Sunday, October 11, 2009
Sunday Night in Friedrichshain
What to do on a Sunday night in Berlin? Friedrichshain is one of those up and coming neighborhoods, full of misfits, beat necks, artists and musicians. Wilson Gil and I knew we’d happen upon something cool if we ventured out there. Friedrichshain is gritty and in your face. Right when you get out of the subway, you’re hit with the beauty and awe of the city as you walk across the Warschauer bridge. The radio tower in Alexander Platz looms in the distance, the buildings cast their twinkling lights on the canal, and a mob of people rushes past as everyone exits from the subway trains.
The neighborhood is awash in restaurants. We had a craving for Thai food, so we took the advice of a friend and went to “Lemongrass”. The joint was slamming. The food was rocking. And the international vibe was intense. There must have been at least twenty nationalities represented in that one tiny restaurant. That’s the flavor of Berlin.
Wilson Gil’s favorite little music bar, Art Liners, is in Friedrichshain. Art Liners has an open jam every Sunday night and all sorts of musicians congregate there to have their go at the mike. Everything from banjo to accordion to the kazoo.
The bar brings attracts some interesting fans, as well. One in particular, whom everyone knows (because how could you not), is a punk rock chick named Vina. I’m not sure what exactly, but something happened to that girl along the way and now she’s, well, let’s just call her a free spirit. Wilson Gil played a show at Art Liners a few weeks back and Vina just loved him- so much that she decided to wrap her arms around his legs half way through his set, all the while screaming something incoherent in German. I think she was trying to say that she really liked his music.
On this particular Sunday night, however, Vina had it in for me. She came up to me, threw her arms around me, and proceeded to grab my ass and kiss my cheek. “You a nice woman!” she said as she looked me up and down. I managed to crawl out from her grasp and made sure to stay far away for the rest of the night.
The crazy characters really just add to the jacked up vibe of the bar, though. It’s so great to smoke a cigarette, down a glass of beer, and listen to various musicians do Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash covers, while people are dancing around between the tables. Lots of great original music, too. I hope one day to be able to hear one of the musicians on the radio and say, “Hey! I knew them when…”
The rain was pouring down by the time we left Art Liners, but we didn’t mind. The air was still, and it was kind of nice to walk through the streets in the rain, hand in hand with my love.