Artwork entrepreneur Johann König has been dwelling within the German capital for 20 years. In 2002, he arrange his influential König Galerie , which in the present day is housed in a brutalist former church in Kreuzberg.
For German delicacies, my favorite spot is Nobelhart and Schmutzig on the Kreuzberg finish of Friedrichstrasse. It’s a Michelin-starred restaurant, but in addition very laid-back and genuine. The house owners are obsessed with regional delicacies – they solely use elements grown in Brandenburg, the state by which Berlin sits. You get the sensation that every particular person carrot has a reputation and has presumably been talked to by the cooks.
My different favorite Berlin restaurant is on the different finish of the dimensions: an inexpensive, cheerful and pleasant Syrian place known as Yarok on Torstrasse in Mitte. It’s simple and fast, and I like the number of meals they’ve on the menu. In some way it has remained all the way down to earth whereas all of the locations round it have grow to be gentrified and dearer. It is usually symbolic of Berlin’s vibrant migrant tradition. I often order the blended plate, which has falafel, hummus, couscous, hen breast salad and a kebab for simply €8.
One in every of my common walks is alongside Friedrichstrasse, which has an incredible historical past and fascinating structure and used to bisect former East and West Berlin proper at Checkpoint Charlie. On the northern stretch of the road, subsequent to Friedrichstrasse station, you may go to the previous Palace of Tears checkpoint, the place folks stated farewell to one another as they parted for his or her respective zones. Lots of the high-end outlets and eating places that sprang up right here after reunification are nonetheless housed in buildings from the GDR period. The Mehringplatz finish within the south, alternatively, lies within the former West (Kreuzberg) and is generally social housing. The Berlinische Galerie close by has a incredible audio information about this former East Berlin structure.
I additionally take pleasure in Berlin from the water – it’s a little bit of an underrated expertise, however we’ve so many rivers and canals right here. I as soon as took a kayak tour on the Landwehr canal, ending up on this space the place the Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Treptow neighbourhoods meet.
The realm I stay in, close to my gallery, is a particular a part of Kreuzberg – very close by there’s a plaque marking the centre of the town. Folks affiliate Kreuzberg with its anarchist historical past, Turkish group and nightlife, however the place I stay could be very completely different. It was bombed within the struggle, and rebuilt by one of many metropolis’s best-known architects, Werner Düttman. It’s largely housing tasks – which some say look horrible from the surface, however I like them – in addition to inexperienced areas, soccer pitches, colleges and nurseries. It’s very quiet. There aren’t many cafes or bars, however close to to our gallery is the Berlinische Galerie and Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum. The “different”, roaring, Kreuzberg is throughout us, however right here it’s peaceable.
One of many lesser-known inexperienced areas in my space is the backyard of the Jewish Museum. Not many individuals find out about it, and in the event that they do, they don’t realise it’s public and free – you don’t want to purchase a museum ticket to get in. It’s huge and has some fascinating sculptures. It’s additionally an important place to assemble your ideas, particularly as you’re virtually at all times alone, except there’s a live performance or an occasion on, which occurs on some Sundays.
I wish to go to the events at Borchardt restaurant. They’ve these good Friday night time occasions upstairs on the belle étage, which seems like a really elegant house. There are readings and cultural occasions but in addition correct events with DJs. I additionally just like the Prince Charles membership, which is shut by on Moritzplatz – they’ve good hip-hop events. Oh, and a very nice native place is Zum Flachbau. It’s a bar from the Nineteen Fifties and hasn’t modified, nevertheless it’s very a lot a part of the neighbourhood.
The place to remain
In a former division retailer on Oranienplatz, is the swanky Orania Berlin lodge. Slickly designed doubles in unique tones begin from €270 an evening, and it additionally has a restaurant, stylish bar and common music and cultural occasions. It’s fairly an alien within the neighbourhood, however then range is among the issues I most like about Berlin.