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O.B.E – Oberbaum-Eck

The OBE bar brought an interesting dilemma to my doorstep. On the one hand, it’s a bar; and I have strong evidence supporting the theory that if I won’t drink in each pub in Wrangle kiez, the world would come to an end. On the other hand, it’s a football (soccer) bar; which is one thing that I couldn’t care less about. Luckily, much like the octopus, there are third and forth hands to this argument. The third hand says: it’s not just a bar – but a rock-punk bar! I do like those. and the forth points out wisely that they offer six tapped beers. An enormous amount in Berlin.


[I don't take my camera along to pubs. It's a dangerous habit. So I'll just spread some random beer pics. This one is from here. CC]

One cloudy Tuesday night, just before Christmas, when the city was already emptied from most of its denizens, I entered OBE. There weren’t that many people there: one group of foreigners loudly discussed something in the back room. Another American couple on what looked like a traveling-date (like, when you, as a tourist, meet a fellow traveler of the opposite sex and asked him/her for a beer diluted with some very non innocent intentions). And last but not least there was also a another dude, with a book, who drunk one beer after the other. I would never understand how can someone have more than one beer and still be reading so calmly. Germans, ah?

On the football match days they hang in OBE two huge screens, around which gather the local fans. But on nights like this, when nobody plays, you can really absorb the punk-design of the place. Accompanied by great punk-rock music. They got there tons of memorabilia, which strongly imply that they somehow connect to the famous St. Pauli quarter in Hamburg (which is a Hamburg version for a mixture between Kreuzberg and Amsterdam), and a cozy design in general.

The beers are reasonably priced: from 2.5 for the boring Astra, till 3 for a bit more exotic things. And they serve it well, with the right amount of foam. But that’s almost a standard in Germany (which is why I like this country). Maybe it was the alcohol in blood, but after an hour of beer-sipping, I came to the conclusion that OBE is an excellent local bars – as long as they don’t screen games. It’s comfortable, got nice clients, good music if you’re into rock-punk, and cheap beer. What else would I demand from a place located 4 minutes from my house?

Business Card:
Name:
Oberbaum-Eck.
Address: Bevernstrasse 5 (U Schlesisches Tor).
Opening Hours: 15:00 – Last customer.
Buttom Line: If you’re into football, which makes you part of the majority of the world, then follow the game plan in their website.

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Salon Schmück

I had a visitor last summer. He came to finish his thesis, and we spent days over days in Cafes. Studying in silence. Bothering one another with stupid meaningless questions (hey, I never said it was efficient studying!). We spent, what, like three or four mornings average a week in Salon Schmück (Schmück = jewelry in German. Salon kind of means the same). Which is *a lot* by any standard. Until one day “the event” ocured: I connected my laptop to the outlet. And when I came to pay, I was told to pay an extra Euro for that. This ended in a one-sided  silent ban from one side. Meaning, I had returned there for months. Until…

Well, until this week. For no apparent reason I found myself one charming morning sitting in Salon Schmück. And what did I find? that it stayed as cute as I remembered. Which wins it a post in the blog.

Salon Schmück is a cafe in Wrangel kiez, not far away from the corner of Wrangle and Skalitzer streets. It’s menu offers the same thing that most cafes in the street: a nice popular breakfast, daily lunch menu that varies between soups, pastas and other simple dishes – and lots and lots of coffees. It’s nice, but it’s nothing to write home about. The thing *to write* home about is that they got a second hand shop in the back! and there’s also a back-smoking room for people who hate breathing. The rumors also talk about some afternoon concert that goes there on Sunday at 18:00, but I never witnessed that. Maybe because I never was there on Sunday?

In the summer it’s one of the best place to sit outside – with small white tables, leaves that shed on your slowly from the trees, and a nice relaxed crowd. During winter time one has to turn to the inner room. Which is “ok”. Not as decorated at Hubertus Lounge, but also not too bad tasted. There’s a kind of light indy/britpop soundtrack going on, and in general you can spend there pleasurable hours without getting a head ache. And that’s one of the signs of a good neighborhood cafe.

Business Card:
Name: Salon Schmück.
Address: Skalitzer Strasse 80, 10997 Berlin.
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:00-2:00. Though it’s not a night-bird kind of place, so don’t show up at midnight and except exciting things to happen.
Buttom line: Beware of the one-euro electricity charging policy!

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Each Christmas and Bring its Stands Along

I know that Christmas is basically in the end of December.

But my Christmas was last week.

I had a few visitors, and we stayed in Christmas markets almost every evening.

In the weekend, we went the to kitschy Hamburger Dom winter fair. A big there-park kind of event that goes on for hundred of years already, and is the big of its kind in Germany.

There we photographed the lonely pickles clerk from the picture above.

And also this Muppets lady. I want one of those (Muupets. Not lady). 70 Euros for the big ones. Not so much, but not really justified with my current salary.

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