At Torstraße.74 sits a surreal place for surreal times: Palazzo Anticrisi, a temporary installation at the former No.74 clothing store that offers a unique space for social interaction. Working with Berlin architects Something Fantastic and Sam Chermayeff, founder Fabian Johow has created a room that brings the outdoors in: bathed in ruby-red light, the hall-like space features an oversized street lamp in the middle looming over sparse bench-style seating. Austere yet sociable, it’s a fascinating place to spend time – yet there is more to do, for from now until December the space is also home to a kiosk offering a good selection of natural wines to enjoy there or to go (Thu-Sat). On Fridays and Saturdays, meanwhile, the palace opens its doors to a spicy popup by Victoria Tacos. Fresh from an Art Week stand at the Wilhelm Hallen, the Mexican food pros are now based at the Palazzo, serving deliciously non-traditional tacos in vegan (king oyster mushroom), vegetarian (melt-in-the-mouth jackfruit) and meaty (slow-cooked pork) varieties. Get your order with a bottle to go or pick out a comfy throne and enjoy a session of food, drinks and thoughtful contemplation – just like an Italian aristocrat. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Bui Luu Quynh Nguyen & Conrad Bauer)
We’ve spent a lot of time at home this year, and with winter here it’s time to make things cozy again with a little help and inspiration from Urbanara. At their new pop-up on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz – where the brand was first born in 2011 – you can find picks from the online range to see and feel in person, including high-quality home textiles and accessories. If you aren’t sure whether this carpet or that runner is really for you, this is your chance to inspect them up close before taking the plunge. The range includes blankets, cushions, bathrobes and more that you can admire, touch and take home. This time, small brands are also taking part, including Garden State Candles with their heavenly aromas, Wonderbar’s chocolate and cinnamon natural vegan soaps for face and body, as well as beautifully shaped solid-wood tables and seating by Nutsandwoods. From small to large, firm to fluffy, you are bound to find the piece that matches your home. Running until 16.12.2020, the pop-up is also a perfect source of gifts for that all-important winter festival – yes, it’s coming! (Text: Hanna Komornitzyk / Photos: Urbanara)
The pop-up in Mitte will run until 16.12.2020 and offers shoppers an exclusive 15 percent discount code for the Urbanara products in store plus carpets and runners ordered online.
Urbanara Pop-up Store: Linienstr.221, 10119 Berlin–Mitte; map
With their timeless designs, charm and character, vintage bicycles are highly sought after amongst Berlin’s growing two-wheeled tribe. But how can uninformed buyers (myself included) find a good bike at a fair price? Enter Fahrradbureau, a store-cum-workshop filled with a jumbled assortment of classic cycles, frames, wheels, seats and everything in between. Owner and long-time bike collector Stefan started the shop in 2019 after seeing how many Berliners were being overcharged for second-rate cycles. Thus his motto is fairness and simplicity: no frills or gloss, just solid vintage wheels at prices easily a third less than what fancier shops charge. The focus is on race bikes, most of which Stefan makes to measure: just tell him your needs and budget and he will build it using his encyclopaedic knowledge and treasure trove of reconditioned parts. You leave ready to get peddling, knowing your classic cycle will give you faithful service for years to come. (Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Bui Luu Quynh Nguyen)
KONG: A FIVE-COURSE TASTE JOURNEY THROUGH SICHUAN — RECOMMENDED BY CARINA SCHMITZ
“Jetzt bitte schütteln!” says Tong Liu, founder of Chinese restaurant Kong, as he serves us each a plate with a paper bag on it. We shake, and are amazed, for the resulting culinary artwork is not just highly Instagram-worthy, but the most intense taste experience: tofu balls marinated with Ma pepper (a type of Sichuan pepper) with notes of cooling basil entwined with delicate rice noodles. The first of five courses, the dish is a triumph of careful design – no doubt thanks to chef and co-founder Ling Ma’s architecture training, which she has also put to work on the lovingly handcrafted Chinese urban-chic interior. Kong attaches particular importance to authentic ingredients and genuine spice rarities, such as the hard-to-find “Fish Mint”, which the team grow themselves. The menus change every month, with vegan or meat options available. Select teas and rice wines complete what is a memorable dinner. (Text: Carina Schmitz / Photos: Savannah van der Niet)
Carina Schmitz is a digital marketing specialist and hobby beekeeper and calls Friedrichshain her home.
Kong, Niederbarnimstr.4, 10247 Berlin–Friedrichshain; map
Wed–Sun 19–22h, booking required.
Much like when US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shows how feminist make-up can be in her recent video tutorial, Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury explores the subversive potential of the beauty and luxury industry. At her exhibition at Mehdi Chouakri’s studio, apparently abstract paintings turn out to be oversized reproductions of well-known eye shadow palettes from brands like Chanel. Fleury has knowledge of fashion and art history and sees herself as an actor in both systems: her garment-shaped ready-mades are thus always more than crude consumer criticism. Fleury also appears herself, as a personalised emoji, and indeed all her works can be read as embodiments of the self, including the Acne jumpers and fur jackets that are in her own dress size. What unites these works are the humorous asides aimed at her male artist contemporaries: like Donald Judd, she creates polished wall figures with rounded corners. A basketball is reminiscent of Jeff Koons, but while the ball is pumped up to the limit by Koons, Fleury lets the air out – a first step towards the abolition of patriarchy. (Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Ludger Paffrath, Berlin)
Mehdi Chouakri, Fasanenstr.61 (Fasanenplatz entrance), 10719 Berlin–Charlottenburg; map
Exhibition: Sylvie Fleury “Shame” until 31.10.2020
Bleibtreustr.41 (Mommsenstr.4 entrance), 10623 Berlin–Charlottenburg; map