There are some fantastic, wildly unusual and overwhelmingly creative spaces and places in Berlin. Whether it’s a restaurant or a secret hideout for a romantic picknick, we love strolling around our little Metropolis to find fresh places with an exciting story.
One of the reasons I love Berlin is because I can feel Germany’s changeful history (particularly the past 100 years) in almost every nook and cranny of this city. Right on the corner of Kurfürstendamm amidst international soulless luxury shopping stores there is a building that stands as a true witness of our turbulent past: Schlüterstraße 45. Step into
I love my hood for its abundance of delicacies. Whether it’s an exotic Arabic breakfast I’m craving or a Mediterranean gourmet experience for a low-budget, everything is available around Kreuzberg and Neukölln. Feliu, a Catalonian restaurant that has been open for a while now, belongs to the mid-range but affordable type of cozy restaurants with a menu á
Admittedly, I’m quite virgin to the game of Vinyl records. It’s not that I have now joined the club of audiophiles who need the best sound out of their system, but lately I’ve come to appreciate the idea of holding music “in your hands”, so to say. I’ve bought vinyl records before when I wanted to support
In order to take a weekend off from bustling Berlin, we decided to allow ourselves a calm holiday at the Baltic Sea. We hoped to find some rest in a small hamlet on the island of Usedom, but little did I know that I would also find the staid and sedate model of a typical German village: our lovely retreat turned out to be the stage of a peculiar play.
Like most European cities, Berlin has a historical center. And I don't mean that newish stuff around Unter den Linden, I'm talking about the medieval village of today's Nikolaiviertel. I am sure that any tourist can tell more about it than most Berliners, but how many people know about the quiet and shady atmosphere that sets after nightfall?
During the winter time of the year, Tiergarten resembles a mysterious, enchanted forest. It’s vast and so empty. With the occasional runner passing our way, we were basically alone when strolling through the snow-covered grounds. I remember how packed and crowded the park is in the summertime. I don’t like it then, people leave their shit everywhere
Haus der Kulturen der Welt. This name is not just weirdly uncomfortable to foreigners, but to German speakers too. Haus der Kulturen der Welt. You'd think that Germans, who like to put words together, would call it "Weltkulturenhaus". It's remote area is pretty exceptional, too. To me, it seems just SO out of the way of anything that you'd have to be really dedicated to go to an event or exhibition. I know I used to pass it on one of my many trips with the designated tourist bus line "100", and keep thinking: man, what the hell, why would they place such a gorgeous object right into the middle of nowhere (and yes, Tiergarten is right in the middle of nowhere to me, because IF IT'S NOT IN KREUZBERG THEN HOW CAN IT EXIST?!). All joking aside, this is an exceptionally important place in Berlin. The Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of the Cultures of the World - seriously, can we just call it Bert or something from now on? It just feels so cold and impersonal) is an institution full of cultural insights, from concerts to exhibitions to readings to films to conferences and whatever else can be visually exhibited in the "world cultures" context. Remember how everybody went crazy about the Transmediale partys a couple of days ago? Well, if you were so inclined to actually participate rather than just get wasted, you'd have known that the Haus der Kulturen der Welt plays a central role in enabling the exchange of cultural practices, even in music and popculture. Besides, it's one of the last institutions that is still completely funded and commissioned by the state, a growing rarity in Berlin.
What if Berlin was like New York? What if all we did was breed high rising monuments, covering the sky with amazing architecture, giving Berlin the look and feel of a metropolis? A conventional metropolis, that is. Most people tend to appreciate that Berlin is not like New York, and yet it seems like an interesting experiment: what
I always perceived the stretch of land between Ostbahnhof and Warschauer Straße always as a no-man's-land. The part that is located south of the S-Bahn tracks – mostly because the East Side Gallery is more a tourist spot than a place of daily life – is as alien to me as as the northern part, that is dominated by warehouses, hardware and central markets. If it wasn't for Berghain I might have never noticed the strange isolation of this small inner-city island that was built at the historical site of the former Wriezener Bahnhof and its tracks. Always wondering what might be stored in there, it takes a couple of minutes to pass these depots of innumerable miles of shelving. I still remember this late summer weekend in 2010 quite well, when we left the club at dawn, climbed up to the roof of one of the warehouses and sat there to enjoy the first warm shafts of sunlight. We stayed for quite some time and were not bothered by anyone, let alone the owners or the police, simply because there wasn't a soul in sight.
I think Marcus still hasn't been to the Kreuzberg. Not the district, but the actual hill. He's been living in Berlin for a hundred and two years and we once promised to take him there. Judging by Stefans pictures, it seems like the weather conditions are perfect for a serene view from above. The park is a 12,8 hectar area on the Kreuzberg. The Kreuzberg - translation "cross mountain" - is the highest natural peak of Berlins city center. Yes, the highest. Which means Berlin is as flat as an iron board. The Kreuzberg - the actual Kreuzberg hill - is the pimple in Berlins face. But it's a really nice pimple. The green park and slopes which you can picknick on are very inviting to spend a whole afternoon on top of the city.
I’ll be honest: there is literally nothing attractive about Potsdamer Platz and I’ll rarely ever pass by. It’s boring and disconcerting, pretty much the typical go-to tourist hot spot with a mix of fancy restaurants and posh office buildings. You can expect some stuff to see, but a colorless lack of human interaction. The only time you’ll
The most astonishing places are often the most hidden ones. Isolated from their surrounding, one has to know about these spots, otherwise it's highly unlikely to suddenly stumble over them. That's certainly true for Dong Xuan Center – a place, that I always considered as as exotic as Berlin can be.