Having grown up bilingual on Long Island, New York, the son of a German mother and an American father, I feel at home in Germany without ever having lost the perspective of the expatriate. I came to Berlin sixteen years ago to pursue a Master's degree in modern history, and have been working as a tour guide since 2005.
Guiding has proven a more fulfilling occupation than I ever imagined, allowing me to pursue myriad interests, be they historical, cultural, literary or political. The complexity of Berlin is extraordinary and change here rapid. As a guide, I try to reveal how the city may have impacted a visitor's own life, however obliquely. It is the rare Berlin tourist who finds that the city has nothing to do with them. Rich and multifaceted – sometimes very sad – connections can almost always be made.
At the same time, my work as a tour guide allows me to live in one of the great cities of the world, currently perhaps the most vibrant in Europe. The amenities derived from living in Berlin – cultural, culinary, creative – are many. And yet the city is also greener, more laid back, and, yes, cheaper than you will likely expect.