Another sunny day in Berlin, though not as warm as yesterday. My ambition for the day was to see the Brandenburg Gate. As anticipated, my favorite part of it were the horses on top. I read yesterday that on New Year’s Eve in 1989, shortly after the fall of the wall, people climbed on top of these horses to celebrate. The guardians of the gate were not pleased – though I secretly think the horses themselves probably were happy to be included in the celebration. Never mind that they’re inanimate objects. It cheered me up tremendously to realize that my most important purpose here was to paint the horses on top of the Brandenburg gate and to speculate on what they might be feeling. Also to text pictures of them to John, and call them “horsies” because that’s a very cute word. I am definitely not a serious person.

Anyway, my favorite moment of this weekend in Berlin, as is the case many times while traveling, and in life in general, occurred unexpectedly due to a little mishap. My hotel’s restaurant was closed this evening, and so I had to find something else. This is how I happened upon Mädchenitaliener, a sweet little Italian restaurant a short walk from my hotel, in an area full of cinemas and cute little cafés that has a very special vibe. The restaurant was very small and very crowded but it felt magical enough for me to want to stay. I drank linden blossom tea, one of my favorite treats, and ate tagliatelle with fig sauce. They were good. But it wasn’t really about that. It was more about sitting in a charming place full of charming people. And also about walking home after dinner, feeling more connected to the city, and more inspired.

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