Lindens in the sun


And their perfume when it rains!

Book Stand II with Claire Cotrell





The loveliest of Sundays: Book Stand II with Claire Cottrell and Jordan Sullivan at the Freunde von Freunden apartment.




Light filtered through the drizzle. We sipped fragrant bowls of Sacred Emily , smiled to see friends' work in the summer print shop, chatted with Claire, Jordan and Anne, admired the corners of the redesigned apartment, and agonized over which of the nature-centered publications to take home.




Tonight there's a candlelight reading from Jordan's new book. Wine and cake will be served; it begins at 8:30pm. Do go.

Book Stand is an online art bookshop based in Los Angeles.
The FvF apartment is at Mulackstraße 26 in Mitte.



Scenes from a Saturday (Antipodes & Bite Club)





A stack of The Gentlewoman, a string of perfect flat whites, kind patient waitstaff ready to dispense fluffys, a view of a stunning church: Antipodes remains a gem for coffee lovers on a lazy Saturday.






Finally, finally, Bite Club! Singleton whisky tasting, fiery Minglers by John Muir's Gordon Agnew, a Bunsmobile cheeseburger puncuated with a perfect slice of caramelized, whisky-braised pork belly, an improvised Cranachan courtesy of Woop Woop Ice Cream's magical liquid nitrogen machine -- plus sun, glorious sun. A cheer for Chile, a pause to admire the brand-new vegetarian-friendly juice/salad bar Till the Cows Come Home, then home.

Antipodes, Fehrbelliner Straße 5, Berlin-Mitte (map). Their thrilling tag line: "Sensational coffee without the ponce."

Bite Club, Schönhauser Allee 9 (behind the Platoon Kunsthalle), Berlin-Mitte (map), Saturdays 3pm-10pm. Also on the Spree: Eichenstraße 4, Berlin-Treptow (map), Fridays 6pm-midnight. 

Places of Remembrance



But no summer walk is innocent of history. In summer as in winter this sign consumes me. In translation: "Jews are not permitted to leave their flats after 8pm (9pm in the summer)."

It's one in the public art series installed by Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock, ably reported on by Ian Johnson here, which bears witness to the minor and major ways in which Berlin's Jews were forced out of daily life from 1933.


Of a summer's evening





Walking home, walking out. The long summer dusk gives the roses a special glow, while leaching color from the yellow hollyhocks.


Bar am Steinplatz




A rhubarb fizz run through a slushy machine, a cold Rollberger, local trout smoked to perfection—perfect fare, really, for a sultry Berlin evening, and young bar manager Christian Gentemann is charm itself.

Bar am Steinplatz, Steinplatz 4, Berlin-Charlottenburg (map)

Cherry-picking at the Haus am Waldsee (Berlin Biennale)





The cherry trees in front of the Haus am Waldsee are full of fruit. Before we visited the Berlin Biennale, we loitered in the villa's garden and ate our fill.



The back garden had the air of a children's party, of a lazy Sunday picnic. Scattered tables on the lawn held apricot cake and espresso cups.

Parents stooped to read the plaque explaining the Slavs and Tatars sound piece (a jagged, synthesized muezzin's call to prayer) while the speakers, laid out on the grass like an open book, beckoned children to romp. By the lake, a father explained the motion-triggered water sculpture while the boy stared spellbound at the sky reflected in the still water.

The lake itself, I learned later, was an artificial one, constructed from a meadow. To stand at its edge and spot the rear sides of the adjacent villas felt utterly natural, though really, we were all interlopers: we had art to thank for allowing us to sample such rare air. As before at the Haus am Waldsee, art for a moment seemed pale placed alongside life — but I did come around to the art.



'Quintor des nègres' played as we drank our tea on the veranda, part of the Argentine artist Carla Zaccagnini's installation, Le Quintor des Nègres, encore. A fountain fashioned of Cypriot copper plashed in a back room. A horror-film score punctuated the still dramas of forests and housing project in Patrick Alan Banfield's twin-screened vyLö:t. The pleasing cacophony continued upstairs with the video and soundtrack of a woman DJing classical music LPs in Anri Sala's Unravel.

If I thought the magnetism of the grounds represented a personal failure to be serious, I was pleased to read curator Juan Gaitan remark himself on this tension: "It is an intimate space, and more demanding in terms of one’s focus on contemporary artworks. The artists are competing with the house, the surrounding lake, and so forth."

Before we left, we filled our pockets with cherries, and when we went home, we made Rumtopf.