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Playing Name Games on the Streets of Berlin

October 21, 1990| Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports

The reunification of Berlin, which makes it the largest city between Paris and Moscow (pop. just over 5 million), also has resulted in a debate over which of East Berlin's streets should be renamed to remove any memory of their Communist associations.

Among the streets likely to be rechristened are, for example, Karl-Marx-Allee, Lenin-Allee and Ho-Chi-Minh-Strasse.

But Germans are being cautious about the changes, pointing out that there is a difference between naming streets and squares after corrupt officials and honoring writers or philosophers, no matter what their politics. All agree that the former should be changed, but some argue that the latter should stay.

So far, 160 name changes have been proposed, meaning that map makers will be kept busy with updates for some time to come, as will visitors trying to find their way.

Quick Fact: A record 3.2 million Americans visited Europe during the 1989-90 fall-winter season, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Rating the Hotels: A Consumer Reports survey of more than 100,000 readers rated 42 hotel chains based on the level of satisfaction they experienced during their visits.

Hampton Inn scored highest among economy hotels, Best Western among the moderate hotels, Residence Inn in the high-priced category and Four Seasons among luxury hotels.

Biggest complaint overall was about the quality of hotel food (47% of those surveyed said they were less than "very satisfied"), followed by climate control (35%).

The category of economy hotels included those whose rates were up to $40 a night; moderate, $40-$56; high-priced, $63-$94, and luxury $91-$139.

Travel Quiz: Which is larger, Lake Baikal in the Soviet Union or the Bahamas?

Sand Trap: Morris Dweck is not feeling too kindly toward the Iraqis these days, not since their Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.

Dweck had a better idea. At least he thought he did. This summer, he decided that his North Myrtle Beach, S.C., miniature golf course needed a new image, something that would help attract tourists and the folks from the nearby Air Force Base in Myrtle Beach.

So Dweck went out and bought himself a roadside genie, then came up with a new name for his course--Treasures of Baghdad.

Ah, well, back to the drawing board.

Atlanta Newcomer: The 440-room Hotel Nikko Atlanta opened this month at the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont streets in Atlanta's Buckhead section. In keeping with its name, the 25-story hotel features a Japanese garden and a collection of Japanese art.

Quick Fact: There are 1 billion more Chinese in the world than there are Mexicans.

Sweet Dreams: A new museum that should appeal to chocaholics has opened in Birmingham, England. The Cadbury World Chocolate Experience features a permanent exhibit at the chocolate factory, with wax models and videos on the history of chocolate.

Visitors can sample a chocolate drink made according to an ancient Aztec recipe and see chocolate being made. They can sample more chocolate at an on-site restaurant, ice cream parlor and souvenir shop.

Mediterranean Crossing: A new ferry service for passengers and freight has been established linking Turkey, Greece and Italy.

Minoan Lines of Crete operates the ferry, the Ariadne, which calls at Kusadasi in Turkey, Samos, Paros, Piraeus and Cephalonia in Greece, and Ancona in Italy.

Don't Lighten Up: After a six-month trial run that showed a 90% favorable reaction, Lufthansa will ban smoking on all of its domestic flights starting next Sunday. Smoking already is banned on all buses and trains in Germany.

Quiz Answer: The Bahamas could fit twice into the 12,200-square-mile lake and still leave plenty of room for swimmers.

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