During the years of the Wall, Sonnenallee was one foot in the West - for hundreds of meters - and another in the East - for kilometers. I've been in the area for the first time a couple of months ago and I don't think I will visit the place soon: the high concentration of the social problems is reflected in the strange behavior of its inhabitants, mostly if it is late in the evening after a couple of beers.
I couldn't resist the temptation to see the movie with the same name, introduced as a comedy, in fact a sweet-bitter comedy of the communist life as we wish to see years after we learned - or been teached - the daily practice of freedom. A book dedicated to the same Sun Avenue - Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee - was published shortly after the release of the movie, in 1999, and includes several individual stories of younsters' lives in East Berlin.
Teenagers from the wrong side of Berlin are living their "normal" lives: listening to rock music - smuggled from the "evil" West, challenging their brain-washed communist teachers, falling in love, betraying - when Stasi temtaption is high, getting drunk or making public apologies. You will find a highly neutral and humorous presentation of the daily life-style. Actually, it was normal for the citizens of the DDR to cue for food, to smuggle everything possible, to enjoy the pleasure of some cheap capitalistic luxuries - coffee, cigarettes etc. And maybe, if not the rock'n'roll, we would still need a passport to go in the East - of course, not for asking the citizenship of the "real Germany" but only for the fun of some anthropological experiments.