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Do you know your babka from your buchty and your kremrole from your kolatschen? If not, it’s time to get yourself over to Nonna Café & Co for a crash course on Czech bakery classics. Overlooking the peaceful Georgen-Parochial cemetery on Greifswalder Straße, the cafe occupies a single-storey red-brick building that was formerly a florist. Inside you’ll find a haven of Bohemian sweets baked on-site every day, including the likes of buchty: sweet bread rolls made from a yeast dough that’s more soft and airy than you’d ever think possible (go early to avoid missing out). The cafe was founded in 2020 by Prague-born architect Anna Vohlídalová, whose love for the cakes, breads and dishes of her home country led her to give them a home in Berlin, where the cuisine has long been under-represented.
Besides the sweet goods (accompanied by coffee from Passenger) there are light savory bites like the chlebíčky, a Czech version of a Stulle which – dare we say – is even nicer than the German variety. These can be enjoyed on the intimate west-facing terrace, which offers pleasant views of trees and lawns. We can recommend matching a dish or two with a Pilsner from Pilsen (of course!) or some Czech natural wine from Vinofactum. Cheers to that, or rather, Na zdraví!
German sculptor Christiane Löhr opens your eyes to the things in the natural world you would otherwise overlook in her exhibition at Haus am Waldsee, which runs until 05.09.2021. Collecting inconspicuous weeds from the roadside, Löhr transforms them into graceful sculptures and spatial installations that you approach with caution and wonder. The precise, architectural plant formations that result are not contrived. On the contrary: Löhr allows herself to be guided in her form-finding by the organic nature of the flora. Löhr often works without sketches during her experimentation, following instead the natural bends of blades of grass. In the 1990s the artist began working with animal hair taken from the tail of her own horse, and today horsehair remains an important source material. For her first institutional solo exhibition in Berlin, she has incorporated grasses from the magnificent garden at Haus am Waldsee into new works.
Running until autumn, the exhibition immerses you in a fairytale cosmos: delicate plant stems form fragile domes, seeds tower into miniature mountains, and cushions of dandelions appear to want to float away at the lightest touch. Using ink that spreads out rhizome-like on the paper, Löhr continues her botanical movements into two-dimensional forms. Her quiet arrangements never force themselves on you and yet – despite their often small format – assert space for themselves. With roots in the arte povera, minimal and land art movements, Löhr creates dreamlike parallel worlds that combine the romantic image of a pastoral utopia with geometric clarity.
Text: Laura Storfner / Credit: Exhibition view of Christiane Löhr – Organising the Wild, Haus am Waldsee, 2021 / Photos: Roman März
A TASTE OF BRAZIL — COOL SMOOTHIES AND BOWLS AT THE TROPIX POP-UP AT MOTIF WEIN
Looking for a refreshing drink to set you up for hot summer days? Things don’t get much cooler than the smoothie mixes from Tropix, which are packed with tropical fruit that is flash-frozen as soon as it is harvested in Brazil. The result is a fruit pulp concentrate which you store in the freezer and simply combine with water or milk for a smoothie or açaí bowl that beats fresh fruit hands down (not to mention the hours saved peeling or chopping). So why Brazil? Apart from the fact that many tropical fruits – from guava to caja – grow well in the vast country’s plantations, Tropix’s founders Felipe and Bruno are themselves from Rio de Janeiro. Friends for 20 years, the pair are now based in Berlin and have set about bringing the fruits and flavors of Rio’s ubiquitous juice bars to Germany.
And so they have: the duo’s website now offers 15 superfood blends and single-fruit mixes, including varieties you probably haven’t heard of, including immune-boosting cupuaçu (it tastes like pear and banana) and the slightly tart, cherry-like acerola. You can mix, match and experiment to your heart’s content – each fruit comes in a multi-pack of handy 100g sachets ready to throw in the blender. The supermarket fruit aisle will never look the same again…
Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Sophie Doering
Joy of Life – that’s the name of the dance work that is reopening Hebbel am Ufer’s main stage this week, and it’s the perfect message to celebrate the relaunch of Berlin’s performing arts scene. As you approach the doors of HAU 1 on the banks of the Landwehrkanal you can already hear lively music coming from the stage. On show is a dance work from director Ersan Mondtag, who is known for his experimental and interdisciplinary works and has gathered professional dancers, actors and young talents from Berlin’s Kinder Ballett Kompanie for their first choreographic piece together. It is a committed performance which touches on topics such as migration, climate change and how new generations are fighting for their future. The narrative draws on testimonies of Fridays for Future supporters and the tales of young people who have made torturous journeys from Africa to Europe across the Mediterranean.
The dance is in constant evolution with the narrative arc, going from simple, exercise-like, movements to harmonious choreography. The fascinating scenery with a turning stage, video projections, floating background and colorful props transport you to the same limbo as felt by the dancers, leaving you thinking and reflecting on your own beliefs. You don’t have to be a dance lover to feel the emotions conveyed in the performance; it encourages you to ask yourself what brings you joy – and one of the first answers must surely be the theater.
Text: Harmony Leveque / Photos: Armin Smailovic
Harmony Leveque works as a project and production manager in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin, Bielefeld and her home country of France.
Ever experienced the annoyance of buying a new bikini and it discoloring in the sun or falling down in the water? It’s the last thing you want on your beach vacation or day at the lake. The folks at swimwear brand Oy Surf know this struggle, and offer a fix with their stylish and supportive swimwear line. The beach-ready collection has been developed by owners Zelia and Dario who, as keen surfers, understand the importance of having reliable swimming gear that still lets you feel confident and fashionable. As for the styles, think swimsuits and bikinis with watercolor brushstrokes in neutral, mellow tones. I particularly love the painted print effect on the Zonda Swimsuit, which gives you good support without feeling restrictive – in case you do want to jump on a surfboard! The garments are very much an international effort: designed in Berlin, the pieces are made in Portugal from recycled materials, while the brand itself came into being somewhere between Zürich and Bali in 2012. If like us you can’t wait until your next visit to the pool or lake and are looking for the best kit, Oy has got you covered – literally.
Text: Lottie Mac / Photos: Oy Surf