Berlin, Europe, Expat Living, Germany

Finding Beauty In Your Own Backyard … In My Case, Berlin!

October 6, 2011
A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

Discovering An Urban Oasis

Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far to find beauty as you can find it in your own backyard. For me this is Berlin, a place I’m coming to love more and more.

One of the most impressive things about Berlin is creative and cool things that are done with their urban spaces. For example, one of my favorite presentations at the recent Hello Etsy summit in Berlin was given by Marco Clausen who discussed how he helped turned a piece of urban wasteland into a community garden, the Prinzessinnengärten. In May 2010, Tempelhof, an old airport was opened as a park. There’s even an abandoned amusement park, Spree Park which opens from time-to-time for festivals or public tours.

So imagine my delight when I got a chance to hang out with some locals who live on the east side of Berlin in Prenzlauer Berg. The courtyard of their building had been turned into a really pretty space filled with planted flowers, garden gnomes, a giant picnic table and other really fun “artsy” touches.

What could have been left plain was turned into something really beautiful and unique.

A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

A Residential Courtyard In East Berlin

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27 Comments

  • Reply Muza-chan October 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Lovely pictures 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you!! It was fun taking them and certainly brings back fond memories of that day. 🙂

  • Reply Sabrina October 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I love the blue chairs 🙂 They look so comfy!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 1:34 am

      Ha ha. Cute right? This is one of the many many reasons I love Berlin so much.

  • Reply Denise October 6, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Personally I’m not much into Germany but Berlin is definitely on my wishlist. It always looks so vibrant and colourful in photos.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Berlin is great! Weird and wonderful all at the same time. 🙂

  • Reply Leigh October 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    The old buildings have come to life again and from your photos it all looks very visitor friendly and eye catching in a positive way. Very nice selection of photos.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 1:37 am

      Thanks so much. Prenzlauer Berg (also where I live) is one of the most gentrified parts of Berlin and the most European feeling. Not every area of Berlin is so nice though unfortunately. This is why I appreciate the beauty when I find it … this courtyard is a great example of a community taking action to make something beautiful.

  • Reply Andrea October 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Can’t wait to see wild and wonderful Berlin for myself! And yay for fun neighbours =) Great pics

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 1:38 am

      Can’t wait till you guys are here. We have to hang out for sure. Some other local travel bloggers I know may be interested in having a travel themed meet-up! 🙂

  • Reply Nancie October 7, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Beautiful shots! I was in Berlin 30 years ago. Maybe it’s time to go back.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 1:58 am

      Thanks Nancie. 🙂

      Come back for sure, it’s a spectacular city!

  • Reply Sophie October 7, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Haven’t been properly back to East Berlin since it was in a different country. It really is time to go back. Very bright and appealing photos.

  • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Thanks! It’s quite beautiful in … spots. It’s a city of contrasts.

    Come for a visit. We can meet-up! 🙂

  • Reply Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad October 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Those are pretty cool pictures. Berlin is definitely on my destination list for next year when I get back to Europe.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you! Hope you make it here and when you do, drop me a line.

  • Reply Laurel October 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I love the creativity and of turning something ugly into something beautiful, another reason I still have to make it to Berlin.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      I’m especially impressed with the community garden I mentioned.

      And yes, please come and visit! 🙂

  • Reply Sherry October 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I love what they do to urban places. Berlin is so progressive in this sense. We are doing similar things in Seattle – revitalizing old spaces so they won’t deteriorate. It produces quite the creative and surprising results. Makes me want to really visit Berlin.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      I hope you can make it to Berlin sometime!

      If you have time, watch the video I referenced in the post about the community garden they formed in Berlin. Was such an amazing and inspiring talk! All their work was done WITHOUT city funding.

      Also glad to hear that similar things are happening in Seattle. Go world!

  • Reply Michael Figueiredo October 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Very pretty photos! I love the use of the sinks as planters.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      Thanks Michael! I like the planters too. 🙂

  • Reply Arti October 9, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Lovely pics, what beautiful colors. Loved the greens, blues and the reds!!!
    Looks like you had a blast.
    Have a fabulous sunday Cheryl:)

    • Reply Cheryl Howard October 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks! Such a pretty space. And it was a great afternoon! 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica October 10, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Wonderful photos!

  • Reply Expat Living: Amelia in Berlin, Germany. | cherylhoward.com March 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    […] – at one point, Sabrina agreed to show us her friend’s apartment because of their cool urban courtyard, rooftop patio and unique kitchen arrangement where the bathtub is in the kitchen! This is when I […]

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