Berlin’s steep literary tradition and history is reflected in the sheer number and rich diversity of the city’s bookshops – no list of them could ever be exhaustive or complete. However, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five bookshops for the Anglophone expatriate.
do you read me ?! (photo by Achim Hatzius)
1. do you read me?! - Auguststraße 28, 10117 Mitte – 030 6954 9695 – Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm.
Yes, you do – even if you usually don’t include magazines in your reading material, the assorted selection of do you read me?! will have something to offer you. Content is king at this neatly packed Mitte location for the creative, attracting flocks of devoted regulars and traveling curious with their great variety of international contemporary magazines, journals and readings. Hip, obscure, academic, gallant, gorgeous, delish: this hub for aficionados of design, fashion, photography, art, architecture, culture, society, and even cooking will have your coveted cover in stock or order it for you.
The Jazz Age is undeniably an enduring époque in literature, with author F. Scott Fitzgerald successfully chronicling a now iconic period of lush festivity and overall excess. He traveled often, but his most glorious years were arguably spent in Paris, where he lived with his wife Zelda from 1924 to 1931.
Though Fitzgerald’s antics have become synonymous with his lifetime, copious drinking, strolling, and intellectual hobnobbing can easily be implemented in Paris today—the good, the bad, and the over-the-top! Let’s take a step back and look at exactly how to recreate the lifestyle and mindset of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
1. Hotel Saint James & Albany 202, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, + 33 (0)1 44 58 43 21.
The Fitzgeralds first visited Paris in the spring of 1921 and stayed at Hotel Saint James & Albany. The couple decided to travel when they learned Zelda was pregnant that May, but they were not typical homemakers by any means. In her piece, F. Scott Fitzergerald: American Expatriate of the Lost Generation, Sarah Krauss reports that the Scott and Zelda were kicked out of the hotel for eccentric misbehavior, ultimately finding Paris very lonely with no friends in the city. Despite their antics (or perhaps due to them), the hotel still functions today, so you too could visit a hotel in a friendless city. Maybe don’t leave what Krauss calls a “pungent goatskin” in the room though, or tie the elevator to the floor so you don’t have to wait for it—unless you want to be thrown out, and maybe arrested, as only a truly fearless Jazz Age enthusiast would do.
Some of the most exciting cities are those that have their own unique aesthetic, adopting a feel at odds with the rest of their country. Barcelona for us is such a place, wildly individual and almost visually overwhelming. Famously inspired by Antoni Gaudí’s creations as well as influenced by its Catalan history, it walks its own pioneering path.
We love Mad Men and can’t get enough. In addition to the character development, plot twists and 1960s period costumes (which are totally back in style), we love seeing some of our favorite locations in New York City depicted on the show. From Madison Avenue to Waverly Place, many of the locales that Don and the rest of the characters frequented are still around and just as successful as they were in the ’60s. In anticipation of Season 6, here’s our Mad Men Guide to New York City with our favorite locations featured on Seasons 1-5. We can’t wait to see what’s in store in Sunday’s Season Premier, and add Season 6 locations to our Mad Men Guide.
In honor of April Fool’s Day, we’ve put together a guide to NYC’s most hated building, Penn Station. Most of the negativity around Penn Station focuses on its aesthetics, its confusing signage, and the fact that it replaced a soaring piece of McKim, Mead & White architecture. But we’ve always believed that one of its strengths was that it was extremely functional. We agree with Second Avenue Subway‘s Benjamin Kabak who writes, “While Penn Station is ugly and dingy and, at best, utilitarian, the problem with the station isn’t necessarily the way it looks.”
Today’s guide is thus about the hidden “gems” in this oft-traveled yet ignored space.
1. There are subtle reminders of the now lost Penn Station
On an escalator into the Long Island Railroad waiting area, a cross section of the old Penn Station notes “YOU ARE HERE,” beneath the main rotunda:
Although the name can be confusing, Santa Teresa is not a Brazilian divinity or a religious figure. Santa, as it is known locally, is a historical neighborhood located on top of a hill and offering some splendid views of the city of Rio de Janeiro, a true escape from the beach. The nicest way to reach it is via Lapa and the famous Selarón stairway, 215 steps decorated with regularly-changing mosaics, created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. For over a century, you could use the “bonde elétrico” (tramway) from the Centro, with a ride crossing the Lapa Arches, but the service was suspended in August 2011 for safety reasons after a fatal accident. (more…)