today’s fix? berlin. why? the festival of lights.
for two weeks every year, berlin and its landmarks get bathed in artist-inspired, large-scale displays of light. the candyland concoction of colors, images and shapes on nearly 300-year old buildings, is not only visually stunning, but also pays tribute to the city’s dichotomous nature – the young with the old, the history mixed in with the present.
in truth, beyond the festival, berlin has actually always intrigued me. a city that is in constant juxtaposition with a sobering past, yet doesn’t ignore it, but builds upon it with modernism and a continually renewed sense of culture (the festival being a perfect example).
that renewed culture has lead to an influx of the european creative class – thick-rimmed glasses, tousled-hair, painstakingly disheveled – you know the type. a walk down the street recalls images of modern-day getrude steins and arthur rimbauds; refined hipsters perhaps…except there they are just berliners. no judgment though, these stylishly precocious denizens have galvanized the city with an explosive contemporary art scene, an independent film community and a food forum to rival that of london and paris.
perhaps a stay at the schlosshotel im grunewald (anything that has oxblood walls and touts 600+ thread count calls my name), a saunter over to andreas murkudis’s eponymous concept store (i.want.everything.) and stop for a savory treat at konnopke’s imbiss (you just can’t go wrong with a 50-year old sausage stand)…and of course the festival of lights.
the city’s constant evolution is mesmerizing…even in pictures…and on this bland monday, i can think of no better place to daydream myself to than new ole’ berlin.