Wet snow drips misery from the rooftops.
I shouldn't have had that last bottle of beer.
Or the dozen before it. Or that shot of tequila –
I guess that was not such a brilliant idea.
But last night, I was thirsty for beer and adventure
and a glint in your eye told me you were too.
So the drinks had no bottom, and the clock had no meaning,
'til the sky started turning a lighter blue.
You bought the first round at the bar of the venue,
a scene we've rehearsed on many a day.
Cold beer in the dark, heartbeat soaring with drumbeat,
and on stage someone sings what we never could say.
We picked up more drinks on the way to the party.
It was somebody's birthday, with cake and a grill.
Someone brought out tequila. Someone brought out a camera.
In the pictures you smile as only you will.
Early this morning I woke up on your sofa
and snuck out of the house while you were asleep.
Maybe the next time we meet I will tell you
that it's for you that my thirst runs so deep.
No.6 – Goldhahn & Sampson in Prenzlauer Berg. The cook book lover’s treasure chest.
Goldhahn & Sampson caters for the mind as well as the palate. They sell food, wine and delicatessen – local specialities from around Berlin and elsewhere. A contradiction? Not at all: speciality food is generally rooted in a certain locality. That’s what makes it special and different from the foods from other localities, and of course from the mass-produced products that have the same taste (or lack thereof) everywhere. Continue reading →
No. 5 – Hundt Hammer Stein in Mitte. Style and substance are no contradiction for this basement bookshop.
The area around U-Bahn station Weinmeisterstraße is a hub for stylish young Berlin. The shops sell contemporary urban fashion for art and architecture aficionados – COS, Skunk Funk, Urban Outfitters, & Other Stories – and during Berlin Fashion Week, the footpaths are a gauntlet of prosecco tables. Around the corner in Alte Schönhauser Straße, between Australian ice cream, Japanese sneakers and Italian espresso machines, the Hundt Hammer Stein bookshop takes up a basement unit. Continue reading →
My lunch today was a “Berlin Lunch” in more senses than one. Fried Liver with Potatoes is a traditional Berlin dish, and I also made it with all local ingredients: potatoes, greens, liver, onions – and craft beer.
No. 4 – Curious Fox New and Used English Books in Neukölln. Excellent selection of Irish writers, lovely spot for a cup of tea.
The Curious Fox has its burrow on Flughafenstraße, where the hill dips down again from the Flughafen Tempelhof heights towards the shopping district around Rathaus Neukölln.
It is a cosy shop with a red sofa by the entrance and a couple of easy chairs in the back room – you can also get tea or coffee at the counter. Locals drop in for a chat as much as to browse the collection. Continue reading →
No. 3 – Saint George’s New and Secondhand English Bookshop in Prenzlauer Berg. Well-stocked with interesting titles. They know what they are doing.
You enter through the fiction section. Plenty of good things here. The nonfiction section – starting by the cash register – is ample and organised into many themes. Genre literature and children’s books are in the very back. There are a few comfy chairs around – leather chesterfield ones, the type I would like to have in my own library, should I ever have the room for one. #classyreadingnook Continue reading →
No.2 – Dussmann’s English Bookshop: Two floors of well-selected fiction and non-fiction.
Fair warning: You’ll not only find here what you’re looking for, but also what you hadn’t been looking for. Look for the recommendations on the central table in the downstairs fiction section, then head upstairs to nonfiction and the comfy window seats.
No.1 – The Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek – a public library, free to enter and cheap to borrow. However, the selection in English is quite small. It’s split up by country (UK/Ireland, Australia/New Zealand, North America) and they are not all next to each other. Having said that, the shelves are clearly labeled and not hard to find.
Imagine a street festival where you can buy delicious food from different countries at every stall, everyone shows up in their hippest summer gear, there’s microbrewery beer and good wine but no mosquitoes and it happens every Thursday… too good to be true? Not at all! It’s the new Street Food Thursday at Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg. I was there yesterday and enjoyed an insight into this year’s hipster summer fashion (cut-off jeans, men’s shirts and tousled hair) as well as a Kimchi beef taco from Fräulein Kimchi. Delicious.
You may also feel like Vietnamese pork sandwiches, Jamaican brown stew, a cheese and meat board, house-smoked fish or Thai papaya salad served on a banana leaf and I say go for it, grab a beer brewed in-house by Heidenpeters and let the summer season begin!
Since the beginning of February, I have been taking part in a weekly poetry writing workshop, organized through The Reader Berlin. I don’t fancy myself as much of a poet, but not least since reading Christopher Johnson’s Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little, I think that poetic skills are very useful also in other writing situations, such as crafting snappy headlines. Every week, we read some poems that the participants have handed in (everyone gets to do two during the course), and discuss them. You read your own poem, but don’t take part in the discussion – that works quite well. I am enjoying the workshops a lot.
Here is the poem I have submitted for next Wednesday’s meeting …