Part 2 Of R29's Mystery Adventure: A Berlin Photo Diary

(...For part 1 of our NEXTPEDITION from American Express Travel trip, visit here!) On our last day of Barcelona, we got word we were flying to Berlin — and by the time we thought about how we were going to make our mid-50s wardrobes appropriate for the impending freeze of Germany we were already on a plane headed East. For those who like shopping, eating, and going out (just about everyone who reads Refinery, right?), Berlin is most likely the city of dreams, with neighborhoods filled with one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries, amazing food, and some of the best bars and nightclubs you'll ever see (the partying regularly goes from 10 p.m. until noon the next day). Click through for photo evidence.
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We arrived in the evening, and the first thing we wanted wanted to do was to grab a mug of beer, chow on some pig knuckle (Eisbein!), and experience regional Berlin cuisine like they used to back when men still wore codpieces. We went to Zur letzten Instanz, which is apparently the oldest restaurant in Berlin. We sat in a seat that was said to be Napolean Bonaparte's favorite.
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Like most of the traditional Berlin cuisine we had on the trip (Currywurst, sausages and kraut, etc), the only bit of greens you would get were the garnishes on top (vegetarians, be forewarned). But, oh my pork lord, was it good.
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In terms of sightseeing, there are a few big ones: Brandenburg Gate, The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Holocaust Memorial (pictured). All are situated fairly close to one another, and super close to our hotel, The Mandala Hotel, in Potsdamer Platz, so we were able to knock 'em all out in one go.
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On the second day, we were treated to a gallery tour led by a local artist of her favorite spots, including Peres Projects, which featured a big ol' room covered in cut-outs of Justin Bieber.

Mark Flood's "PEOPLE ARE STRANGE" at the Peres Projects Gallery, 17 Große Hamburger Straße (between Krausnickstraße and Oranienburger Straße), Berlin, Germany 10115; +49 30/275950770.
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Artist TTozoi grew giant swaths of mold on canvas. This particular piece was... uh, still growing.

TTozoi. "Schimmel Auf Leinwand-Moulds on canvas" at the at the Walter Beschoff Galerie / Immaginaria Arti Visive Gallery, 121 Linienstr (between Tucholskystraße and Oranienburger Straße), Berlin, Germany 10115; +49 30.60924258.
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The Kunsthaus Tacheles was a century-old department store in Berlin, and became a Nazi prison, a squatter's home, and is now a de facto art gallery. Inside, ignore the cheesy venders selling mass-produced prints of Bob Marley, and instead get lost in its graffitied corridors.

Oranienburger Straße 54 (between Alt-Wittenau and Am Nordgraben), Berlin, Germany 10117.
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While you're in Berlin, look out for these little metal cobblestones. Called "stumbling blocks," they're a modern art installation in memorial of those killed in the Holocaust. Each block is placed at the last known residence of each victim.
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We didn't have enough days to hit all the shops we wanted to in Berlin (give us a month, and we probably would have done it), but the one street that we really fell in love with was Mulackstraße, with A.P.C., Das neue Schwarz, Lala, Starstyling, and Schwarzhogerzeil... all on one city block.
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Inside Starstyling, we spotted these gigantic Asian-tourist visors. 2013 trend, perhaps?

‪Starstyling Shop‬‎; ‪Mulackstraße 4‬ (between Ruckerstraße and Alte Schonhauser Straße), Berlin, Germany 10119.
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Crocheted Lady Gagas and Anna Wintours. We spotted an Alber in the back of this shop.

Paul's Boutique; Oderberger Straße 47, Berlin, Germany 10435; +49 30/44033737 ‎
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We made sure to head to Rogacki, the biggest, baddest deli in Berlin.

Rogacki; Wilmersdorfer Straße 145/146, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany 10585
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It was lunchtime (which explains all the pensioners... and myself), but the lunch bar was hoppin'.
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Fried codfish, potato salad, a side of beans. Nom nom nom.
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As people who find '50s-style food absolutely fascinating, we found the meaty aspic selection magical.
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This slide is dedicated to the night-time scene in Berlin. From our noticeably absent photos, just trust us that we had a great time bar-hopping in Kreuzberg and Neukölln. Unfortunately, our flight left before we could visit Berghain, the biggest techno nightclub in the entire world, where we were told to expect hairy men in banana thongs, random celebrity sightings, and complete disorientation when exiting the compound at noon the next afternoon (the usual closing time). Drats. But whatever the case, it gives us an excuse to come back again soon!
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