There's No Place Like Mitte

When people ask if I love Berlin, I tell them it’s complicated. I moved here without ever having been before. Thing is, I had dreams of an international design career and speaking another language, so I simply took a chance. What I found was a young and malleable city with a really tough-to-crack culture. Coming from America, this has been quite an adjustment. To be honest, I don’t think I will ever truly feel at home here.

Meryl in Berlin

Meryl in Berlin

As a result of my disconnection to the people and struggle with the cold and dismal winters I travel a lot, so much in fact most people don’t understand why I even have an apartment in Berlin. But you might ask, why I keep traveling on return tickets? Why do I come back?

Well, it’s a small area of Mitte where I feel the best of so many worlds I know and love. It’s my micro London, where on an uninspired day, I can wander into a shop and soak in beautiful things from all over the world. Mitte is a sliver of the West Village where I used to live in New York, a place where people actually engage with you and ask you how you’re doing, as a neighborhood should. It’s the energetic vibe of morning people who welcome me, when its still dark out in the dead of winter. The ones who I can share a laugh with and always leave a better version of myself. It’s a place called BECYCLE.

It’s AJ’s 7am ride that helps me forget that its still, mind you four months into the winter, and grey outside. It’s David’s mash up of electronic music that gives me my Berghain experience, because I won't actually 'go' there myself, and I’m totally cool with that. It’s Mirja’s positive energy that gets me stoked to be alive on a Monday. And, it’s Sven’s HIIT class: a reminder that I have a lot of other muscles in my body, not just those cycling ones.

BECYCLE keeps me coming back to Berlin because no matter my mood or relationship with exercise, there’s a class and time to help me get there. It is both my aid for loneliness and motivation, when I'm feeling uninspired. Only a bus ride away and I arrive at one of the few places in Europe where I feel at home in myself and within my community. That is perhaps the single most important thing a boutique fitness studio should be.

Article written by Meryl Vedros