Where Past Meets Present, Where Shopping Meets Food – Bikini Berlin

Berlin is my ultimate favorite city. Having lived there for over two years, I used to live in different neighborhoods but I finally settled in Wilmersdorf – in a charming side street off Kurfürstendamm. I used to catch an S-Bahn at Zoologischer Garten or U-Bahn at Kurfürstendamm, and in front of my eyes I saw how the nearby area got slowly revamped.  I moved away for work, but I tend to return to Berlin whenever I can; during my recent visit I stayed near Breitscheidplatz where I once lived – it was nice to witness how the area slowly revived.

Complex the Zentrum am Zoo (Centre at the Zoo) at Breitscheidplatz – once a symbol of Berlin’s City West – built in 1957 by architects Paul Schwebes and Hans Schoszberger, is one of the few still preserved contemporary reminders of the eventful history of post-war Berlin. The centerpiece of the complex was the legendary fully glazed Bikinihaus – the name affectionately given by the locals in the 1950s. Abandoned during the Cold War, Zentrum am Zoo transformed into Bikini Berlin in 2014.

Bikini Berlin became a concept shopping mall with carefully curated selection of unique boutiques and a rich gastronomical offer. It offers relaxed and warm ambiance where one feels warm and welcome.

An additional highlight of the Bikini Berlin is its freely accessible rooftop terrace – resembling New York’s Highline Park and Paris’ Coulée verte René-Dumont. It also offers spectacular views onto the neighboring Zoo.

I applaud this transformation of the Zentrum am Zoo, and I can only hope that other European cities will follow this example.

Photo Diary: Monschau in Summer

The town of Monschau is located in the narrow valley of the Rur river on the border of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Monschau was historically known for its cloth-mills, today popular mainly with tourists. Picturesque, narrow streets have remained nearly unchanged for more than hundreds of years. Perfect location for a weekend getaway and for overindulging in cuteness.

Below you will find my favorite selection of images that showcase Monschau during a summer day.