Berlin has left the season of cherries. Overhead, along shady avenues and in playgrounds, berries and stone fruits ripen. As we walked to Krumme Lanke with a picnic basket in hand, S plundered the front gardens of the silent Bruno Taut row houses.
We were on our way to look at some cupboards at Stacey's studio in Lichtenberg. On a summer Saturday, Kaskelstraße was quiet. The park beside Nöldnerplatz was shaded with common ash trees. A red-haired woman pumped the fountain until water spilled down the stones into the sand. Overhead there were apples; a row of blackberry bushes hugged the edge of the playground.
On summer mornings and evenings, Volkspark Wilmersdorf is alive with rabbits, munching cloer in trios. In the afternoons, the park beside the Goldenem Hirsh plays host to a half-dozen picnics. Walking home afterwards, the residential streets are heavy with fruit.
Krumme Lanke, Berlin-Zehlendorf (map) The lake can be unbearably rowdy at the weekends, whereas one almost always finds a quiet space of shore mid-week.
Rudolph Wilde Park, Berlin-Schöneberg (map) Children love watching the U4 trains whisk in and out of Rathaus Schöneberg stop, arguably the prettiest station in the city.
Once again, we headed down to the water.
Have you got a favorite spot for picnic provisions? Our baskets were filled with buttery biscuits from the new Albrecht's on Sophienstraße, with Grüner Veltliner and Morbier from the charming Jens Garlipp on Große Hamburger Straße, with figs and rolls from the supermarket.
By nightfall, all we could see of the pleasure boats were their lights reflected in the river.
Albrecht's, Sophienstraße 5, Berlin-Mitte (map) Pocket-sized pâtisserie with perfect tartes and tortes.
Garlipp Weinhandlung, Große Hamburger Straße 1, Berlin-Mitte (map) Unpretentious and competent wine shop with a small selection of cheese and antipasti.
Let's store up this summer against all the other summers that are gray and drizzly, damp and dispiriting. I don't go out much these days. Even on the kitchen sofa, silhouetted against the balcony curtains, though, there's the light of these endless evenings. It seems to grow more lovely as dusk draws in.
Oh, but the sun is shining, the bees buzzing. Not one, but two events on this weekend for amateur apiarists and those who just love honey. Do bees drink only nectar, or water too? Do bumblebees make honey? Oh yes, my daughter will be in tow.
On Saturday, Slow Food Berlin, Prinzessinnengarten, Mellifera and Berlin's beekeepers' associations join forces to stage the fourth annual Stadthonig-Fest (or Urban Honey Festival). More than 30 city beekeepers will be on hand to speak about their work and sell jars of fresh spring honey, and there will be a children's program. Prinzessinnengarten's lovely garden cafe will serve up dishes featuring Berlin honey, culminating with a honey-themed dinner—think calzones with honey and regional goat's cheese—beginning at 6:30pm. Spaces are limited, so do email to check if there are still spots free.
Then on Sunday, the reconstructed 13th century village Museumsdorf Düppel in Zehlendorf will host Honigtag (Honey Day). On this day, children can help the beekeepers spin honey from the honeycomb. As always, one can also find live demonstrations of woodworking, weaving, iron working, and more.
PS: & also - Otto Piene's More Sky installation opened at the Neue Nationalgalerie on Tuesday. This Saturday's Sky Art Event celebrates the opening and marks the debut of the three star sculptures, including the Berlin Superstar. But the installation is worth visiting any evening from 10pm-3am with a picnic basket, a chilled bottle of Grüner Veltliner, and a few good friends.