Piano Salon Christophori Wedding music

On stepping into the Salon Christophori, you feel like you have discovered a rare commodity in this world: a place no one else knows about. Located down a quiet, residential street in Wedding, the salon is a workshop-turned-venue that hosts concerts ranging from classical recitals to jazz, with the odd experimental one thrown in too. A truly unique venue, the salon is mesmerising in itself with walls festooned with old piano parts, frets hanging everywhere and all manner of musical oddities lurking in the corners.

It all began when founder (and neurologist no less), Christophori Schreiber, started inviting his friends to play on the historical fortepianos he was restoring in his workshop. (This is actually the salon’s second location after the original one in Prenzlauer Berg was turned over for luxury renovation.) They invited friends to come listen, who in turn invited more people to come play, and nowadays some of the best and brightest musicians in the world are banging down the door to perform here. With an atmosphere so warm and intimate, it comes as no surprise that musicians and audiences return again and again to this cozy little garage. And the best bit? It’s all on a donation basis, even the beer and wine, so whether you’re a classical aficionado or a violin virgin, Salon Christophori beckons.

Type Hype Letters for the win

Welcome to alphabet world. In the shop littered area around Weinmeisterstraße, this store is dedicated entirely to the love of letters. Each and every one of Type Hype’s self-designed products are available with all manner of typography—from A to Z—scrawled all over them. That said, in store there does seem to be a major emphasis on the letters T, H, Y, P, E, (can you think why?).

Picking up the concept behind alphabetti spaghetti and really running with it, Type Hype dips its digital ink into all the bases, selling not only food but home and kitchenware, drink, stationery, bags, the list goes on… This is a great place to get a present for that friend who doesn’t really need anything or to indulge the inner typofile in all of us. And if those letters just get too much, they have a Milchbar in the middle of the shop to have a coffee at and see if you can recite the alphabet back to front.

Cevicheria Peruvian tongue twisters featured

Dresdener Straße is both the cool older brother of Oranienstraße and the prosperous uncle to Kottbusser Tor. With a wine bar, a whisky club and a cocktail speakeasy, Dresdener does serious drinking and it does it with aplomb. Until 2014, however, the serious foodies were left out in the cold. Neighbouring eateries Gorgonzola Club and Mercosy aren’t half bad, but they aren’t great either—Cevicheria, on the other hand, is all that and then some.

The Peruvian delicacy ceviche, as you might have guessed, is most definitely their thing. (That’s fish cured in citrus juice and spiced with chillies, by the way). It’s all as fresh as anything and goes down with a zing to end all zings. Whatever you do, don’t skip the starters: the fish carpaccio with mango salsa and prawns is the stuff dreams are made of. The mixed ceviche main is a solid introduction to the taste bud-stretching possibilities of this cuisine, and why not finish the job off with with a frothy pisco sour or two? Oh Dresdener Straße, you’re too good to us.

Griessmühle Neuköllner Freiheit

Opening back in 2011, this is one party locomotive that took some time to pick up speed. It always had plenty to offer with a vast industrial space (a former pasta factory they say), a garden that is becoming more salubrious than scruffy by the week, and even a gentle stretch of the canal to dangle your little rave toes over. So why did it take some time to catch on? Because it is Neukölln, but deep Neukölln—down the bottom of Sonnenallee where hipster numbers are depleted and the skyline is dominated by the corporate edifice of the Estrel hotel. Yet for the intrepid, there’s a whole lot of fun to be had in this brave new slightly-beyond-the-Ringbahn world.

Run by the former ZMF club crew, the parties reflect its off-the-beaten-track location: the DJ talent is more up-and-coming than headline material, the crowd is homegrown and unpretentious, the decor is treehouse-style DIY, and for a €10 cover the party sometimes rolls on for three days straight. Not to mention that in comparison to some of Berlin’s other clubs, the attitude of the bouncers is refreshingly laissez-faire. Just check the listings before venturing out as it can be pretty dead or jam-packed, depending.

Twinkind Miniaturise yourself

Have you heard? 3D printing is going to change the world. Nobody is sure exactly how—something about producing NASA spaceship parts, or was it human body parts? Either way, it’s a big deal and the boffins will figure it out sooner or later. But what can 3D printing do for us right now? Well, thanks to Twinkind in Mitte, you can now print yourself in miniature. That’s right, your very own Mini-Me, or as some people have started to call it: a 3D selfie.

Walking in off Auguststraße, you can get an on-the-spot scan from their custom machine (using Matrix-like super cameras), choose your preferred figurine size (ranging from 10cm to 30cm) and in a couple of weeks your life-like model will be ready for pick-up. Be warned: it’s extremely detailed and we’re talking ‘wrinkles included’ sort of detail. For an additional charge, however, Twinkind are happy to play the plastic surgeon and give you that nose job/chiseled six pack that you’ve always wanted. Mini-Me models start at €190, but their dinner party conversation value is through the roof.

Neue Heimat Let there be light featured

Whether you’re familiar with the RAW complex from supplying your guiltiest weekend whimsies or as a faux alternative tourist pit, chances are that the deepest corners of this concrete-filled playground weren’t part of the experience. For your own safety, they shouldn’t be. So thought many people, and dark things continued to linger in the shadows of RAW.

Then came superheroes Sebastian Baier, Danny Faber, and Andreas Söcknick, the miracle builders of Bar 25 and Chalet. Since putting aside their turntables, their surging levels of serotonin have been devoted to Neue Heimat, the newly minted night market in town. As of August 2014, the three took over the spacious east end of Revaler Str. 99, illuminated it with dangling lightbulbs, an unmissable sign, and successfully scared the Boogieman away.

Every Sunday it’s a village market flooded with local food vendors (who also partake in Street Food Thursday, Bite Club, etc.), musicians, artists, and a good load of people, who look as though grocery stores not opening on Sunday was and never will be an issue. If you’re lucky, the massage therapist from Michelberger Hotel might even be there to loosen those knots.

Neue Heimat won’t be just another Markthalle Neun though. At the moment visitors only see at most two-thirds of the property, but the founders are cooking up some amazing ideas for additions to the space. These will be actualized in the near future, with the dream of creating a village community out of graffitied shambles.

Kater Blau Into the wild blue yonder

First things first, let’s not compare Kater Blau to Bar 25. Quite simply because it can’t and doesn’t. Once you stop reminiscing about mythical Berlin clubs, however, this newbie becomes a pretty exciting proposition. Spree-side gymnastics officially over, the Kater Holzig crew are back on the sunny side of the river again—this time with planning permission and money on their side.

The hotpotch Holzmarkt complex containing gardens, markets, bars, cinemas and God-knows-what other projects, rolls out towards the east, with Kater Blau as the only defiantly family-unfriendly section hugging the western corner. Classic weapons in their party arsenal—the photo booth, a wood burning fire and of course confetti—make a reappearance but now they’ve added a massive moored boat for extra firepower. Out on deck, there’s a ton of extremely lounge-worthy spots while inside, given the super-dooper new soundproofing, DJs can really do some damage.

For the most part, it’s an eclectic, fun-loving, top hat-wearing crowd—you’ll be fine so long as you don’t stay too late into the day after tomorrow when all manner of degenerates come out of the woodwork. It’s early days still but there are indications of good times ahead, albeit on a smaller scale than the club’s two previous incarnations. Alas, even ravers get old and have to take it easy.

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