Mickael Jou – 365 Self-Portrait Project

Mickael Jou Gendarmenmarkt Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

Mickael Jou, a Taiwanese-French-American living in Berlin has combined his love of photography with his talent as a dancer to create a magical series of self-portraits for his 365 project.

The project started in Paris but having located to Berlin, Jou has used a number of its iconic tourist attractions as a backdrop, though that is not always the case.  I only wish I had been in my local Kaufland when he took this next photo ‘levitating’ with the aid of a shopping trolley.

Mickael Jou Kaufland Steglitz Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

Mickael Jou Flughafen Tempelhof Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

Mickael Jou Reichstag Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

Mickael Jou Brandenburger Tor Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

Mickael Jou Olympus Photography Playground Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

Mickael Jou Südkreuz Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

Mickael Jou U-Bahn Berlin

Photo: Mickael Jou

You can see more of his photos and find out how he got started on Slow Travel Berlin and follow Mickael Jou on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more of his work as his 365 project continues.

// via Slow Travel Berlin //

Santa Maria Eastside – Mexican Food, Berlin Style

Table of Food at Santa Maria Eastside in Berlin

Last month I had the pleasure of going to a tasting at Santa Maria Eastside to celebrate the launch of their new menu, overhauled to make the most of their fully organic, all-German handmade tacos – a first for the Mexican food scene in Berlin.

The majority of European tortillas are mass-produced using instant corn flour imported from Mexico but the tortillas at Santa Maria Eastside are handmade in Berlin using fresh corn grown in Bavaria.

My partner in crime for the evening was Gilly and we arrived early and started the night with a beer.

Co-owner Jules (who is also one of the driving forces behind another andBerlin favourite Piri’s) explained the new menu concept and at his suggestion we elected to try a bit of everything (almost).

Pozole at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Tortilla Chips and Sikil P'aak at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin

We started with a taster of the Pozole – a pork soup with white corn and Mexican chillies, served with radish, cabbage and a tostada – followed up by the Sikil P’aak – a dip of habanero, roasted tomato, roasted pumpkin seeds and coriander served with fresh tortilla chips.

Trio of Vegetarian Tacos at Santa Maria Eastside

I had explained to Jules at the outset that I was a little sceptical about eating the vegetarian dishes so the trio of vegetarian tacos – Papas con Rajas / Calaza / Rajas con Crema – that we had next were a revelation to a meat-obsessive like me.  Who knew that food without meat could be something to get excited about?

Tacos de Cochnita Pibil at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin

I’m not contemplating vegetarianism though so we finished off with the Tacos de Cochnita Pibil – pulled pork tacos with pickled red onion and habanero chillies and a tropical habanero salsa.  Pulled pork really is the ingredient of choice at the moment and is cropping up on menus everywhere.  The meat here was tender and the pickled onion created a nice contrast of textures and flavours that Gilly compared to Sauerbraten.

Margaritas at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin

Our appetites well and truly satisfied we washed everything down with a boozy Margarita.

I’m amazed to say it but one of the vegetarian tacos was my favourite dish of the evening – the Papas con Rajas, a mixture of roasted onions, chillies, peppers, corn, garlic and potatoes.  For confirmed meat eaters though, I would recommend the Barbacoa de Res Burrito that I’ve had on other visits.

Worth noting are a few special offers on the menu – lunch specials, Taco Tuesday and Margarita Happy Hour.  From 19:00 to 21:00 on a Tuesday you could combine the last two and with 1€ Tacos and Margaritas for 4€ you could dine and drink like a king or queen without breaking the bank.

The quality of the food and a wide range of different Mexican flavours, including a tasty selection of vegetarian dishes, make Santa Maria Eastside in Berlin the perfect venue for a (small) party or an evening out with a group of friends.

The Bar at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Barbacoa de Res Burrito at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Quesadillas on the Grill at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Santa Maria Eastside Berlin at Night

Birdhain – The Berlin Club All The Cool Birds Flock To

Birdhain - A birdhouse in the style of Berlin's most famous club, Berghain by Malte Jensen

Photo: Malte Jensen

Berlin-based communication designer Malte Jensen has created a birdhouse in the style of Berlin’s most iconic club, Berghain and he’s called it Birdhain.

He has got the architecture of the former power plant now home to the ‘world capital of techno’ or ‘Berlin’s most extreme sex club’ depending on which publications you read, down to a tee – it even lights up in a way that will be familiar to anyone who has been there.

Soon all the hipster birds of the world will be moving to Berlin or jumping on a ‘cheep flight’ with a ‘budgie airline’.  Presumably the birds of Berlin are currently arguing over who should be the doorman at Birdhain – my money’s on Swan Marquardt.

Birdhain - A birdhouse in the style of Berlin's most famous club, Berghain by Malte Jensen

Photo: Malte Jensen

Birdhain - A birdhouse in the style of Berlin's most famous club, Berghain by Malte Jensen

Photo: Malte Jensen

Birdhain - A birdhouse in the style of Berlin's most famous club, Berghain by Malte Jensen

Photo: Malte Jensen

Birdhain - A birdhouse in the style of Berlin's most famous club, Berghain by Malte Jensen

Photo: Malte Jensen

// via Malte Jensen //

Berlin Street Art Vol 17 – Various Artists

Here is another selection of some of the fantastic street art that Berlin is so famous for.  Clicking on an artist’s name will take you to more work from them on andBerlin.

El Bocho

I never tire of finding El Bocho pieces and the melancholy look on the face of this ‘Still Falling’ paste up from his Citizen series is well suited to its placement behind bars.

Still Falling - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin No Cats - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin

MIMI The ClowN

Guitar Clown - Street Art by MIMI the ClowN in Berlin

L.KUBA / KubalArt / Lukáš Kubala

Lukáš Kubala is a young artist from Slovakia – see more from him on his Facebook page and website.

Black and White - Street Art by L.KUBA (KubalArt-Lukas Kubala) in Berlin

Negative Vibes

One-eyed Girl - Street Art by Negative Vibes in Berlin

Sokar Uno

Sokar Uno is a graffiti artist, painter and illustrator born in Gotha but now based in Berlin.  I first saw his work at the Stroke Urban Art Fair.

Pinched Tongue - Street Art by Sokar Uno in Berlin

CAZ.L

Animals are a recurring theme in the art of Berlin street artist CAZ.L and this camel in a Hof on Rosethaler Strasse is an oldie but a goodie.

Camel - Street Art by CAZ.L in Berlin

LUSH

Graffiti writer LUSH left this piece on the side of Stattbad Wedding last summer when he stopped off in Berlin during a European tour with a mobile gallery in a box truck.

LUSH Graffiti in Berlin

See more outdoor work from the Australian graffiti artist and self-titled “Graffiti Asshole” on his website.

Otto Schade

Mad Clown - Street Art by Otto Schade in Berlin

Unknown Artists

I would really appreciate any help anyone can give me to identify the artists of the following works so I can give proper credit.

I'm In The Middle Of Nowhere - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin We Want You To Enjoy Street Art - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin Woman - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

 

The Best of the Wurst – 6 of the Best Currywurst (Buden) in Berlin

Close up of Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

Currywurst has been a Berlin snack staple since 1949 when Hertha Heuwer combined the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and curry powder she got from some British soldiers and poured it over grilled sausage.  Over the years, thousands of stands and restaurants have opened in the city and finding the best Currywurst in Berlin is no mean task.

I ate Currywurst as my very first meal in Berlin during my original visit to the city in 2009 and ever since I moved here in 2011 I’ve been scouring the city on a hunt for the finest Currywurst – my quest to find the best of the Wurst.

Not all sausages are created equal.  My search has taken me beyond the usual suspects and I now have a list of six Currywurst sellers that I’m happy to recommend.  Clicking on a name will take you to a post dedicated to that Currywurstbude.

Currywurst and Chips (Pommes) at Curry Baude in Berlin GesundbrunnenCurry Baude – Gesundbrunnen
Everything here is homemade and fresh and you can tell. The sauce is thick, tomato-ey and delicious. For me, this is the best Currywurst in Berlin.
My Advice: Ask for your Currywurst ‘ein bisschen schärfer’ – the extra curry kick makes the world of difference.

 

Currywurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Zur Bratpfanne in BerlinZur Bratpfanne – Steglitz/Lichterfelde
Don’t be surprised when you have to queue, no matter what time of the day you arrive – zur Bratpfanne is very popular with the shoppers on Schlosßstraße and for good reason.
My Advice: Order 2 x Currywurst with chips because it’s so tasty here that one just won’t be enough.

 

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili BerlinCurry & Chili – Wedding
Laying claim to the title of Deutschlands schärfster Imbiss (Germany’s spiciest snack bar), this is the place for those who like their Currywurst to ‘burn baby burn’.
My Advice: If you’re going to tackle the spicier sauces, start low and work your way up – you may be surprised at just how fiery they are.

 

Currwurst and Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry Mitte BerlinCurry Mitte – Mitte
This Imbiß is centrally located on Rosenthaler Platz, making it an ideal spot for a pre-drink, mid-drink, or booze-fuelled snack.
My Advice: Check out the special offers – a combination meal: Currywurst, chips and a soft drink or beer is cheaper than ordering the individual items.

 

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst mit Pommes) at Curry 66 in BerlinCurry 66 – Friedrichshain
The basics – the sausage, the chips, the sauce – are good but like Curry & Chili it’s the option to up the spice levels that make it special.
My Advice: Study the sauces menu – names like Dirty Devil and Black Death are a good indication that some are really spicy – the Scoville values confirm it.

 

Close Up Currywurst at Schmidts Imbiss BerlinSchmidt’s Imbiss – Lichterfelde
A family run Imbiß near S-Lichterfelde Ost with over 40 years experience, where Dieter Schmidt serves up his speciality – steamed onions.
My Advice: If you don’t fancy the trip to Lichterfelde you can find Schmidt’s at the market at John F Kennedy Platz, Schöneberg on Tuesdays and Fridays.

 

So by now some of you may be wondering why Berlin’s most popular Currywurst stalls – Konnopke’s Imbiß and Curry 36 – are not on the list.  Of course, I’ve eaten at both and enjoyed the Currywurst there but I find the sauces a little too ketchup-y, a bit too sweet and lacking in the curry stakes.  The six Currywurst above are simply more suited to my tastes.

With so many Currywurst options in Berlin it would be an almost impossible task to try every one of them, which is why this list will always be ‘6 of the best’, not the best Currywurst in Berlin’.  If you have a favourite Currywurst in Berlin and it’s not on the list please let me know in the comments.

Sunday Documentary: Playin’ Berlin

Streetball in Berlin - Still from Playin' Berlin

Photo: Still from Playin’ Berlin by Alex Smetana x Adidas

Alex Smetana produced his documentary, Playin’ Berlin, highlighting the streetball (think basketball pick up games) scene in Berlin with the support of Adidas.

Basketball is like jazz because it’s a team concept but it gives the soloist space for self-expression.

Playin’ Berlin offers an insight into the motivations and skills of some of the best players in what is a thriving streetball scene in the German capital and the documentary presents one aspect of the vitality of street culture in modern Berlin.

Playin’ Berlin

You Are A Marvel – Herakut

Still from 'You Are A Marvel - Herakut' by Two Dollars Please - street art in Los Angeles

Photo: Still from ‘You Are A Marvel – Herakut’ by Two Dollars Please

You Are A Marvel is so much more than just another street art videoJasmin Siddiqui (aka Hera) reads a beautiful quote from Pablo Casals, a Catalan cellist and conductor, as we watch her create a huge mural in Los Angeles with her partner Falk Lehmann (aka Akut One), the other half of Herakut.

You Are A Marvel – Herakut

Tommi’s Burger Joint – Making of a Bacon Cheeseburger

Bacon Cheeseburger at Tommi's Burger Joint Berlin by Highsnobiety

Photo: Still from ‘The Making of Tommi’s Burger Joint’s Bacon Cheeseburger’ by Highsnobiety

The good people at Highsnobiety have been to Tommi’s Burger Joint in Berlin and made a video to show us how their amazing Bacon Cheesburger is made.

After watching I’m pretty sure you’ll be running out to get a burger so to help you decide where have a look at my ‘6 of the Best Burgers in Berlin’ post featuring Tommi’s Burger Joint.

The Making of Tommi’s Burger Joint’s Bacon Cheeseburger

// via Highsnobiety //

I Found Love in a Hopeless Place

Love On An Abandoned Glass Factory in Friedrichshain in Berlin

It’s strange how sometimes little details jump out at you. I was checking out this abandoned glass factory near Ostkreuz in Friedrichshain, Berlin the other day and the ‘LOVE’ graffiti grabbed my attention.  It made me think of a previous series of posts entitled ‘It’s Friday, I’m in love’ and once the lyrics to that song became quiet in my head I could hear Rhianna’s ‘We Found Love’.

Schmidt’s Imbiss – It’s a family affair

Close Up Currywurst at Schmidts Imbiss Berlin

Dieter Schmidt knows a thing or two about Currywurst.  He has been running Schmidt’s Imbiss for 40 years in various locations around Berlin, including the last five years at its current spot around the corner from S-Lichterfelde Ost.  Dieter’s wife Doris and son Frank are also part of the family business.

Schmidt's Imbiss in Berlin

I elected to forego the speciality – steamed onions – and went for 2 Currywurst mit Darm (with skin), small chips (Pommes, fries) and a 330ml bottle of Berliner Kindl, which set me back 6,50 €.

Currywurst and Chips at Schmidts Imbiss Berlin

As usual, I asked for the sauce to be ‘ein bisschen schärfer’ (a bit spicier) but for me it was still lacking in the spice department.  I also thought that the sauce was a little thin and sweet in comparison to Curry Baude and zur Bratpfanne.  That being said, the sauce was still better than most and the sausage and chips were tasty and well cooked.

If you’re ever hungry in Lichterfelde I would recommend the Currywurst at Schmidt’s Imbiss as well as the Döner around the corner at Balli.

The Schmidt’s Imbiss at Königsberger Strasse 1, Lichterfelde is open Monday to Friday 10:00 to 19:00 and the Schmidts also serve Currywurst to the hungry people of Berlin at the weekly markets in Kranoldplatz, Lichterfelde (Wednesday and Saturday) and John F Kennedy Platz, Schöneberg (Tuesday and Friday).