30 November 2013

Secret behaviour

I have developed a strange habit in my time living outside Denmark. I actually never really miss living in Denmark, but subconsciously I have found (strange) ways of connecting myself with the mother land. I have noticed I talk a lot about Denmark when I meet strangers; I like to compare with other places and distinguish what is typical Danish. Whether it's wearing sneakers to everything, having blonde hair, or something else. And in Montreal I started doing something truly strange; sometimes I will put on my Danish playlist in iTunes and sing aloud to songs that remind me of childhood or my family and friends. And sometimes it gets me all teared up. But it doesn't mean I want to jump on the first plane to Copenhagen. It's just a nice little thing I do occasionally…. So what do I listen to? Here are a few (of those that can actually be found on youtube (?€#% youtube germany!):

27 November 2013

Home office luxury

Last night I made bananabread. It was nice to determine that my gas oven indeed does function, and it's been so long since I've baked something it was quite the little adventure. Yes, when you are in assignment hell, it's the small things that count. Like my breakfast arrangement this morning; slightly overcooked egg, avocado on crisp bread on top of goat's cheese sprinkled with cumin. And freshly made coffee. Purks of writing at home.

26 November 2013

Cakes in the cold

It's really getting chilly. My phone died in my pocket today as I was walking up Sonnenallee. I forgot that it does that when it's cold; it had around 50% battery left but couldn't take it. I was meeting Jessica of Best Wishes From Berlin fame (check out the new and improved blog, soon there will be contributors from cities around the world!) at a little Japanese-French cake shop on Pannierstraße called Two and Two (Pannierstr. 6, Neukölln). It was a nice refuge from the cold, and inside it smelled sweet of freshly baked treats.
 The birds must have it cold up there….
 Outside, by the neighbouring shop there was this wooden throne. Quite a great place to sit in the summer I can imagine….
 Jessica had a very rich hot chocolate, I had coffee, and then we had a madeleine and a treat I have forgotten the name of. And I tried to wake up my phone but to no avail.
Because Jessica knows the owner, we got a madeleine to go, fresh out of the oven. Oh bliss.

25 November 2013

Finally some sun!

Waking up this morning was a bliss. I wanted to keep on sleeping, but I forgot about that as soon as I peeked out of the window and saw a clear blue sky. After what seems like weeks with nothing but heavy clouds and greyness, it was a very welcome sunny day. I spent it at Melbourne Canteen (Pannierstr. 57, Neukölln) with my working crew, Swedes Johanna and Hanna. We had Australian brekkie, swapped ideas for stories and worked for a few hours before retiring to our kiez'. I can't tell you how great it feels to sit at my desk with the sun blasting in the living room. I haven't even turned on the light yet, and it's 15.30. More sun, please!
 On Saturday, I went for a walk with Cordula. The canal was grey and moist from the dusty rain showers. The city seemed hungover and not in the mood for anything.
 Sunday was the same. Weserstraße was quiet, so silent it felt nobody was breathing.
 And then came the sun. It was cold cold cold biking up to Pannierstraße, my eyes went watery, my cheeks were freezing, but I wore sunglasses for the first time since forever, and I remembered how much I appreciate sun when it's finally there.
 Flat white, poached egg and avocado on toast. A favourite.
 Pannierstraße in long shadows.
And my current view in the apartment. I must get around to remove the last boxes; it has been a month now...

23 November 2013

About borders and coffee

Last week I met Rasmus from Dönerkind (check out the website, it's cool!). He suggested we met at Leuchtstoff Kaffeebar on Siegfriedstr. 18 in Neukölln. On my way there, I discovered I had been in the area before. One time, I purposely got lost, and I had taken photos from the bridge going over the train tracks at Ilsestraße. And another time I had gone around there in the dark trying to find a party. I like discovering places and drawing lines on my inner map, connecting the city to itself, familiarizing myself with it. Also, the train tracks in that area mark the ringbahn that goes in a circle around the city. For all berliners, the ringbahn signifies the border of the city. You don't really live in Berlin if you live outside the ringbahn… When AnCa visited, we went to the café again, and we stood on that bridge photographing the tracks and looked over on the other side. "I don't know what is over there," one of us said looking over on the buildings that didn't look so different from the ones on our side. We both felt we were on the edge of the city, still safe behind the invisible fence that is the ringbahn. Berliners are crazy. I must go explore over there sometime. But in the meantime, if you're near, go have coffee at Leuchtstoff, it's so quirky, and the coffee is good.
 The whole place is strapped together by wooden things, and they even hung up a sofa… I chickened out and couldn't get myself to climb up there, but AnCa OK'ed it and said the view was alright.
 The area between my house and Siegfriedstraße is definitely also worth a trip. Rickardkiez is my new place to go exploring for sure...
I'm still hoping for a summer in one of these once. Just to camp out in the van and go wherever you want….

21 November 2013

The small things

I am really happy in this apartment. I've lived here almost a month now, and it's gone by very fast. I love waking up in the morning, listening to the sounds outside, making coffee and deciding whether to take an hour in bed reading or go straight to work by my big desk in the living room. AnCa brought me a Danish newspaper when she was here in the weekend, and it's quite a luxury taking time to read it with a cup of coffee and the grey light shining in from the big windows. I really do love it here.

20 November 2013

Grey days

It feels like forever since I've seen the sun. It's both quite cosy and kind of depressing that the sky is a constant thick layer of grey. I'm spending the days inside trying to write my assignment and take care of a fever that knocked me over on Monday. My house is full of the warming music from the autumn playlist, and I hear the washing machine spinning and the gas heater purring in the kitchen. It's kind of nice.
Last week I went down to the ringbahn on my way to a coffee meeting. The colours on the train tracks were breathtaking, the air was crisp, and it seemed like the exact recipe for November.
Other than that, the sky is grey grey grey. Like this day in Mitte where I found myself looking up at one of my favourite buildings; the TV tower.
Efterklang's 'Sedna' from last year's album 'Piramida' is the perfect song for grey weather. And it's so numbingly beautiful.

18 November 2013

A spontaneous weekend

Thursday afternoon I received following text from AnCa; "What would you say to a Berlin visit this weekend?" I jumped aboard, and the next morning I picked up AnCa from the u-bahn. We spent all Friday, Saturday and Sunday together in our grey city before she left for Copenhagen this morning. So lovely to be reunited with my old Berlin roomie. I love spontaneous things like that, especially when it's a much better alternative to a weekend in front of the assignment I don't want to write. So thanks for coming, and this time around I remembered to photograph!
 Ready to take on the city Friday, condom hat and all.
 After spending some money in Mitte, we met Cordula for coffee and a sweet treat at cake marvel Katie's Blue Cat (Friedelstr. 31, Neukölln). Yum.
 Saturday was cold, but AnCa had bought a new winter coat the day before and looked both sharp and incredibly Copenhagen-esque as we wandered around in Neukölln.
 Danish Rasmus and his wife took part of Restaurant Day and served barleyotto (risotto made of barley) out their Neukölln window. Shirin and AnCa had the savory version with pumpkin and cheese, and I had barley porridge with apple compote, salty caramel sauce and roasted nuts……!
 Afterwards, we went into Tempelhof for a foggy late afternoon walk.
 On Herrfurthplatz, we made it for the last hour of a little street market. We had hot chocolate and Indian food and spotted locals.
 Later, we managed to gather at least three different friend groups for a night of drinks and dancing at Ä (Weserstr. 40, Neukölln) and Fuchs & Elster (Weserstr. 207, Neukölln). We came home at 5.30 in the morning and it was just as it should be. (These photos were the most appropriate ones…)
Sunday was hangover day, and we tried to cure it with English breakfast vegetarian style at Saarbach (Sanderstr. 22, Neukölln). It helped a little, but I guess we were lost causes.
 So we headed to Friedrichshain in the hopes of finding some good vintage stuff at Boxhagener Platz fleamarket, but it was closed so instead we went for cakes and frizzy relief at Silo (Gabriel-Max-Str. 4, Friedrichshain).
 After a nap back in the apartment, we went back to our old hood in Kreuzberg for a galette at French wonder Manouche (Grimmstr. 23, Kreuzberg) along with a bunch of friends. It turned into a 'look-who-stopped-by', and our little table was crammed with several nationalities and languages. So nice.