Saturday, August 6, 2011

What I Love about Berlin

Me with my darling boy in Berlin
Berlin is my new favourite city! Rich in history and vibrating with creative energy, it is much like Paris, but without the attitude and so much less expensive. Here is my list of top 5 things I love about Berlin.

I. A vibrant arts scene
There are too many galleries to count... some of which are simply pop-ups. You can walk down a seemingly desolate street or enter a graffiti decorated courtyard and find something off the map. One of the most dynamic museums of contemporary art in the world is called The Hamburger Bahnhof. I was stunned by the simple perfection of Richard Long's Berlin Circle which is a circle of stone with a diameter of 12 meters. Five other floor works by the artist were shown in the historic hall of this former railway station building. As well, they have a permanent collection that is filled with works by big names like Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg and Anselm Kiefer.

Richard Long's Berlin Circle with admiring fans

II. A city rich in history but sensitive to its past
Berlin has been a political symbol of power for hundreds of years. It contains a vast wealth of historic and artistic treasures that are beautifully displayed in its many museums. But, it also is sensitive to its past - both in terms of the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall. Memorials have been presented in a beautiful and sensitive manner, reminding all of us of the gifts of freedom of personal choice and freedom of religion.

Sidewalk marker for the Berlin Wall
Photo by Ingrid Mida 2011

Holocaust Memorial
III. Breathtaking architecture that combines the old and the new 
Since the wall came down, the city has been renewed by stunning new buildings that are simply breathtaking in their sculptural innovation.

The Dome of the Reigstag
IV. Museums filled with incredible artistic and historic treasures
It was a race against the clock to see all that I wanted to see among the many museums in Berlin. I think we barely scratched the surface and often I wished I could have lingered longer.... I cannot think of any other city that has so many museums. Plus the exhibits are usually bilingual (German and English) and the displays are done to utter perfection. I saw things that I didn't even know still existed - like Napolean's hat in the German Historical Museum and the Ishtar Gates in the Pergamon Museum.

Altes Museum
Photo by Ingrid Mida 2011
Pergamon Museum Statue
Photo by Ingrid Mida 2011
Museum of Decorative Arts in the Kulturforum
Photo by Ingrid Mida 2011
V. A hip fashion scene
I wrote about a new fashion find Saena on a separate post the other day, but there are more hip Berlin labels that could have made their way into my closet if I had had more time to shop. I adored the Jil Sander-like looks of Firma, which for the summer was dominated by black, white and red. I bought a stunning frayed black silk blouse and a cherry red pencil skirt to bring home some of that uber-cool Berlin vibe.

Firma F/W Collection 2011 (Courtesy of Firma)
I could go on and on.... I feel like I left a part of my heart behind as my darling boy is staying on in Berlin until the end of the month.....

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