Die Bärliner - The Bard College Berlin Student Blog
Tag "Café"
on the Bard College Berlin Student Blog

► Monday: A Blink of an Eye – Cornelia Schleime

Born in the GDR, artist Cornelia Schleime was part of the movement against East Germany’s policy of censorship. Exploring a range of art forms from painting to poetry, to performance, and film,, while devising her own alternative and experimental approach, Schleime’s work was ultimately banned in 1981. Almost all her work disappeared after her relocation to West Berlin in 1984. Since then, she recreated some of the lost artworks. Her primary focus has been on portraits with a hint of fantasy.

  • When: 10:00 – 18:00
  • Where: Berlinische Galerie – Alte Jakobstraße 124–128, 10969
  • Admission: 5€
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► Monday: Kreuzberg – Amerika


As a part of the collaborative project Werkstatt für Photographie 1976 – 1986, this exhibition traces the history and influences of the Berlin based photography institute to commemorate its 40th anniversary. The renown of this institute is a result of its innovative approach towards photography as an independent form of art and a means of cultural expression. Over 250 photographs, both iconic and lesser known, are featured in this exhibition. They include works from 70s and 80s West Berlin as well as the United States.

  • When: 11:00 – 20:00
  • Where:  Amerika Haus – Hardenbergstraße 22–24, 10623 Berlin
  • Admission: 6€
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Rosenthaler Straße 39, 10178 Berlin-Mitte (Photo by Inasa Bibic)

Rosenthaler Straße 39, 10178 Berlin-Mitte
(Photo by Inasa Bibic)

It’s a rainy Monday in January. I have just finished my dentist appointment. Still under the influence of mild pain, I take the M1 to Hackescher Markt, one of the most hip areas in Mitte, to do some soul-writing and reflecting on the last year before I meet a friend for what was supposed to be a brief coffee encounter, after which we won’t see each other for a while. Just another day at the Café Cinema. I get there shortly before 12pm, which is when the café opens. However, as usual in Berlin, punctuality is of essence, so I spend the five minutes before the opening wandering around the passage just around the café that stretches to the back building hosting the Anne Frank Museum, a comic book shop, and – at any given time – a guided group of tourists in awe of the sight of the local graffiti and charming sketchiness of that small hidden corner in the midst of the Mitte buzz. A perfect time to reflect on what makes this café so special for all of us, regular visitors, who find inspiration in its old walls covered with vintage pictures and memories of the 20th century cinema.

Café Cinema is supposedly the oldest café in the Hackescher Markt, one of the rare places in Mitte without a heavy tourist vibe to it. Most of the time, the café is crammed––characterized by its romantic candlelight and reflectors, rather unpretentious in its feel, it is the ultimate refuge from the real world into a movie-themed realm. Intense talks and the atmosphere of an old-fashioned bar give this place a mid-‘50s vibe, reminiscent of Paris or Vienna where existentialism was discussed with wine, cigarettes and good company.

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The opening of Socratea House - an Open Mic evening seasoned with tasty desserts and pastries

The opening of Socratea House – an Open Mic evening seasoned with tasty desserts and pastries

No, it is not a philosophers’ hub (although it might well be). Nor the cult of Socrates. Socratea House, playfully named after the first philosopher that Bard College Berlin students are introduced to upon their arrival here, is our first student-run campus café. The café opened on Friday, November 28, in the Student Centre – attracting students, staff and professors alike to a relaxing evening of good coffee, creative (cup)cakes, tea splendors, Glühwein, and brightly colored pastries. The evening was flavored with extra spicy musical performances that kept the first visitors of Socratea House warm on one of Berlin’s first freeeezing late November winter nights. One thing is certain: Socratea House has now become an unmissable stop on the Bard College Berlin campus – and will most likely grow to be the new hip café of Pankow.

View some photos from the opening night!

Watercolor by Amelia Walsh

Watercolor by Amelia Walsh

Living in Berlin for the past four months has given me the unusual perspective of someone who is not from the city, but has had far more time than any tourist to explore and discover its interworking. During my studies, I have had many guests come and stay with me, everyone cherishing their excuse to visit one of Europe’s coolest cities. As a result, I have put together this useful guide for a quick visit to Berlin.

The virtual tour starts at Eberswalder Straße, a street full of shops and cafes, and one of the stops along the U2 U-Bahn line, and tram M1 and M10. From here, you are within walking distance of many treasures. If you wish to enjoy a cheap and tasty pizza, go to the San Marco restaurant at Schӧnhauser Allee 102, where you can get an entire pizza, toppings and all, along with a cocktail, for under €5. I recommend exploring the area and looking into all the little shops. Tourists tend to be particularly interested in a bar called Druide, at Schönhauser Allee 42.

If you walk southwest down Kastanienallee, one of the intersecting streets at the Eberswalder Straße U-Bahn stop, you will come across a pretty boulevard called Oderberger Straße. If you take a right on this street, you will pass many nice restaurants, as well as a delicious ice cream and waffle parlor, which is much larger than one would expect at first glance, called Kauf Dich Glücklich, located at Oderberger Straße 44. Just beyond this place, the street comes to an end and turns into Mauerpark. This park is always packed with people on Sundays, as it holds a large flea market, where you can shop for just about anything, from clothing to silverware and to food. For those interested in Berlin’s history, you may be surprised to learn that this park used to sit along the line between East and West Germany.

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Prague covered in fog prepares for a rainy day

Prague covered in fog prepares for a rainy day

Prague – the city of dreamers, travelers and adventure seekers. There is so much that could be said about the capital of the Czech Republic: from its breathtaking architecture infused with history, to its rich café culture that brings together the old and the new – both in generations and spirit. Prague is a city for those who wish to get away from everyday concerns and troubles of day-to-day life by losing themselves among medieval Gothic cathedrals or walks along Vltava, followed by a coffee or brunch in one of Prague’s old-style coffee shops. Yet, even in those moments of “being away” from our Berlin home, the phantoms of old life recur. I would like to focus on the latter, and talk about how traveling to a new place, especially one as contemplative and imaginative as the city of Prague, made me think and re-think in new ways about life and myself.

[read more to see the photo gallery]