September; Berlin:

 

It’s been a blur the last few days. Partying in Paris all night, riding the train to the airport – during rush hour; that was smart – and making it all work while not speaking French at all. I should work a little harder on that at some point. I’ve always been pretty good with directions. Being a native New Yorker, all I need is a local train map and I’m comfortable anywhere.

 

I should be pacing myself better but being away feels gratifying and energizes me to the point where my internal battery is fully charged. It’s not, by the way. Does this sound corny, Sean? Yeah, it does. As much as I’m working to create my own luck and career in Los Angeles, if I could travel for a living I would sell all my belongings, break my lease and grab my backpack and passport in a second – and head to LAX.

 

When I’m enraptured in a new culture and I have my passport, backpack and foreign currency I’m as close to experiencing nirvana as I’m ever going to be. Berlin doesn’t feel foreign. I’m not sure there’s a major city that will ever feel unfamiliar. Boy I’m happy that I grew up in New York City. I have a big city perspective that allows me to navigate other cities around the world with a confidence that would take years to build.

 

I’m sitting in La Parrilla Steak Restaurant as my two main courses are arriving. Currywurst, fries and salad along with a lamb plate with two chops, green beans and fried potato-ish rolls. Think fried yucca or a potato knish, rolled and breaded. They’re about the size of an adult index finger. Wait, I think these are actually croquettes. They are. 

 

While all the flavors are a treat to my palette, the green beans are the champion. They’re delicately sauteed, al dente; still firm and not mushy at all. Olive oil, garlic and onions make the vegetables excel. The portions are Sean approved as well. No offense, France, but I like a heavy plate. It’s simply another reason why I love Italy and Italian cuisine.

 

Money isn’t a factor as it pertains to my stomach – or when I travel for that matter. I like to feel completely satiated after a meal. It’s vital to the overall experience. I’m ordering two tonight because I’m a fat ass.

 

This city is for walking, biking and public transit…like somewhere I know well. Large pockets of Mitte and greater Berlin feel similar to the West Village – or for those familiar with Los Angeles, West Hollywood; while not as flamboyant. I like the energy I feel on the streets of Berlin.

 

A newly relocated resident, from Bensonhurst, asked if I could see myself living here a few nights ago. “Who knows, anything’s possible,” I said. I went on to explain that Rome sits comfortably atop any list addressing an international, permanent, move. It has everything I get from NYC – and on a smaller lever, LA – with better food and a city that manages to balance it’s past and future in such a stellar manner; no small feat. The city also showcases some of the most stunning women on par with any region on this planet. Rome burned its way into my soul. NYC is my wife but Rome is the ex that visits when my wife’s away and we have these moments together that are unforgettable. Is that unfaithful of me? Shut up. I'm single and I have an extraordinary imagination. 

 

Tackling the nightlife had me wiped out all day yet I’m sure I’ll be going out again this evening. I’m on vacation and there are hundreds of women I haven’t had the chance to meet…yet. I’ve been drained the last few days – fours hours of sleep seems to be the culprit I’m sure – but all the natural energy I have flowing through me makes it hard to sit idling. However my body actually proved its limits on my two-hour flight from Paris. I fell into a deep slumber for the majority of the flight, with the exception of the last 8-10 minutes. I went out so swiftly that I don’t recall the flight ever leaving the ground. I do remember the pilot announcing our approach to Berlin. Once we did, I clapped as I always do in that situation and I was amazed that I slept.

 

My final night in Paris was a late/early one so I just accepted that I would zombie through my first few hours in Berlin – which still happened by the way. The fact that I had a true moment of sleep on a flight is an accomplishment as it’s never happened before. The longest time I’ve grabbed any portion of sleep was my departing flight from Barcelona when I may have stolen 40 minutes of real slumber. A two-hour nap for the record books! Thank you, Paris.

 

I like it here a great deal. Berlin. The pace I’m pushing will require a vacation – from my vacation. Now if I come across a German Wonder Woman, my itinerary will definitely change. I have a few days on the back-end of this trip that I can move around. Sorry, England. Some of the reactions I receive when locals hear me speak are hilarious. I don’t know what I sound like so I can’t relate to what they process but it’s always a positive interaction. It's led to some memorable interactions with women...

 

 

Travel Diaries
Part 1: France
Part 2: New York City (JFK)
Part 3: Berlin
Part 4: Salzburg Airport

Published by Sthe writer