Tag Archives: Treptow

Lost Dreams – Spreepark Berlin

Still from Lost Dreams - Spreepark Berlin by Friedhelm Fischer

Photo: Still from Lost Dreams – Spreepark Berlin by Friedhelm Fischer

Berlin’s abandoned theme park, Spreepark Plänterwald, must be one of the most well-known urbex destinations in the world.

The neglected amusement park has been in my thoughts often since it was bought back by the city of Berlin in March 2014.

Spreepark hasn’t been open as an amusement park since 2002, when the owners ran into financial difficulties. Those troubles were compounded when a botched drug smuggling operation landed the head of the Witte family, Norbert, and his son Marcel in prison.

I wrote more about this intriguing back-story in my ‘Spreepark Plänterwald – Berlin’s Abandoned Theme Park’ post.

Since its closure, Spreepark has been an unofficial playground for curious souls eager to be swallowed by the brightly coloured tiger’s mouth of the Spreeblitz ride whilst the slowly turning Ferris Wheel provides an eerie soundtrack.

This beautifully shot and wonderfully atmospheric video from Friedhelm Fischer has me longing to return to the abandoned theme park by the banks of the Spree – one of those places that makes me think ‘Dat is Berlin!

Lost Dreams – Spreepark Berlin

Der Letzte Cowboy der Nation – The Story of the Witte Family and Spreepark Plänterwald

Norbert Witte at Spreepark Plänterwald (screenshot from Der Letzte Cowboy der Nation)

I stumbled across Der Letzte Cowboy der Nation when I was trying to find out more about Spreepark Plänterwald and why this once prosperous theme park in Berlin lies abandoned.

The flashing imagery and chaotic cutting of this short documentary are ideally suited to the extraordinary story of Norbert Witte’s fall from charismatic fun park owner to convicted drug smuggler.

Der Letzte Cowboy der Nation

For those wanting to know more of the intriguing story from the Witte family’s viewpoint, a longer documentary, Achterbahn is available on DVD.

I have previously written about my tour of Spreepark Plänterwald, with photos of the now abandoned theme park.

Snow at The Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park

Archway at the entrance to the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

Berlin was lying under a blanket of snow all of last week and the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park seemed like the perfect wintry scene.

A statue of Mother Russia at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

A snow covered Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

Kneeling Soldier Statue at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

Nicht Vergessen at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

Soldier Statue (Sergeant of Guards Nikolai Masalov) at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

Someone had made some miniature snowmen who stood guard over the memorial.

A snowman at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

Snowmen at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

A snowman at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

The snow seemed to add an extra dimension to the usual stillness and quiet.

The entrance to a snow covered Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

If you’d like to know more about the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park and see how it looks in summer click here.

White Trash Fast Food – Rock n Roll Bingo

White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Last week I made my third Wednesday night visit to Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin.

The venue on Schönhauser Allee* is dark and slightly dingy – part restaurant, part bar, part club – and has an eclectic mix of art on the walls, all of which combine to give it a ‘dive bar’ vibe.

Rock n Roll Bingo is currently held on the first and third Wednesday of the month (check the Events listing on the website) and there is a €1 entry charge per person.

The Food

As I have done all three of the times I’ve been, I ordered the Extreme chilli-cheese burger, described on the menu as:

Beef topped with melted cheddar & our famous chilli con carne sauce to help it slide on home

Extreme Chilli-Cheese Burger at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

The burger comes loaded with a veritable mountain of chilli and salad so it always ends up messy but that’s not a bad thing.  At €9.50, it’s not cheap but I think it’s a reasonable price for what is a great burger.

A table of food at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

This time, my friend Gilly ordered the Big mucho-macho nachos plate, a combination of:

Chips + melted cheddar/mozzarella + all the fixins

and chose to add chicken.  As you can see on the right of the above picture, it was a mountainous plate of food for €12.  If you’d like to see a close up, click here.

The meal is described as ‘Easily enough for 2’ on the menu but Gilly had a good crack at it. His verdict was that it was OK but all the toppings made the nachos soggy so next time it’s back to the burgers.

The Rock n Roll Bingo

Shortly before the first game starts at 21:00, bingo cards and pens are brought to the tables.  Instead of numbers, the bingo card is filled with the name of 10 bands, from the 60s to the present day with a leaning towards indie/rock music.

Bingo Cards at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

There are 3 games throughout the night with prizes of €15, €20 and €40 to spend at the bar for a completed card.

Bingo Caller at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

The proceedings are overseen by bingo caller and MC, James, who is assisted by DJ Suavé and DJ Chianti – the trio hail from England and are bandmates in Big Skies.

The DJs play songs and if the band is on your card you mark it off – simple as that.  For those, a little worried about their music knowledge, there are often clues.

The Side Games

In addition to the bar tabs on offer in the bingo, there are spot prizes on offer for a series of side games.

I managed to bag my first swag in the first, a Name That Tune game, by standing on my chair and correctly identifying ‘Roll With It’ by Oasis.  I got to choose from a selection of CDs and picked the Tribes album (which I have been meaning to buy for a while now).

There was also Air Drumming, Air Guitar and a very impressive Limbo competition.

The Winning Limbo at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Sparklers (Wunderkerzen) were also handed out to all entrants and when a particular song was played, the best ‘sparkler dance’ won shots of Jameson whiskey for that table.

Sparkler Dance at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Sparkler Dance at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Sparkler Dance at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food in Berlin

Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food is a great night out with a group of friends.  The burgers are tasty and the games are good fun.

I’ve been three times now and thoroughly enjoyed it every time.  The prizes to be won are just a minor part of the excitement – it is the enthusiasm of the hosts and their injection of humour that makes Rock n Roll Bingo a quality night out.

When the games are over there is an ‘after party’ – on my first visit in the summer we only left when the venue closed and reached home as the morning was starting to get light.

I know I’ll be back at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food on a Wednesday night soon.  I’m itching to stand up and shout ‘House’.

*Update* – White Trash Fast Food has now moved to a new ‘Nasty-Trash-Zen-Beergarden’ at Am Flutgraben 2 near Arena, Club der Visionäre and Badeschiff on the border between Kreuzberg and Treptow.

Berlin Street Art Vol 4 – Various Artists

Another compilation of some of the best Street Art I have seen in Berlin over the last few months.

Where an artist has featured before you can click on their name to open other posts.

Paolo Cirio

Paolo Cirio’s Street Ghost project has resulted in blurred figures taken from Google Street View appearing on walls in London, New York and Berlin.  The images are wheatpasted in the same spot where they appear on Street View.  You can read more about the project on streetghosts.net.

Street Ghost - Street Art by Paolo Cirio in Berlin

Stewy

My first encounter with Stewy’s work was a flock of pigeons painted on a wall in London’s Stoke Newington.  Now I’ve spotted one of his pigeons in Berlin in the Hof featured in my A Berlin Hof Spot post.

Pigeon - Street Art by Stewy in Berlin

El Bocho

El Bocho is an andBerlin favourite and has featured many times on the blog.  His artworks add some much needed colour and humour to the streets of Berlin.

Little Lucy Die Ist Doof Herr Pozilist - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin

Die Küsse unter der Kellertreppe meines Plattenbaus - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin

Little Lucy Kitti Kebap - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin

Hygienic Dress League

Hygienic Dress League is the work of Detroit-based husband and wife team, Steve and Dorota Coy, and is a registered corporation.  Their work deals with the process of brand building and explores the interaction between advertising and art.

Street Art by Hygienic Dress League in Berlin

Reka x Dscreet

This collaboration between Melbourne based artist Reka and London’s Dscreet is in the same Hof as the Stewy Pigeon.

Dbltrbl - Street Art by Reka x Dscreet in Berlin

Thanks to Mogli from Mogli Oak Berlin I can now give credit for two of the pieces that I originally posted as Unknown.

Isaac Cordal

This is the first time I have come across a piece by Galician street artist, Isaac Cordal in Berlin.  I’m embarrassed that I didn’t originally recognise it as his because I’ve known of his work for some time and even follow him on Twitter.

Kneeling Figure - Street Art by Isaac Cordal in Berlin

If you’d like to see more from Isaac Cordal, check out his website and Twitter feed.

SOBR

It's Time To Dance - Street Art by SOBR in Berlin

Unknown Artists

As always, if anyone has any information about the artists I haven’t been able to identify please let me know in the comments so that I can give the proper credit.

Hinged Mind - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

Green Spaceman - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

Mad Scientist - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

Punk Pig - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

Phoenix - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park

The statue of a Soviet soldier carrying a German child and crushing a Swastika beneath his boot with the sun behind it at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in BerlinOne thing I learned from visiting the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin’s Treptower Park is that the Soviets knew how to remember their dead.

After a recent visit to the Soviet War Memorial on Strasse des 17 Juni, I was determined to see this grander version, which I had read about in my guidebooks before my first trip to Berlin but had still not seen until last week.  And now I’ve already been twice.

When I got my first glimpse of the manicured lawns, the symmetrical beauty of the landscaping and marvellous sculptures, my immediate thought was ‘this is now one of my favourite places in Berlin’.

The mass graves and the statue at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin

My first visit was on Monday morning, with the sun behind the monumental statue of the Soviet soldier carrying a rescued German child as he crushes a Swastika beneath his boot.  It was difficult to capture the features of this statue facing into such strong sunlight so I returned on Wednesday evening when the sun had swung round so that it was behind the statue of Mother Russia at the other end of the memorial.

The statue of Mother Russia at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin

I entered the memorial from the north so it was only after I had reached this statue and turned to my left that I was able to see the scale of what had been built here.

The red granite and a statue of a kneeling soldier at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin

A close up from below of a statue of a kneeling soldier at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin

I then walked along the paved slope up to the two red granite blocks and kneeling soldiers that seem to form a gateway to the next section leading to the statue, which is said to represent Sergeant of the Guards Nikolai Masalov.

I walked past the five lawns with their bronze wreaths, marking the mass graves of Soviet soldiers and flanked by sixteen stone sarcophagi and climbed the steps to the mausoleum crowned by the impressive statue.

The statue of a Soviet soldier carrying a German child and crushing a Swastika beneath his boot at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

The statue of a Soviet soldier carrying a German child and crushing a Swastika beneath his boot from the steps at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

A close up of the statue of a Soviet soldier carrying a German child and crushing a Swastika beneath his boot at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

It was after admiring the mosaic tiling of the mausoleum and as I rounded the statue that I felt what I thought was a scratch on my calf and looked down to see a wasp stinging me as the pain intensified slightly.  I managed to strangle the swear word threatening to escape my lips as I remembered where I was just in time.  In the end what I mumbled was something like ‘You bssst’.

The view from the statue at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin back towards the red granite gateway

And being stung was probably the only thing that meant this wasn’t a perfect morning in Berlin, enjoying the sunshine and experiencing the awe of a first visit to the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park.

The detail on the base of the statue at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

A tourist takes a photo of the statue of a Soviet soldier carrying a German child and crushing a Swastika beneath his boot at the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park in Berlin

The view from the statue at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin over the mass graves towards the red granite gateway

The red granite gateway and statues of kneeling soldiers at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin

A close up from below of a statue of a kneeling soldier at the Soviet War Memorial in Teptower Park in Berlin

AliCé in Wunderstadt

AliCé Signature: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in BerlinI realise that the title is Denglish – it’s not grammatically correct in German and doesn’t make sense in English (and the name AliCé is neither) – but I couldn’t resist it.

Good Friday really lived up to its name for me.  I walked around Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg taking photographs of the incredible art of AliCé.

Who is AliCé, you ask?  That’s a good question and one that I wouldn’t have been able to answer two weeks ago.  I found myself asking that question when I first saw this piece in Friedrichshain after taking a photo of the Fadi Saad wall by Vhils for my Vhils – Go Forth post.

Undercover: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

When I saw another AliCé in a doorway off Frankfurter Allee.  This time on the same day I spotted the two C215s in my C215 on Frankfurter Allee post, I had to find out more about the artist.

Pulling Faces: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

I googled ‘Alice Street Art Berlin’ and checked out Alice’s website and Flickr stream.

AliCé (real name Alice Pasquini) is an Italian artist based in Rome.  Describing her art on her website Alice states:

I create art about people and their relationships, I’m interested in 
representing human feelings and exploring different points of view.  
I especially like to depict strong and independent women.

On her Flickr stream Alice has included photographs of the pieces she painted recently in Berlin and very helpfully included the locations of most.  Having noted the locations given and with a rough idea of where the others might be I headed out on Good Friday to take some photographs.

I realise that this is the Street Art equivalent of trainspotting but it would be idiotic not to mine such a rich seam of quality street art and get some photos while the pieces are in good condition (as it was the piece near Arena club was covered by a poster that I had to carefully remove).

Girl on a Swing: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Girl on a Pole: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Girl on a Swing Too: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Kiss Me You Fool: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Girl in Mickey Mouse Ears: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Gang of Four: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Hat's My Girl: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Spray My Name: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Nina Guémy Portrait: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Girl and Puppy: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Kissing on a Bench: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Child in Leopard Costume: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Girl with a coquettish smile: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Trainers on a telephone line: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

On Friday I found all but two of the pieces in Alice’s Flickr stream so having checked a few more details about them I headed back out on Saturday and got pictures of these last two.

How Much Is That Doggy?: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin

Girl in a Doorway: Street Art by AliCé (Alice Pasquini) in Berlin