Thursday, 25 May 2017

Hamburger Bahnhof/Museum fur Gegenwart, Berlin

Hamburger Bahnhof/Museum fur Gegenwart, (Museum for Contemporary Art), Berlin.
Occupying the former Hamburger Bahnhof, one of the city's first terminal stations, The Museum for Gegenwart is one of the city's major art venues.

Across the road is the new train station, the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), a five-level glass and steel building, designed by architects Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkin Marg which opened in 2006. It's Europe's largest ever train station handling around 350,000 travellers and 1800 trains per day.

Berliners have christened it the 'glass cathedral'.

We took a wrong turn on our way to the museum and ended up at the back which gave us a chance to see the rear of the great hall

and this sculpture, Baked Master's Basket, by Urs Fischer (1973)

We eventually found the main entrance

Georg Baselitz, Volk Ding Zero, 2009

Robert Indiana, Imperial Love, 1928

Inside, the great hall is magnificent

We had a look at some of the works in their permanent collection:

Robert Rauschenberg, Red China Green House, 1984

Robert Rauschenberg, Stripper, 1962

looking closer

Robert Rauschenberg, Stage Coach, 1986

looking closer

looking closer

Cy Twombly, Thyrsis, 1977

Roy Lichtenstein, Coastal Village, 1987

Roy Lichtenstein, Reflections on 'The Artist's Studio', 1989

Robert Rauschenberg, Mine, 1984

Robert Rauschenberg, Mule Deer, 1977 (the middle panel of this painting is a mirror, so the reflection you can see is me)

a side view (with reflections of the gallery in the middle)

The Frightened Gods of Fortune, 1981

looking closer

Wilhelm Lehmbrueck, Kopf eines Denkers (mit Hand), (Head of a Thinker, with Hand), 1918

We then had lunch

in the museum's café which was blissfully empty.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Staying and eating in Berlin

We stayed at the Circus apartments, having been upgraded from the hotel for 10 euros a night. It was an amazing place.

A long corridor, with two, yes, two, bathrooms on our right and the bedroom on the left

led to the extremely spacious sitting room/kitchen, with floor to ceiling windows on two facing walls

The sitting area,

with TV, sound system and ipad

kitchen and dining area

with the same dining chairs that we saw at the Bauhaus museum

and with great attention to detail, including where to place our key.

Chez Rose, a nice, intimate restaurant

was on Weinbergsweg, two minutes' walk from our apartment

and we ate here twice. The schnitzel was very good.

We had lunch at the Circus Hotel twice

The hotel has a very relaxed and trendy atmosphere

we sat by the window and looked out onto Rosenthaler Platz

and I enjoyed the avocado on toast with hummus and lots of other bits, enormously.

In the basement they have a display of the history of Rosenthaler Platz and of the hotel.

In the 1920s this was an area where the working class rubbed shoulders with the bourgeoisie

Philipp Fabish opened his clothing store in the building where the hotel is situated today. When he passed away a group of his heirs managed the store and his other businesses. In 1938 the building was 'transferred to Aryan  possession' days before Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) when Synagogues were torched and Jewish-owned businesses across Germany were pillaged.

Nazi repression and ever increasing persecution shattered the Fabish family. Philipp Fabischs' three children were deported to Teheresienstadt concentration camp in 1942 and were murdered, following years of harassment and oppression in Berlin.

The display tells us that 'the owners of the Circus Hotel are very much aware of the history of the building ... respecting the accomplishments of the Fabisch family and remembering their fate'.

Next to Chez Rose is Gorky Park, a Russian restaurant

a busy place with a vibrant atmosphere.

Einstein is situated on Under Der Linden

and we had lunch here. This place reminded me of the Viennese cafes.

Sauerkraut is next door to Gorky Park and is owned by the same people.

Wonderful atmosphere, German food.

La Cantina is a wonderful, very reasonably priced Italian restaurant

and we enjoyed the two meals we had here.

We had brunch at Pasternak which is just off Kollwitz Platz and next to the Water Tower . Pasternak is famous for its brunch. We had eaten here we the last time we visited Berlin six years ago, and were keen to go back.

Great atmosphere, people waiting to find a table,

and the spread was amazing.

We served ourselves several times

and then had pudding.