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The best of Berlin in July

Exberliner · 6 Jul 2009, 14:24

Published: 06 Jul 2009 14:24 GMT+02:00

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Bridging Art

The Open Air Gallery at the Oberbaumbrücke (the bridge that connects reunification children Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg) organises its seventh edition, seeking to raise last year’s 40,000 visitor mark even higher.

The flow of traffic at the famous bridge will be stopped twice this summer to grant amateur and on-the-rise art some well-deserved space: More than 100 paintbrush wavers and clay shapers from around the globe will display, sell and spread their wares of Pop, Surrealist, avant-garde or post-something art. If your party-frenzied best bud claims he can’t make a goddamn thing out of fine art, drag him by the ear and let the DJ’s beats soothe his primitive behaviour.

No modern public art event would (alas) be complete without the direct involvement of the audience, so a 120-metre-long paper will be rolled out in the middle of the bridge to incite the visitor to prove his or her artistic skills. In the end, if that strange-looking vase that is reminiscent of your last trip to Mexico is way out of your budget, you can cut out a piece of the giant canvas and take home a real, spontaneous sample of art for free./DH

Open Air Gallery 2009, Oberbaumbrücke Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Schlesisches Tor, S+U Warschauer Str., August 2, 10-22

Stranded in Neverland

If Konrad Kinard had stayed in his native Texas, he would have become some sort of enemy of the state. But, luckily for us, he discovered the world and after surfing the as-yet ungentrified 1990s in Berlin, New York and London, and witnessing the McDonaldization of the free world in the present decade, he settled down on planet Kreuzberg.

In late January, Kinard started up a bar that has been gaining notoriety ever since, especially among the ever-faster growing community of Americans who love to get together to share their common hatred for America.

The S.I.N. bar is much more than meets the eye of the oblivious neighbour in need of a pack of cigarettes. Its regular program features a nutritious artistic palette of peculiar talents: a DJ who spins records ranging from Bluegrass to Mozart in a coherent flow, a solo guitarist who recycles old foot pedal effects and the highlight each month is the Anti-Slam: a poetry battle where the crappiest verse triumphs. German and English contestants must improvise a poem in less than 15 minutes and read it out in the opponent’s language. It’s harder than it looks – just try rhyming ‘unicorn’ with ‘Becks’…/DH

S.I.N. Bar | Schönleinstr. 6, U-Bhf Schönleinstr. Tue-Thu 21-2, Fri-Sat 21-late, tel. 6920 5103, www.sin-bar.de

Segway Kult-Tour

Like a cross between skiing and riding a horse, the Segway is by far the best way to release your inner child on a visit to Berlin. Travelling at up to 20km/h and with a battery range of 35km, these strange, vacuum cleaner look-alikes are perfect for city tours. For €65, you’ll find yourself bopping around the centre of town and the city’s most famous sites, with pauses for anecdotes and beer drinking (but be moderate: one drunk Dutch tourist drove his right into the Spree!).

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The Segway has all sorts of balancing gadgets and speed gizmos to prevent you from ending up like our flying Dutchman. It is so intuitive, it turns at the slightest nudge of the handlebars – so, on second thought, it’s probably more obedient than a horse and safer than skis. If the price sounds a bit steep, persuade your boss to pay for a team-bonding exercise: it’s apparently the done thing these days./JB

Kunstverein Friedrichstadt | Chauseestr. 124, U-Bhf Zinnowitzer Str., Tel 2759 4937, three-hour city tours at 10:00 and 15:00 www.segway-kult-tour.de

Click here for more from Berlin's leading monthly magazine in English.

Exberliner (editor@exberliner.com)

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