Berlin Culture: Showraum Trofejas / Small Flowers Crack Concrete by Raili Keiv

Yesterday evening i went to the vernissage of a new exhibition at Giedre Bartelt’s lovely showroom Trofejas. This time she presents Raili Keiv, a young estonian designer who works primarily with porcelain.

Raili Keiv, who was present, studied ceramics and product design at the Estonian Academy of Arts (2013 with the completion of MA)
and spent several sabbatical in Germany and Denmark.

Here is how she describes her work:
“The basic materials that I use are both substance as
well as inspiration in designing my objects . The perfection and the
possibilities of the material such as china has for many years been
my topic . I’m experimenting with the boundaries of porcelain as a material. However, I am
stuck to the more or less functional aspects of the objects , which are often
related to the topic of coffee in combination . For small vessels for espresso I look for moments of tension at the
boundary between stability and instability. At the same time , I combine
porcelain with concrete, which in its brutality and severity of a contrast to the
porcelain forms and thus emphasizes the fragility of the material.
My experiments with materials are inspired by historic interiors ,
that are found in modern cafes and bars of Tallinn in the 1950s. This
was a process of experimentation , characterized by combining
substances and the search for forms in ancient and modern history. My
work is a constant game with all these elements.

To select the title of the exhibition inspired me a song of
Group Sonic Youth NYC from the album Ghosts & Flowers.”

These small and fragile espresso cups and milk spenders where lovely, i love the sleek and pure lines of them, as well as the black velvet covers she used on some of them.


Also, these coffee pots with the mugs, combined with concrete…beautiful. Perfect size for an afternoon coffee.

Or these. Concrete combined with with vintage porcelain. Imagine the cup of tea and some cookies.

Perfect to serve some snacks.

Raili also made these cups / bowls, some with uni-colored others with florals inside. These bowls actually “bowled”, they are not standing flat. Beautiful, bt i cannot imagine having them at home with an hyperactive cat…

Giedre also presented other baltic goodies like chocolate from Chocolote Naive from Vilnius.

And coffee from Crooked Nose & Coffee Stories

There were also these lovely hand knitted wrist warmers. I love these, they are so beautiful and well made. The photo doesn’t do them justice.

The exhibition is open on friday and saturday from noon to 6 pm until march 15th.

Showraum Trofejas
Wielandstrasse 31
10629 Berlin

Visit the websites:

www.trofejas.com
www.railikeiv.genresis.com

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Through My Eyes: Schlosspark Babelsberg

It’s been quite spring-like weather wise here lately. So last sunday i finally took myself and my camera for a walk to Schlosspark Babelsberg. I’ve been there once before, but that was during a very hot summer, and for the only purpose to get refreshed by the little beach and water there.

The park was built for prince Wilhelm from 1833 on. For the garden architecture Peter Joseph Lenné was first in charge until Fürst Hermann von Pückler-Muskau took over. The castle was planned by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

Most of the buildings are in pity condition, the castle is being restored currently, but money as well as a plan what to use it for is needed for the Marstall, which is where the horse stables were.

A little castle down by the water is now hosting a café.


I walked around the grounds for a good two hours, enjoying some sun, the views, the warm air. And the old buildings. Of course.

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Food Love: Pumpkin Gulasch

While chatting with a friend about food and cooking she told me about pumpkin gulasch. Sounded super-delicious to me so i gave it a try last weekend.

Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch
Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch
Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch
Making of: Pumpkin Gulasch

Take a Hokaido pumpkin, some vegetables ( i took carrots, potatoes and paprika ) and 2-3 big onions. Chop into pieces.
Glaze onions in a big pot in some oil, do the same with the pumpkin pieces in a pan, then add vegetable bouillon to the onions, add the vegetables and pumpkin, let simmer a while. Add sweet paprika powder, salt pepper and some coconut milk. Cook some pasta and serve with the gulasch.
An easy made and delicious autumn-meal.

Bon appétit !

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SUP – Stand Up Paddling

A couple of weeks ago i’ve spent ( again ) some days at my friend’s place at the baltic sea. When i arrived she asked if i wanted to try Stand Up Paddling (SUP) and of course i said yes. Because, even if i wouldn’t be able to stand up on the board it would be a lot of fun….falling off into the water.
So, one evening we went to the surf school and rented the boards and the paddles. The guy gave us a brief explanation what to do and off we went.
And it went well ! I was able to stand up on the board after a few seconds and started paddling. It was so much fun !
After i while i became very confident, was able to balance out the few waves caused by boats passing by. Maybe i became too confident, because that was the moment i fell off the board into the water.
I paddled quite a distance off the shore, was totally free of thoughts, it was kind of a meditation. And a lot of fun. And sportive, too. You actually work out a lot of different muscle groups.
I loved it so much that we returned the next day.
Now i’m looking forward to do some SUP here in Berlin, and maybe next year buy a inflatable SUP-board.
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Berlin Events: 1er Aout at the Chuchichäschtli

After living for 19 years in Switzerland there are some things that i do miss about this country. Like celebrating the swiss national day which takes place on august 1st.

Last year i celebrated at the Malzfabrik, whose owner happens to be swiss.

This year i went to a small shop nearby my home, the Chuchichäschtli ( which translates into “kleiner Küchenkasten” or small kitchen cupboard ). I love this place as they offer swiss food and wines ( oh the wines !) from Switzerland that you cannot find elsewhere in Berlin. They have all the wines i’m used to from the Lake Geneva area where i used to live.
Chuchichäschtli
This year they organized a street party to celebrate the national day. It was really nice, with perfect summer weather.
The shop and some balconies in the street were decorated with swiss flags, there was swiss wine, typical swiss salads, saucisses ( cervelats ) and raclette. Yum!
In the evening they had Jodlers, Guggenmusic and other attractions.
Raclette & Chasselas
I met the guy who imports the wines and we had small chat about the vineyards of the Lavaux and La Cote area and the Fete des Vignerons, which takes place in the Vevey once every 25 years. I was lucky to attend in 1999. Tip: Don’t miss the next one !

So i went there in the afternoon, had some raclette and a glass of Chasselas. And bought some wine and some filled Tomme cheese.
And returned home happy because i had my little “1er Aout”-celebration !

Chuchichäschtli
Holsteinische Strasse 19
10717 Berlin – Wilmersdorf

Monday: closed
Tuesday to Friday: 10.00 – 18.30h
Saturday: 10.00h – 15.00h

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Food: More Schöneberger Tomatos

Schöneberger Tomaten - Frisch von meinem Balkon

My two tomato plants on the balcony are doing well. There will be a lot of salad and tomato-mozzarella these days !

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Berlin Culture: Literary Night Walk “Life was a Cabaret?” through Schöneberg

This saturday night i had booked a literary nightwalk through my neighbourhood Schöneberg via the Theatergemeinde.
It was themed “Life was a Cabaret?” and showed places around the Nollendorfplatz were many artists and authors lived in the 1920′s.
It was interesting and i learned quite a lot about my neighborhood, like
- today’s nightclub Goya used to be a 1800 seats theater called Piscator-Bühne in the 1920′s. The theater itself does not exist anymore, what you see today was the cinema located in the same building.

Theater Metropol
Theater Metropol

- Schöneberg was a city of its own until 1920 when Berlin, Charlottenburg and Schöneberg were merged to Berlin.
- Nelly Sachs ( Nobel Prize winner of 1966 ) was born in the Maaßenstraße.
- Christopher Isherwood lived several years in the Motzstraße 17. The musical and film “Cabaret” is based on one of his novels written in Berlin.
- Marlene Dietrich was a frequent guest of the nightclub Eldorado which does not exist anymore, the location is now a bio-supermarket.
- Else Lasker-Schüler lived for years in a hotel on Motzstraße.
- A scene of Erich Kästner’s “Emil und die Detektive” takes place right here at Motzstraße and the Piscator-Bühne.

Other facts i learned:
- Helmut Newton is burried in Berlin as well as Marlene Dietrich

We walked for about 2 hours, the walk wasn’t very long in terms of distance. At every stop the guide would explain the historical context and read some excerpts of an author who described this particular place or circumstance. It was interesting to learn about the sub-culture of this area in the pre-WWII era, what kind of reason many of these artists and intellectuals had to be there ( for example, this area used to be the gay-quarter, and it still is today ).

The tour was organized by StattReisen, who offer a big and very interesting variety of themed city-walks. Highly recommended if you want to see Berlin through a different angle. I’ll definitely do some more in the future!

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Food: Summertime snacks

Germany expierenced some very hot days over the past weekend, like 33-36 °Celsius with a lot of sun. Being in the city, it was almost unbearable, especially during the nights, although i had the fan running.
All you can do is drink a lot and have some light food.
I had a big carafe of fresh mint tea refrigerated at all times.
And i cut fruit ( plums and melon ) which i kept in the fridge as well, for a refreshing little “in-between” snack.
Summer snacks
And for dinner i made a light meal of tomato-mozzarella-basilic with the first batch of ripe tomatoes from my balcony. I had also bought a big plant of basilic, so except the mozzarella, it was really “home-made”.
First tomatoes from the balconyTomato-Mozzarella
I did a lot of reading, too hot to move around. And enjoyed my balcony until late in the night with lit candles and lampions.
Summertime: Balcony

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Empty your head

Sometimes, i just want to do something without thinking about it. So recently i read about a shop called Tiger on Steffi’s blog and there happens to be a shop nearby my home. I went there and found this coloring book for adults ( among other things…). For maybe 3 Euros ?

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A fabulous thing to do during an evening, just coloring out the mandalas…

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Vignettes: Shadows On The Wall

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While in Hamburg i had a quick stop at one of my favourite shops Octopus which happens to be in my mother’s neighbourhood.
I got this beautiful big vase there, and put it on my new drawer in the living room corner. There’s one moment in the evening when a ray of sunlight hits this corner through the balcony door.
I love how this ray casts the shadows on the wall.

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