Beccy Sharp: My Berlin
Beccy Sharp, fashion editor of ExBerliner magazine, is the eyes and voice of Berlin’s stylish expat community. ExBerliner has been Berlin’s leading local English-language publication since 2002. Its style section is a sassy forum for trend-tracking, fashion criticism and insiders’ tips
© Becky Sharp
Where were you born?
Where do you live?
What’s best about your neighbourhood?
It’s full of children, so I don’t feel as short as I usually do around German people.
If money were no object, where would you live?
I’ve noticed that people with serious money don’t live in cities, they live between them. I would live between Berlin, New York and Paris.
Which is your favourite Berlin neighbourhood?
I now live in Prenzlauer Berg, which is very quaint, but I lived for years in Kreuzberg, an edgier part of town with better late-night spots. I like going between the two.
Which are your favourite Berlin stores?
Voo has a great mix of German and Scandinavian labels and they hold interesting art events. Goo, a tiny vintage store that sells a great range of designer pieces. Butterfly Soulfire, one of my favourite Berlin labels; their clothes are unique and wonderful.
And your favourite restaurants?
Dudu – who knew guacamole and sushi would make for such a happy marriage? The white, minimalist interior and pumping electro is also quite typical of what the Mitte crowd expect from a dining experience. Jolesch, for exquisite Austrian food and great wine, right in the heart of Kreuzberg. Chez Michel, a small, stuffy French imbiss with delicious and unpretentious home-cooked food.
Can you recommend any local dishes to try?
The schnitzel is pretty far from its town of origin, but is Germanic enough to impress out-of-towners. I recommend the Borchardt version.
Do you have a favourite local café or bar?
I love Schwarzsauer on Kastanianallee because it refuses to conform to the hipster neighbourhood. The air is always thick with smoke, the bar staff are rude and it is full of dishevelled middle-aged men reading very serious literature.
Where do you take out-of-town friends?
To the Soviet memorial in Treptower Park – it is breathtaking! And the free lunchtime concerts every Tuesday at the Berlin Philharmonic.
Do you have a favourite Berlin walk?
I like to weave between the government buildings and walk along the river next to the Tiergarten park. It is wonderful to have so much open space right in the centre of the city.
How do you like to travel around the city?
I walk most places or take the U-Bahn; I’m much too much of a daydreamer to cycle.
Which is Berlin’s best landmark?
It has to be the TV tower. Every time you look up it is there, watching over you like a silent, lollipop-headed parent.
Where are the best bargains to be found?
Sale-time at Departmentstore Cabinet. You need sharp elbows, though.
Any advice for visitors?
Stay out of the bike lane.
Is there anywhere you’d recommend visitors avoid?Checkpoint Charlie – historically relevant, but not as impressive as people expect it to be.
What can’t you live without?
My best friend Paula. And my computer!
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