5 days in Berlin. It’ is so not enough time to do everything. The City has so much to offer. I still haven’t been to a museum like “Bauhaus Archive”, or a swanky Bar like “Newton bar”. But it was enough time to clear my head out, catch up with Daniel. A short visit but I was able to say hi to Alexa, Zoe and Teo. And most of all, I got to finally see Berlin. The City creative overload. It was a trip so worth to do and it was definitely a breath of fresh air to lift my busy and hectic life back in New York. A Creative Lift.
Promising myself to come back to Berlin in this summer with Emi, here are some of my souvenirs from the city I felt in love with.
From the top; BerlinTegel Airport, color inspiration in the city, the alley, Daniel’s home, beautiful public space, million posters, vintage shops, supermarket Keiser’s, 1950′s cosmetic salon turned into a cool bar on then Communist marching alley, curry dog, the theater experience, old beer bar, a tasting meal with Kelly, amazing and organic kid playgrounds, beautiful hotel: Casa Camper, Oberholz, progressive design, kicking Graffiti, the Berlin wall, the train rides, the lamp and gallery level shops, the Mauerpark Flea and people watching, amazing Vietnamese food in the city, the view of Mitte and Jaehee in Berlin. And more…
Before Kelly and I started some more shopping, we headed out to see the Wall. Yes the Berlin Wall where everything stopped and re-started. Honestly, I have been anti- reunification of North and South Korea for No specific reasons, or from the fear of uncertainty. But after my visit to Berlin, I have a hope. We can do this. It was a touching moment for me. For my people back in Korea, and for the people here in Germany. And most of all, for the World.
Despite my early morning unsexy jet legged puffy eyes, Here I am standing in front of the Berlin Wall. Wow. I can’t believe I am here…!
The concrete barrier built by the German Democratic Republic ( GDR, East Germany) existed from 1961 to 1989. Almost for a 30 years. A euphoric public and souvenir hunters gradually chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. And now since the wall broke down, it has passed 20 years! After the Wall came down in 1989, hundreds of artists from around the world gathered and transformed the eastside of the Wall that had been untouchable up to now, with their paintings, giving the Wall a new face in a new time. This remain wall has been used as blank canvas for about 106 Artists and called as “East side Gallery” which houses the longest remaining Berlin wall of 1.3 Km , which makes it the largest open gallery in the world.
Between Oberbaumbrücke (Oberbaum Bridge) and the Ostbahnhof, along the former borderline that ended at the Spree and Mühlenstrasse, stretches a unique picture palette that marks a sign of overcoming inhumanity.
The Berlin wall getting built: 1961. Below is Oberbaum Bridge next to the site and the view from the bridge.
The roofs of Mitte.
The best street so far was Mulackstrasse. Every store on this street felt rather like a real good Gallery. Beautiful space, progressive product and some amazing Art pieces either they were done by the creative owner of the shop or from somewhere in far east. Do a little tour of some of the best shops in Mitte with me!
The FourStore, Mulackstrasse 12. Clothing and touch of Interior. I ‘m quite obsessed with this genius lamp! Yarn, screen and wire lamp.
God I love this lamp. Every angle is a beauty. Also check out the interior site of this store www.llotllov.de
Simple and Beautiful court yard. By the way, Many buildings and shops have quite amazing court yards and glass windows for the view. Love it.
Smaller cute one. 280 Euro.
BUUTERFLYSOULFIRE. The next door to fourstore. www.butterflysoulfire.com
Start with ceiling. Stacked card stocks create beautiful pattern and texture. It reminded me the work of an artist, Tara Donovan.
Ahhh, Emi, How much do you love it? Store, SCHWARZHOGERZEIL, Mulackstrasse 28 www.schwarzhogerzeil.de
This shop carries bit of all good classics like : Hope, Isabel Marant, Tsumori Chisato and more. We have seen pink and green play off here a lot. In this shop was olive Green and hit of Fushia.
Another lovely court yard behind.
The most happiest and trippiest store of all. Starstyling Shop. Mulackstrasse 4 www.starstyling.net
This shop reminds me of the Factory, Woodie Allen, Lime Light and Liquid Sky.
I got an air sprayed fringe necklace for the summer. Oh my little Berlin Souvenir, I love you!!
And for the last but not for the least, actually my Best and absolute FAVORITE store on Mulackstrasse, 34. Of course I couldn’t take any pics in my favorite shop. Simply not allowed. Thank you…… That’s how it usually works.
But If I explain it to you. The shop feels like Fellini is about to shoot a movie of Yve Saint Laurent in his caftan in Morroco in his hippie glam days. Check out my only one photo from the street. The nylon puffer woven hammock with velvet trim and leather straps is the top of the top. Whoouuuu!! It is so glamours and hippie, I just can’t take it!
Coming out from the block, I felt relieved and cleansed. Just like when I saw an amazing movie. And both Kelly and I were laughing. It must have been the endorphin level had gone up from this ridiculously fabulous eye shopping.
Despite of some suggestions before my arrival to Berlin about me sticking with East side of the Berlin only, I went along with Daniel and Franziska to the theater, a beautiful theater, ” Schaubuhne” in the west side of Berlin where is way more developed with fancy shops, embassies, a music house, finance and law buildings but same time lacks the old charm that East Berlin has.
I got to get on a tramp, metro and double deck Bus ( upper level)! to get to the theater. What a nice experience!! You can pretty much walk everywhere in East Berlin to all the attractions and actually a bicycle would be the perfect to browse the East Berlin. But to go over to West side of Berlin, it can take you easily over an hour of commute depends on the distance and traffic during the day. The entire Berlin is about 9 times bigger than Paris. So it’s huge.
I was bit nervous about the play, Megalopolis because I have zero German, but hey, I give it a try!
German, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean, French and American, total of 10 amazing casts, really Rocked my World! Passionate and talented. There was more of experimental modern dancing than ton of dialogues in this play and also each native spoke or sometimes sing their lines in their own language definitely was unique and also helped me to follow along. But even the whole portion of German or Portuguese was actually very interesting experience I had because at the end, the physical expression, the tone of the voice and the musical sound came to me as mega package of pure emotion. I found myself getting goose bumps and my heart beats fast.
My understanding of Megalopolis is a space, a metropolitan city where people from all around the world come together and interact and survive each others in chaos, strong emotions as anger, sorrow, humor, fear and their social status as a certain race, rich, poor, gay, straight, powered, authority and anything else you can imagine. Interesting. And very entertaining performance. Each one of the cast had distinctive personality and strength. The experimental music and sound was quite amazing. Having seen this play sitting in a theater filled with Berliners was a definitely meaningful experience to me. Also it wasn’t like seeing a Blue man group or something. This wasn’t a commercial main stream. This was rather a great chance for me to lick the surface of what Berlin could offer as their distinctive modern culture.
Thank you Daniel and Franziska!
The metro Station.
One after another, they All got own thing going on. Many beauties too. I Absolutely LOVED the Mauerpark Flea!! A place to be for people watching and vintage shopping!!
Established in 2004, the Flea Market Mauerpark is a newcomer to the ranks of Berlin’s fleamarkets (located next to the Wall Park (Mauerpark) in Prenzlauer Berg) hasn’t made it into the guidebooks yet – it still has quite a local feel and a variety of interesting stuff. It’s also where Prenzlauer Berg’s fast rotating population goes to divest itself of unwanted stuff – you might find some useful things if you’re just setting up home. The market is located near to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Stadion M10 tram stop (formerlyOderberger Straße) and is a short but pleasant walk from the U2‘s Eberswalder Straße (Station). The market is located next to the Mauerpark.
If you are coming to Berlin, this is a must check out. Have fun!
See, the good thing about the Europeans or Berliners is that they have this “Now, Shut up and chill, and have your life..!” kind of mentality. I mean how Fab is that you walk in to the open market in a chili crispy day, the guy will pour you a glass of champagne and hand over a hot plate of grilled shrimps or half dozen of fresh oyster. OK Now, Shut up and chill, and have your life..!
The only down side at the moment is I can’t pronounce all the fancy names of these. But hey, I still get to taste them!
Emi, I got one of this for you! Local organic farm pate!! Toast your bread! And 2 jars of below! The peach and wild black berry. They taste really good! The entire market carries organic produces and products. It is quite similar to one in Union square in NYC, but even closer to one in Fort Greene in Brooklyn because of all the historical older buildings around and warm and safe residential feel of the neighborhood.
OK, Now heading out to find some cool places around.
Then I spot this place. It smells something interesting here. Elvis looking over above the entrance. And is it open or closed? The light is on. Hey I have to check this out!
You never know where and when you will hit this kind of place! The simple rule, Get Lost! and You will find it!
The One and only Elvis and F for Madam Fuxia! This fabulous vintage shop ” Sentimental Journey” ‘s owner has done it for herself. A huge fan of Elvis and his music. What I hear when I get in? Love me tender. The Menswear room.
The “Sentimental Journey” had this old Hollywood glam look to it with some amazing pieces from the turn of the century and many 20′s accessories like little hats and bags. Though the best thing was meeting Madam F and her friend!
One of the landmark in this area: The Water Tower. This tower was built in 1875 to supply the water to rapidly growing district then but also was used by Hitler and the SA as a mini-concentration camp shortly after they came to power.
I am glad I got to see this area since it gave me a different perspective to understand the Berlin. The first day at the Mitte: young, hip and trendy yet in a very different way from Soho or the Tokyo. It’s trendy but in a very laid back style. Somehow very much like Brooklyn.
I see the Family value in this area, Prenzlauer Berg. The kids, the parents. It’s rather pretty than underground hip. Prenzlauer Berg is still central, yet quieter than Berlin Mitte. Much of Prenzlauer Berg escaped damage in the second world war and post war redevelopment. Throughout the district, bullet holes mark the facades. Prenzlauer Berg has recently become a popular area for the current wave of American and European immigrants into Berlin, many of whom are artists who have moved to Berlin in search of the cheap downtown apartments and studio space which are very hard to find in other capital cities and ‘centres for the arts’ like New York, London and Paris but which are abundant in Berlin.
Ahhh It’s nice to be with friends. It’s nice to see them again. Cozy home breakfast all the way out here in Berlin. How Lucky I am! Warm eggs, nice sun coming through the window, morning roll shopping with Daniel, delicious cappuccino, and chat, chat, chat! Daniel It’s so good to see you!
This roll! Deeeeelliciiiious!! It has almost like hard pretzel kind of flavor with chunk of salt sprinkled and most fluffy and fresh texture inside. Yum Yum Yum. Pass me the butter please! By the way, how do you make this so perfectly brown?
Listen, Daniel, my friend! I am so happy to see you doing great and happy! All the chat about my brother with you. Daniel, Keep living your life!
Thank you and can I have some more please?
Oh and I hear that church bell! Ahhh….
My first impression of the East Berlin so far is combination of bohemian soul of Seoul, the hip underground vibe of Stockholm, old charm urban industrial buildings of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and this strong sense that I have : feeling something good thing is boiling underneath the city!
The area east of the Brandenburg Gate known as Mitte ( Middle) is the historic and the hippest area of Berlin, and was at one time the center of the capital of the German Democratic Republic. The city’s most important museums, theaters, government buildings and churches were constructed here between the 18th and 20th centuries. I’m saving good portion of Mitte for Kelly to arrive so we can explore it together but I took relaxing nice long walk to cheat a little today. So far? So good!!
Graffiti, Graffiti and Graffiti! The city is covered in Graffiti! The alley to the court yard, trash cans, your house wall, you name it. And I see lots of pink and green everywhere somehow.
Then there are so many lovely court yards showing off beauty of old Berlin’s history. Either they are covered in millions of concert posters or the fresh Graffiti Art.
A lovely shop girl. The sun and crispy air. It was a beautiful day! There are many small designer’s boutiques here in Mitte area and they all seem quite interesting. Kelly, hurry up!
A great hair salon, “LinkHair” ‘s owner, Tatsuji Saito san on Prenzlauer Allee. Below are couple photos of the interior. He had set up a really cute kid’s station upstairs with a tent and all.
Cool vibe industrial building. Emiliano, get on it!!
There are many canals in Berlin. But this is where about east and west was divided then united. I really need to go see the actual site where everything happened. Wow, it already had passed 20 years now since East and West Berlin had re-united.
This is quite Seoul like detail. Except the blankets outside cafe is very Eastern Europe thing.
So I walked and walked and thought I would get myself a nice glass of wine. I see Cinema Cafe. I truly started feeling like what Berlin could be here in Cinema Cafe. Dim light wrapping over your shoulder cozy, a old piano, weathered black and white photos on the wall, glass of beer or whatever that is you would like, cigarette break in the old school smoking room… I don’t know what exactly it was but it just hit me. It almost made me feel itch to find out what Berlin is all about!
Smoking room filled with movie posters.
Awesome kids Play Ground.
4 more days in Berlin!! See what happens!