I'm moving this month, back to my old flat in Friedrichshain. I'm glad, because I'll be back relatively closer to the center of things. I've enjoyed my time here in Neukoelln, it's a fascinating area. At times it seems a bit dodgy, though. My bike was stolen, for example, and occasionally i hear gunshots. I know a couple people who have been assaulted in the Hasenheide (famous park abutting the former Tempelhof Airport) as well.
Things I will miss: the winding, narrow streets around Richardplatz, and the abundance of Lidl stores in the area. For those of you not in the know, Lidl is the ultimate discount grocery outlet. Being connoisseur of exotic foods, I was delighted when my roommate introduced me to the wealth of delicacies on offer at this chain. For instance you can get a large bag of Erdnuss Flips for only 55 cents. Flips are to the best of my knowledge unheard of in the states, but here they are a popular snack. They are comprised of peanut oil and a kind of peanut powder, puffed up with air into an inflated comma shape (I guess it's an approximation of an actual unshelled peanut). Essentially, it's peanut-flavored Cheetos -- and if that sounds unappetizing, quite the contrary. The little bastards are downright addictive. I will still have access to flips, though, as there is a Lidl near my F-Hain digs. Whoops. I digressed there.
I will also miss Sonnenallee, that endless avenue of Oriental delights. I mean that in the Turkish sense as well as the Asian sense, for there is a panoply of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants in addition to Occidental fare. Most of all I will miss the seedy Spielotheks and dodgy Spatkaufs, and the gruff men who run them. Invariably if you scratch one, there is a pussycat underneath.