This is the journey that I would take most days, from home to the studio / gallery while I lived in Berlin for the first 6 months of this year. Involved in an intense project, this route, and variations of it spreading out into adjacent side streets became the centre of my Berlin. Most of the time I would ride, and usually along a more direct route, but occasionally, on one of those clear blue Berlin days that made you forget all about the long winter of trying to stoke your old coal Kreuzberg heater in a feeble attempt to keep warm, the bike would stay home and I would meander slowly pretending there was nothing to do at the other end.
The walk starts at Adelbertstr 6. Its the building that looks like a squat (well, it used to be for 20 years, before slowly being brought into the mainstream rental market). You probably won't find the number – so look for the blue-framed metal doors, covered with posters if the owner hasn't ripped them off on his weekly cleaning days. High up, there's a cute stick-up of a small girl. She might look sweet. I think inside she's evil. In case you still can't find it, it's next door to Triggercopy, and down the road from the fantastically ugly 80s West German apartment building which snakes across the road. (If you are doing this walk in reverse, at night, there's a few bars hidden in here that were regular stop offs on the way home.)
From the house walk up Adalbertstr and turn left onto Oranienstr. I usually cross over at the lights so that I can walk in the late morning sun. Keep walking until you get to the park, and crossing diagonally so that you hit Dresdenerstr. There's usually a group of youngish Turkish guys hanging out on that corner. They'll nonchalantly step aside while simultaneously pretending you don't exist. Keep walking along Dresdenerstr, through the big concrete blocks that close the road off to cars. It seems suddenly empty. Look down. The bricks that run across the road mark the place where the wall used to be. Walking back at night everything seems suddenly muted here. Turning off the main road, and not quite in the drunk punk centre around Kottbuser Tor, you've entered a pocket of silence, but then slowly you start to pick up on distant sounds of cars, voices and wind.
At the end of Dresdenerstr, turn right on the main road. Keep walking there's nothing much to see. Occasionally I cut through the apartment buildings just before the corner and head up towards Kaisers. From the main road, turn right into Kopernickerstr, and then along until you find the first alleyway after the station. Depending on how slowly German construction workers are, this is probably still a huge hole in the ground. Hopefully there is still a narrow piece of footpath that will take you up to the Josetti Hofe, at number 22-4 Rungestr. Walk through the front door and through the 3 courtyards. If its spring or summer the last gates should be open, giving you a place to sit and contemplate boats passing by on the spree, accompanied by the noise of the train running parallel to the river. The journey would normally finish 5 stories above where you sit in the garden. If you hang around at the doors nearby someone might let you up.