Well, the short answer is… I used to live there as a child. Below is an excerpt from a post I did awhile back ago describing how I feel about this city…
I lived in #Berlin close to the end of the Cold War which lasted roughly from 1947 to 1991. I hailed from a small city in West Virginia, so Berlin was magnitudes different from my hometown of Huntington. Prior to Berlin we lived in Göppingen, which is in the state of Badden-Wurttemberg, one of #Germany‘s sixteen states. Göppingen was more similar to my hometown than Berlin was… at least for me. Berlin was a big city which seemed light years ahead of WV in technology and urban layout than the city in which I was born. A lot of this was due in part to Berlin being rebuilt after the war. Berlin was progressive back then and from what I can tell continues to be to this day. You can see where I spent a lot of time during my childhood in the map below, needless to say I was very excited to explore #Sundgauer Straße and travel the roads as I did as a child using the street view of Google maps. Yes, we did roam around pretty freely in the streets of Berlin and felt safe doing so. I have dreams to this day of catching the S-bahn over to the KadeWe (which still exist, see link) and eating curry wurst before getting onto a sparkling clean train. Yes, Berlin was a very clean city, I’m sure it still is to this day. It was a fascinating time to grow up in Berlin during the 80’s. I was lucky enough to experience a culture and an urban life that would never have been possible if it were not for my parents being in the military.
Because of the richness of the German culture and me being directly in the center of it, there was never a lack of something to do. Never did I say “I’m bored”. How could a kid possibly suffer from boredom in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, even at my young age. Even during the cold war. Of course it was unbeknownst to me where I was living, I was just enjoying the way of life that the military and German culture afforded me.
Berlin during Christmas was especially magical, and everyone thinks I’m crazy (who hasn’t experienced it that is) for wanting to visit Germany during one of the coldest months of the year… but it really is a magical place. I know people who have visited that didn’t think of it as fondly as I do, but I’m certainly coming from it differently than someone who only gets a taste… I actually lived there for several years.. so naturally I would have a fondness that people just visiting would not.