Sunday, 30 December 2007

10 Best Things To Do In Berlin > Sean Patten > Gob Squad

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Welcome to the second edition of "My Favorite Things To Do". This time GOB SQUAD's Sean Patten tells us all about his favorite things to do in and around Berlin.

GOB SQUAD's new project is in production: At long last preparations are underway to save the world, or at least to make a performance/film event called "Saving The World". If you are passing through the streets of Berlin this winter and you see people setting fire to themselves, asking passers-by to step into the future, or doing abstract contemporary dance outside McDonalds, it's probably them. Buy them a Hot Chocolate.

Sean's Top Ten:

1. Warnitz campsite, north of Berlin. Throwing another log on an already monstrous bonfire, as I take a swig of Whiskey and watch the stars come out over the lake, surrounded by my nearest and dearest.

2. Midnight, New Year's Eve, anywhere in Berlin. It's all-out fireworks warfare as bangers, rockets and anything which explodes are launched into the air and across the street at the neighbors. It's sheer bloody-minded recklessness and it's brilliant.

3. Kaffee und Kuchen 200 meters above the earth, in the TV tower revolving restaurant, munching through a generous slice of black forest gateau as Berlin revolves once every 30 minutes below me.

4. Studio 21 at the Noisy Rooms rehearsal complex. The moment when 6 sweaty men, thrashing their instruments, all turned up to 11, improvise more than just another noise/art/nonsense rock song, they create something sublime, transcendent, something powerful and beautiful. Of course the moment never lasts, but that's what makes it so great.

5. Backstage at the Volksb├╝hne, 10 minutes before curtain up. Lights, sound, costume are all in place. It's the calm before the storm of live performance.

6. The Teufelsberg. A huge hill made of rubble from WW2, topped with the ominous white domes of a now derelict US spy station. This is the best place in the city for flying a kite, and the longest toboggan run for miles around.

7. Strolling the aisles of Hornbach DIY megastore, notebook in hand, buying all the bits for an ambitious home improvement project. They even have a drive-thru section, just like McDonalds.

8. Prater beer garden on a summer evening. This place embodies all the achievements of modern society - good beer, food and conversation shared with over a thousand people without a hint of the beered-up aggro you might expect.

9. Poland! They've got different food, different language, different money and a different sense of humor. It's a complete culture shock and it's just one hour away.

10. At the end of the day there's only one place to go: Jeff's Bar on Schwedter Strasse. It's like a local pub for today's urban nomads. If Jeff himself is in, he might buy you a beer and you can happily natter away till day breaks.