July 8, 2014
The eclectic mix of creative atmosphere and recreational spots is what brought Sarah Bernhard to Hamburg. With an access to a great network of other creatives and a high demand for quality, the city pulses with potential for innovative products. To pick up new bits of inspiration, the digital creative and part-time photographer spends much of her time being outdoors or enjoying one of the many possibilities of having a good drink or meal.
I moved to Hamburg in 2011 after I quit my job at the university in Cologne to start something new. It was a big step for me, being a girl from the countryside in Westphalia. Since my teenage years I was convinced I wanted to work in the politics/administration field – so I studied Political Science, Sociology and Communications.
But there was always this photography/creative itch which accompanied me for many years besides my studies. Research trips to China included assignments for photographic documentation – a mind-opening experience to say the least. I changed plans and applied at various advertising agencies in Hamburg and Berlin. I wanted to immerse myself with the so-called “creative class”, since I used to work pretty much in isolation over the last years, without any network to speak of. I worked for a couple of agencies and specialized in digital strategy and user experience design. Currently I do this job on a part-time basis, in order to have spare time for photography assignments on the side.
When I arrived in Hamburg, I was welcomed by some friends already living here, so it was easy for me to build connections. In my personal perception, Hamburg is characterized by a certain seriousness, paired with a demand for quality. Things are usually done with a good amount of background knowledge and are built to last. This also applies to Hamburg’s creative projects.
Hamburg is a beautiful city. So beautiful that I prefer to go on extended runs through the streets rather than hopping on a treadmill in some studio, even during winter. My favourite route includes the best parts of my neighbourhood: Kaiser-Friedrich-Ufer over to Wohlers Park and back through Eimsbütteler Park. I guess most people would suggest running along the Alster lake, but in my opinion it’s way too crowded there. Sunny days are best spent at Altonaer Balkon – a nice spot to watch gigantic freighters pass by on the Elbe and observe the harbour works. During the summer, when the Dockville Kunstcamp Festival is open, I love to take my bike to go to Wilhelmsburg. This means crossing the Elbe, preferably using the Elbtunnel below the river, which is great fun.
The best cafés to have breakfast are Erste Liebe Bar, Café Johanna and Café Latte. They all offer extraordinarily tasty dishes and a relaxed atmosphere. Erste Liebe Bar has some nice magazines to flip through too. During the night, I enjoy a couple good drinks at Thier, Toast Bar or Golem. The latter is situated right at the harbor, offering an extensive menu of quality alcoholic drinks. Try their London Whiskey Sour! A five minute walk from Golem, you’ll find Hamburg’s legendary Golden Pudel Club, known for extraordinary electronic parties and excessive gigs. I like to cook for myself, and living in Hamburg, fish is one of my favourite ingredients, of course. The freshest fish is bought on the Hamburger Fischmarkt, early Sunday morning. The trick is to stay at Golden Pudel Club all night and then get yourself everything you need for an extensive breakfast on the fish market before heading home.
Friends of mine run a lovely place for cultural interventions and exhibitions, called “Island”. So everytime I’m in the mood for art and good music I check their website (http://mynewisland.com) for recent exhibitions and happenings. I think I’d like to stay in Hamburg for a while. Many great things are happening here which inspire me. So currently I don’t feel the need to leave at all.