For me, Berlin is a hard city to fall in love with immediately. When you fist enter the city, the way I did from west to east, you're greeted by its history. The Berlin Victory Column, Soviet War Memorial (Tiergarten), Brandenburg Gate, and next to that is the Berlin wall, or what's left of it. Monuments to war, peace, and change. Tough images to wrap your head around.
Then there's the graffiti, some of which is the most amazing street art you'd ever see. It could be in the Louvre somewhere. Other ink covers the city like out dated tattoos. The artist don't discriminate on their canvas. Monuments, store fronts, and of course the wall.
Berliners seem to express themselves and don't care what you think. I think it's b/c of their history. Don't tell them they can't b/c they will. The city has a history of repression, expression, and change.
I get the sense that the people of Berlin are now fairly comfortable with their quality of life. A city of rebellion is now a city of tourism and party goers. The biggest controversial issue that I came across was the genterfercation of certain areas. According to some locals, you're no longer able to pick the area you want to live in, your economic class does that for you. I think they were referring to squatters. After the wall fell, a lot of Berliners just took over uninhabited buildings, fixed them up and made them cool.
By the end of my 5 day stay in Friedrichshain (E. Berlin). I came to gain a huge respect for the bluntness that people showed, even if that bluntness was expressed by doing what ever the person wanted to do. I appreciate that people act the way they want. At times I wish I was more like a Berliner.