Bourdain’s Field Notes

It has long since become obvious that we come at each episode from an entirely different angle and perspective. Sometimes we are entirely food or location driven, many times not. Very rarely do we try and paint a picture of a city or a country that’s in any way an effort to be comprehensive, fair, representative, or even useful.

This week’s Berlin episode is about the city’s history as an unlikely refuge for artists, musicians, and creatives from all over the world. From the Weimar era of the early 20th century through the ’70s and ’80s and continuing today, Berlin—though interrupted by long periods of horror and repression and outright evil—has been a city of freedom for a cast of characters as diverse as Fritz Lang, George Grosz, Christopher Isherwood, David Bowie, and Iggy Pop. Its pioneering nightclub scene remains legendary.

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Travel like Bourdain

“Berlin has always had a darkness that’s hidden in plain sight.”


Das ist mir Wurst: This snarky way of saying “whatever” is sure to earn a local grin or two. In a country with an abundance of wurst, it makes sense that the idiom “That’s sausage to me” exists.

Ich lade Dich ein: It’s like saying “My treat,” but the literal translation is a cliffhanger: “I invite you …” More than a few German-language students have been left wondering where they’re being invited to go.

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