Saturday, March 9, 2013

Testing Out the U-Blau

What to do on a Saturday night? 

What to do?
What to do?
What to do?

What about a drinking tour of the U-Bahn? OK! Let's call this an art project so it doesn't sound so...alcoholic.

I am skeptical about how this day will go

The team:

1 big, bold American & 2 intrepid English travelers. And me.

The drink:

Jägermeister. Drink of Fraternity brothers... and us for this adventure. Both groups independently decided on this liquor for it's drinkability, relatively low alcohol, and it looks great in a shot glass. That's right, we each bright our own class shot glass.


The tour:

For reasons known to the transportation obsessed on our group (you know who you are) we decided on the U1/U3. And because this couldn't constitute an art project without some kind of photo/writing element, we organically developed a system of ratings and drinking (we've done this kind of thing before with fireworks).

For more on the transport system and a map, check out 



Rules:

  • We get off at each stop to better rate it.
  • One person takes a shot. Inventive positions a plus.
  • At stops where there is an intersection, we're calling it a social. Everyone drinks.
Simple. Perfect.

First stop! 

Warschauer Strasse

Kirstie 6
Ian H 6
Ian P 6
ebe 5

Random thoughts: This stop has to much needless walking as the U-Bahn & S-Bahn lines are split up. And there is always a fair amount of pushing and running to make the trains, even though the other train is already parked there. It get points for being useful and having one of the best views in the city as it crosses the gorgeous Oberbaumbrücke with a view of the Molecule man, Fernsehturm, and awesome people eater art (ride it for yourself & check it out. Points for seeing all 3!)

Average score: 5.75

Schlesisches Tor


Kirstie 7
Ian H 8
Ian P 7.5
ebe 6.5

Random thoughts: Ian H had some good feelings about this stop as he did some filming for his totally awesome documentary "My DDR T-shirt" (Free screening in Berlin March 23rd!)  and we had fond feelings as our first apartment this time back in Berlin was just down the street (tour of that apartment). But it is still out in the cold & though newly renovated, not that super special. Bonus points for the burger joint below, Burgermeister, that sits in what was once a public urinal, and the dueling döner stands.

Average score: 7.25

Görlitzer Bahnhof

(Or Bahnho. Either way.)

Kirstie 7
Ian H 8
Ian P 6
ebe 7.5

Random thoughts: Gotta lova ole Görli with all the tasty eating options in the Nähe: Angry Chicken, Miss Saigon, and the delicious Hühnerhaus 36. Seriously - we love this place. It also excellent picture opportunities with all the crazies, intricate glass panes, and the sun setting over the tracks.


Average score: 7.125

Kottbusser Tor


Kirstie 6
Ian H 7
Ian P 7.5
ebe 7.5

Random thoughts: Social! Everyone drinks. Also, this important piece of film. If you aren't already a fan of Big Stu - get there. Kotti, the shit.

And if you haven't been at this stop for the May Day Bottle throwing - it is pretty epic. 

Average score: 7






Prinzenstrasse

Kirstie 5
Ian H 6
Ian P 6
ebe 4

Random thoughts: Love the name. Meh the station. Also - Ian P found some glasses on the container that he then PUT ON HIS FACE. Gross.

Something I didn't know, but would have raised the score
...a preserved detail of the old station is found at the northern platform, a small sculpture of a frog with a crown and a ball, alluding to the Frog Prince fairy tale.

Average score: 5.25

Hallesches Tor

Kirstie 4
Ian H 5
Ian P 7
ebe 5

Random thoughts: Isn't this a great name for a station? And another social! Other than that, station is outside, a little boring. You can see the hideous Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek (American Memorial Library) from here. Thanks America.


Average score: 5.25

 Möckernbrücke 


Kirstie 5
Ian H 5
Ian P 6
ebe 5.5

Random thoughts: Two umlauts and a bridge is a good start, but this station is a little more of the same. We did feel positively about its curviness.


Average score: 5.375

Gleisdreieck

Kirstie 7
Ian H 7
Ian P 8
ebe 7.5

Random thoughts: The station's name literally means "railway triangle" which I love. We were immediately enchanted by the desolate platform and rail lines in disrepair. How Berlin. Good time for a jump shot.

Average score: 7.375

Kurfürstenstrasse

Kirstie 7
Ian H 7
Ian P 7.5
ebe 7

Random thoughts: Lots of pastel. And regret about low scores on Gleisdreieck. But to honor the project we decided no changing scores. This is serious business. 

According to Wikipedia
The area has a rather seedy reputation, mainly due to prostitution.
I can believe it. But Berlin's prostitutes aren't seedy, they are fascinating. 

Average score: 7.125

Nollendorfplatz


Kirstie 6
Ian H 6
Ian P 6
ebe 6

Random thoughts: Two Ians. I don't think I have ever gotten off at this stop. It has been known in the past as a gay mecca, hot spot for heroin addicts, punks, & squatters, and is now experiencign a resurgence with higher rents and intellectual types. No wonder we haven't spent time here.  


Average score: 6


Wittenbergplatz


Kirstie 7
Ian H 6
Ian P 6
ebe 7

Random thoughts: Photo bomb! This social found everyone very jolly, with "may be the best of all" deliriously offered. Apparently, it is one of the oldest U-Bahn stations in Berlin.

Highlight we didn't notice?
One of the station platforms features a sign donated by London Transport in 1952 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U-Bahn. This sign features the station's name in the distinctive round, red and blue style of signs on the London Underground.

Average score: 6.5

Kurfürstendamm



Kirstie 3
Ian H 4
Ian P 5
ebe 4.75

Random thoughts: At this point I think we were just getting hungry. Alcohol make hulk hungry! Break into the emergency pretzels. Station was fine. Yawn. This area is known as a shopping district. Yawn.


Average score: 4.1875

Uhlandstrasse


Kirstie 7
Ian H 6
Ian P 6
ebe 7

Random thoughts: For Kirstie's turn she models with one of the lovely yellow U-Bahn cars. Muted tones, pleasant station, strange name.

Average score: 6.5


Krumme Lanke



Kirstie 7
Ian H 7.5
Ian P 6
ebe 5.5

Random thoughts: End of the line! We've heard this is a lovely lake for summer swimming - maybe we will make it out there this summer. We took this time for a bathroom break and go up top and wander around for a minute.

Average score: 6.5
Onkel Toms Hütte


Kirstie 4
Ian H 4.5
Ian P 5
ebe 4.75

Random thoughts: This stop is just strange.

The area was named after United States author and anti-slavery advocate Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. In 1885 a local landlord named Thomas opened a public house at the southern rim of the Grunewald forest and installed several small huts in his beer garden to shelter his guests from the rain. These huts were referred to as "Tom's Cabins", which reminded many of the famous book. Over the years the estate, the station, even the cinema and the Onkel-Tom-Straße took on the name as well. 

This station itself features shops and chain link fence. We also found a perfectly useable pair of pants that Ian P promptly put on. Weird.

Average score: 4.5625

Oskar-Helene-Heim


Kirstie 7
Ian H 4.5
Ian P 6
ebe 6

Random thoughts: Another yawner. The best part of these U-Bahn stations is that they are out in the open with nature and the quiet offering a really different side of Berlin. 

Average score: 5.875

Thielplatz

Kirstie 6
Ian H 6.5
Ian P 6.5
ebe 6.5

Random thoughts: While the tracks weren't that exciting, the entry to this station was lovely. Check out the station name in the wrought iron! Also a good location for students as it is across the street from Freie Universität.

Average score: 6.375

Dahlem-Dorf

 

Kirstie 8
Ian H 7
Ian P 7.5
ebe 7

Random thoughts: "Are those...are those wine gums?" Said the Brit. "Wine what?" said the Americans. Chewy, fruity and in a vending machine in Dahlem. Plus the entrance to this U-Bahn is super cute, very villagey, with a thatched roof that was apparently set on fire in 1980. Only real down side - it's in the middle of nowhere.

Oh yeah, and the seats that come complete with nipples and penises.


Average score: 7.375

Podbielskiallee

Kirstie 7
Ian H 6
Ian P 6.5
ebe 5

Random thoughts: Another nice entry, but almost anything would be a let down after the last place. .

Average score: 6.125


Breitenbachplatz

Kirstie 8
Ian H 8
Ian P 8
ebe 8

Random thoughts: After all the low-key outdoors, we are taken with this place. Ohhhh! Ahhh! Look how grand it is! It was apparently renovated in 2011.

Average score: 8

Rüdesheimer Platz


Kirstie 8
Ian H 7
Ian P 7.5
ebe 7

Random thoughts: When I was putting in scores, the ipod auto-corrected the name to "rude shamed". That works. Kirstie puts a shot glass on it. Graffiti art worked as murals, which I wasn't all that crazy about, but a nice station.

Average score: 7.375

Heidelberger Platz

Kirstie 9
Ian H 9
Ian P 9
ebe 9.5

Random thoughts: Another very regal station had me trying the self timer to do our social shot. I did not make it.

We loved the details, high cielings, and general class this station offered. Top of the line station. Also, hilariously, in 1980 the S-Bahn service was discontinued and the former entrance hall became a nightclub.Even though the nightclub is no longer there, I love that it was.

Average score: 9.125

Fehrbelliner Platz


Kirstie 8
Ian H 8
Ian P 8.5
ebe 8.5

Random thoughts: Original station tiles framed by newer work was nice, but yellow and brown just looks like a restroom to me....which apparently did not bother me at the time considering my high score (we never said these scores were going to be accurate). We did like goofing off and watching ourselves on the monitors.

Average score: 8.25



Hohenzollernplatz

Kirstie 7
Ian H 6.5
Ian P 8.5
ebe 8

Random thoughts: Historic Berlin scenes are again framed in yellow and brown. Nice, but not so memorable.

Average score: 7.5

Spichernstraße


Kirstie 4
Ian H 3
Ian P 5
ebe 6

Random thoughts: A bit of a vast wasteland of a station. Serious negative points for not being able to access either direction on one platform, i.e. if you choose the wrong entrance it's to the stairs! to go under the tracks and try to catch your train.

Average score: 4.5

Augsburger Straße 

Kirstie Wank.
Ian H Moonwalk.
Ian P The last one!
ebe .....

Random thoughts: We did it! We shot, munched, and rated our way all the way along this line. Success?

Average score: @&$*%#

Overall Scores

Lowest Ranking: Kurfürstendamm
Highest ranking Station: Heidelberger Platz
   

Agree with our rankings? Think we're idiots? Want to participate? All of the above? Tell us about it with a comment below!

Check out further insanity when we rode the UBlau once again one it's longest routes

5 comments:

Kirstie Adamson said...

This post is great! Well done for successfully recording all the facts. I feel I can relive the expedition whenever I like now - plus it's helped fill in a few blanks...

MO said...

I'm pretty sure you guys are my heroes.

ebe porter said...

Part of the magic was the company Kirstie. Thanks for putting some English class on the event.

Aw shucks, MO. If I knew I could be a hero from drinking I would have started earlier.

Andrew said...

Hilarious. I don't think I could survive that much Jaeger though.

Freiburg trams don't like you drinking them on them and play some crazy German phrase about "don't eat or drink on our vehicles".

ebe porter said...

@Andrew Strictly speaking, many of the Ubahns have a sign saying no alcohol. However, you'll often see people enjoying a brew abroad.

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008