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  • Welcome to Mark Reeder’s Bergmannkiez

A Little Kiez of My Heart

Welcome to Mark Reeder’s Bergmannkiez

Music producer and label owner Mark Reeder takes us on a tour of his favourite Bergmannkiez spots.

Photo: Makar Artemev

Mark Reeder has been one of Berlin’s cultural mainstays since 1978, when he first came to West Berlin from his native Manchester. Over the years, the producer and label owner brought over acts like Joy Division, hung out with Nick Cave, and signed DJs that would go on to reach world fame. During almost all this time, Reeder has called Bergmannkiez his home. This is what he loves about the neighbourhood.

The serenity of Viktoriapark

Photo: IMAGO / Funke Foto Services

“As I sit in the studio all day surrounded by music, I feel thankful when I can grab a moment to enjoy the silence. Viktoriapark, the green hill from which Kreuzberg derives its name, is both the district’s sanctuary and its point of attraction. It’s the highest natural elevation in the centre of the city and is crowned by a towering monument to the grandmother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Britain’s Queen Victoria. From there, you have a spectacular 360 degree view of Berlin. In the summer months, you can always find a welcome rest in the traditional little beer garden.”

It’s a record shopper’s paradise

Marheinekeplatz flea market. Photo: IMAGO / Hoch Zwei Stock/Angerer

“Initially, I came to Berlin just to buy a few records. Today, Bergmannkiez is a record shopper’s paradise with about seven spots for second-hand record shopping emanating from its core. There’s Marheinekeplatz flea market on weekends, and Nostitzstrasse (the street I lived on when Nick Cave first came to stay with me) with four record shops offering second-hand vinyl and CDs. With rotating stocks, you can go every week and always find something new. So don’t give up looking for that elusive release – you never know what you might find. Logo, Vinyl in Berlin, Sound Vinyl Store, Holy’s Hit Record and Spacehall are all regular haunts of mine.”

The lungs of my Kiez

Monument to the Trümmerfrauen of Berlin. Photo: IMAGO / Rolf Kremming

“For many, Hasenheide is a shortcut to Neukölln or Tempelhof. Yet it is a nice, wide park to stroll about, and it provides a fresh, quiet space beyond the noise of the traffic. During the summer months, you can watch films like B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West-Berlin in their Amphitheatrical Open Air cinema. They even have a little zoo, and like most parks these days, you can also find a welcoming delegation of merchants willing to provide you with green, recreational plant-based relaxants. Plus, it is the only place you will find a monument to the Trümmerfrauen of Berlin, those battle-hardened women who rebuilt this city after the destruction during World War II.”

The haunting beauty of Dreifaltigkeitsfriedhof

Photo: IMAGO / imagebroker

“I really enjoy a good graveyard, and the Dreifaltigkeitsfriedhof is a spectacular one. It is, in fact, three graveyards joined together. The beautiful bullet-riddled mausoleums from around the turn of the 20th century have their own attraction, as do the tragic art-deco decorations from the 1920s, each determinedly proclaiming that ‘love will never die’. Although you are surrounded by the graves of the dead, it is a serene and wonderful place, and the perfect spot if you want to relax and reflect while reviewing Berlin’s history.”

The coffee culture

Photo: IMAGO / Hoch Zwei Stock/Angerer

“I can’t think of anywhere in Berlin where there are so many cafés. Starting at Südstern, and in regular succession, there is a café every few paces. You can have it terribly trendy at Two Trick Pony or laptop-friendly at Cuccuma, or simply serene at Café Strauss. If you want nostalgia, there’s a real relic from the 1980s with Café Atlantic and one from the 1990s with Barcomi, or simulated cosy Victorian charm at Frau Behrens. And then there’s a café-garden escape space with Breakout, not to mention all the others in the side streets. It’s really easy to do a café crawl – if your heart can withstand it.”

Exberliner presents Berlin on Film: Berliner Ballade

Still from Berliner Ballade (1948), d. Robert Adolf Stemmle.

For the first edition of our Berlin on Film series, Exberliner and Mobile Kino invited music legend Mark Reeder to pick one of his favourite Berlin movies to be screened for an intimate audience. Get your tickets now!