Berlin, Day 4
I ventured out on my own today. I decided to start my day at the local greenmarket that is only open on Thursdays. There are many others around Berlin but I went to this one. The hotel was having a hard time telling me the real story around my dinner reservation and I happened to walk by the restaurant en route to the greenmarket. I stopped in and got the real deal and the manager figured out a way to get us in earlier. So glad I happened to walk by. Nothing like starting off the day knowing you are all set for the evening when traveling.
The greenmarket is located at Kollwitzplatz, in a small local park. I say local because the neighborhood is so cute. The park has a bunch of areas for kids to play and even ping pong tables. The market takes place down one of the sides of the park where there are restaurants and stores too that open up to the market. Really so nice.
Each food group is covered by one cart, no more. Chicken and eggs.
Pasta maker and down the way a bread cart.
Cheese, coffee and wine table. Super communal
I strolled back to a busier street to grab a cab and was overcome with the smell of strawberries. On the corner of the street, just sitting there solo, was a kiosk of strawberries. I bought a carton and indulged myself in the sweetest strawberries.
My next stop was the Neue Nationalgalerie. The building in itself is worth going to see. Designed and built by Mies van der Rohe in 1968. There are two exhibits there right now. I really went to see the Otto Piene exhibit but discovered that the exhibit is at 10pm every night so instead I saw the Expansion of the Combat Zone. Rooms showing contemporary artists from 1968 to the present that represent the political issues of that time. Mostly high profile artists. I really enjoyed it. I took a picture of this Gerhard Richter piece and that was it. No photos allowed.
Around the corner from there are a bunch of galleries. Many have moved from Mitte into the western area of Berlin due to the escalating real estate prices. We had purchased a piece of art from the Barbara Wien gallery at the Frieze so I stopped in there first. The show was from Adeagbo George. A huge archeological type of exhibit where he has gathered fragments from his life. A lawyer by training in the Ivory Coast who used to make these installations in his yard. I liked this one hand written note.
I then stopped by another gallery that was showing Philip Gaston, an American artist, at Aurel Scheibler.
Then I stopped into Isabella Bortolozzi to see Wu Tsang, A day in the life of bliss. Really interesting video installation of the artists Berlin underground scene.
It had started to rain, my phone was dying so instead of going to another gallery and there are many over there but you kind of have to hunt them out. They are now front and center of the buildings but inside the buildings on floors. I decided to make my way over to Bikini Berlin.
Bikini Berlin is a new mall concept. The space is really open. Almost loft like. There are a few different floors. Each floor is a bit different and one is outdoors. There are art stores, small kiosks, larger stores with anything from home supplies and decor to food.
You even have to pay to pee.
The mall is butted up against the zoo so there is this huge glass window where you can see the monkeys play.
Essentially Bikini Berlin is what a mall should look like in the 21st Century. Open, communal, mixture of culture and commerce, just not as stuffy as the ones built in the 70’s although when they first came on the scene they were considering amazing. I am not so much a fan of malls but certainly when it is 5 degrees outside there is something to say for the indoor shopping experience.
I made my way back to the hotel afterwards and took it easy for a few hours before dinner.
Artnet had an article about galleries moving out of Chelsea due to escalating rents. The soho-ization of Chelsea. no doubt. Retail stores insead of galleries.
it is not happening that quickly.
Good to know.
as the ones built in the 70′s although when they first came on the scene they were considering amazing.Hey and that was before food courts!Now what you typically end up with is just same formula stores, different mall…Back in the earlier 90’s (when malls were still hot) an older “mentor type” friend owned a chain of stores in malls (dating to the 70’s and 80’s). His business (costume jewelry) was going down the tubes and he couldn’t sell as a business and he worried out loud about how he’d keep up his lifestyle. Out of nowhere came a company that wanted the roughly 20 locations and paid him for that only and let him keep the merchandise which he sold off. That was then. They were good mall locations (since he was a long term tenant). That said locations would never be needed now with all the vacancies and the value wouldn’t be there. Timing.He used to always complain about the mall owners who held the power back then. Over time many things change like that.
the evolving world of malls. could make for a good story.