I grew up outside of Berlin, but decided to move to Hamburg first. Living that close and spending all my teenagehood in the city made me kind of tired of Berlin, but after half a year of Hamburg it became clear that there is only one place in Germany for me, Berlin.
When I came back in 2002, Berlin was still very empty, people from all over Germany came here, but the international scene was rather small, agencies left rather than coming here. It was actually a very strange time to come here, inspiration had to come from yourself, and it was hard to get somewhere as a creative. It was only a few years later when I finished studying photography in 2007 that Berlin seemed to change. Coffee shops and restaurants started popping up, people from all over the world came here, for art, for studies, for party. When you went to cities like San Francisco or New York and they heard you’re from Berlin, people got excited, telling you they really want to go here, move here.
It was disturbing and exciting at the same time, Berlin always was and always will be home for me, so seeing all these changes sometimes scares you, but at the same time it makes the city more colourful, gives you more places to work and inspiration is higher than ever.
Right now there is a lot of stuff happening in Berlin, companies are moving here, agencies are building awesome work spaces, interior design becomes more important, also the food scene is growing. So many new concepts, perfect to fill my foodblog Aicuisine with stories. I’m happy to live in Berlin today, I’m lucky that its my home by heart, but also by choice. Of course its good to leave every once in a while to not become to dependent and attached. Berlin is like my family, most of the time that I’m gone I don’t miss it, but I’m always very happy when I’m back again.
As I live in Kreuzberg and have my studio in Mitte, those are also my current favourite places of Berlin. But I also do enjoy taking a trip outside Berlin to Brandenburg with its pretty lakes and farms. I’m usually not good with recommendations for specific places like bars, restaurant or coffee shops as for me, Berlin is about walking around and just stopping when you find a nice place to chill. For meetings I love Café Fleury in Mitte or DUDU. In Kreuzberg I hang out at the canal a lot, love to have food at Molinari and enjoy drinks at Fuchsbau. But a lot of times I end up hanging out with friends on my balcony with a view over half of Berlin.
Right now I get inspired mostly by doing what I do. Its everywhere. Being a creative in Berlin, especially a photographer, makes you see things. You find motivation in little things and get inspired by people, street corners, street art or just light that keeps creating interesting shapes and shadows. I could not imagine to live or work anywhere else in Germany. It’s easy to be who you are in Berlin, food and living is still rather cheap, parties are everywhere, but let me tell you, you still have to work your ass off even more to be successful! It helps a lot to have found that one thing that doesn’t feel like work, but makes you happy all the time.