Category archives: berlin

At the Table

I had the idea of starting a portrait/interview series here on the blog for the last few years, but never really found the time (ahem motivation) to get it off the ground.  Most of you probably know that I don’t love writing and like to keep my posts short and sweet, so I was thrilled to be able to join forces with a super talented writer friend to bring the project to life.  Last year Katherine Sacks and I ended up sitting next to one another at a dinner at La Soupe Populaire and have been chatting about collaborating on projects ever since.  Katherine is an American food journalist based in Berlin as well and felt there was a space in the online world to explore the interesting people behind the food scene in our adopted home city. After a few chats over coffee, At the Table was born.  So far we have interviewed so many interesting people and I feel really lucky to be part of the project.  The first few interviews are already live, and we will continue to publish a new portrait every week, featuring chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, beer makers, baristas and many other food producers and artisans who contribute to the vibrant and growing food scene in Berlin.

You can check out the site at: atthetable.co and of course, if you do I would love to know what you think!

And if you are interested, you can also follow At the Table on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram :)

Exploring Berlin | Siegessäule

Why hello there.  After an unexpected blog hiatus, I am back. Well sort of.  We still don’t have internet in our new apartment (after a month and a half. Dear Telekom- it is 2014!!!) and have no idea when it will be connected. This post has been sitting in my drafts for a good 8 months or so, and after a long break from blogging, this surely doesn’t exactly feel worthy of the first post after 3 months…. but if I don’t push publish today, I probably never will.  On one of the first warm-ish days last spring, Andreas and I spent a Saturday at the Winterfeldtplatz market and decided it was too lovely of a day not to walk home back to Mitte.  Along the way we passed the Victory Tower or Siegessäule and decided to go to the top for a few sunset photos.

 

Victory Tower/ Siegessäule

open daily: 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (April – October), and 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (November – March)

La Soupe Populaire

La Soupe Populaire Tim Raue Restaurant Berlin

Coming from San Francisco to a tiny village on the border of France five years ago, the one thing I really missed (besides my family, that is) was international food. Sure there were a few chinese/thai (because they are such similar cuisines!?), italian and turkish restaurants, but mostly I ate a lot of German food my first few years in the country.  After moving to Berlin I was so excited to have food options other than traditional German food, I unintentionally boycotted my adopted country’s cuisine.  Not to say I don’t like German food, but it is often not that spectacular and subpar food of any kind just makes me sad.  That said, Tim Raue’s new(ish) restaurant, La Soupe Populaire, housed in the old brewery at Bötzow Berlin has definitely elevated Berlin’s traditional German food options.  I was thrilled to be invited to a dinner there, served at the chef’s table next to the kitchen and got the chance to sample the same menu that was served to Obama when he visited Berlin over the summer.  The space is part gallery, part restaurant, with the menu changing to reflect the art showcased.  The space is currently showing the incredible photographs from Andreas Gursky until January 12th, and if the food wasn’t already enough of a reason to visit (and it IS), the art is pretty enticing on its own.

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The space itself feels rough and industrial, yet still warm and cozy- something that so many places try to achieve but fall short of.  I was completely shocked when I learned that Tim and his team had three weeks to build the restaurant from the ground up.  Seriously amazing.

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Senfei (egg in mustard sauce),  I had somehow never tried a senfei until this meal and have been craving ever since.  Unfortunately for me, this will most likely be the most amazing Senfei I will ever eat and every other Senfeier will pale in comparison.

La Soupe Populaire Tim Raue Restaurant Berlin

a perfectly cooked piece of cod with a tarragon puree

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Königsberger Klopse with the most amazingly rich mashed potatoes.  Normally I am not a meatball fan, but this was pretty amazing.

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Bienenstich

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La Soupe Populaire

Prenzlauer Allee 242
10405 Berlin
open Thursday – Saturday for lunch and dinner

a first roll of film

I had been itching to replace my Nikon 35mm film camera with a Canon for ages, but somehow always made some sort of excuse not to buy one.  When one night I was cruising ebay and found a EOS 3 for super cheap, I impulsively snapped it up and had my dad bring it with him when he visited in February.  This was the first roll of film that I shot, and because I wasn’t even sure if the camera functioned properly it was a roll of 1€ film from the drugstore (I also had it developed and scanned at there, which is probably to blame for the wonky color).  Fortunately the camera seems to work just fine and I suddenly remember why I have always loved shooting film.  There is some sort of magic shooting film possesses.  Clicking the shutter and not being able to check the back of the camera and just trusting your equipment and exposure is refreshing. It forces you to slow down. I first fell in love with photography shooting film.  I actually didn’t even own a digital camera until my second year of photo school, because we only shot film for the first year.  Also, and this might age me, but digital SLR cameras were just coming out back then.  Then I fell in love with photoshop and by default and convenience, my poor film cameras started collecting dust.  These images are surely not masterpieces, but I am definitely being romanced by film photography once again and have started bringing my medium format camera along with me to weddings.  I am not quite sure I am brave enough to shoot exclusively film at a wedding, but huge huge props to those who do.  For now, I am loving leaving my digital cameras at home when I cruise around town so expect more film here on the blog to come.  Obviously it took me a while to finish this roll of film, with some images from one of the last snows of the year, and some from our trip to the Baltic Sea with my parents this summer, but forgetting what is on a roll of film makes it even more exciting when you get scans back.

french bulldog

This is what I wake up to most mornings.  Hazel and Andreas all cuddled up melts my heart.  I love my little family so much.

Thea and I location scouting at the Botanical Garden for the cover shoot for sisterMAG 7

more to come from our trip to the Baltic Sea soon.  We had the best time, but I am pretty sure Hazel had the best days of her life so far. :)  I have some video footage of her running wild on the beach I need to edit together, I promise it will make you smile.

 

Eats in Berlin | Glass Restaurant Opening

Glass Restaurant Berlin

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the opening of Glass, a new restaurant in Charlottenburg from Isreali chef Gal Ben Moshe.  The invitation had managed to end up in my spam folder so by the time I found out about the event I was in the middle of one of the craziest work weeks ever, and the evening was exactly the distraction from my computer I needed.  I took my dear friend Saleema as my date and I was thrilled to meet Suzy, who writes one of my favorite Berlin blogs, and her lovely friend Marguerite. While I do not pretend to be an expert in the food world, I have worked in my fair share of restaurants, love food and I do certainly know what I like and what I don’t.  Gal was so humble and soft spoken and even though it was the hottest day of the year so far and he had a table of press, he was so welcoming and lovely and didn’t seem at all stressed.  Our dinner was six courses, each unique and the flavors refined and refreshing.  The food itself is inspired by the city of Berlin.  The Stadtgarten dish with vegetables, flower petals and “dirt” was inspired by the community gardens at Tempelhof Field, and  the preparation of another dish inspired by unique curves in the architecture of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

6 courses are 45€ and 8 courses, 59€, the service (amazing, especially for Berlin standards) and the food felt so much more expensive.  The wine list is designed to be served by the glass, so you can pair the wine with each course, and we had a fabulous “wild” carignan, a very small production reserve wine from Israel.  The thoughtfulness and care which has been put into opening Glass radiates throughout the restaurant and every dish they serve.  While we rarely venture west to Charlottenburg for dinner, I will definitely be back soon with Andreas.

Glass Restaurant Berlin Photo

Glass Restaurant Berlin

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Glass
Uhlandstrasse 195
10623 Berlin Charlottenburg

May 1st in Berlin

Just a few photos from the first of May in Berlin.  Unlike last year at Myfest, our second May 1st in Berlin was spent walking around the city, stopping to meet friends at Holzmarkt and in Görlitzer Park with a quick walk through the festival on our way home.  After a long winter of hibernating, Erster Mai in Berlin this year felt like the real marker of spring and the upcoming summer and like always, it is a really special day to be in the city.

Police, Police, everywhere.  Mostly they were just hanging out prepared for the worst, which never came.

 

Olympus Photography Playground

Olympus OM-D Photography Playground Berlin

Olympus OM-D Photography Playground Berlin

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with lots of engagement sessions right now, my mind is constantly dreaming up shots of couples in love.  My lovely friends happily obliged me with some PDA :)

Olympus Photography Playground Berlin Olympus Photography Playground Berlin Olympus Photography Playground Berlin
Olympus is currently hosting a Photography Playground at the Opernwerkstätten here in Berlin, which is exactly what it sounds like- a playground for photographers.  Twelve international artists created installations in the 7,000 m² space with the theme of “Space and Art” creating a giant interactive exhibit.  Both of my visits to the playground had me feeling a bit like a kid in a candy shop, and took me back to my days studying photography in college where I was constantly experimenting and learning about my camera.  Olympus allows you to borrow and test out their new OM-D digital camera at the playground and then give you the SD card to take home with you, just make sure to bring your passport along so you are able to borrow the camera.  Half of the images above were taken on that camera by Andreas and the other half were taken by me on my Canon 5D Mark II.  Can you tell which are which?  The exhibit runs until May 24th and I highly recommend a visit for anyone in Berlin, whether you are a photographer nerd like me or a hobbyist, make sure to check it out!

Olympus OM-D Photography Playground
Zinnowitzer Straße 9 · Berlin (Sbahn Nordbahnhof)
11am – 7pm Daily until May 24, 2013

Exploring Berlin | Botanischer Garten

Berlin Botanical GardenBerlin Botanical Garden Thea Sister Mag Berlin Botanischer Garten Cactus Berlin Botanischer Garten Cactus Berlin Botanischer Garten CactusBerlin Botanischer Garten Cactus Berlin Botanischer Garten Cactus Berlin Botanischer Garten Cactus Berlin Botanischer Garten

 A few weeks ago when it was still very much winter here in Berlin, Thea and I found comfort in a warm oasis within Berlin.  We were doing a bit of location scouting at the Botanischer Garten for the cover shoot of the new issue of sisterMAG (which I photographed and will be released in early May).  Spending just a short time in the warmth of the greenhouse did wonders on my mood.  We spent all of our visit exploring the different climates within the greenhouse, but I imagine the space outside in the surrounding gardens are beautiful in the spring and summer when they are green and blooming, it is a shame that during our visit they were still covered in snow.  We will just have to make another visit back now that it is finally spring!

 

Berlin Botanischer Garten
Königin-Luise-Straße 6-8
14195 Berlin

S-bahn (S1): Botanischer Garten

weekend

Berlin Mitte Spring PhotoSleeping French Bulldog Puppy Beach Bar Mitte Berlin Photo Berlin Mitte Spring Photo Berlin Mitte Spring Photo Berlin Mitte Spring Photo Berlin Mitte Spring PhotoOur weekend in photos, also just an excuse to post a ton of Hazel pics:

JR’s photo from his series Wrinkles of the City down the street from our apartment in Mitte

Waking up to these two cuddling makes my heart explode.  My phone is full of pictures like this one and on Saturday morning I managed to pull out my real camera to document the cuteness.

The rest of the images are from Sunday afternoon at the Park am Nordbahnhof and Humboldthain Park, which we discovered has some amazing views of the North part of the city from one of the World War II bunkers in the park.  This city never fails to surprise me.