Places to Go, People to See: Berlin
Since the beginning of September, I’ve been exploring Berlin and seeing what it has to offer. I’ve discovered some awesome parks, exhibits and shops throughout my few weeks here and I've curated a list of my five favourites. Most locations on this list are free or come at a minimal cost!
1. Hamburger Bahnhof
Berlin's Hamburger Bahnhof is a must-see if you're interested in museums or art in any regard. Everything from sculpture, installation to contemporary paintings. My favourite installation was Raimund Kummer's Sublunare Einmischung. I love the way this man thinks. A quote from him that explains him best is "Any site can be a potential site for art." I walked into a separate room of the exhibit that was dark and warm. I noticed the metal stands of different heights each holding a Kodak slide projector which was filtering through slides of unexposed film. The clicking and clattering of the old slide projectors and the mess of extension cords on the floor at first made me feel uneasy. Sporadically varying sized squares of light would illuminate the walls of this room. After spending some time walking around the room alone I started to become comfortable with the rhythm and vibe of the room. Here's a video of me walking around the installation, it was an interesting experience. Kummer's installation is at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin until October 29th, 2017.
2. Barbara Kruger's FOREVER at Sprüth Magers
I studied Barbara Kruger's work throughout my degree so to see an exhibit of hers in person was a bit surreal. Her immersive type installations have a way sucking you into her thoughts. I remember walking into this room and being overwhelmed with the contrasting black and white sans-serif words plastered against the walls and floor. As I started to read them I felt the weight of the words she used. She references a George Orwell quote on the floor of the exhibit "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever." As I read it and noticed the subtle footprints of visitors this quote came alive. Kruger's installation is at Sprüth Magers Berlin until December 22nd 2017 so if you happen to visit before then, take a visit, it's free!
3. Lustgarten Park
One of my most relaxing days was spent at Lustgarten Park. It's on Museum Island across from the Berlin Cathedral and right now is littered with orange and yellow fallen leaves. There are several benches to relax and lounge on. The birds at this park are especially friendly, I had a couple of them jump up beside me on the bench. If you need somewhere to sketch, write, think, the open-air at Lustgarten is awesome to breathe in.
4. R/D Coffee Bar
A perfect place to get work done or have casual chats over a nice coffee or craft brew. The atmosphere is super clean and laid-back. Awesomely curated beats play throughout the dimly candlelit café. There's nothing flashy or over the top about it here, with a simple menu of coffee beverages, a couple craft brews and a small selection of spirits. My go-to is their nitro cold brew coffee. The staff are super warm and welcoming which has easily made this a go-to whenever I need to clear my head and get some work done. It's definitely easy to miss when walking down the street but if you ever find yourself in Berlin or more specifically, Mitte, and need a break from the day, check out R/D.
5. Westlicher Düppeler Forst, Wannsee
I discovered this place by accident when driving to get the ferry to Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). I ended up getting distracted by the beauty of this forest on my drive that I never made it to the island, but I plan on returning at some point. This picturesque forest in Wannsee is just 45 minutes outside of Berlin. It was beautiful to see the trees just as they're starting to change colour and can only imagine how they're going to look in 2-3 weeks time. Next time I head that way I'm going to plan to spend a day there so I have enough time to also take the ferry over to see Pfaueninsel.
Neue Bop: Don't Dream it's Over by The Head and the Heart
A classic 80's track covered by one of my favourite American indie/folk bands. Beautiful vocals from everyone on the track. It's a cover that's not complicated and overprocessed with filters which is refreshing right now. Have an awesome week, love from this side of the world.