Ackerplatz market, Däri - Milk Workshop, The Circus of the Cycling Spoons and loving Berlin right now

You know how when you fall in love with someone?  You are utterly goo goo ga ga over how great they are? Exciting, unpredictable (in a good way), friendly. Then you suddenly find them reckless, unpredictable (in a bad way), and what you took to be friendliness, is actually horniness (and they hit on all your girlfriends, all the time)*. Most times that’s when you expedite them to the nearest exit.  Except on the very rare occasion where you see them stripped down and you think, yep, I get you and I still love you (yeah, close your mouth dear, I’m as surprised as you are).My guess is that this is probably why almost 95% of love stories are about an unrequited / misunderstood love that is requited / understood for a blink before one or both of them dies. Romeo & Juliet? Had they lived, he would have probably become a shoe salesman and she would sport a bouffant red hair do.

Because it’s complicated, intangible even to express what it is, how it works, why it works? (Oh and if you ask me, the characters of  Miracle Max and his wife run circles around all the afore-mentioned lovers.)It’s easy to be in love with someone before all the dots have been connected but once they have, well then you find yourself thinking - “That’s just a stupid drawing of a couple of kittens playing with a ball of yarn. How kitsch, how dull, I was expecting something else, I saw myself with someone better…” dump.It’s sort of the same with cities, you visit once and you think ‘Ah, to live here, I would be the happiest person in the world.’ Then you do and discover that actually you can’t put up with all the dog poop (Paris); all the over 70s (Geneva); can’t afford it (London); all the Hogans sports shoes (Munich); all the motorcycles without mufflers…oh, oh…and the imminent financial collapse (Athens) - you get my drift.But Berlin, Berlin.  Well yes: the bureaucrats are exceedingly good at telling you, you haven’t filled in the right form; receiving a flyer that says I must go collect my parcel at the post office leaves me shaking with fear (they’re mean to me); and my eyes roll so far into their sockets every time the supermarket counter girls get up from their seat to make sure I am not wheeling out a lifetime supply of diapers, that I have to pull out my compact mirror to help roll the back into their place. Buuuuuuttttt……The rest of Berlin is fantastic.

You just need to step out of your door and let things happen to you.  No plan, necessary, no money even (although that certainly helps). Read more of this post

Veuve Clicquot Rolling Diner, Around Berlin

Maybe it’s the rain but pop up concepts are mushrooming all over the place in Berlin. There was the summer edition of Pret a Diner, held on a boat; a Beer Garden at the defunct petrol station in Prenzlauerberg; the Rollin Restaurant (which I am going to this coming Friday); and of course the Veuve Clicquot Rolling Diner.

That there is food at some of these places is almost besides the point, it’s more about capturing a transient moment.  A play at being Alice in Wonderland where you might fall down a rabbit hole or be tempted to drink from a mysterious bottle labeled ‘drink me’ (with hopefully less radical implications).Berlin being probably the most diverse fashion city in the world (to my mind at least) there is something for everyone.The Veuve Clicquot Rolling Diner occupied the surreal landscape behind the Hamburger Bahnhof that is the Kunstcampus.  The wrought iron beds among bales of hay and plots of turf grass were inhabited by people who took fashion trends very seriously.  All this made for a captivating brunch experience.

There seemed to be a favouring for a topless turban, worn Aunt Jemima style; covering the top half of the ears.  The people on Sunday made me think of the Soho House bunch, people who are comfortable wearing digital Casio watches and carrying Louis Vuitton bags and wear vintage aviator glasses (the kind where the earpieces on the end of the arms wrap around the ear so they stay fixed in case you are an actual aviator who will be hanging upside down in the near future) with a straight face. Read more of this post

Mitte Meer, Cash & Carry for Mediterranean Food, Fish & Wine

I have a thing for food shops.  Small, big, I’m not fussy.  I can find something of merit anywhere.

Obviously, every country has their own style and foods they specialise in.  In the UK, supermarkets are full of ready meals in various states of readiness from plunk it in the microwave and heat until it goes ping to pre-chopped vegetables that pander to buyers that want to “cook” and eat “healthily” but can’t be bothered to do it properly.  German supermarkets have a fair selection of fruit and vegetables, a mind numbing array of yogurt, potatoes I don’t recognise at all, a lot of bread and heaps of pork.  I was trying to find minced lamb at Rewe the other day.  Ha!  No way, not even frozen!  And fish? Nope.  Ok, you can get frozen fish, usually breadcrumbed or maybe some salmon but I prefer my fish fresh, good canned fish or not at all.

Mitte Meer is a place I like to go to when I want to take a break from all things German.  It’s nothing fancy, just a cash and carry.  But it’s an Aladdin’s cave of all things Mediterranean.  Good stuff too!  They stock Oritz tuna for 2/3 of the price Brindisa sold it in the UK.  

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