[Note: this post was originally written for another Mission-oriented blog, hence the direct references to San Francisco audience]
Raising a child is a breeze in Berlin thanks to the wide availability of kid-friendly beer gardens. (Note: a ‘child’ is a small human who has not yet achieved adult stature— I was a little unclear on this concept myself until I left the Mission.) Take, for example, Prater Garten on Kastanienallee in Prenzlauerberg: the space looks like about eight Zeitgeists stitched together, only without the whole ‘mistaking rudeness for authenticity’ issue that’s been haunting Zeitgeist for years.
Then, in the back, is a fully-equipped playground where you can semi-neglect your daughter or son while you enjoy sophisticated adult beverages nearby. Kids, in my observation, seem to eat this place up: first, they get to enjoy running around in the kid-sanctioned area… but then there’s also the illicit thrill of venturing out into the ‘dark side’, where grownups are presented in various states of alcohol-amplified enthusiasm.
Finally… you know you’re in a land of lessened litigation-culture when there’s a disused diving tower in the back of your local beer garden:
My friend tells the story of being at a kid birthday party at Prater when one of the children suddenly materialized on top of the diving stand. That’ll sober you up in a hurry.