i am stricken with the impetuous travel bug. like many, it ails me throughout the year, particularly on mondays, and generally between 2pm and 5pm.
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.
all of this to say…i need to go. and i need to go now.
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.