The day started off with the promise of being relatively quiet. I caught up on the some blogging from the weekend, answered some emails, and otherwise tried to get some “business” done. Later in the afternoon, I headed off to the Türkischer Markt to buy some supplies for dinner, not realizing that I was going there near the close of the day. On the one hand, this meant that some of the things I wanted were sold out. On the other hand, I got three baskets of grapes for 1€, 3 cucumbers for 1€, a loaf of bread for 1,30€, and so on. Also, the merchants get a bit more desperate and vocal toward the end of the market day, so the vendor calls are more insistent and inventive (and entertaining).
I had picked up the necessary ingredients for a sort of chopped greek salad, so on the way hope I picked up a röst Hänchen (roasted chicken) and took it home with me. I made a lovely little salad by dicing a cucumber and red onion very finely, adding finely-cubed Frischkäse (fresh cheese, less salty than feta), the juice of a lime, olive oil, and a handful of finely chopped mint. The results were pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. I served myself a helping of that, and then got to work tearing the chicken apart with my bare hands. Roaster chickens here in Europe are a fair bit smaller than what you get in the states, so I was able to eat the whole thing myself, although I was feeling pretty sluggish afterwards. I lurched my way to my bedroom, thinking that I was going to head to bed soon.
Then I got a text message from a French friend that was passing through Berlin with a couple of other friends, on their way to the North Sea. They were staying in Berlin for the night and wanted to do something techno-y, so they were heading to Club der Visionäre, which is one of those river-side / dock clubs usually popular for the after-party recovery crowd. So, I grabbed my party bag, put on some shoes, and headed out the door at around half past midnight.
Club der Visionäre
Since it was a weekday night, the U-Bahn wasn’t running all night, so I had to take a bus. I waited until the N47 came along, which would take me as far as Görlitzer Bahnhof. I walked the rest of the way to the Schlesisches Tor station and then along Schlesisches Straße, which took longer than I had expected. But, finally, I made it to the club.
Club der Visionäre is a mostly-outdoor club (with awnings) located at the point where the Landwehrkanal emerges from the Spree river. It’s really an old dock and storage building converted into a club, with a small “inside” where the bar and DJ is located, and lots of outdoor space. Actually, it probably has more in common with the typical Germanic Biergarten than a dance club. Nonetheless, this place is popular with the techno scenesters here in Berlin, partially because it’s open during the week (i.e., when the big clubs are closed) and partially because the big-name DJs that spin at the big clubs on the weekend often end up spinning here on Sunday afternoons. Although I haven’t done it yet, I can imagine that sitting here in the sunshine the morning after a night of partying would probably be really nice.
So I get in and wander around, eventually finding my friend, who introduces me to his traveling companions. One of them is an American who has some interest in popular music studies, so we have a good conversation about my project and he asks me some really useful questions. When I tell them all about what happened in the lineup at Watergate last Friday, they get all worried about their chances of getting in, since they were thinking of returning to Berlin this weekend. I actually appreciated the opportunity to re-explain the ins and outs of Berlin nightclub door policies, and hopefully I was able to assure them that they would likely get in to Berghain or Watergate or something similar.
While at the bar, I decided to try a Radler which is this Berlin specialty involving a combination of beer and orange juice (or, more frequently, Fanta). It was OK, tasting sort of like a kir made with a white beer instead of champagne. I don’t think I’m going to order it again anytime soon, mind you.
At around 3h00 or so, my partying companions realized that they had to be awake by approximately 8h00 that same morning, so we all spilled out of the club and headed home. I caught a cab, which got me back home for about 8,30€. I don’t know if it’s the gas prices or what, but Berlin cabs are more expensive than I would’ve thought, especially in comparison to Paris taxis. I think part of it is that there is a “special” rate at night or something, since the meter often starts at 3€. Anyway, I got home and crawled into bed, a lot later than I usually do on a Tuesday night!