Our Neighbourhood

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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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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€

KW

There is a festival going on in Berlin-Mitte and the south-western part of the city with nearly sixty international artists involved. First hosted in 1998 the Berlin Biennale has developed to become one of the world’s most famous events for contemporary art. Curated by Juan A. Gaitán, canadian-columbian author and curator, the works discover the intersection between historical narratives and individual experiences.

Two venues chosen for this year’s festival are places you probably won’t think of whilst preparing a quick trip to one of the liveliest metropolis in the world and therefore well worth a visit: the Museum Dahlem and the Haus am Waldsee. Both idyllic ally situated they show works that deal with the past – new productions by artists from former European colonies in Asia, America and Africa. Another venue for the festival is a little closer to home, and within walking distance of the Circus, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art which you will find on Auguststraße.

 

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First, one and only silent film organ festival takes place at Babylon Cinema for the 5th time. Between the 18th and the 27th of July you can watch 21 movies shot between 1918 and 1929. Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Pandora’s Box were breaking taboos back then and still show what impact the First World War had on artists and their creations. Anna Vavilkina gives you the feeling of being in one of the famous cinema palaces back in the 1920s. babylon1

She is the only permanently employed organist in the country. During the festival she is accompanied by Viennese componist Florian C. Reithner. Their interpretations revive the director’s work and emphasize the emotional moment of this art form that is way more than just cinema without spoken text. It gave me the shivers – in a very positive way!
Go and see stars like Conrad Veidt, Louise Brooks, Anita Berber and Greta Garbo in their most famous roles.
And for those who won’t make it there until the 27th – no need to worry. Every Saturday at midnight you can watch a silent film for free! Check out their website for more information and other upcoming events: www.babylonberlin.de

It is Fashion Week in Berlin, including Bread & Butter at the former Tempelhof Airport, and we’ve been bitten by the shopping bug. What could be better than spending a day exploring the neighbourhood around the Circus, visiting some of the small stores here in Berlin Mitte to find your new favourite piece. Within walking distance of Rosenthaler Platz there are loads of places where you can spend your hard-earned cash, and so we have picked some of our favourites that can be reached on foot in just a couple of minutes:

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This is a paradise for vintage addicts, and Maria has gathered together a beautiful collection of collector’s items at XVII, from Valentino via Ralph Lauren and MCM – everything a women’s heart logs for. The icing on the cake? Fantastic fashion advice… well worth a visit!

Steinstraße 17
www.xvii-store.com

lala Berlin

Cool femininity meets high quality materials – cashmere, silk and light cotton emphasise the styles and cuts created by Leyla Piedayesh, a German-Iranian designers. The light and airy store has been selling Urban Chic since 2006, and word has spread to the stars: lala Berlin and its attention-grabbed patterns and prints have become synonymous with the red carpet. Everyone who wants to take a closer look will be welcomed warmly by the staff.

Mulackstraße 7
www.lalaberlin.com

Butterflysoulfire

Maria Thomas and Thoas Lindner not only took part in the creating of costumes for the ‘Red Bull Flying Illusion’ but they also design elegant, simple and refined pieces with a touch of extravagance for both women and men. Art lovers might also be interested to know that Thoas’ collection of 150 ‘Hungry Ghosts’ sculptures, inspired by East Asian Mythology, are also available at the store.

Mulackstraße 11
www.butterflysoulfire.blogspot.com

The Shit Shop

Whether you love the name or hate it, it certainly attracts attention, as do the owners Bonnie Strange and Lena Nußbaum. Here you will find not only Bonnie’s own collection – ‘The Shit’ – but also bigger brands and well-selected designer labels that you won’t find anywhere else in Berlin. And for those who want to show some colour: get your nails done – and how about a ‘My Little Pony’ on your ring finger?

Rückerstraße 10
www.theshitonline.com

Potipoti

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(Photo by PSCFOTOclick@pscfoto.net)

Graphic design, art, fashion – and sustainability! Silvia Salvador and Nando Cornejo show us that you can combine all these elements and look fantastic. The clothing and accessories meet every budget, and I myself have an eye on the espadrilles, which are part of the new collection and made in Spain.

Rosenthaler Straße 66
www.potipoti.com

Arseniko

Nadia Barcella has owned this store for forteen years and brings together Italian, Swiss, Scandinavian and German designers, who all produce their sustainable fashion in Europe. Under the slogan “shopping goes awareness” you can discover a lot of colour and cuddly materials, and get the chance to discover some new young talents: once a year Nadia invites two students the chance to produce their own pieces at her store in Berlin

Dirckenstraße 45
www.arseniko.com

Novacane

Sneakers, sneakers, sneakers… and streetwear! At Novacane you will be blown away not only by the interior design but also the wonderment of which shoe will find its way into the store. Facebook will keep you up to date. At the same time, Bastian Braun’s concept is not only defined by fashion: the owner’s taste in music and streetart are what makes it a perfect store all round.

Linienstraße 205
www.novacane-store.com

rau Berlin

This is where they will take the measure of you… and the elegant and timeless leather trousers (for men and women) that are tailored individually by designer Martina Rau. The focus is on the person who wears the product, and not the piece itself. Fashion does not function as a costume, but instead dresses and caresses. That’s why the unique shapes flatter every figure, and because the production is entirely Berlin-based, you get fashion that is not only exceptional, but fairly-produced as well.

Steinstraße 7
www.rauberlin.com

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