Freitag in Berlin
Markus Freitag was a young bike messenger in need of a good bag - so the story goes - on a snowy day in Zurich when he stumbled across some unwanted lorry tarpaulin and tyres on the side of the motorway. The proverbial lightbulb flashed above his head and before long Freitag's baby was born, named after him and grew up into a Trendy Young Thing.
And, like any TYT, it has now moved to Berlin to be with other TYTs. Launched in May with a fabulously recession-proof Mitte party replete with flowing champagne and celebrity guests, the Mitte flagship store features concrete, couches and catwalk lighting - all of which provides the perfect backdrop for 1,600 colourful, durable bags in every shape (tote, clutch, laptop, satchel etc) imaginable. They're all made in Zurich (hence the prices: €100-€150 for a bag; €60-plus for a Mac sleeve) and still entirely crafted from materials fresh off a Swiss motorway. So head on down to Mitte, open those fun little shoebox drawers and start agonising over which bag to leave with. /JB
Freitag Taschen, Max-Beer-Straße 3, U-Bhf Weinmeisterstr., Tel , 246 36 961, www.freitag-taschen.de
BerlinRodeo: stand by your trans
The country and western scene in Berlin is older than the Wall - and even bridges it. East and West Berliners alike have been fascinated by cowboys'n'indians since long before working class Ossis first line danced in their Kleingärten and Wessis held their first Karl May festival. So, really, it was only a matter of time before queer rodeo took off in Berlin. Think about it: the Brokeback Mountain factor, the undying love for Dolly Parton, the persistent trend for plaid shirts … and SO36's determination that everyone learn how to dance.
From 20:00 on the second Saturday of every month, a strange but very friendly mix of queer SO36 folks, serious 50-somethings line dancers from Marzahn and Wedding, American ex-pats and others with a penchant for boots, hats and country music meet to cut a rug (swing, line, two-step), watch great live performances and generally have a good ol' hoedown.
Every month there is a special twist: in June, it's a barbeque in the club's great outdoor space and some kind of comedy rodeo that involves dressing a goat. Beginners are welcome, but don't forget your hat - tickets cost €5 with one and €7 without! /JB
Jeder ist Tanzbar, Rudolfstraße 1-8, Friedrichshain, U-Bhf Warschauer
Str., Tel 2123 9824, www.myspace.com/berlin_rodeo
(Not so) free fallin'
If you fancy jumping off a 41-storey building with a rope around your waist, then the Jochen Schweizer event group's new base flying platform (the first in Europe) on the top of the Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz is the place for you. All you have to do is show up at the hotel lobby and throw down €99 to book your session – although your ‘flight' scheduling will be highly dependent on the will of the weather gods. Needless to say, storms and jumping don't mix.
And the ‘flying ' itself takes more that just a wad of cash: it takes serious guts. You'll be falling from a height of 125 metres at a staggering 20 metres per second. What a rush! The team itself is always good for a laugh: it consists of a cool bunch of adrenaline junkies who really know their way around. /CN
Jochen Schweizer, Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Alexanderplatz 7, Mitte,
Tel 01805 606088, www.jochen-schweizer.de
Obamania at the Kennedys
Since the earliest days of his presidential campaign, Barack Obama has been enthusiastically compared to JFK by the media and supporters alike: besides being his natural heir as the embodiment of hope, tolerance, change and all the rest, Obama also shares the same personal photographer as JFK - Pete Souza of the Chicago Tribune.
Thanks to Souza's extensive (and similar) coverage of the two leaders, Berlin's Kennedy Museum has been able to put together a small exhibition aimed at those who still dare to be skeptical about this parallel. In fact, the collection proves several likenesses beyond any reasonable doubt: both presidents play(ed) with their children in their spare time, occasionally relax(ed) in their office, intently follow(ed) lectures in congress and take (or took) planes very often.
But most importantly, and as this exhibition is here to show, they both inspired a rock star-like treatment from fans and photographers alike. Several pictures of JFK's visit to West Berlin in 1963 are also included, but - regrettably - none of Obama's Siegessäule speech last summer. /VC
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA - On the tracks of the Kennedys?, Kennedy Museum, Pariser Platz 4a, Mitte, S-Bhf Unter den Linden, Tel 2065 3570, 10-18:00, through August 2, www.thekennedys.de