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Archive for June, 2013

alsaciennes, costumes

Quartier des Contades, Strasbourg, France

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geeked out

Who’s got two thumbs and her first bike helmet? That’s right – this girl.

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For the last 2.5 months I have been carefully tending to my window garden (two windows and a balcony). Today, I was finally able to taste the fruits of my labor. Literally. I savored half of my first sun-ripened strawberry. (LP got the other half, of course.) And my first summer flower bloom opened!

I’m delighted.

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It’s too hot for words.

My vinyl office chair is currently stuck to legs. I smell.

Last night, LP and I camped out in the living room, each in a sort of star fish position, trying to make minimal skin contact with anything, including our own skin or the sheets.

**Note** Overlooking the cringe factor, the kangaroo trick – licking the inside of your arm – really does help cool you down! But it’s probably best not to do in polite company.

Fans work, too. Sadly, our single fan was not enough to circulate air through our 4-room apartment. When the temperature hit 34 degrees inside – the time had come to buy another fan or two. However, this is France and for whatever reason the French are not so keen on moving air or keeping a large selection of fans in their hardware stores. We were in luck. Leroy Merlin had a dwindling (and overpriced) selection…We bought two – in this kind of heat you don’t share.

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Marx, Engels and Me

Mitte, Berlin

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coffee, Zuckerstück, BerlinVisit #1: We went in just for a coffee. The day was grey and we hadn’t had our first cup of joe, which is of course necessary before a long walk across Berlin. I love a perfectly made latte, but was looking for a more bright and bold short cup of coffee at that particular moment. I ordered an americano. My LP took the same. It was divine. The crema was a perfect golden color. The Zuckerstück, cafe, Berlinaroma was rich and chocolatey…it didn’t hurt that a chocolate torte was baking in the kitchen behind the counter. No milk, no sugar. Acidic notes with a cocoa finish. I spied cakes and small tarts elaborately garnished in the small counter-top vintage refrigerated cake display along other homemade yummies arranged on covered glass cake plates. Trying out the baked goods would have to wait until our next visit, since I had just eaten a Pfannkuchen from Siebert’s (click the link to read about it in another post) down the street. We read the paper and enjoyed the aromas passing under our noses.

Visit #2: This time we “went in just for a coffee”, but I changed my mind…dropped the coffee idea and took an amazingly gorgeous slice of blueberry and mascarpone layer cake. It came topped with a delicate violet flower. LP took a coffee. Best decision of the day.

cake, Zuckerstück, Berlin

The whole cafe seems to be a two-person operation. The finest detail is not overlooked – cozy cocktail chairs, 1950s-era tables and an old radio serve as a simple and comfortable setting for this lovely cafe.

Zuckerstück (link takes you to their site in German) is a few minutes walk from the Schönhauser Allee U-Bahn station on Schivelbeiner Str.

Visit #3: It’s already scheduled…what are you doing for brunch tomorrow?

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