Berlin Portrait: Sophia Schwan

by James and Zoe

We think that the best way to discover Berlin is through the eyes of the people who live here. For our Berlin Portrait series, we’re asking artists, musicians and other creative types to introduce us their corner of the city. Here Sophia Schwan, a stylist-slash-blogger originally from southwest Germany, introduces us to the “mayhem” of Friedrichshain.

Introduce yourself!

I‘m Sophia Schwan, 25, finally settled in Berlin after leading a slightly nomadic life. I now work as a full time stylist, having quit a job in PR in August. On the side I also do some freelance writing and blogging.

How long have you been here?

For once I can say “not long enough”. I moved here in the summer of 2010.

And what brought you here?

The city. I spent two months alone in Berlin taking a course at the ESMOD fashion school when I was 16, and fell head over heels in love. I was living with students six or seven years older than me and knew absolutely no one. I spent the whole summer exploring every nook and cranny and just knew that one day I had to end up here. That day didn‘t come though until I finished my studies in Aberdeen.

Does Berlin feel like home?

Completely. I have never really had that feeling before. My parents moved around with us a lot throughout Germany and the US and the four years in Aberdeen on my Erasmus exchange always felt like something temporary. I have the most amazing circle of friends here and couldn‘t possibly feel more at home than I do now. It‘s the most wonderful feeling in the world.

For the expats who’ve never made it outside the Ringbahn, how is Berlin different to the rest of Germany?

Lol! I‘m originally from Wiesbaden and the age average of the population there is probably 40. It‘s an extremely beautiful city, very boring – but I love it nonetheless. It‘s my Heimat so how could I not?! To answer your question though, Berlin is the most cosmopolitan and international city in Germany by far. There is no other place where even the biggest weirdo can make himself at home, where you can be who you want to be and no one gives a crap – whether you‘re walking barefoot down Warschauer Straße or cycling with a dog sitting on your shoulder and a boom box blasting out Elton John. I have in fact witnessed that.

How is the fashion scene here different to the rest of the Europe? And which Berlin designers should we be keeping an eye out for?

Berlin is home to so many good designers that more people really need to know about and support. I try to represent as much homegrown talent as possible in my work: Vladimir Karaleev, Issever Bahri, Franziska Michael, Rebecca Sammler, Achtland, JuliaandBen… they are all so talented. I could go on and on. I‘d say overall Berlin‘s streetstyle is muted and extremely laid-back but with interesting details. It’s like a mix of sloppy Scandinavian-meets-London. Berlin‘s fashion scene is still developing compared to cities like Paris and London but that‘s what makes it so special. People still have time for each other here. Everything is more slow-paced and not as glitzy and annoying.

Tell us about your neighbourhood, and what you like about it.

I‘ve only been living in Friedrichshain since March. Before that I lived in Prenzlauer Berg amongst a sea of children and before that across the Bundesnachrichtendienst in Mitte where there is nothing except a giant slab of concrete literally staring at you. I loved living in Prenzlauer Berg too but I prefer Friedrichshain. It‘s a bit dirty and gritty but it’s got its own bohemian and graffiti-sprayed beauty, that I couldn‘t go without any more.

Friedrichshain is mayhem and I‘ve randomly met so many crazy characters here. One Friday night I ended up sitting on a bench in my pyjamas until three in the morning with my dog and my flatmate’s dog, drinking beers with three old-school, very neddy Berliners, one of them telling me about his experience in prison, and a random couple that stopped to talk. I was only planning to walk the dogs quickly! Everyone was raging on about gentrification and old vs. new Berliners. Things got pretty heated and at 3am in the morning we all ended up hugging each other and then went off clubbing together. Not me in my pyjamas of course, I went to bed. It was bizarre.

And what are your five favourite things in your neighbourhood?

The clash of people, the dog-friendliness, the bohemian atmosphere, the Oberbaumbrücke and the fact that when I step outside my door I‘m in the middle of a party at all times.

And your three favourite Berlin places?

I am a huge lover of vintage and Gaudeli’s Vintage on Seumestraße is my absolute favourite vintage store in Berlin. The owner sources all her pieces from Italy and the quality and designs are impeccable and really timeless.

For some really delicious and moderately priced Japanese and Korean food I always visit Rice In on Grünbergerstraße. My favourite dish is Zirashi Don with its fragrant rice, raw fish and avocado. Yummy!

Urban Spree is an amazing place to get inspired by art and lounge around in the summer with a beer in your hand. They always have interesting exhibitions or film nights on so make sure you give it a visit!

See more photos from the shoot over on Zoë Noble Photography.

Berlin Portrait: OOi

by James and Zoe

We think that the best way to discover Berlin is through the eyes of the people who live here. For our Berlin Portrait series, we’re asking artists, musicians and other interesting expats to introduce us their corner of the city. Get to know another side of Kreuzberg with OOi, a classically trained viola player and visual artist originally from Australia.


Introduce yourself!

I am OOi. I am a classical violist and visual artist.

How long have you been here?

I have lived in Berlin for nearly three years.

What brought you here?

Love brought me here – I met my husband in Berlin while I was traveling through Europe alone. But music is something that has kept me here – OOi would have never come into fruition had I not lived in Berlin… various encounters (accidental and intentional) have lead me to create my audio/visual concept and develop my on going apartment concert series. There is also a fantastic creative energy here which has really fuelled my projects.


Tell us about your neighbourhood, and what you like about it.

I live in Kreuzberg – Wikipedia describes the neighbourhood as “one of Berlin’s cultural centers in the middle of the now reunified city.” I think it’s an accurate statement – there is a large Turkish population in Kreuzberg, and a lot of young German families, as well as expats from all over the world. I really like hearing many different languages on the streets, understanding some conversations and sometimes understanding nothing at all.

I love Kreuzberg because it is close to all my favourite places – Neukölln, Treptow, and the Berlin Philharmonic are all a 10-15 minute bike ride away. I feel so lucky to be living in a central place – I held my first solo performance with Phia in my living room and I think the concert turnout was so great because it was in a convenient location (as well as the great publicity…thank you again überlin!)

That is also another thing I love about Berlin – that there are always performances and parties in the most unexpected places and they always turn out to be the most unforgettable ones!


What are your five favourite things in your neighbourhood?

Zentral und Landesbibliothek Berlin. I am obsessed with libraries in general, but this one is particularly fantastic. They have a wonderful classical music section, and I am constantly raiding their shelves for CDs, books for research and music scores. I’m really into their manga collection – they’re all in German, which is great for learning the language! The library also loans out books in many other languages, including English.

The U1 line. I love riding the U1 line from Görlitzer Bahnhof (my station) to Warschauer Strasse (the end of the line) and being able to see the bridge, and the old and new buildings along the Spree. It is especially fun in winter, when you can see people walking along the frozen water of the Spree – very surreal.


Two cafes: Katie’s Blue Cat, a peaceful place I frequent to do my homework and research over a coffee and a delicious Earl Grey shortbread… their other baked goods are equally delicious! Concierge Coffee on Paul Lincke Ufer is a tiny but extremely beautiful space that serves consistently good coffee. There is nothing there like newspapers, magazines or the Internet to distract you and it is located away from the street, so it is a great place to catch up with people sincerely or refocus your thoughts if you are alone. I was also so privileged to be allowed to host my fifth apartment concert event in their space on the middle of October this year.


Motto Distribution. It sells international, local, mainstream and independent publications covering all subjects and interests. It has an incredible range of fashion magazines (very important), great zines, beautiful books. The location and the staff are really discreet, it’s a wonderful quiet place. It’s like my second library, except I cave in and buy the books once in a while.

Experimontag @ Madame Claude. Every Monday night there is an experimental night in the basement of Madame Claude. I’ve seen so many different styles of music there and I like that the audience is generally very open because they never know what they’re going to get. The rule is to go with no expectations, so you are pleasantly surprised.

20131013-Noble-Doreen-127-650px 20131013-Noble-Doreen-137-650px 20131013-Noble-Doreen-152-650px 20131013-Noble-Doreen-160-650px

To see OOi perform, as a musician or VJ, or to attend one of her wonderful house concerts, visit her website

Photos by Zoë Noble Photography

Berlin Portrait: Dolly Demoratti of Mother Drucker

by James Glazebrook

We think that the best way to discover Berlin is through the eyes of the people who live here. For our Berlin Portrait series, we’re asking artists, musicians and other interesting Berliners to introduce us their corner of the city. Discover creative Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain with Dolly Demoratti, owner of the Mother Drucker print studio.

Dolly Demoratti Portrait in her Urbanspree Studio

So tell us: how did you end up in Berlin?

I followed a girl out here. I met somebody in London, and they said they were coming here in a few months’ time, so I ended up quitting my job and coming out here. It felt like the right time to do it… as it happens, she’s back in England and I’m out here! But it worked out really well for me, and I’m glad I made that leap.

And how long have you been here?

About three or four years… I purposefully don’t keep count. I feel slightly embarrassed because I still know so little German, so people always ask me, “how long have you been here for?” and I’ve been saying “a year” for about three years now!


Do you feel settled here?

I definitely feel like it’s my home. I’m very happy here and I think I have more friends than I did in London, and I have a much nicer way of life. I’m working on what I always wanted to work on, which wouldn’t have been possible in London. My best friends are German, so I guess I am quite integrated here.

I don’t speak good German, which does make me feel like a bit of an outsider – but there are so many people passing through Berlin, staying for one or two years, that it’s easy to not speak the language and still feel involved in what’s happening here.

What’s the best thing about living in Berlin?

That I get to do the thing that I always want to, and get to have a studio of my own. When I was about 16, I built a darkroom in my bedroom – I’ve had an obsession with printing in all its forms since a young age. So now to be here, and have a studio – with my own printing press – is just great.

Dolly Demoratti Portrait in her Urbanspree Studio

And what are your favourite places in Berlin?

Urban Spree, where my studio is, is developing all the time. It’s an art space, with an “atelier”, sharing vibe, and now a venue for gigs and parties. They asked me to move in here before Urban Spree had opened, and even knocked down a wall for me! I had the first exhibition in the main hall, which was completely trashed – of all these shiny, perfect bicycles hanging in this fucked-up space…

Dolly Demoratti Portrait in her Urbanspree Studio

Markthalle Neun on Eisenbahnstraße is fantastic. I had my first studio on that street, right when they re-opened the market. I really liked the community vibe of what Markthalle Neun did, going around the block asking everyone what they should do with the space – it was a community decision. People were proposing different ideas like – someone wanted to open a kind of Victorian swimming pool – and in the end, the consensus was to take it back to its original use: a food market. Any kind of restoration of anything, rather than scrapping it or changing or modernising it… I just love it when things are taken back to their original state.

Dolly Demoratti Portrait at Urbanspree

The Künstlerhaus Bethanien is another building that survived the war. They have the most fantastic print studio there, which so many people don’t know about. Downstairs, it’s almost a museum of old machinery to do with printing, lots of letterpresses and cutting machines, and it just smells so old! You can only get there via one lift in the print studio, which no one knows is there.

…and I go to Tempelhof most Sundays, to either exercise or just cruise around on my bike. I love it out there…

Dolly Demoratti Portrait at Urbanspree

Dolly Demoratti Portrait against Fingaz Grafitti

Dolly Demoratti Portrait sitting in front Fingaz Grafitti


Dolly is organising Druck Berlin 2013, an art festival focused on screen printing, at Stadtbad Wedding. Check out the Druck Berlin website for full details.

Berlin Portrait: Luci Westphal

by Zoë Noble

We think that the best way to discover Berlin is through the eyes of the people who live here. For our Berlin Portrait series, we’re asking artists, musicians and other interesting Berliners to introduce us their corner of the city. Join us as Luci Westphal, the filmmaker behind Moving Postcard, introduces us to her part of Prenzlauer Berg.

Berlin Portrait Luci Westphal

Introduce yourself!

My name is Luci and I consider myself a German New Yorker in Berlin – for the time being. I’m a filmmaker living in Prenzlauer Berg.

How long have you been in Berlin?

Since spring 2010 I’ve been splitting my time between Berlin and Brooklyn.

Berlin Portrait Luci Westphal Heimholzkiez

What brought you here?

I’m originally from Hamburg and had been living in Brooklyn for 11 years; it was time for me to live closer to my family. Also I had itchy feet to go explore a new place and be inspired by different people and culture. I love New York City and consider it my home, Hamburg will always be special to me – but Berlin had that magnetic pull of creative, international, innovative, experimental and critically thinking people. At first I was worried that I had missed the best years of Berlin because I saw it changed every time I had visited before. But it seems that the spirit of Berlin continues to thrive even as people moan “früher war alles besser”.

Berlin Portrait Luci Westphal Heimholzkiez 2

Tell us about your Kiez, and what you like about it.

Because I used to visit Berlin every few years I saw Prenzlauer Berg gradually change from its post-GDR grey façade abandoned building look to its current state of beautifully restored homes on tree-lined streets. Before moving here my husband and I thought this thriving gorgeous neighborhood is our kind of place. By the time we did move here we ended up subletting in Neukölln, then Kreuzberg and eventually Mitte – all neighborhoods I loved living in. At the same time I got sucked into the disdain many young Berliners seem to have about Prenzlauer Berg because it’s labeled as a neighborhood for well-to-do families with children. It wasn’t our first choice anymore (actually we didn’t have a choice when we took the current apartment in the Helmholtzkiez) and it took me a while before I could say: I love this neighborhood! So it was love at first sight, then I played hard to get and then P’berg won me over fully.

What I like most about the neighborhood is how stately beautiful it is with the old buildings, the trees, the parks, the cobblestone streets… dotted with some amazing street art and people from all over the world walking around and gathering in great restaurants, bars and cafés. By the way, after 8pm the children are usually off the streets and Helmholtzkiez turns into quite a nightlife scene.

Berlin Portrait Luci Westphal street art

What are your five favourite things in your neighbourhood?

This is too hard. Instead of just picking five places, I’ll pick five categories. Okay? Okay.

One of the great things about summer in Berlin is that you can socialize with your friends at night at public outdoor green spaces without having to be at a café or bar. This doesn’t happen much in the US because it’s illegal to have alcoholic beverages out on the streets and in parks. My favorite daytime outdoor spot is Mauerpark, with its flea market and outdoor karaoke on Sundays and lots of interesting people watching. Around dusk I like to hang out on the hill of the Wasserturm when the rabbits come out and you get a glimpse of the occasional fox. At night I’m all about the many playgrounds in the neighborhood, at the top of the list is the one on Helmholtzplatz with the pirate ship, the swings and table tennis. But it can get crowded so you might have to conquer the pirate ship. But shhh, don’t wake up the neighbors.

A very special place in the neighborhood is the Gethsemanekirche, which is stunning to look at inside and out, but to me takes on extraordinary significance because it’s one of the churches at the center of the Peaceful Revolution of Berlin, that led to the opening of the Berlin Wall and the end of the GDR. It is truly a place of peace, community and hope. And if you ever find yourself looking for a church on Christmas Eve, go to that one – their Weihnachtsbaum seemed as big as the one at Rockefeller Center.

Berlin Portrait Luci Westphal street art 2

There are so many cafes and bars that there is one for every occasion. When it’s beautiful outside there’s no other place like the Prater Biergarten, the oldest beer garden in Berlin. When I feel like chilling out on a cozy old couch and sip on a tea or a Grasovka Apfelsaft I like to go to Wohnzimmer. If I feel homesick and I want to pick loud rock, rap or punk from the jukebox, eat salted popcorn and have a genuine Brooklyn IPA then you’ll find me at Badfish. Because of the delicious goat cheese salad, live music, dancing until the sun comes up and the always super fun Rock’n’Roll Bingo (every 1st and 3rd Wednesday) I’m quite a regular at White Trash. And last but not least, for a Sunday Bloody Mary, an afternoon coffee meeting or a last nightcap I always count on Schwarzsauer.

Berlin Portrait Luci Westphal Prater

When it comes to restaurants, I’ve already mentioned White Trash. But it’s not the only burger place I frequent despite being a vegetarian. There’s also the The Bird. I mostly come here for the lively expat atmosphere and the super nice staff. The restaurant I visit the most must be Maria Bonita, where you can get amazing tacos like they make in those little taquerias in Brooklyn (sorry, I can’t compare to Mexican tacos because I’ve never been to Mexico). For any special occasion or just a fun dinner with friends you can’t go wrong with Tres Tapas – no matter if you want to share tapas or get your own full meal.

One of the silly luxury problem reasons I hesitated to move back to Germany for a long time was convenience, especially when it comes to shopping and transportation. So one of the things I like best about my Kiez is the 24/7 Späti downstairs from my apartment, the 24/6 Kaisers grocery store around the corner and the all-night trams connecting me to Mitte, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg (besides the day-time trams, U-Bahn and S-Bahn).

Okay, yeah, I really do love my Kiez and Prenzlauer Berg.

Berlin Portrait Luci Westphal Prater 2 

Berlin Portrait: Luisa Weiss, The Wednesday Chef

by James Glazebrook

We think that the best way to discover Berlin is through the eyes of the people who live here. For our Berlin Portrait series, we’re asking artists, musicians and other interesting Berliners to introduce us their corner of the city. Join us as Luisa Weiss, food blogger and author of My Berlin Kitchen, introduces us to her Charlottenburg.

Luisa Weiss My Berlin Kitchen

How long have you been here?

Well, I moved to Berlin in December 2009, so the short answer is that I’ve been here for three-and-a-half years. But the long answer is that I was born here and spent my childhood between Berlin, where my mother lived (still does, actually) and Boston, where my father and I moved after my parents divorced. I went to high school in Berlin and then left for college in 1995. After finishing university in the States, I got a job in New York and stayed there for ten years before deciding to move home again in 2009.

Luisa Weiss flowers

What brought you here?

A combination of factors: my lifelong homesickness for the city and my love affair with my husband being the most important ones.

Tell us about your Kiez, and what you like about it.

We live in northwest Charlottenburg, near Klausener Platz and across the street from Schloss Charlottenburg. I wasn’t sure about the neighborhood when we first found the apartment. At first glance, it seemed weirdly anonymous. But now that we’ve settled in, I love it so much, I never want to leave. It’s a really peaceful neighborhood. Incredibly quiet and verdant, but it still feels like you’re close to all kinds of things, with the Schloss across the way and the Berggruen and Bröhan Museums, among others, visible from our living room window. Klausener Kiez is a real mix of Turkish families, young professionals and old ladies – to me it feels very much like the old West Berlin I grew up in.

Luisa Weiss My Berlin Kitchen book

What are your five favourite things in your neighbourhood?

I can walk to the Antikmeile Suarezstrasse, the Lietzensee or the nearby Restaurant Engelbecken in minutes, or I can get lost in the Schlosspark Charlottenburg with its manicured hedges and gardens. I can have delicious Börek from a wood-fired oven or organic tomato-fennel soup with a slice or two of Vollkornbrot from one of Berlin’s oldest Vollkornbäckereien, Brotgarten.

Especially now that we have a baby, I feel like there’s no better place for us to live.

Interview: Give Something Back to Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Annamaria Olsson and Anders Ivarsson are the brains behind an exciting new project called Give Something Back to Berlin, which will connect expats with community projects here in the city. Read on to find out more about GSBTB and how to get involved.

Annamaria Olsson and Anders Ivarsson Give Something Back To Berlin

by Jessica Povoa

Who are you and how did you come up with the idea for Give Something Back To Berlin?

We are Anders and Annamaria, two quite typical new-Berliners. We came here five years ago to take part in the city’s brilliant vibe with music, culture and interesting history… Anders worked as a freelance translator and ran a record label, while Annamaria studied and wrote.

As a DJ and a journalist we were in many ways at the epicentre of Berlin culture and expat life. From this viewpoint, we saw the city going through a lot of rapid changes and noticed some challenges in both expat and ”normal” Berlin life. Having lived in Kreuzberg and Neukölln it was obvious that a lot of different groups are ”struggling” within the city.

What kind of challenges and struggles do you mean?

The related issues of gentrification and increasing rents have obvious consequences for poor Berliners with limited opportunities. The mix of those two social questions leads to a lot of frustration and tension. Some people have the feeling that a lot of expats are not getting ”integrated” but just consuming/using the city as their own playground while other people get pushed out or get nowhere.

This discussion has been very polemic, at times xenophobic, and has avoided seeing the big picture or creating any good ideas for how to deal with this new situation. People seem to look more for people to blame than actual solutions, which is both sad and counterproductive. Because it doesn’t matter how much Angela Merkel says that the idea of ”multiculti is dead”, or racist and nationalist parties say that they want no immigrants – migration is a hard fact for the whole world, be it Muslims or creative freelancers. Expats and other groups are in Berlin to stay, so they need to find ways of living and working together, not against each other.

Most expats love this city and want to contribute in different ways. With Give Something Back To Berlin we wanted to create a good alternative, somewhere where new- and Alt-Berliners can meet, get to know each other and the city in a broader sense, and at the same time contribute to society and make this city better for everyone. Whether you are German, an expat or any kind of Berliner, we believe that you should share not only with your own kind, and that broad views are the key to understanding and progress.

Give Something Back to Berlin logo

What is the project and how does it work?

The idea is very simple – the initative helps expats and new Berliners get socially involved. Through our online portal and social media channels people can easily sign up to donate their skills and a couple of hours to a local initiative that is helping to improving other Berliners’ lives. Maybe a soup kitchen for homeless people needs some extra help, a kids’ centre wants to offer extra English lessons or a girl’s club wants some cool women to talk about different kinds of career possibilities. Our partner organisations tell us their needs, we post them, you sign up and get involved!

Why is it only for expats?

It’s not ”only” for expats, but because we are doing everything on a volunteer basis with no funding, we thought this would be a good place to start. If someone were to give us a lot of money, of course we will open up Give Something Back to Berlin! There are already existing infrastructures for native Germans to get involved in, and we will work with them, but for many expats it might seem too daunting for them to get involved directly.

What kind of projects will you work with?

We met a lot of different organizations over the last months and they are excited to work with us! They include Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands, with their huge network of 1,000 employees and 750 volunteers, Kulturwerkstatt Neukölln, The Roma Theatre Café, St. Richard Gemeinde with its night café and soup kitchen for the homeless, Youth Club Bildog at Richardschule, the AIDS-home and café The Orangerie, Schilleria Mädchen Café in Neukölln, Nachbarschaftshaus Centrum, Kreuzberg… to mention just a few.

What’s happening next?

Give Something Back To Berlin will officially launch in April when we will start posting the ”givings”. Until then we are busy contacting the partner organizations, organising the project, searching for funding, building websites and planning events where expats and social organizations can meet, mingle and talk about possibile collaborations. If you (expat or German) feel like helping us building the project – holla right back to us! We are always in need of skilled people! Our GSBTBerliner Luke Atcheson is setting up a pilot project offering English lessons to local social organisations right now, so if you are interested in contributing you can contact him on lukeatcheson@gmail.com. You can also like us and Facebook and help us spread the Give Something Back to Berlin idea so we will have a lot of possible ”givers” when it all kicks off.

Follow Give Something Back To Berlin on Facebook or check out the website givesomethingbacktoberlin.com.

Berlin Portrait: Josh Bauman

by James Glazebrook

We think that the best way to discover Berlin is through the eyes of the people who live here. For our Berlin Portrait series, we’re asking artists, musicians and other interesting locals to introduce us to their corner of the city. Join us as Josh Bauman, cartoonist, illustrator and überlin contributor, shows us around Kreuzberg’s Bergmannkiez and Graefekiez.

Josh Bauman 1

Introduce yourself!

My name is Josh Bauman and I’m an American cartoonist and illustrator living and working in Kreuzberg.

How long have you been here?

I’ve been living in Berlin for about six and a half years.

Bauman 2

What brought you here?

I initially planned to move to Berlin for a year to improve my German for a PhD program in history. After living here a short time I began to recognise just how special Berlin was. I have always drawn and made comics, even when studying history, but I had never thought about art as a means of supporting myself. The sense of vibrant creativity throughout the city made me feel that if there was ever a chance to pursue a career like cartooning or illustration, Berlin would be the place to try it.

Tell us about your neighbourhood, and what you like about it.

I live around Bergmannkiez but spend every day at my studio in Graefekiez. I can’t say whether I prefer one neighborhood to the other so much as I enjoy the differences between them. It takes me about ten minutes to bike between home and the studio and it really feels like I’m passing between several distinct areas, each with their own character. I love that there are so many small side and back streets only a few metres off my normal route, that seem like such completely different worlds.

Josh Bauman 4

What are your five favourite things in your neighbourhoods?

Since May 2010, I’ve been working out of The Cheese Mountain Tragedy studio and gallery that I share with Johan Potma and Wolfgang Reimers. I’m there pretty much all day, every day, and it’s by far the place I spend the most time, whether it’s working or relaxing. I’m definitely biased when it comes to picking my studio, but it really is my favorite place in Berlin.

I love Hudson’s Cakes on Boppstrasse. Few things beat their soups, salads, and sandwiches. There’s always something great to eat there and it’s the perfect place for a cozy lunch away from the studio. I can’t resist topping off lunch with a cookie or brownie.

Josh Bauman 3

One of the nicest caffeinated surprises in Kreuzberg is the Coffee Museum. They’ve got a staggering collection of coffee paraphernalia as well as some excellent beans. The owner is really friendly and always enthusiastic about answering questions and demonstrating brewing techniques. There are few places that leave me feeling as excited about coffee!

Viktoriapark is my local park and it’s got a very special place in my heart. For such a small park it’s got quite a diverse landscape. The steep winding paths through the woods alway remind me of a tree fort, and the overall flatness of Berlin makes the steep hills of Viktoriapark the nearest thing to a mountain. Of the things I miss the most about the United States, trees, mountains, and nature rank among the top, and Viktoriapark has got them all.

Last but not least, I love my comic shops! Grober Unfug on Zoessenerstrasse and Modern Graphics on Oranienstrasse are my local shops and I really enjoy stopping in now and then. Both shops have interesting and thoughtful selections of comics and graphics novels, and every time I go, there’s usually something I’ve never seen before.

Josh Bauman 5

Josh Bauman 6

Follow Josh’s adventures on his daily comic strip, Caffeinated Toothpaste.