Back to Berlin

We are back to Berlin with a some friends.  One of our friends is an art consultant so she set up an afternoon with someone who took us into different galleries.  Berlin is one of those cities where there are many hidden gems that are not so easy to find unless you live here or connect with someone who has access.  We have been here so many times and I had not been to any of these galleries so it was really great.

hasirBefore we got going we had lunch at Hasir Restaurant in Kreuzberg.  Berlin has the largest population of Turks outside of Turkey living here.  This restaurant served grilled meats, hummus, salads, etc.  Really excellent.  I had the grilled lamb.

blueroomThen we began our art afternoon.  Our first stop was the Koenig Gallery.  The architecture in here is incredible.  Poured concrete, hanging floors, double height spaces, incredibly austere yet beautiful.  This is a room upstairs where they built the installation inside the room because you couldn’t paint these walls.  Photos do not give it justice.  The artist is Camille Henrot.

3dpaintingThis was another piece downstairs by the artist Matthias Weischer.  Layered three dimensional paintings.

okartThen our next stop was at Duve Berlin.  Didn’t love this work by Maximilian Arnold.

graffittiWe strolled over to the next gallery, stopping by Passenger Espresso to get a coffee.  Purists here.  Passed this great piece of graffiti on the wall.

outsideinstallThe next gallery was Chert.  A very cool old space that used to be an auto body shop.  The work was inside and out.  I liked how the pieces outside were inside places where you’d hang a poster.  Carla Scott Fullerton is the artist.

parkWe walked through this beautiful park which reminded me of Washington Square Park 1984.  Smoke?

catOur last stop was at Dan Gunn gallery inside an apartment building.  There are a lot of galleries housed like this so it is not exactly easy to find unless you make an appointment.  The work was way out of my conceptual understanding.

turntableWe went back to the hotel to chill out before dinner.  There is an old turntable in our room.  Played a little Isaac Hayes while we relaxed.

tomatoOut back again for dinner.  I was super excited to return to Pauly Saal.  They had just gone through a six month renovation for a new chef.  The kitchen was where the renovation took place, the main room and bar remained the same.  Last time we went there we had an incredible meal.  This time, not so much.  Incredibly disappointing.  Now there is a tasting menu, either large or small.  Everything is deconstructed and there was nothing that blew me away.  I am so over the deconstruction of a plate.  As a diner it was disappointing and as a restaurant how many people do you think will return over and over to experience this?  An incredible drag.

lambBerlin has changed so much over the past decade.  I saw the food world shifting here years ago as they were catching up with cities like NYC and London.  Pauly Saal took a step backward instead of forward.  Not sure what others are saying but I won’t be back until the next shift is made.  Hopefully they won’t have to close down again for six months to build out another kitchen.