Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I'm baaaack....

At last, I'm finished the intensive German course that I've been taking for the past three months!! That means that I now have more free time to wander around the city seeking out undiscovered oddities, forgotten corners, and absurd attractions - stay tune for more info. In the meantime, here is a rundown of new things I've discovered in Berlin in the past week...
Gig space in Treptow:
Last Friday I saw a jazzy, lounge-y ska band Noe playing at Salon Remise in Treptow. This intriguing venue is hardly new, dating as it does from 2010, but it feels like a discovery regardless. Cluttered with theatrical cast-offs, stuffed with random ska fans, and shrouded in smoke from excited puffs on a dozen smouldering ciggies, the Salon Remise had the air of garage party that had opened its doors just for this unique, intimate affair.

The drink prices were average (2.50-5.00 euros) and bar staff had laid on hummus with Lebanese-style pita, to my delight (that's a treat I haven't had since I was back in Haringey). I would have stayed longer if they had cracked a window to clear the haze of soot and sweat but it was a fun night out, while it lasted. I'd check this place out any time that I wanted to hear random, new band talent in Berlin, especially in the summer for after-grill drinks, since it is so near to Treptow Park. If you decide to go there, remember to keep your eyes peeled; it is located in a back alley that may be hard to find for first-timers.

Boxhagener Platz Antiques Market.
The Sunday market in Boxhagener Platz is hardly a new discovery for me but when I was there last week, it seemed to me that the place had gotten even more bizarre (bazaar?) than it was in the summertime. The north side of the plaza is better for people with an interest in Berlin's creative scene: there are stands from Berlin-based artists Mateo and Johan Potma, as well as D.I.Y. stencil-makers selling t-shirts and patches. On the south side of the plaza there is an excellent coffee stall, whose heady espresso fumes can wake one almost as effectively as the drink itself. Eclectic food stalls are also dotted around the plaza, excellent for sampling German cuisine that ranges from budget Berliner options to exotic regional specialties. And, of course, there are also many vendors selling what appears to be the contents of their storage spaces - everything from abandoned art pieces to phonographs to GDR-era clothing is available. Be prepared to watch your cash vanish before your very eyes...

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