tell people I’ve been in Berlin, they immediately ask, “DID YOU LOVE IT?”
And if I’m honest, I’d have to say no. I felt like I was being deceived by so many outer layers of the city.
I never quite made it to the core experiences of a Berliner and often found myself wanting to know more.
This city has a complex history and is home to many sub-cultures and people of conflicting interest and varying opinions.
People also visit for different reasons (arguably many people visit a place like Cannes for the atmosphere or Paris for the art/architecture).
I felt that I got to know Berlin historically (well as in its recent history) and visually.
But not well enough.

So I didn’t love Berlin, but I am fascinated…
I guess that means another visit back will have to happen.

We arrived in the late-afternoon when the light was orange and the city was quiet.
I guess October is kind of a restful period (it makes sense – end of summer tourism, not yet beginning of holiday season).

Our view from the hotel was of this construction area.
Something about those overgrown green shrubs in juxtaposition with the warm red bins was lovely to me.
I also like views that give you a sneak peek into other parts of the hotel and city.

I met my parents in Berlin after they had come from 3 days in Amsterdam.
I flew from London to meet them, as it was the start of my 3 month journey there and before any work for TED had picked up.

They told me stories of Amsterdam and how it was such a beautiful city.
I visited in 2011 (had a friend from high school living there at the time). Here’s my entry from that.
I’m certain we had a completely different experience, as mine was mostly on bike…
but I’m happy to hear of their safe and warm travels.

Oh yeah – and we went to eat at this thai noodle house! I had some yummy grilled fish and some spicy seasoning!

If there was something I noticed immediately, it was the astonishing cold blue light that was just gorgeous in shadows.

Our hotel was right next to


(yeah – had to copy and paste that spelling from my google search of the station, can’t get those fun letters on my sad American keyboard)

If I had to characterize my time abroad last fall/winter, it’s by these Lana Del Rey H&M advertisements.
They appeared all over Europe (well the places I traveled) and I just hate them.
But they do make it easy to remember the specific moment I was abroad. Thanks, H&M.

So we went on an evening stroll to find the Brandenburg Gate.

My dad was really disoriented with his map at night, and believed soooo hard that this was the Brandenburg Gate.
We went the wrong way down Unter den Linden and I just tried so hard to explain to my dad that visually, this was not the gate.
I’ve taken a history course in my life, so I knew…
but dear god it was hard to explain to him that he just had to turn around haha

Looking back on these low light photos and thinking ‘why, Sarah?’

Berlin Victory Column!

But this time as lamp decor!

The sea of floating light orbs with my dad’s silhouette is what I spent most of that evening seeing.

A closer look at the victory column reveals bullet holes and the occasional blank/damaged piece of mural.

From underneath the Victory Column

“Hello out there?”

Some kind of mass prep was taking place when we reached the gate.

Berlin banana

Aw, the parents.

Goodnight, Berlin!

And that wraps up my first approx. 10 hours in Germany!

More to come of course.

Much love friends.

Posted by:sarahwaldo

By day I'm a content producer at an arts org in Los Angeles, by night I am the overly apologetic brain and face of

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