Our first day in Berlin, we stumbled upon the “Ramones Museum” after searching our tried-and-true HappyCow.net for vegan-friendly places. The Museum slash cafe was also friendly to the Internet-seeking:
Though our mission was vegan baked goods, we were happy the coffee was delicious too.
Berlin is like a huge dive bar (and I mean this in a complimentary and approving way) with sprays of graffiti art, random performance art, music, and … statues hanging out.
We were happy to meet some of the leadership and activists of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, a German organization dedicated to ending factory farming, including Doreen and Niko, below. Thanks to Jon Camp for connecting us!
Niko works on faunavision-based campaigns across Germany (much like Mercy for Animals’ previous Farm to Fridge tour) and it was inspiring to learn more about the Foundation’s strategic actions for animals.
And part II
In fact, there is a decline in demand for meat in Germany, with a movement toward vegetarianism, and it’s not hard to see how easy it is to be vegan in the country, particularly Berlin where we discovered one of a chain of entirely vegan supermarkets (not co-ops, actual large supermarkets).
We sat to have dessert before lunch at the restaurant upstairs.
After some time at Veganz, we walked around Berlin – some parts are full of graffiti art (and not-art?):
Everywhere we walked there was graffiti and the beautiful word:
Our A.S. friends took us to the body builder gym vegan owned and operated – we’d met the owner on a subway earlier.
Our friends then showed us where to find the East Gallery, which contains part of the preserved wall that fell in 1989, as well as graffiti art from artists who decided to commemorate the times on the remaining wall.
Though the original art has been covered by other graffiti, it has been preserved time and again so that we can continue to enjoy it outside.
The day after, we headed to the overwhelming and comprehensive German Historical Museum. On the way, we walked through a park and ran into a seemingly meaningful yet random wooden puppet (not a marionette since it’s not controlled from above?) being taken for a stroll:
Right after this photo was taken, the puppet noticed us and came over for a greeting, which included hand shakes, hugs, and a finale kiss on the lips before (he?) went on (his?) merry way.
We took many photos inside the museum, but found a lot of art outside the museum setting throughout Berlin. This was in a small alleyway.
Later that night, we took a subway to the further-out location of our show at the Culture Container. If you Google Map the address, it looks like an abandoned series of buildings behind worn away walls.
However, it’s run by Franz, an amazing bundle of energy who from the moment you step into the Container ensures that your recording and show are optimal. Not only does he perfect the sound check, he even asks you what color you prefer to be shone in. I can’t recall our choices, but mine might have been green. As you set up, he’s adjusting lights, audio, stage, television, and more – so that you can have a free recording and video playback.
Inside the complex where this literal shipping container venue was located, was a sort of 1960s hippy wonderland that we absolutely loved. Here is a little tour.
In the middle of the beach island (because this was a beach bar village) — MAGIC words:
There was a DJ and a huge firepit, slides, and buckets and shovels.
A better view of the sandbox
We played with a sweet Russian duo Wowgang who had relocated to Berlin:
At the end of each show, the tireless promoter Franz takes a photo of the bands for the record:
Berlin was fabulous – art-minded, food futuristic, quirky, and beautiful.
As we changed cities so frequently, it was a little bit of an adjustment moving through different cultures and countries. What creates a city’s identity and culture and how is Berlin so advanced socially?