Team USA at Checkpoint Charlie Beach

One of the highlights of this trip has been watching the World Cup at Checkpoint Charlie beach, with makeshift sand and beach chairs in front of a giant HD screen in the heart of the former East Berlin. Below is radio reporter Matthew Katz relaxing with mad hatter Faryl Ury of APTV and Anna Rhett Miller from CNN.Thanks to Michael Lipin, a reporter for Voice of America, we had plenty of USA swag for the crucial match between USA and Slovenia. I confess to divided loyalties here, as the Anzur family is from a small town near the Slovenian capital of Lublijana. A weird referee call robbed the USA of its winning goal and the Yanks had to settle for a tie. My son Andrew is joining me in Berlin for a few days on a break from his summer internship with the US Commercial service at the Embassy in Bucharest Romania. He made things interesting by cheering loudly in various slavic languages for Slovenia, along with NPR reporter Jack Zahora, who speaks Czech, Polish and German.
We’ve enjoyed several matches and a lot of beverages at this venue. Of course, they show Germany’s number-one news program, the Tageshau, at 8 pm.
Even when the USA isn’t playing, we enjoy watching others cheer for their favorites. We felt sorry for the lone South African fan who tooted his vuvzela in vain as his team was defeated. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Jo Dondis, a freelance TV producer from LA, as well as all of the other RIAS fellows, as we relax together and watch the games.