Michelberger Blog http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:36:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Wild Garden http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/wild-garden/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/wild-garden/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 10:38:22 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7861 If you’ve eaten with us in the last months, you may have noticed that your plate has taken a bit of a walk on the wild side; herbs, salads, vegetables, flowers that definitely don’t look like they’ve come off a supermarket shelf. As someone quipped over their salad one day, “it feels a bit like eating a garden”… Twice a week we take delivery of vegetables and herbs from Roberto ()

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If you’ve eaten with us in the last months, you may have noticed that your plate has taken a bit of a walk on the wild side; herbs, salads, vegetables, flowers that definitely don’t look like they’ve come off a supermarket shelf. As someone quipped over their salad one day, “it feels a bit like eating a garden”…

Twice a week we take delivery of vegetables and herbs from Roberto and his friends. Originally from Sicily, he now organises a small farming commune in the north of Berlin called the Wilde Gärtnerei. Made up of around 10 or so people, they dedicate their lives to their farm, growing everything naturally, totally organically, and without even using any animal products in the process, such as for fertiliser. With their produce they supply a few select restaurants and food collectives in Berlin as well as of course, their own community.

We decided to go and learn more about it all and spend a day working with them.

We had strict instructions to be there at 6.30am and so we arrived and were immediately divided up to do various tasks such as sorting potatoes, picking chard (Mangold) and fennel, collecting wild salad, harvesting tomatoes and taking down the dead plants and weeding the fields. And so as dawn came, we were already out in the fields without even so much as a skinny, flat, double decaf latte with soya to start the day!

It’s hard and intensive, and the work is done in many cases without using mechanical aids or specialised tools. Wild salads are picked leaf by leaf. Vegetables are harvested with a simple kitchen knife and moved around the farm by hand cart or bike. Weeding is done with hands in the earth, on your knees. There’s an ancient tractor there which they use when they have to, but generally, it’s all done manually.

Everyone comes together to share the really labour-intensive tasks like sorting the salads or getting the beans from the pod or the seeds from the sunflowers. And as they work, each person takes turn to tell the others what they did the last couple of hours and what they would like to do next. And even the children participate too!

And as we learnt when we sat together and shared breakfast and lunch, the community extend this natural approach into their lives which are very simply too. No hot water, no detergents, no mod-cons, no money. Their homes are built with reclaimed wood and brick and using old construction techniques with straw and hemp for insulation. Although they eschew many of the things most of us would consider essential, we found the people there to be happier and more relaxed than many of us with more.

We left in the afternoon, completely worn out, with aching legs and earth-stained fingers. But refreshed and fulfilled and with the knowledge that these things we eat everyday in our hotel are of the highest possible quality and naturalness, grown close to us, by wonderful, kind and content people living in harmony with the world around them. It’s truly humbling to now know the love and attention and hard work that has gone into bringing those simple leaves onto our plates. It makes us think with renewed attention and respect about what we are eating. And to really cherish what we eat. And to have pride in what we are blessed to be able to serve our guests and friends every day.

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 And here’s how it all ends up on our plates!

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Remembering Naima http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/remembering-naima/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/remembering-naima/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:05:02 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7850 I met a dog once. She was black. She had a white spot here and there, and a pink tongue that dangled happily from her mouth whenever she said hello or goodbye. She was the only one who took advantage of any nap opportunities at work and was always in a good mood no matter what the time. She didn’t work in my department but she oversaw it from time ()

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I met a dog once. She was black. She had a white spot here and there, and a pink tongue that dangled happily from her mouth whenever she said hello or goodbye.

She was the only one who took advantage of any nap opportunities at work and was always in a good mood no matter what the time. She didn’t work in my department but she oversaw it from time to time. She walked by wagging her tail, stopping briefly to acknowledge our presence and a job well done.

I’ve been told she used to greet guests at reception. Her little ears perked up in greeting and sometimes she would give a little paw shake to those she immediately liked.

I wasn’t around at that time but have seen pictures of her playing in the Michelberger playground, happy, to be part of something that impersonated fun. She was part of the original team, hired as a motivation expert and highly recommended by all who had had the pleasure of hanging out with her at some point.

Her name was Naima, a name for those who are contented, cheerful, thankful and serene. She took her duty seriously as she sat, sphinxlike, in the office with her paws crossed in front of her, supervising the good energy flow in the office and the hotel.

She took it upon herself to stroll around the different departments to make sure that everything was well. She often visited Leah in the office to get a midday snack. Sometimes she would visit Javier or Inga, in revenue and bookings, so they could pet her and give her a nice belly rub. She knew that kept the positive vibes flowing so she could continue her work. Every once in a while she even liked to pose for pictures with Elena and a few lucky others while we all had a beer after work.

In her free time she took Sabine, her human, on skateboard rides, swims and mellow walks in the park. Recently, she even trained the Michelberger volleyball team at Gleisdreieck Park. She was fit, that lady. Even Mette from reception said it. And she used to be a fitness instructor. She knows.

Me, I had heard of Naima way before I started working here. She was known in many circles for her enthusiastic nature and good cheer.

The first time I met her she nudged my leg, introducing herself and offering her neck and back so I could briefly pet her before she carried on.

When Naima walked past the bar every morning I knew a new day had begun. She made us smile when she got there, walking by like a queen greeting her people, beaming with happiness, rain or shine.

So here’s to feeling happy, smiling and that really great scratch on the back, to that little Naima in all of us, a little dash of sunshine.

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Wooden Arms, Thank You http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/wooden-arms-thank-you/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/wooden-arms-thank-you/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:51:47 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7847 …for that wonderful evening and the beautiful music.

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…for that wonderful evening and the beautiful music.

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Happy Buffalo http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/happy-buffalo/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/happy-buffalo/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:46:25 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7840 So just that everyone can be sure, the mozzarella di buffalo for the dinner is from happy buffalo. I promised to say hi from my calf 154. His ears are 17cm long *Stefanie

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So just that everyone can be sure, the mozzarella di buffalo for the dinner is from happy buffalo.

I promised to say hi from my calf 154. His ears are 17cm long :)

*Stefanie

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Schnitzel tag http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/its-that-day-again/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/its-that-day-again/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:01:31 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7837 It’s that day again…

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It’s that day again…

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Burning Man 2014 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/burning-man-2014/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/burning-man-2014/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 08:28:18 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7806 Laura visited Burning Man this year. This is a tiny bit of what she found and photographed:

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Laura visited Burning Man this year. This is a tiny bit of what she found and photographed:

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Wooden Arms Concert http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/wooden-arms-concert/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/wooden-arms-concert/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:03:11 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7780 This Wednesday evening (17.09.14) we are very happy to welcome Wooden Arms, who’ll play a concert in the hotel. The founder of the band is Alex Carson. He’s the composer, pianist, and vocalist of the group, and also a piano teacher in his private life. Because of his classical background, Alex decided to combine his orchestral compositions with contemporary melody and he’s found the perfect match using a modern style of songwriting. Their debut ()

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This Wednesday evening (17.09.14) we are very happy to welcome Wooden Arms, who’ll play a concert in the hotel.

The founder of the band is Alex Carson. He’s the composer, pianist, and vocalist of the group, and also a piano teacher in his private life.

Because of his classical background, Alex decided to combine his orchestral compositions with contemporary melody and he’s found the perfect match using a modern style of songwriting.

Their debut single is called Separate The Verb. This upcoming concert is to celebrate the release, on the 12th Sept, of a new mini album: Tide, produced with the Butterfly Collectors. Tide is a combination of cello, violin and brass mixed with contemporary percussive beats, ambient samples, choral harmonies and long guitar reverberations.

Because of the classical preparation and the small group of orchestral instruments, we can consider their style a modern version of classical chamber music. Traditionally chamber music has to be combined with a warm and intimate room because it’s music for friends.

Feel warmly invited from 8pm.

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Asse from Copenhagen http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/asse-from-copenhagen/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/asse-from-copenhagen/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:54:00 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7774 This beautiful lady is Asse. She’s 95. She’s from Copenhagen and she and her daughter just spent the weekend with us. Aase specifically asked to stay here after her grand daughter recommended the hotel to her. She said her favourite thing about it was all the fresh flowers and the young people enjoying the cosy lounge. During her time in Berlin, she also went to visit the Hotel Adlon because her ()

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This beautiful lady is Asse. She’s 95. She’s from Copenhagen and she and her daughter just spent the weekend with us. Aase specifically asked to stay here after her grand daughter recommended the hotel to her. She said her favourite thing about it was all the fresh flowers and the young people enjoying the cosy lounge. During her time in Berlin, she also went to visit the Hotel Adlon because her parents went there before the war. Next year she wants to come back to see the Reichstag.

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Sinkane Mean Love http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/sinkane-mean-love/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/sinkane-mean-love/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 13:02:06 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7748 If you happen to bump into this softly-spoken, sweet-smelling gentleman in the lobby… not the one on the left obviously ;)… congratulations are in order! Yesterday he just released his new album Mean Love. And we’ve totally fallen love with it! It’s a record full of energy and rhythm which make you wanna go out into the sunshine and dance; electro-pop infused through with the influences of Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia and ()

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If you happen to bump into this softly-spoken, sweet-smelling gentleman in the lobby… not the one on the left obviously ;)… congratulations are in order! Yesterday he just released his new album Mean Love. And we’ve totally fallen love with it! It’s a record full of energy and rhythm which make you wanna go out into the sunshine and dance; electro-pop infused through with the influences of Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia and with his light, clear voice soaring and swooping above the shimmering landscape of the music.

His concert tonight at the Postbahnhof is gonna be the perfect end to this warm, sunny day!

Apart from his solo work, Sinkane has recently worked as musical director for Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor and is also known as a contributor to Yeasayer.

Take a listen to this great song New Name:

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I Came And Went Back With More http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/i-came-and-went-back-with-more/ http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/i-came-and-went-back-with-more/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 08:23:53 +0000 http://michelbergerhotel.com/blog/?p=7731 Marc Wagenaar worked in our bar for 2 years. He was the young, charismatic, long-haired Dutch guy. You’re sure to have met him if you were here during that time. He’s just left us, following his dream. On saying goodbye, he wrote us his story: “I moved to Berlin for two reasons: love and film. Film was more a cover up to go to Berlin because I was in love with ()

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Marc Wagenaar worked in our bar for 2 years. He was the young, charismatic, long-haired Dutch guy. You’re sure to have met him if you were here during that time. He’s just left us, following his dream. On saying goodbye, he wrote us his story:

“I moved to Berlin for two reasons: love and film. Film was more a cover up to go to Berlin because I was in love with somebody for several years and I couldn’t stay in the same city anymore. In Berlin I did some internships covering different aspects of film. 

Lonely, excited, happy, sad… The last three and a half year contained it all. Of course, in the beginning, as with all big decisions you make you think: “What have I done?! Why?!” But I believe that everything happens for a reason. And like Charlie Chaplin says in his great poem ‘When I started loving myself': 

When I started loving myself

I understood that I’m always and at any given opportunity
in the right place at the right time.
And I understood that all that happens is right –
from then on I could be calm.
Today I know: It’s called TRUST.

After reading this many times I could be calm as well. 

I was looking for a job and found one in a small restaurant. At the same time I applied for job at the Michelberger Hotel. I hoped they would contact me but for two weeks I didn’t hear anything. Then suddenly at the moment I was working in the small restaurant, Tommy called me. Secretly I picked up my phone and this dark rough voice invited me for a interview. And so it happened that after a trial I started working there. At that time I was doing two jobs and then the Berlinale film festival offered me an internship. My boss in the little restaurant told me that if I would choose the internship I shouldn’t come back after. The Michelberger Hotel asked me if I would like to work more afterwards. From this point on everything was clear for me. And I wanted to give the hotel back what they gave me. 

What happened over the next two years is that I worked full-time and that I made 2 short films. All with the money I earned at the hotel. They gave me space to develop myself. We were a family (and still are). When emotions reached a high level because of stress or pressure… the next day you were hugging and laughing again with each other. 

Then on the 1st of January this year it happened to me again. I fell in love. Immediately. I walked straight to him and told him how beautiful he was, something I have never done before. We saw each other every week in Berghain and danced for a while next to each other and that was it. We went for a drink but also that didn’t work out as I had in mind: he had a girlfriend. Suddenly the news came that the Amsterdam film school had selected me for the directing course. Which meant that I had to move to Amsterdam. Suddenly he started to look for contact with me. I was slightly confused. The weeks before I moved, we saw each other often and my whole body was doing weird things. I was so much in love… How was this possible?? That the same thing happened to me before I moved to Berlin! 

Then the day came that I had to move. Sunday morning at 8am. My father was late because he couldn’t turn the car in the parking lot of the hotel. I was slightly irritated. Around 8.30 we started driving. I wished so much that I would see this person again. But that would had been too much of a coincidence… He was in Berghain and he never left to go home. We stopped for a traffic light. One person walked across the street. I couldn’t see so well with my eyes, who this could be. But I recognized his walk! My father started driving again and I screamed: “Stop! Stop!”. I took this chance and jumped out of the car, ran to him and spread my arms around him. “I have to tell you one more thing before I leave, otherwise I might regret it forever.” There was a short moment of silence. I was pulling nervously on a part of his coat. The the words finally came out of my mouth: “I’m very much in love with you!” Meanwhile my father was pushing the horn. I hugged him, and went back to the car. 

I could not imagine a better ending then this. Of course, a kiss… but he wasn’t ready for it yet. At least, this is what I felt. Not yet… 

It all felt like a film. The whole structure. And this was exactly how it felt to me before. Almost too good to be true. Now I realise that this wasn’t the end of a film. It was the end of the series. And there will be more seasons to come… Although I’m not a big fan of series. I hope this will change my opinion about this. The future will show how special our band is. 

Now at last… Three and a half year ago I didn’t know anything about making film. I leave Berlin with 2 short films, a videoclip, the website www.holybirds.com and am I going to study directing at the Amsterdam film school. The Michelberger Hotel always was a second home to me. Something that is extremely important to establish your dream. A place where you can always rely on. A place where people welcome you with open arms. A place where you feel welcome, understood and where you can be yourself. 

I came to Berlin with a broken heart and I leave Berlin with lots of hope. Although I’m going to miss all the whole family, the good food and the coconut water. But of course I will be back soon.”

Here you can see the trailer of one of Marc’s short films, Holy Bird:

During his time here, he also directed this promo for Joel’s solo project Glassmaps. Joel also worked behind our bar!

Thanks for everything Marc! You have a shining future ahead but in our eyes… you’re already a star!

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