Bear Art: Why you Need a Buddy Bear
Those art bears appeared first in June 2001. Then only as huge statue-like bears, designed by 120 more or less famous international artists, some of them in natural bear position standing on their four paws, others very arty standing like humans with raised arms, and you could turn them around, and they would also stand on their hands. They were placed on squares and wide footpaths, most of them sponsored and later auctioned for children in need. So in the meantime you can find the big original bears also in other cities, relocated to the places where the auction winners live.
The “normal” bears are called friends, the ones which stand on their feet or hands are called dancers (and acrobats, when they stand on their hands).
In art and tourist shops you can buy small and tiny replicas of the original bears, and a part of the price goes to a children’s charity of your choice. So in the meantime you can find them all around the world.
A couple named Dr. Klaus and Eva Herlitz had the idea with the Buddy Bears. They created slogans like: Everybody needs some buddy, and: Let me be your Buddy-Bear.
The project has become so successful that they have started a programme with the name “United Buddy Bears”, promoting tolerance, understanding, and peaceful co-existenz.
The buddy bear you see on my photo was located on Kurfürstendamm, it’s name is “Dali” (guess why…), and it was designed by Lubos Vavro.
On the Buddy Bear website you can browse the whole collection, and order the miniature bears online. The 22 cm high bears cost about 60 Euro, the tiny ones are 6 cm high and cost about 14 Euro. They even offer plain bears which you can design yourself. You get the best results with acrylic paint and varnish.
Germany is well-known for its Christmas markets. Every year, thousands of people come to Germany around Christmas time to visit them.
Of course, Berlin has its own Christmas markets. From around mid November to about the day before Christmas you can visit about 60 markets. The most important and centrally located are at Gendarmenmarkt, Potsdamer Platz and in front of Charlottenburg Castle.
The Christmas markets are open daily from 11:00 am to 10/11 pm
KW Kunst-Werke: A Unique Place Many Miss
Its like a colony of artists, some arists have been awarded to have a studio display and work space in these buildings through the National and International Studio Program. Its like a residency program that helps international artists fulfill project ideas, one can apply all year long. At certain times these artists wing is opened to the public, and one can see some of the up and coming stars of tomorrow, plus the works of former residents.
What is also unique about this absolutely beautifully renovated buildings is one can rent the buildings for events or celebrations and have catering as well. To do that use this contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
tel. 030. 243459-51
The building itself is also a work of art, lovingly renovated. Its main building is from the 18th century. It was a butter factory, it was in complete collapse, but these people who love art of all kinds were determine to make it into a haven for those who shared their views.
We went to view work that had been recommended by a friend. I thought I would be bored, but the place really makes you feel peaceful, its very beautiful, and has the cafe inside, hotel space, exhibitions. It´s a secret jewel a lot of people miss when visiting Berlin if they don´t specifically know this place is here.
KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e.V., Institute for Contemporary art
tel. 030.24 34 59 0
fax 030.24 34 59 99
opening hours: tue - sun noon - 6pm.
admission: adults 4 Euro, concessions 2.50 Euro. Children under 12 free.
Shopping Miles in Berlin
Most Berlin tourists shop at the Ku'damm or the Friedrichstrasse, which are best known. But Berliners themselves usually prefer the shopping miles and malls in their own quarter. Almost every quarter of Berlin has a shopping mile and malls. While all of the malls have about the same structure and shops, the shopping streets have each a face of their own.
The most visited are the Wilmersdorfer Strasse in Berlin-Wilmersdorf, the Karl-Marx-Strasse in Berlin-Neukölln, the Schloßstrasse in Berlin-Steglitz, the Altstadt Spandau at the area around Rathaus Spandau, the Müllerstrasse in Berlin-Wedding, the Hackescher Markt in Berlin-Mitte and the Schönhauser Allee in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg.
One of the "hippest" shopping streets at the moment is the Schönhauser Allee with countless independent shops along the street. Here most of the young Berliners live, and the shops have the latest fashion and a lot of young independent designers for a reasonable price.
Alcatraz is Not A Prison
The food is more Californian style Mexican, that´s what they bill it anyway. Enchiladas, burritos with sauce, fajitas, lots of cheese, fresh vegetables and spicy sauces. Appetizers, a full bar of course delivering whatever you desire.
The atmosphere is really terrific I thought, the music is lively, the murals of Azteks on the walls is a surprising and thrilling. Occasionally, like on weekends, they have musicians who walk around playing, you can give them tips if you wish. Also special events take place like flamenco dancing, and more well known Spanish players who come into town.
I would go here to start an evening with a meal, great for couples, have a few drinks before going out to the theatre or symphony. Its a great place to take someone who visits also though of course its not tradition German or anything, its always nice inside.
I placed this under the nightlife tip, but it could also be a restaurant tip so I include some of those topics:
* The times we have gone, usually early evening between 8 and 10pms, the service was alright, leisurely. We were shown to a table right away. On weekends its a lot busier and one might have to wait. We did before but not long, have a drink at the bar while you wait.
*Food portions were ample, more than average, the prices were between 8-26€ depending on what was ordered. Drinks were average prices for Berlin.
*I completely enjoyed myself though when the musicians walked around playing I thought it was too loud.
*They take VISA and Mastercard, and of course, cash. :-D I noticed there was no special requirements but its a nice restaurant and drinking place. Most Berliners when they go out, especially the kind which might go to a spot like this, will already be dressed nicely for the evening. Trousers, not jeans, a nice shirt not a tee. For women the same, nicely dressed.