VORLD / July
It's been 4 exciting weeks since I moved to Berlin - time to catch up and share some of my new favourite spots.
Öko-urban family oasis - Prenzlauer Berg
Prenzlauer Berg in the Pankow district is one of the few areas in Berlin that remained relatively undamaged in war - many of the old buildings have been beautifully refurbished and make for a polished and peaceful neighbourhood with surging real estate prices. Up to the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the area was a hub of the DDR's counterculture and many of the key events leading up to 9 November 1989 happened in the streets that have now changed ownership to pregnancy yoga studios and organic supermarkets. By the time I discovered a juice bar selling 10Euro a bottle 'health miracle beet root boosters' I knew gentrification must have reached its peak in Prenzlauer Berg. Nevertheless, it's a quite picturesque and beautiful neighbourhood with a great offer of restaurants, cafés and pricy boutique stores.
Umami restaurant in Knaackstraße is a lovely summer hangout spot offering indochinese cuisine with a European twist (ever tried stir fry with sweet potato chips?). The food was good, but, didn't quite live up to the hype - still, great atmopshere, great drinks and most importantly - GREAT people watching.
Public karaoke and the art of selling old stuff to hipsters - Mauerpark
It's really easy to have a whole Sunday go by at Mauerpark - the space is home to an extensive antiques and vintage market, where you can find anything from hand crafted Spanish migrants' jewelry to irritating boxes of strangers' family pictures and 70s pantyhose. Although, most of the things on sale are either old junk or imported from China, this diverse mix seems to attract thousands of visitors every weekend. Another highlight at Mauerpark is their diverse range of street performers. Last week I discovered a band called Sondelvalle from Chile that gathered a crowd of dancing and cheering people around them, enticed by their Latin-american meets Hiphop beats. Check out their Spotify if you're up for something out of the ordinary that gets Germans to dance in public.
Another highlight at Mauerpark is their public, open air karaoke, which goes on from 4-7PM every Sunday. It's basically like American Idol in real life, including a colourful and bizarre mix of tourist, local and child singers, performing anything from Queen to Britney Spears. Anyone can volunteer to perform and the singers get picked on the spot - it's definitely one of the most entertaining ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in Berlin.
Switching from a student schedule to a full-time position as a buyer's admin has certainly been the biggest change that took place this year besides my move to Berlin. You realise how challenging it is to make time for anything besides work when you're in the office from 9 to 6 (gym? Never heard of it!). Still, I love experiencing new work environments and learning new things. When I do have free time on the weekend, I love discovering the city by foot - taking in the many new impressions and sights that Berlin has to offer and learning to enjoy my own company. The city is incredibly diverse and gives off a very laid back vibe that's been a nice change after two year in a very intense and fast-paced London.
I'm looking forward to share my journey with you,
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