Her Umbrella Winter 2015 / Issue 2

HerUmbrellaMagazine

Her Umbrella is a women's digital, lifestyle magazine dedicated to creating a life outside the lines. Published quarterly during the changing of the seasons, you'll find a bohemian, free-spirited style woven throughout its pages. Every woman has an umbrella with a variety of likes, dislikes, stories and memories hidden underneath. And we're looking to uncover them. Our winter issue features some heart-hitting stories and festive features intertwined without rhyme or reason. We've nixed the rules and forewent table of contents and the like to be a freer, more unmatched way of exploring. Enjoy!

It quickly became apparent that Berlin was the place European millennials were rushing to in droves. The architecture read like

a street out of a dystopian novel: grandiose towers mixed with grey abandoned soviet-era cement buildings. Street performers littered

the sidewalks with different music and art. The streets were plastered with graffiti. I?m not talking about gangs marking their territory.

Artistic statements. Every inch of the city was a canvas inviting young artists to write their messages.

All the young people who lived in Berlin had moved there to become artists or philosophers and join in on the renaissance the

city had been so desperately denied during the Soviet occupation. While the rest of Europe was swinging through the 60?s experiencing

the trippy and freeing art that the Love revolution brought, Berlin was simply trying to stay alive. When the 90?s hit and The Berlin Wall

fell, Berlin was left wondering what kind of city it would become.

I learned all this on a street art walking tour that I took on my first full day in Berlin. It was lead by a scraggly middle aged

Australian in a green army coat who happily translated common German phrases for us.

We passed art plastered on buildings and billboards created from someone's personal experiences yet, I related to every single

piece. Berlin slowly morphed into one long hallway at a museum for alternative art which I gladly soaked up. Because of the city?s past,

censorship is considered to be on par with other major crimes. The artists of Berlin created without fear of judgement or society?s

misunderstanding. On this tour, I was surrounded by other young artists like myself. The passion and creativity that I felt had drained

from me slowly began to fill back up.

The first person we met on the tour was a

towering gorgeous Australian girl named

Amy who I immediately felt a kinship with.

She gave us piggyback rides through the

streets while we dreamily wondered what it

would be like to live in Australia.

On the tour, we walked for hours, listening to

the history of Berlin. Having met a group of

people we got along with, we all decided to

join a pub crawl that night. It was the street

art tour that brought us together but it was

the pub crawl that would solidify our bonds

as long time friends. Pub crawls are a staple

of backpackers life. They lower inhibitions

give you an alternative look at a city through

a local's eyes and, frankly, show you the best

party spots that aren?t saturated by big

chains common in America.

Pub crawls are normally lead by an ex pat

working at the hostel. In this case it was an

artist from New York named Sebastian. He

seemed less than thrilled to be leading the

pub crawl and spoke about uniformly as if he

had walked by the same street performer

doing the same fire dance for the past 5

nights.

One aspect of all European cities that I found comforting and familiar was how dependable the public transportation system

was. They weren?t trustworthy in the sense that they were ever on time but trustworthy in the sense that they were there. I found

pride in myself as I was able to navigate the twists and turns of each city's unique public transportation. Despite my experience and

confidence, Berlin?s transportation system broke me. There was a railway above my head going one way. A street level one going a

different way and an underground train that took me to a stop I?m still not certain was even in Germany.

?We?re going on the underground but don?t worry if you don?t have cards we can just wing it,?Sebastian apathetically said to

our group. Sebastian must know what he?s talking about, I thought as I pushed anxiety about the trains away and skipped along in

anticipation for what the night held.

Sebastian ran down the stairs and on to the subway train in one huge leap. We all breathlessly followed. I remember thinking

if this is hard for me now what's it going to be like with a few drinks in me.

Think of the typical European road. Curvy and littered with cobblestones, right? Berlin was a few steps away from that. There

were miles and miles of long straight highways that cut through the architecture and art. Nothing really seemed to match. You?d blink

Winter 2015 / Her Umbrella 26

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