So, a random weekend in Berlin: last night I went to see a late showing of There Will Be Blood at the Hackesche Höfe Filmtheater. We haven’t been to that theater before, and I had a little trouble finding it. The Hackesche Höfe are a bunch of interconnected courtyards that form a sort of shopping/dining complex in the central part of Berlin. There were several ads for movies and it was clear that there was a movie theater in the neighborhood, but it was surprisingly unclear how to get to it. A sign above one of the doorways did say Filmtheater, but when I went in I had to go up three flights of stairs and go through a (completely unmarked and, further, unremarkable) other door to get to the theater.
It was expensive… considering the Euro is up to $1.50, the movie cost about 13 bucks. The theater had room for about 100 people and a pretty small screen… did I mention it was $13? For the particular movie, though, it was really a great setting. And Daniel Day Lewis was pretty great, too.
After the movie, I hopped on the S-bahn train (the other train network, the U-bahn, is on strike, maybe I can blog more about that later) and headed back home. I had to change trains in Ostkreuz and was impressed (but not surprised) to see how crowded the station was at 1 am. To me, late night at the Ostkreuz station is East Berlin – it’s hard to put the vibe into words. I’ll try anyway… the girl standing by me on the train had pink hair pulled back with a jaguar print kerchief, Big-Bird style striped knee socks, and her Chuck Taylors on… I had on a button-down forest green shirt from the Gap and a corduroy blazer with my blue jeans… and we both fit in. Really.
I got home in time to give a call to Super Babe in Mexico and check up on her. She’s doing well there, hanging out with her parents and her sister who was there for the weekend. I miss her and am glad I’ll be flying that way in a couple weeks.
After the late night I slept in this morning, and I just went out a few minutes ago in search of lunch. I had been meaning to try out a new place for falafels and so I walked a couple blocks in the misty rain to check it out. When I walked in I saw, instead of pressed falafels waiting to be tossed in the fryer, a big plastic vat of chick pea mixture and a cast iron skillet/bowl full of hot oil. That meant freshly made falafels, a good sign. I ordered one (and here the usual order of “a falafel” is two or three in a piece of bread with salad and sauce) and took a peek over the counter to see if I could find the sauces.
Now, I have to say that I am well versed in the Berlin corner store sauces… there are three main ones: kräuter (herbs), knoblauch (garlic), and scharf (spicy). Here, I didn’t see the standard three, and when the lady making my falafel asked for my choice of sauce, the three options were: mango, chili, and [unintelligible]. [unintelligble] was probably yogurt, but I went for the mango, which looked good. At this point, my expectations for this falafel are running pretty high: cool little place, near my house, fresh falafels, special sauces, and it’s still just 2 Euro 50. But none of that guaranteed it would be especially good.
So I got back to the apartment, put on some Ben Folds Five, and went to work. I am happy to report that I have a new favorite falafel place. It was tasty! And I like the standard version that I get in front of the train station, but this one had some spiciness, a little minty action going on, in addition to the aforementioned special mango sauce and freshly made falafels. It’s a good day.