On a Mission

(backdated to 19 January, 2013; written 25 January 2013)

As so often happens when we spend a short time in a new place, we run around with a mission in our heads.  We HAVE to do this and that and the other.  It’s easy to miss the most interesting things to see when you are on a mission.

Saturday in Berlin, we decided, would be shopping day.  We got up at a reasonable hour and went out for breakfast.  I was actually surprised at what we had for breakfast every day.  Here’s an average Berlin breakfast in a restaurant:

Look at all that fruit!  This was the healthiest breakfast I’ve had in years.  My stomach just didn’t know what to do with all those vitamins and minerals and became a bit upset.

First we went hunting for record stores.  DB was told by friends that we could find a lot of them around the East Train Station.  But first we walked along the river and a long piece of the Berlin Wall that has been turned into an outdoor art gallery.  Here are some photos of that area:

We walked around in the freezing cold, mostly completely alone on the streets, looking for record stores we never found in this neighborhood.  But I did see this crazy pink pipe everywhere.  Everywhere!  They raised it up so cars could drive past it.  They ran it over fences.  I just don’t get it.

Anyway, we finally decided to head to another neighborhood to find more interesting shopping.  Off we went on the U Bahn to Rosenthaler Platz, stepped out of the station and there was a record store.  Bingo!  But first we had to find a cafe to sit and eat/drink something because we were frozen.  We found the friendly and hip and fully wifi’d St. Oberholtz.

The food and coffee was great and honestly I’ve never seen so many laptops in a cafe before.  I don’t think people talked to each other, just sat next to each other sending messages.  DB went back to check out the record store and I stayed behind to stay warm and work on my sock.

He didn’t find what he was looking for but found out there were other record shops further up the street, so off we went, walking up Weinbergsweg.  We found a super cute shop that sold vinyl and clothes.  DB bought a record and I bought this t-shirt.  It’s hand printed with a knitted lace design.  How could I NOT buy this shirt?

The name of the shop is Rotation Boutique Berlin.  Well worth a visit. If I had a larger budget I would have bought more clothes there.

But we were still on a mission and finally found another record shop in the basement of this building.

I walked around taking photos and DB decided not to buy anything.  The woman working there sent us to another street to find another record store, and even though we tried, we couldn’t find it.

Finally it was time for my mission – a yarn shop.  Yesterday I asked Stephen West what shops he would recommend since I knew he had been here recently.  He said that he went to one shop (can’t remember the name now) but also heard that Hand Made Berlin was nice.  After checking both of their web shops I decided on Hand Made Berlin just because they seemed to have more unusual yarns.  I was right!

After wandering around far too long in the cold, being lost, we found it.

This is exactly the kind of shop I wish I owed.  Lots of yarn, the “normal” stuff you find in Europe, plus lots of interesting yarns from Japan and Scandinavia and Scotland and the U.S. AND there’s a coffee bar and tables and chairs to sit and drink coffee and knit!  What could be better?  I took a couple of photos of the back of the shop.  There’s a lot more besides this and I highly recommend the shop if you are in Berlin.  I bought 3 colors of Shetland 3ply yarn – but you’ll read more about that in a later post.

By this time we were very tired from all the walking and wandering around.  One last push, walking down another street looking for somewhere to eat, we walked past the New Berlin Synagogue.  What a beautiful building.  It’s amazing that it was not completely destroyed during WWII.

We found a cafe on a corner, got something to eat and headed back to the hotel to crash and burn.  Tomorrow another day and another agenda.

2 thoughts on “On a Mission

  1. Cybèle January 25, 2013 / 18:18

    I have a yarn shop like that near me, it’s called Cafe Knit, it’s a yarn shop with a coffee shop. It’s very small but so sweet, lots to see, and the combination is just irresistible. I haven’t been very often as it’s slightly out of my way, but I do think she’s hit on a winning formula there.
    Love your tshirt.

    • Alex January 26, 2013 / 12:35

      Lucky you to have a shop like that near you. It’s probably good for your wallet and stash that you don’t get there often! There are a few nice shops around here, but none of them are very big and none have space for a coffee bar. Typical NL – everything crammed into too small a space.

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