I've always been wondering what all the fuss about Berlin and its hipster population was all about. I decided to take a leap and go find out about this curious subculture myself. And what is better than visiting this great city together with a real local hipster?
At the end of July, I decided to take a plane and visit my very best German friend who lives in Berlin. We lived together during our Erasmus year in Lisbon, so it was the perfect excuse to combine a city trip in the cool city of Berlin and a reunion with my dear friend Julia. That this trip was also the ideal opportunity to let my brand new La Sardina take his first steps into this wonderfully photographic world speaks for itself, ’no?
We started off with the historical and cultural obligatory sightseeing in the very center of the city, Mitte. Here we made a stop at all the famous monuments like the Holocaust Monument, the Brandenburg Gate, the Berliner Dom, and the old historic neighborhood near Alexanderplatz. The city literally breathes culture and (heavy) history, which makes Berlin a must see for everyone who’s into some contemporary political history.
Julia then took me to a much less touristy place: Kunsthaus Tacheles in Oranienburger Straße in the Jewish neighborhood. It was first built as a department store, and later served as a Nazi prison for a little while before it was taken over by an artist collective, who made this building a home for society critical art, ateliers, workshops, a nightclub, and a cinema. The walls are covered with huge graffiti paintings and the rooms are packed up with modern art sculptures and dark and twisty installation art. Actually it was forbidden to take photos, but my La Sardina showed his sneaky side and could take some very subtle snapshots for me in this more than interesting place.
I was most looking forward to a visit to the East Side Gallery, the biggest leftovers of the Berlin Wall, covered with loads of brilliant graffiti art. Turned out that this graffiti lent itself perfectly for some great double exposures.
Having already seen a sneak preview of the Berliner Hipster culture in Kunsthaus Tacheles, we took it to the next level when we dove into the Berlin nightlife. We took some of the local drink Club Mate on our way and stepped into the hot clubs for a night full of dancing and fun.
A painting of the lyrics of Wankelmut’s – yet another very hot Berliner wunderkind – big hit One Day on a shop window caught my eye.
I can’t really seem to remember why we made this peculiar sign with our hands. :)
Apparently, this is the typical Berlin picture of the way home after partying: sunrise over one of the city’s metro stations after a crazy night of clubbing. Discovering Berlin’s nightlife: mission completed!
On Sunday morning we went – a little bit hungover – like real Berliners to the Mauerpark for some good old flea market wandering. Lots of musicians, graffiti artists, children and families along local youth and big piles of unfortunately overpriced analogue cameras: I was definitely digging the atmosphere in the park!
Conclusion about a weekend in the city of Berlin: I can finally understand why people can’t seem to stop talking about the hipsters and the creative vibe of this city, which also turned out to contain a very high Lomographic level. I think I could get used to the life of a real Berliner…