Berlin, Winter 2011 - I grew up in New England, spending winters ice skating, snowball fighting, and building some kick-ass snow forts. Yet, by the time I moved to Berlin in my 30s, my interest in winter had already began to wane. I don't need the snow and I definitely need some winter sun. This was driven home to me after two particularly harsh Berlin winters (and why I've done my best to escape it the past two winters). Here the cold can be taunting, but the real punishment is the days, sometimes weeks, of heavy gray skies, without even the hint of a smile from the sun (or Berliners). I think this was taken towards the end of one winter, on a day when the sky was clear-ish, the cold was beginning to thaw, and one could feel hopeful again that the end of it was near. Fingers crossed that this year's mild winter continues into February.