image of Berlin


Dec 27, 2023 – Jan 9, 2024

Last hoorah of this trip and third time back in Berlin.

The impetus for this trip was to go to the Pornceptual+Gegen NYE party at RSO, a club I'd been to on a previous visit and didn't love for feeling dark and industrial and heavy, but had enjoyed the bright, colorful, playful vibe of the Pornceptual party I went to in Amsterdam that I couldn't possibly imagine the promoters not making over the space in some way.

And I was hilariously wrong! The party had all the hallmarks of an unsuccessful new years eve, starting with a three hour queue and then proceeding to be just a normal, dark, heavy-feeling night at RSO. Yuva and I were disappointed, but not sad about it, and that letting go, and staying connected and positive in spite of burning ourselves out for such a disappointment, felt like growing.

Thankfully, we'd spent the prior part of the evening at a home cooked, elaborate hot pot dinner amongst new and old friends in Neukölln - the neighborhood that we had been told in advance of our visit to avoid because the fireworks on NYE are like being in a warzone - which it somewhat was.

I have never seen anything quite like the fireworks in Berlin on NYE. At midnight, it looked as if fireworks were going off from every single intersection in the entire city. It looked like it was under attack. At some point the streets started to fog up with smoke. The number of burning rosettes in the sky was uncountable. It felt like the end of the world. It was majestic and malevolent. It was grand and it was sad. It was transfixing. I'm glad I saw it.

Happy NYE from Berlin!

Other highlights of this trip included going back to Neue Nationalgalerie to revisit the Gerhard Richter mirror I had loved the last time, shopping for latex at Peter Domenie, a truly incredible chocolate bun at Zeit für Brot, multiple mornings of ham and cheese croissants at La Maison – Boulangerie pâtisserie artisanale, taking Yuva to see the arkaoda to compare with the original in Istanbul, shenangians at ze world famous KitKatClub, revisiting the East Side Gallery and learning more about some of the controversies of its creation and restoration, Turkish grilled meats at Ada Holzkohlegrill Restaurant, Berlin, thinking I'd fractured a finger at Boulderklub Kreuzberg and being refused an x-ray by an english speaking EMT at the ER triage window for not being that broken, absurdly cheap at delicious lunches at Sahara Imbiss, two hours of Chopin at the Chamber Music Hall, queueing for an hour at vabali spa Berlin and then luxuriating at the spa for the rest of it, the ceiling mosaics at Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, drinking Glühwein and eating what is essentially carnival food at Weihnachtsmarkt an der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche, starting NYE with gong-bath meditation at Open Studio while firecrackers exploded outside like bombs and then a glass of wine (and popcorn!) at GLASWEISE WEINBAR, an italian wine bar that is the definition of "when you're here you're family," discovering the Swedish-Chinese automaker Lynk & Co that sells their cars out of stores that are like instagram DTC feverdreams, trying on "for the scene, by the scene" clothes at The Code Shop, introducing Yuva to Spaceteam by telling her it's a "collaborative shouting game" and ...

Committing to taking a chance on winding down my time in NYC and spending the spring back in Amsterdam.