Our Neighbourhood

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Those of you who have been following the tales of our Creativity Bonanza here at the Circus may remember this:

Optiker

Well now, if you come on by to Rosenthaler Platz, you will find it looks more like this:

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Yep, we are welcoming some new neighbours, and the first up and running is Mark and his wonderful Rizo Café Bar. Here’s what the Circus co-owner Andreas has to say:

“How often do you have the chance to welcome Berlin’s best-dressed barista into your building? We renovated the Hostel building to bring a bit of fresh air into the house, to add some extra value for the guests, and to simply make it look better. We have achieved all this, and then we get a mean quiche on top! We´re really happy that Rizo Café and Bar has opened on our premises, and we wish them all the best for the upcoming years!”

Open daily from 8.30am until late, they offer homemade and tasty soups, sandwiches, pastries and other tasty treats,  such as the quiches Andreas mentions, as well as a great selection of drinks. We are extremely pleased to have another establishment raising the culinary bar on Rosenthaler Platz, so if you are in the neighbourhood and feeling peckish, go check out what Rizo’s all about.

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https://www.facebook.com/rizoberlin

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(above: the flags of the German states flying in front of the Reichstag, 3 October 1990)

Today is the 3rd October, a holiday here in Germany because 24 years ago – in 1990 – West and East Germany came together after a dramatic year that saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism not only in the GDR but across central and eastern Europe. In just over a month’s time we will be reflecting on and celebrating the fact that twenty five years ago the Berlin Wall was opened, ending 28 years of division in the city. There are all kinds of things taking place in Berlin over the next month or so, which we will be highlighting here on the Circus blog, but we wanted to let you know about our own programme of events that we have put together in the week running up to the anniversary…

Monday 3 November

Jogging the Berlin Wall Trail – Members of the Circus team will take you on a morning run along the Berlin Wall Trail – the route is about 7km and passes some of the most interesting sites relating to the history of divided Berlin

Tuesday 4 November

Free Tour for Circus guests to the Marienfelde Refugee Centre – this was the first port of call for East Germans who had fled the GDR to the West, both before and after the building of the Berlin Wall

Eyewitness History Talk  ‘Cracks in the Wall: Prague 1989’ with Hans-Joachim Weber. Mr Weber will join us to tell us about his experience of working in the West German Embassy in Prague during the momentous time leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall – This event is in cooperation with the Zeitzeugenbörse, is free and open to the public.

Wednesday 5 November

Mike’s Berlin Wall Memorial Tour – Free tour for Circus guests to the Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre on Bernauer Straße

Thursday 6 November

Stories from the Mauerweg – An evening in cooperation with Slow Travel Berlin, presenting some of the stories of both the past and the present day from along the Berlin Wall Trail – with Paul Scraton (The Circus / Traces of a Border) and Paul Sullivan (Slow Travel Berlin) – This event is free and open to the public.

Sunday 9 November

Berlin Wall Anniversary Tour – Special 9th November tour for Circus guests from our friends at Brewer’s Berlin Tours

So if you are in town from the 2nd to the 9th November, come and join us for some or all of these Wall-related activities… it is going to be a really interesting time to be in the city!

Photo credit: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-1003-417 / CC-BY-SA

Teenage kicks

One of our favourite literary blogs Love German Books and our friends at Slow Travel Berlin are launching a new literary event next week at the ACUD club – just around the corner from Rosenthaler Platz. It looks like a fun evening of readings followed by the excellently named DJ Döner Summer on the decks… see you there?

TEENAGE KICKS!
an evening with Brittani Sonnenberg and Christiane Neudecker

Two writers – one American, one German, both with teenage protagonists. How do they create believable characters without getting patronizing or embarrassing? How do they capture the language and the lives of their teenage narrators? What’s the hardest thing about drawing on your own youth as literary material? And are teenagers the same the world over?

Brittani Sonnenberg will read from Home Leave and Christiane Neudecker will give us a sneak preview of her work-in-progress, Sommernovelle, with English translation – all in conversation with translator extraordinaire Katy Derbyshire.

Stick around afterwards for drinks and conversation with musical kicks selected by DJ Döner Summer: soul, funk, electronica, chill out, experimental and lit-beats.

Tuesday, 9 September, 8 p.m.
ACUD Club (rear Hof)
Veteranenstraße 21, Berlin-Mitte
€ 3 on the door

Facebook Event Page

Pop

Coming up in our neighbourhood on Saturday is the fourth instalment of the Torstaßen Festival, taking place at venues along and close to the street that runs past both the Circus Hostel and the Circus Hotel:

“In cooperation with the venues, cafés, shops and bars in our neighborhood we present a musical matinee showcase with a current leftfield and cross-genre soundtrack. We see ourselves and our festival goers as explorers, who are not afraid to trust their curiosity instead of big headliners. We strive to be a forum for current and relevant development within Berlin’s music scenes: for locals, transients and their influencers.”

To join in the fun, you will need a ticket (€13 in advance, €15 on the day) which works as a pass to all participating venues. At the same time, other places in the neighbourhood are joining in the fun as “partycipants”, offering up a varied programme of side events and other fun and games.

At the Circus Hostel we will be hosting a special Pop Quiz in honour of the Torstraßen Festival, which will take place downstairs at Katz & Maus on Saturday evening from 9pm (admission for this is free). So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a pop culture brainiac, know your Backstreet from your Beastie Boys and your Flaming Lips from your Falco, then come and have a go at the quiz… it is hosted by Ally, our very own Queen of Pop, and there are some funky prizes to be won.

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Thanks to our mates at ocelot, not just another bookstore we have a new selection of books for you to explore in the Fabisch Library at the Circus Hotel. Not only have Maria and Frithjof helped us make our picks, but we have made some our own and you can read about why we have chosen the books that we have. First up for Circus staff picks are Hotel Manager Katrin, who chose ‘Why we took the car’ by Wolfgang Herrndorf, and the Communications team Lisa and Paul, who chose ‘All the Lights’ by Clemens Meyer and ‘The Berlin Wall’ by Frederick Taylor respectively. Keep an eye out on the Fabisch Library during the upcoming renovations, as we will be extending our choices and adding more staff picks for you to try, and thanks again to our friends at ocelot for helping us with our selection.

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About ocelot, not just another bookstore…

You can find ocelot on Brunnenstraße 181, only a few meters away from The Circus. What makes ocelot so special is not only the café, where you can hang out with your friends and family after an exciting tour through the city or read your new book right away, but the fact that it’s a place full of people who love literature. And who won’t hesitate to help you with even the most desperate calls for help – “I’m looking for this book with the blue cover, it shows a dog on the beach”. It is a short walk from the hotel, so why not go check it out?

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UVR1

This is (some of) us at the opening of UVR Connected in the Hotel building on the corner of Rosenthaler Platz. Those of you who have been keeping an eye on the blog will have seen the announcement of the opening a few months ago, and after a lot of work clearing the space and getting it ship-shape, the big event took place last week. Here’s what we said about our new neighbours back then:

“Alongside carefully chosen brands, UVR Connected stores also sell their own collection, much of which is produced in the countryside north of Berlin in a region known as the Uckermark. Using fabrics from Italy and France, UVR Connected creates clothing that is timeless, classic and, in their own words, “grown up”. We think it is great that we will have on the square another local company, committed to production in Germany and Europe, and we are looking forward to welcoming our new neighbours to the square.”

Well now they are here we are certainly happy to have them next door, and as the dust settled on the opening party we sent Lisa around to take some pictures so you can get an idea what to expect. Rosenthaler Platz just got a lot more stylish:

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So the Circus Creativity Bonanza continues apace… anyone who has been to Rosenthaler Platz in recent weeks will see that the renovations to both the hostel and hotel buildings are in full swing. On the hotel side, the new corner shop from our friends at UVR Connected has opened – we will be bringing you some photographs from the interior in the coming days – whilst across the street the Apotheke space has now joined the opticians under the deconstruction hammer.

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But what to expect in the future? Well, behind the scenes the Circus team and our buddies at Unit Berlin have been formulating their plans for both inside and outside the hostel building, and today we are offering a sneak peak of what you can expect for the façade of the building. We have so many ideas that we cannot wait to share with you, so keep following us here on the blog to find out more in the coming weeks and months.

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Only a short walk from The Circus you find a museum that couldn’t differ more from venues like ‘Pergamon Museum’ or the ‘New National Gallery’. It’s a place that you wouldn’t expect in Mitte and that – to be honest – looks a bit weird from the outside. Some of the windows are masked and most of what you can see is a mishmash of lamps, old cameras and furniture. As soon as you enter the ‘Surreal Museum of Industrial Objects’ you set food in a both spooky and interesting world. The small rooms are packed with industrial things that Vlad Korneev, a photographer and artist, arranged in a unique way. From the first moment on you start wondering what those things might be useful for. Some everyday objects that all of us use plenty of times a day suddenly don’t look familiar at all. Others are items from a long gone time and combined with dolls and outdated medical devices the scenery sends a chill down the visitor’s spine. You can either choose to walk around on your own or join a guided tour. Whatever you decide to do: feel free to ask questions. Here’s an easy one: What could this be?

A small hint: when the first copies where produced, it was a luxurious thing to have that most people couldn’t afford. Nowadays your neighbours would probably call the police soon as you switch it on because it’s incredibly loud.

The ‘Designpanoptikum’ is definitely more than a museum – it fills grown-ups with wonder.

Designpanoptikum
Torstraße 201
Mon – Sat 11 am to 6 pm
Entrance fee: 7€

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