City-wide recommendations
by artists Nevin Aladağ and Pınar Öğrenci

Anne Waak, APR 2024

Walks and talks with Nevin Aladağ

Portrait Nevin Aladag, 2023
Foto: Daniela Kohl

Having grown up in Stuttgart and studied in Munich, artist Nevin Aladağ has called Berlin home for over 20 years. Through her videos, installations, performances, and sound pieces, she explores social and political themes such as identity formation within cultures experiences. During this year’s Gallery Weekend, Aladağ is presenting new works at WentrupGallery.

Ludwigkirchplatz Wilmersdorf
I live in Mitte, and my studio is in Lichtenberg, but I enjoy spending time here with my family. Here you have really something like a square culture going on.  With a playground next to the church and cafes and skateboarders nearby, it’s a place where people of all ages gather, and where you can meet friends or enjoy solitude without feeling lonely.

Röststätte Ackerst. 173
Located on the same street as her apartment, this branch of the local coffee chain is Aladağ’sneighborhood cafe. You can sit outside on the sidewalk and soak up the sun from early morning until it sets. The coffee is of course excellent, but they also have drinks for an earlyease into the end of a summer’s day.

Torbar Torstr. 183
Specializing in French classics like Chateaubriand and Beef tartare, this brasserie caters primarily to meat lovers. “I enjoy dining here. I love the food but also the drinks, namely the steak frites with Café de Paris sauce and the margaritas”. Being elegant but lively, the place “hits the sweet spot between a restaurant and a bar. There is a constant humming without it being so loud that you want to leave after a certain time.”

Walks by the Water
In Berlin, there are plenty of opportunities for waterfront strolls. My favorite areas for that isMuseumsinsel in Mitte or Paul-LinckeUfer in Kreuzberg, and on weekends, I like visiting Tegeler See and Forst in Reinickendorf with my partner. After a long walk in the TegelerForst there is an obligatory visit to Berlin’s oldest tree, affectionately known as Dicke Marie(“Fat Mary”), an English oak estimated to be 600 to 800 years old and considered a national treasure.

KINDL Brauerei Am Sudhaus 3
Following its conversion, the former brewery building now boasts over 1,600 square meters of exhibition space for contemporary art. “Last summer, they hosted a wonderful Etel Adnan show. I appreciate their spacious courtyard, which encourages conversations with other visitors about the art we’ve just experienced.

Berlin with Pınar Öğrenci

Pınar Öğrenci is a Kurdish artist and filmmaker with a background in architecture. Her films and installations delve into themes such as displacement, migration, survival, and resistance. In 2010, she founded the art initiative MARSistanbul. Her first documentary film, “Gurbet is a Home Now,” examined the effects of discriminatory urban policies in Berlin targeting “guest workers.” It received the Special Jury Prize at the Documentarist Istanbul Film Festival in 2021. For her contribution to documenta fifteen, “Aşît – The Avalanche” (2022), the travelled to her father’s birthplace in the Van region on Turkey’s border with Iran. During this year’s Gallery Weekend, Öğrenci is presenting new works at Galerie Tanja Wagner for the first time.

Pınar Öğrenci, Portrait
Foto: Kerem Uzel

Maybachufer in Kreuzberg
“I live close to Görlitzer Park. The canal nearby is a pleasant place to stroll. You can find a spot on the grass to sit down and relax, and there are numerous cafes and bars along the canal. Whenever I walk here, I encounter people I know or I just met. This sense of familiarity is important to me. Also, Maybachufer is not as homogenized as other parts of Berlin. I especially enjoy the Turkish open-air grocery market held here on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you wait long enough, you might find items on sale for just 1 Euro.”

Stueck Schlesische Str. 16
“This queer cocktail bar is conveniently located near my house. I stumbled upon it while walking one day. It’s a cozy space, with a back area for larger groups where smoking is permitted, and another section that offers a more intimate ambiance. It’s simply a beautiful place.”

Yeni Adana Grillhaus Skalitzer Str. 99
“This is my favorite restaurant in all of Berlin. I’m not a fan of döner places; most of the times they are just not good. But this Kurdish-Alevite kebab spot is different.” Their menu features traditional dishes beside kebap like eggplant puree and yogurt or grilled vegetables.

Haus der Kulturen der Welt – John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
“I appreciate HKW for its diverse programming. Depending on the day, you can explore exhibitions, attend panel discussions, watch films or performances, or simply relax in their beer garden by the Spree River. I particularly love the expansive terrace overlooking the Tiergarten. It feels like an island in the heart of the city, and the surrounding park is perfect for a leisurely stroll.”

Osmans TöchterPappelallee 15
The food at this women-led restaurant in Prenzlauer Berg “is simply amazing. They specialize in Mediterranean cuisine from Western Anatolia, an area heavily influenced by Greece.” At Osmans Töchter, they place a strong emphasis on meze, offering both warm and cold appetizers like cod mousse or fried anchovies with aioli. “Meze are an integral part of our food culture, as is the aniseed spirit Rakı, which is not readily available everywhere in Berlin but can be found here.”