“Berlin ist arm, aber sexy.” (Berlin is poor, but sexy) by Klaus Wowereit, Current Mayor of Berlin, 2004.
You can start to tune in the spirit of the city by visiting the flea market at Mauerpark on a sunny Sunday. You may find one of these AEG branded vintage hair dryers made in 1920. Alternatively you may find a very cheap bike -as I did- or you can just drink your beer and eat a currywurst at a ‘biergarten’ where there’s always live music. They told me that the majority of the bikes are stolen. However it was too late after I bought mine for only 45Eur.
Kreuzberg is the rising edge of the city. Investors buy and renovate apartments at this district. Accordingly, the rents are rising as well. This is one of the most rapidly changing face of the city. It is called as ‘little Istanbul’ since the largest immigrant body, Turkish people, mostly live in this area. I’m not sure how long they can stay here. When I was cycling alongside the river Spree, I came across a charity bazaar for the celebration of the 10th year of Allmende. Their current biggest issue is not to be kicked out from their building in Kreuzberg by their landlord.
In this quartier there are many local pubs that may have not seen any tourist for the last six months. You can play dart for hours and drink – of course – beer with local ‘Kerle’ (guys/mecs). They also take table football really serious in these pubs. You have to be really good at it to survive under ‘the winner stays’ rule. If you have cool friends here like Tom and Pascal you may even get into these house parties that you hear in every street on weekend nights. Otherwise try to spend a Friday night at Yorckschlösschen in order to listen to good quality live Jazz. The entrance is only 3 Eur, but I can’t guarantee a free table.
The 3rd generation coffee culture is well developed in the city. You can understand this from the electronic music culture and hipster population that follows fresh coffee culture. Throughout my experience I can put in order the best ones as Bonanza, The Barn, Five Elephant and Pure Origins, respectively.
As I don’t intend it to become a proper travel blog, here are some of the most catchy moments that I could take photo of.