Sunday, March 10, 2013

{ apartment hunting }

Dear Friends & Family,

John and I were lucky enough to have a place provided by the institute when we arrived. Plus side was its proximity to his work, and the down side was it being far from the neighborhoods we enjoy going to. 

We are currently outside the S-Bahn circle at Oskar-Helene-Heim, and John's work is just a few stops away. All the red arrows inside the circle are the neighborhoods we hang out at. The two on the bottom are in Kreuzberg, and the top at Eberswalder is in Prenzlauer Berg.

{ U-Bahn Map }

The first apartment we looked at was off Rathaus Neukölln, but unfortunately we were not a fan of the neighborhood. We looked at another apartment near Nollendorfplatz, but the place was very small and not what we wanted in an apartment. 

A few weeks ago we looked at two apartments. One was off Görlitzer Bahnhof, but  the apartment was quite a walk away from the station. We're not only looking for the right apartment, but it has to be in the right neighborhood close to a train station. Yes, we are being picky right now. We don't plan on moving again once we find our home. 

Our second apartment was in Prenzlauer Berg. We just discovered this neighborhood when we went looking for Iron & Resin at Peter Fields, a small boutique that carries I&R, Deus Ex-Machina, and other motorcycle inspired items. 

Apartments in Berlin are somewhat similar. Two rooms means one bedroom and one living room. The bedroom is usually very small. Most bathrooms come with standing showers, although some have bathtubs. The most common feature is a long hallway with all the rooms connected. The buildings are usually built in the early 1900's, and they all have high ceilings with old doors. Every room has a door. 

Our requirements for an apartment is that it has to be an old building with wooden floors and high ceilings. I would love a kitchen that has a lot of shelf space. We've seen some places with decent kitchens. We've seen some apartments that try to pass off a kitchen in a hallway. No oven. Just a sink, a mini fridge, and two hotplates. We've also seen a kitchen that had a shower in it. True story. That apartment had a hobbit door to the bathroom, dark and narrow with no window. Of course it was in a gorgeous neighborhood close to two U-Bahn stations. 

Today we looked at two apartments, and we submitted applications to both apartments. We've submitted one last week, but we never heard back from them. It's tough trying to find an apartment in Berlin. Today both places had over 20 people waiting to look at the apartments. The first apartment we looked at was on the third floor. As we were scaling up the stairs, we could still see people outside lining up to get inside. 

Hopefully we will find something soon, but it's a great opportunity for John and I to get acquainted with the different neighborhoods of Berlin. We've looked in the neighborhoods of Kreuzberg, Neukölln  Schöneberg, and Prenzlauer Berg. 

Here is a very empty apartment that was for rent. They required the new tenants to renovate the place in exchange for three free months of rent. If this was in California, we would have submitted our application in a heartbeat. It's much different in Berlin when you don't have the proper tools and the means of transportation to get supplies. But you get the idea of what a Berlin apartment looks like...
{ hallway with connecting rooms }

{ a standard living room with two windows. this included a balcony }

{ some doors have windows }

{ this is usually the bedroom with one window}

{entrance to bedroom }

{ kitchen looking towards the hallway }

{ this is considered a big kitchen }

{ one of the few bathrooms with a tub }

{ some bathrooms are narrow }

{ not much wiggle room out of the shower }

So this has been what we have been up to the past few weeks. We spend most of our weekends looking for apartments and checking out flea markets in between. We are loving all the different restaurants, bars, and cafes Berlin has to offer. We stay away from bars during the weekend nights because they still allow smoking indoors here. 

And here is a fun fact. We are now eight hours ahead instead of nine! Our time doesn't change until March 31. 
The Prindles.

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