Berlin is a modern, contemporary city like any other, but in one respect it has an awfully bad reputation: Credit cards – let alone any other modern-day form of payment – not accepted! You will read this as a warning in any guide book or hear this from any visitor of the city who complains that they had to pay in cash in the restaurant, couldn’t pay with credit cards in a big electronic stores or with any card whatsoever at the cinema. Germans really seem to value cold hard cash…
But this is changing right now, we just haven’t noticed it yet! With my last visits to the IFA consumer electronics fair I have come across new forms of digital payment multiple times and I wondered, how these are already implemented in Berlin so far. I investigated a bit and made some practical tests.
One of the technologies that I found especially intriguing is the so called mobile wallet that you have on your smartphone. They exist on multiple platforms, the one being interesting for me as an Android user is called MyWallet and it’s available for free at the play app store. What it is is a digital version of your wallet that includes your credit cards, right on your smartphone. Another technology that I tested is the mobile app of Paypal that let’s you use your Paypal credit to pay in stores. More about that and my favorite stores, cafes and restaurants that offer mobile payment after the jump.
Have you ever encountered the wonderful booth full of vintage lithographs from old schoolbook animal and plant drawings at various flea markets in Berlin? Well, turns out all of them come from the same place and this place has a new home in addition to the market booth which is a lovely new shop that opened recently at Weinbergsweg.
Discover Prints offers the full range of vintage lithographs that come as originals or reproductions in all sorts of sizes and frames. There are the plants and animals for the nature lovers, the star systems for the astronomy fans, the world and city maps for travelers and all sorts of other wonderful images. We took a few photos of the new store to give you an impression but we urge you to head over there to discover it yourself!
When at your office, do you ever wonder why there is just no stylish stationery? Do you wish there would be some nice art in your home, that is eco-friendly and beautiful to look at at the same time? Are you a friend of unusual accessories? Well, we’ve got just the right spot for you!
Papier Tigre has come to town and it’s bringing all the paper products you could possibly wish for. Founded in the city of love and now coming to the city of… well, everything, their newly opened up store right in the Mitte of Berlin has paper art that is très chic.
From amazing wrapping paper and beautiful notebooks to a stylish set of playing cards – the paper tigers leave no wish unfulfilled, that involves the easily disposable material in some kind of way. Even jewellry is to be found. The adorable, hand-embroidered brooches by Macon & Lesquoy for example are an amazing addition to their overall selection of products. Also to be noted is the lovely cafe that’s part of the store that let’s you have a sip of coffee and French chocolate while shopping for presents. You should definitely stop by their store and get some impressions of their designs right after the jump.
photo: Katy Otto
Sometimes everything depends on the right timing. Marie Antoinette would have probably bit on her own tongue if she would have known that her cake fantasies would have brought a headless future for herself. On my side, I am wondering if writing about decadent little delicious cakes is the right thing to do in a time in which we should all be concerned about much more serious issues and the hardships of some of the people in this city. But despite all that we still would like to share with you one of the pearls of Berlin cafes.
Princess Cheesecake is a patisserie fantasy that a German lady made come true after an inspiring trip to the US. Inside the Bermuda triangle of Mitte it makes a wonderful appearance and presents the most delicious jewel-like cakes. Just go there and enjoy it with your eyes and your mouth. And than, in the spirit of sharing and caring, donate some of your old belongings to the people in need.
Presenting art in abandoned Buildings ist not that new of a concept in Berlin. I remember the first art exhibitions I went to were actually happening all over some really cool artist houses and ateliers in Mitte like Tacheles. Last Sunday I visited the exhibition The Vacancy where 33 rooms of an old hotel were creatively filled with art objects of 33 different artists. Now that the district turned into the Upper East Side of Berlin it actually felt a bit wrong to go inside a house that was totally dismantled to experience some art exhibition. At home I thought about the experience and concluded that instead of constantly complaining we should reconsider the idea of art spaces as “Zwischennutzung” (inbetween use) as a valuable concept of urban development. Because if we let artists become the explorer and venturer of new or abandoned places, maybe the commercial use that will follow and which is unfortunately not stoppable might be less horrible. I know that a lot of people would love the city to stay forever at it is. But this kind of hippie-conservatism is not something that will contribute new ideas for Berlin. Still I hope the whole Vacancy exhibition is not something to make the real estate more valuable. But I am curious to hear your thoughts in the comments. After the jump you find the adresss, opening times and most importantly a wonderful selection of pictures from the exhibition taken by our photographer Anna Agliardi.
Spiegelsaal, Clärchens Ballhaus
We love Clärchens Ballhaus! It’s one of the only remaining old houses on Auguststraße in Mitte and it radiates history like very few other buildings.
Here you can enjoy easy-going and yummy traditional German food and pizza along with a beer in the garden in a charming atmosphere between the old walls and you can feel the many years that this place has already existed. In the nights you can dine or listen to concerts in the famous “Spiegelsaal” ball room, a beautiful old hall of over 100 years – decorated, as the name suggests, with many mirrors. But the heart of Clärchens is its main ball room – day by day there are dancing events and you can also be active in courses like standard, salsa or tango.
Established in 1913 by the family Bühler the house is one of the last ball houses of Berlin. We wanted to learn more about it and found a wonderful book: Berlin tanzt in Clärchens Ballhaus: 100 Jahre Vergnügen – eine Kulturgeschichte. Learn more about it after the jump.
Appetizer or main meal in itself, when sharing food with friends hummus is always high up on the list. We all know it’s made of chickpeas but there is an art to making really good hummus, dressing it up and adding accompanying dishes. It already starts with the main ingredient chickpeas. Different people have different methods of peeling off the thin clear skin to make the hummus rich and less seamy. While we’re not able to share the ultimate trick of making the best hummus with you, we have our recommendation of best places in Berlin to fulfill your hummus craving. Best enjoyed with a group of your favorite people. Read more after the jump.
In the last couple of months Berlin has been lucky to get a few new shops dedicated to interior design and home accessories that feel quite excited about. For the longest time the problem with interior design was that you had to choose between that big Swedish chain, vintage or super expensive designer products. Gladly this has changed and you have more options now of cutting-edge contemporary design that is actually affordable and still unique. The five new stores that we chose for our latest city guide have all opened up only a couple of months ago so they are as fresh as they get. Enjoy our selection after the jump.
photos: Julia Luka Lila Nitzschke
Summer is in full bloom, and finally you can enjoy the weekends in the warm sun. What could be better than to get yourself an aperitif after a stressful week and experience the Italian feeling?
Traditionally in Italy, wonderful late afternoons are spent with friends in a bar, drinking a cold Negroni and eating delicious snacks. For such offerings we already introduced you to the Bar Milano in Berlin Mitte and now we want to expand on our recommendations and share a way for a sparkling start to Saturdays.
The event series Aperitivo a Berlino ties in with the beloved Italian tradition. It all started with two boys from Berlin who invited some friends and acquaintances to Sale e Tabacchi and had a great evening of drinking various aperitifs and eating small Italian appetizers. Now as the Italian afternoon is becoming increasingly popular, the Aperitivo has been moving around to several places such as Bar Milano (on vacation till September) and currently takes place on a wonderful rooftop on Linienstrasse in Berlin Mitte. See more details and have a look at the pictures from last time after the jump.
A.D.Deertz, photo: Fergus Padel
Even though the fashion world is currently trying to rush this trend out of the door as fast as they can, you can’t deny that the reality is quite a different one: Beards are still going strong! With the rise of the bearded hipster and the “Lumbersexual” the beard has become the subject of trends in the past decade, and of course trends come and go. But to be honest, beards have been there before these trends, not just in the hip metropolises of the world, but also in many other cities and cultures. And I think they will survive the passing of trends and will hopefully remain in many men’s faces!
In Berlin apparently 53% of men are wearing some kind of beard. 33,5% are sporting a full beard which is my personal favorite, not only for my own face, but also for other men. In fact I believe that every man looks better with a beard, only few men actually look good without one. The grooming brand Braun has now released the results of a survey they conveyed in major cities of Europe. They show similarly high numbers for beards in London, Milan, and Barcelona. With 63% beards Istanbul is actually the most beardy city and with 48% beards Paris makes the end of the ranking.
So, Berlin is not the winner of the beard race, as I would have guessed, but we are still a big player in the field. Of course a beard alone is not enough for a good style. While nicely groomed and trimmed facial hair is a good start we also need some clothes, design and other items that go along with it. To celebrate a little bit the ongoing appreciation of beards in Berlin we selected some of the nicest shops and places that we think somehow relate to the lifestyle of bearded men. Dive in and enjoy our Bearded Gentleman Guide for Berlin after the jump.