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Key to the City

Exactly What to Do When You Land In Berlin

Key to the City BY marly fink 09/29/2017

A few years before launching her line of richly patterned textiles, Kristine Peñafiel Salviejo ditched NYC—where she was born and raised—and hightailed it to Berlin. Three years into her residency, she's got a nuanced view of the German capital’s draw. “I think people never know what to expect when they visit Berlin, they mainly think about the dark parts of history and going clubbing. Then they're reminded of the other parts of Berlin like art, design, film, scientific innovation, etc and suddenly notice how open and free everything feels...and out of confusion they come back for more to try to understand Berlin. That's Berlin's seduction.”





“The name simply means ‘Filipino.’ I am quite picky about Filipino food not made by my mother, but this place is Sonia and Florendo Salviejo-approved (that would be my mom and dad).”




“A good bar to meet up with friends. It’s very typical Berlin with dim lighting, vintage furniture, and heavy cigarette smoke.”




“This is an outdoor market, within an actual park, where a ton of older Thai women make food in front of you or sell pre-made goods and drinks to enjoy. The lines for the different vendors can be quite a wait, but it’s so, so worth it.”


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“This cathedral is pretty unique. I especially love the massive organ, the design of the pews, and the light fixtures.”




“This used to be an airport with a history of its own, a great spot for history lovers. The runways and fields have been reclaimed as a popular park, best experienced in the summer, and the building itself is now used to house refugees.”




“This store offers a range of second-hand designer goods. Think well-made basics with interesting finishes and extravagant, one-of-a-kind looking pieces. Additionally, they sell clothes by some of my favorite Berlin designers: Vladimir Karaleev, Hien Le, and Tim Labenda.”




“My personal favorite—a cozy, popular spot along the canal to enjoy a beer with friends and watch the sunset. The Berlin Wall used to run along here, and the path is labeled and marked on the road. Along the path is a trail of cherry blossom trees, a gift from Japan, to celebrate the fall of the wall. The name translates to Butterfly Meadow.”




“These buildings are super weird. I go from loving them to thinking they are actually really off-putting, but the confusion has me hooked. The building colors are different pastels mixed with blue and silver metals, and the shapes of them remind me of insects.”




I think there's a subtle humor to everything they create. Everything is pragmatic yet whimsical at the same time. I would describe them as a lifestyle brand, but not at all in the way Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein is. If you come to Berlin email the shop to make an appointment to visit. The "store" is inside one of the designers' old Berlin apartment. You can purchase and see all the products displayed as they would be at home and clothes strewn about.”




“They have an amazing selection of contemporary art housed in an old train station....the halls feel endless. I've loved everything I've seen here.”




“A forest in the West that is a perfect afternoon escape from the city. There's a large, random sand dune that can pass as a beach and a lake that many Berliners can nude bathe in. When in Berlin..? Additional sights within Grunewald are Teufelsberg the old NSA spy tower and the hill, also called Teufelsberg, but I won't spoil the history on that. Really nice views of Berlin on both of these hills. I haven't explored the rest of it, it's huge!”




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