AURA, photo: Dress Me Guide Me
The vintage and 2nd hand scene in Berlin is a very diverse world covering some rare vintage from golden times, contemporary high end brands as well as thrift stores where you can buy per kilo. The criteria which makes the difference between all those types is the selection of garments itself. While vintage is the label for clothes that were distinctive to a specific era that’s at least 10-15 years in the past, 2nd hand generally just describes clothes that have been worn by someone before. This could be anything ranging from 2000er high street pieces or last season’s designer stuff. Especially vintage stores pride themselves with the originality of their selection of pieces, that are mostly stand-outs, clean and in good condition. Just like well-curated 2nd hand shops they are usually done with a lot of love and passion, therefore vintage is usually more expensive than your average 2nd hand or thrift store.
Regardless of your personal preference, whether you buy 2nd hand or vintage as a political statement, to get trendy or luxurious brands for cheap or because you are searching for the pearl in a pile of random stuff to get that triumphant feeling of a precious discovery – Berlin’s got you covered!
Our guest contributor Emilie from Dress Me Guide Me selected some of the most awesome shops for you!
One of the many facets of Berlin that people really love and cherish is the rough, urban and industrial style of the city. It’s something that Berlin has in common with places like Brooklyn or South East London. But combined with Berlin’s history, the devision, the Soviet influence of the East, it developed a quite particular style that sets it apart from the other cities. Raw brick walls and concrete, factory lamps and Edison light bulbs, this is pretty much an aesthetic you will see all over the world. But Berlin adds old GDR relics, remains of the Soviet military, and remnants of old industries that were specific to Germany. The outcome is a unique mix of history, design and patina that feels specific to Berlin.
In our newest guide we want to introduce you to 3 shops that have specialized in industrial vintage design, all of which combine common aesthetics with more particular ones. We love all three of these shops as they capture so much an essential part of the style of Berlin. Enjoy!
photo: kaffeeeinstein / CC
What is the essence of a city? What is Berlin made of? As we already established, it is mostly made of the people inhabiting it. Berlin is a concrete jungle, with many beautiful buildings. Old architecture and new people mix well. They flow through the city like water in the canals. Water is life, water pulsates, water is the substance we are made of. And there is a lot of this substance in a metropolis like Berlin. Next to the Spree and the seas of the capital, there are other springs of water: Fountains. All over the capital you will find those sometimes grandiose, sometimes simple water oases.
But they are always architectural masterpieces, relics of other times, loaded with history and symbolic meanings. But they are also places to rest and dwell. On fountains, people who don’t know each other come together, people who have a date, people who are alone.
See ten of our favorite water places in Berlin and get some inspiration to plan your next walk in the city. Right after the jump.
Kanaan, photo: Kfir Harbi
Berlin never ceases to amaze me in terms of its relentless ability to open new places. I was reposting our “new restaurants” guide from last year only a couple of months ago only to realize that it’s already been a year. So I thought, with all the news of new places popping up recently, it’s time for a brand new “new restaurants” in Berlin guide – the 2016 edition, so to speak. And again here I was thinking it would be a quick piece with maybe 6 or 7 fresh new restaurants. Well, think again, Frank – it’s BERLIN – there is not gonna just be only 7 new places… My list ended up including 15 (!) exciting new restaurants that opened their doors in the past few months. And I’m just talking about the places that stand out and already experience a good portion of hype! Of course we’ll add new ones along the way this year, so stay tuned for more. But for now here is our fresh pickings.
photo: Alicia Kassebohm
Berlin is a city that ends up in smoke. No hard feelings here, if we’re being real: a cigarette with a good drink is one of the most oddly satisfying things. It is bad though. For the environment, others and mostly you. We all know this moment the next morning when smelling your hair and clothes from last night. It’s a rough one. Suddenly, all of your choices from last night are just the burn mark on your new sweater that smells like it was manufactured out of ash in a volcano. Not only non-smokers, even the toughest chain-smoker must be grossed out in this moment. Not to mention: hangovers are way harder when you didn’t only have Mr. Gin and Mr. Jack Daniels with you, but also the Marlboro Man. Or Pepe.
If you’ve had enough of all of the smoke and fire and want to burn the bad choices, we have some addresses for you where you can get a drink or dance without the fumes. Right after the jump is our list of favorite non-smoker friendly bars (which by our definition are bars that have separate smokers and non-smokers areas or are completely smoke-free).
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 off her own tongue if she had known that her cake fantasies would have brought a headless future for herself. As for me, I’m wondering if writing about decadent little delicious cakes is the right thing to do in a time when should all be concerned about much more serious issues, like 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 then, 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.