I had this notion to find David Bowie’s Berlin, but the mere existence of Fritz Music Tours, seriously, and others, sort of put me off. I don’t like organised things, preferring to casually get lost and immerse myself by accident in a new place.
Like, did I really want to go to Hauptstrasse 155, Schöneberg and swoon at a plaque on the wall saying David Bowie lived here?
Did I really want to visit the space that was Café Wien (Eden Bar in ‘Just a Gigolo’), now an Apple Store?
I’d already been to Potsdamer Platz which has morphed from Cold War death strip into not much of a shopping centre and (when I was there) a tacky Christmas Markt.
Yes, I went to KaDeWe. Think John Lewis with Harrods food hall on the top floor, without the architectural splendour. The BRLO beer bar was good, but I’ll leave that for another post about the superlative BRLO Brewhouse, restaurant and beer garden at Park am Gleisdreieck. I reckon Bowie and Iggy would have gone there for sure.
I think Berlin’s ambient music, the many remnants of what’s gone before, told me so much more about Bowie’s Berlin than any guided tour could. Everywhere you look there’s ghosts of Berlin’s past. None more so in Schwarzes who’s bohemian decadence is almost Weimar.
I’m not sure which era in Berlin’s history the shouty waitress properly belonged. To be fair I can’t decipher softly spoken German, let alone hair dryer delivery. The gist was, I think, no professional photos,. So fearing the final solution, I left it at that, hence there’s only two images of the downstairs part. There is an upstairs part that’s quite grand in a seedy way, with windows looking onto the street outside and people making cups of coffee last for hours while reading a book they think they should be reading, but can’t really comprehend.
I shouldn’t really slag Schwarzes off because of a waitress, she could have just told me no though, she didn’t have to be so rude. Anyway, I doubt David Bowie ever came here at all, it’s too fucking pretentious. Open twenty four hours a day except between 0300 and 1000 on Tuesdays. What’s all that about. Maybe that’s the only time the foul mouthed bitch gets some sleep, probably why she’s so crabby with tourists. Explains the address though.
Anyway, it’s not a bar, it’s a café. They did sell beer and I’d ordered before the SS-Helferin incident or else I would have done one. Augustiner Hell €3.9 for 0.5L. To be fair the schnitzel, chips, salad and bread was excellent, and top value at €8.5. I wasn’t so sure about the Barbie dolls though?
You can find Schwarzes café at Kantstrasse 148, 10623 Berlin. Just don’t get your camera out.