Rixdorf is an area that is home to plenty of artists, evident in the many exhibitions and events that take place here during the annual 48 Stunden Neukölln art festival. Just down the road from the well-known Richardplatz lies the smaller square of Böhmischer Platz, where you’ll currently find Open Gallery x.
Step inside the doors and you’re welcomed by a large, beautiful space that epitomises the look that many bars and cafés in Neukölln go for, thanks to its crumbling walls and random mismatched furniture: it’s just that in this case, it feels more authentic. Open Gallery x is more than just an exhibition space though, it’s a concept, and this is just the first of (hopefully) many. After the current exhibition — LeidenschaftFreiheit — ends, Open Gallery x will move on to a new location to host the next set of projects and events. I took some time to check out the exhibition and to speak to Rana Aminian, the curator and founder of Open Gallery x.
Neukölln, although ever-gentrifying, is still one of the grittier districts of Berlin. Discarded furniture lines the streets, graffiti lines the walls, and when walking down the uneven pavements you always have to keep one eye on the ground, because for some reason, people in this bezirk seem incapable of picking up dog excrement. When the urban chaos gets too much a retreat to nature seems like the obvious remedy, and Comenius Garten, in this very district, fits the bill perfectly.
You know those disaster movies where the protagonists are in the eye of the storm, and everything is calm and quiet whilst cows and barns fly around in the distance? Comenius Garten is kind of like that. A quiet oasis, where the hustle and bustle of city life constantly swirls around but never penetrates.
I won’t lie. I rarely find a reason to visit Wilmersdorf, or even the West of Berlin; but when spring kicks in and the weather turns warmer, there’s one very good reason to visit, quite possibly every single weekend you can — Thai Park.
Berlin, as we know, is a multi-kulti city. Each district, or even Kiez, showcases a plethora of international cultures, whether it’s restaurants selling Thai, Spanish or Mexican food or independent shops specialising in French books, African antiques or Czech toys.
Amidst this cosmopolitan Smörgåsbord can be found a subtle but consistent spread of Scandi-themed outlets, ranging from cafés selling tasty fika (Swedish for when you drink something, usually coffee, and eat something sweet), galleries exhibiting works from Scandinavian artists, and homeware boutiques offering the best in Scandinavian interior design.