Archive for July, 2012

Neukölln and Kreuzberg

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

When I first came to Berlin I stayed in Friedrichshain, this time I stayed in Neukölln and Kreuzberg. These three areas along with Mitte and Prenzlauer berg is where most young and cool people want to live in and spend their time in.

Neukölln used to be a crappy and sortof dangerous area but about 5 years ago it started being invaded by the cool crowd and gentrification followed. I quite like it, gorgeous old buildings, all with high ceilings and big windows and such beautiful facades and entrances. The cobbled streets are so wide and the pavements so spacious two rows of cars could easily fit.

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Here’s a gay building I found.

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The area I much prefer though is Kreuzberg. It’s frequented by punks and has a huge and friendly Turkish community which can only mean one thing to me: YUMMY FOOD!!! It’s also got a beautiful canal running through it that I sat by to relax with a beer many a time.

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Check out this cute boat that must have been DIY.

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My friend Patrick took me to his favourite ice cream shop called Eis, where they do some unusual combinations. I had strawberry with basil and chocolate with ginger. Apparently they do a very nice cucumber ice cream that was not in stock that day.

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Brb pretzel time

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Kreuzberg has an AMAZING Turkish market twice a week, stocking fruit and vegetables as well as spices, street food and fabrics. If you go late the prices are insanely low, I scored the cheapest apricots, cherries, strawberries, redcurrants and a vegetable I’ve only ever seen growing wild in my dad’s village – I couldn’t believe it!!! The seller was actually Greek and imported it.

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Bizarrely fluffy traditional turkish bread.

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These cherries were so strange, bright and translucent, it turned out they were sour cherries!

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I sampled the food too, this gözleme (a Turkish pastry, mine was filled with spinach and white cheese) was delicious and €1,50. The exact same thing in London costs £4.50.

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I will miss all this dearly.

Last day in Berlin

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Today’s my last day in beautiful Berlin, a pleasant surprise as for some reason I had thought I was flying out to shitty London today.

I headed over to Kastanienallee, a fashionable street in the north, full of cafes, restaurants and small shops and some rather peculiar houses!

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From there I walked to Alexanderplatz. The amount of tourists in the city is frightful, but the sheer spaciousness of it makes them quite bearable.

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Needless to say I’ve been eating pretzels every time I see them and I can’t wait to try and make them at home.

I really wanted to find a tall kugelhopf cake pan but had no luck. :( I scored some mega cheap knockoff Le Creuset mini cocottes though!!! I envision lovely apricot clafoutis.

I later headed over to Friedrichshain, the area I used to stay in when I first fell in love with Berlin 7 years ago. I got a bit emotional when I got off Warschauer strasse station.

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I found this amazing old building complex that may have once been a factory, now squatted by artists that have set up bars, restaurants, studios, a concert venue and climbing facilities! This is why I love Berlin…

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Sunday in Berlin

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Flea markets in Berlin are open on Sundays so we made that our destination for the day. Ideally I like to get there early, around 8 or 9, but spoke with the girls at about 10:30 and jokingly said “please let’s not end up going there at 2”. Well of course we ended up going there at 2. Soon flea market entrepreneur Virginie and I left off to explore on our own. The market was Mauerpark, it was really big but there was too much new age crap mixed in with with the vintage goods. There was this guy with a “menstrual art” stall, with cookies shaped like pads with fake blood on them. EEEEERGH.

I found some nice enamel kitchenware and old apothecary jars but I was surprised to find the prices pretty similar to London, really unexpected considering how incredibly cheap Berlin is! So in the end I only bought a waffle pan which I’m very excited about.

Then we wanted to go to another market but the girls had achy feet (after one hour) because of course they’d come in heels, as girls do. So arriving to the other market at 4 after a coffee break, we found the sellers packing, and that concluded our exciting flea market adventure.

Oh forgot to say there was a really wonderful flower market at Mauerpark also.

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This is me and my beard under the tv tower, a customary tourist shot.

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Later on I met my friend Patrick and spent the afternoon sat by a canal, watching creepy river crabs crawling up the sides towards us. This was the view, look at those beautiful houses!

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Rents in Berlin are incredibly cheap. For what I pay for my room in London I could get my own 2 bed flat in Berlin, with high ceilings, beautiful big windows, wood floor… I loathe London.

I got to try this Swiss drink made of whey!!! This is the liquid that’s left over from cheese production, you can see why the Swiss needed to find a way to use it somehow. I didn’t really like it though, it tasted like an energy drink.

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Not sure what I’m doing today, I need to call my friends. Later!

Blythecon EU

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Hello from Berlin! I’m here for Blythecon EU which took place today. It was a wonderfully organised event, by far the best yet! The venue was gorgeous, spacious and airy with skylights that let plenty of natural light in! I was a bit of a ghost of myself as I hadn’t slept for three consecutive nights but I had a nice selection of outfits to offer. As always it was wonderful to meet dolly people I’ve known online, especially long time customers! Thank you to everyone that came to say hi!

Unfortunately I did a major FAIL and brought my little compact camera without a memory card in it haha. So I took this not so great photo with my iPod.

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And some better ones with Linda’s iPhone.

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Finally these photos describe my state perfectly haha!

At the airport with Linda.

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With the lovely Mary/MforMonkey at the event.
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I haven’t been in Berlin in over 6 years, so I’m staying a few more days to rediscover the city and rest a little.

I hurt my right arm pretty badly about a month ago. Repeated strain caused the muscles to give in, practically paralysing it for a few days and from then on recovery has been worryingly slow. This affected my sewing productivity ( never the quality! :D ) and because I could’t use my hand very well I got a million cuts and burns while cooking! So really, I think a few days away from the sewing machine might do it good.

More of my Berlin adventures soon! I’d better get some sleep now and hit the flea markets tomorrow – thought I think I hear an approaching thunderstorm!!!