Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mayor of the bar


This week, I checked 3 times in a row in the same bar. Do I drink too much and/or do I go out too many ? Tuesday because I was stressed from work, Wednesday because I wanted to celebrate the fact that I am alone for a week (my boyfriend is on holidays to his family for Christmas) and Thursday because I met my neighbor on the street and we decided to catch up. Actually, it was funny because we didn’t end up the two of us but 6 as we met some other people we know. The advantage to (very often) go at the same bar round the corner is that ye start to know people. The waiter knows you and your drink, the place where you like to sit, the people you meet there. Thanks to my mobile phone and the app Foursquare, I just discovered that I am the mayor of Bariton because I’m the one who checked the most. Not saying I have the most checked points because probably no one else does., or not that many. This is why this evening, I am not going at the same bar ! I’m going to join a friend (who’s in town for Christmas with his family) at Golden Finish. Tonight the motto is regenerate drinking against the Christmas’ stress. I like the idea as I have no stress at all for this period of the year that I spend most of the time alone, having all my time for me. The city is nearly empty because they all left for their family until next week. I miss the snow though. Because of this climate changes, where we used to have snow from October to April, this year, not a snowflake. But rain and grey light without end. So I’m not surprised when one is saying that no one was ready for Christmas this year because we don’t have the feeling at all. No rush for presents, no snow, even the Christmas markets were not in the mood, so this year will not be a highlight. It makes no difference for me anyway. Maybe I will cook and bake more, that’s all. For me.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lights

I know it is in many countries the same : Christmas decoration all over the city, on every house, on every balcony, on every tree, every year the same and even more and more each year. I remember having been in L.A. some years ago and lost with the car in Beverley Hills and then saw all those big houses completely decorated with lights, the same in Miami, the same in Karlsruhe, the same in Berlin. If you were leaving near my place, you wouild notice this balcony. Why ? because Isince I live in my flat, I take this picture every year, the same. But there is always a difference every year. There are more and more decorations, more Santas, also with lights, and they move, balancing their head from right to left. This year, the novelty are those lines of lights coming from one floor up. Don't ask me how they manage to do this but It seems very popular this year. Looking at this and many others every day, almost on every window in the city, sometimes nice, sometimes not, I can't help thinking how much it must cost, can't imagine the increase of the electricity invoice raising up for one month. Furthermore, if you think further, how much energy It costs to produce, for nothing actually, because I still wonder why families do that. I am not even sure the kids are thrilled about those illuminations all night long. I understand the city of Berlin does no effort to decorate the city, the citizens do it themselves all over the place. I think only on Ku'dam, you can find something but I didn't go this year, and with the wind, not sure it survives. Go to Paris to see the difference where the department stores are or on the Champs Elysées. This is very nice. So I am happy that here in the city some put all their efforts in some lighting for this time of the year, waiting now that we had the view, for the noise, that will come next week with New Year's Eve and all their petard everywhere. I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

You'd better have a good story ...


Weinachstfeier

So it was again yesterday the Christmas party of the company to celebrate its employees. 4 hours of speech and then dinner with open bar. Until midnight. But during this time, we all love each other when at the office we hardly say good morning. It's every year the same, more people maybe as the company is growing, more young people as I am getting older, same speech, same wine, same food, same place, same rain. One detail changes every time. I have noticed I go away earlier. Either I'm drunk earlier or I get bored after having done what I call my "public relations". We never know. After that ? I need a drink of course and that's when the party really starts. I came back this morning, not really fresh I must say, and this evening, though invited at friends' place for dinner, not a drop of wine nor one cigarette. And this is interesting because I noticed that 1) when you are a non smoker, I understand smoke disturbs you and irritates your throat and 2) when people starts to get drunk, you are not in the mood and only wants to go home. When you look at your friends having fun and laughing for nothing, you just behave trying to understand the words they try to articulate, not with really much success. Then you say goodnight. Goodnight.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stairs 1

Well, this is it : I have to talk about my stairs. The one in my edroom. I(ve waited 3 years to have it. I had such a precise idea of what I wanted (and I have now) that the most difficult part of all, was to find someone who would be able to build it. I found beginning of the year. It took almost a year to have it, just put it in the room yesterday, but I am now so happy. To be continued.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Birds

Green

I love my flat. It costs me a fortune but I just love it. It's the reason why I didn't go far away on holidays since two years, no sun, no sea (I miss that so much) but hey, no risk no fun. And I have many. It's my choice and I'm not complaining. On the contrary, I feel myself lucky to have a roof above my head. Anyway, It has 3 rooms and one I used to have as a bedroom. But I did some renovation and since then my bedroom is somewhere else. So I have a spare room that friends use when they come to visit but most of the time It is empty. I did move the computer room and my desk also somewhere else in the flat. So I figure out I could rent it. Not for long term but for week-ends or a week or two when tourists or business (wo)men are in town. So I started to renovate it. The furniture are all here so no bigy but the initial colour I put when I moved in, well, It's easy, I don't like it anymore. It's a light beige but I'm more in dark colours, I feel It goes better with the flat. The other colours you will find in my place are bright red, some darg grey, a marine blue, a bordeaux and a mix of all those I used to paint my bedroom. So let's say I don't like white walls. Of course to put life on the walls, you will also find a lot of pictures, paintings, drawings, maps, mirrors, so you could say I live in a modern museum. But It looks like me. But, how can I design a room that belongs to my flat where I live but is for people I don't know and they will have to pay (a little) to rent it (if ever) ? The marine blue I used for the corridor is nice but too strong. I decided to have a dark green, so I can try to make it. I went to the store and bought some bright and gold yellow. I did it this afternoon. Actually, I think I like it but I can't be sure for now. The colour is not dry yet and It's dark outside now so, with only the lights on, I can't judge. Let's say I'll talk about it another time. It's time for dinner and relax.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Brain

It's a little game that likes to play this little boy from time to time : "where is my brain ?" until now, he lost.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meds

I'm drugged up on meds and does not feel funtional at all

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Art.Gerecht, the day after

So it was really unexpected. When you see Art.Gerecht from outside, it looks like a small coffee bar. The door is even in paper. You don't expect such a cosy place nor a concert location. Ok, all acoustic but what a pleasure to discover new artists live, round the corner with good atmosphere. We had the time to taste the very good coffee and later on, the tea. I was not in the mood for wine that evening but I heard it tastes good. Then you access the room where the artist will perform. Comfortably sat in chairs or sofas, your glass on the coffee table, facing the stage, you wait for the performance to begin. Before that, the artists display their merchandising, fair enough. There was no tickets to buy. In the middle of the concert, the owner of the bar gave us a basket to donate money. That is good because you don't feel struggle with the price of a concert, nowadays rarely affordable for me. The surprise came from the first part. Because there was one. Phia. Also from Merlbourne, Australia, living in Berlin since 7 months and having a good time, so she says, and performing often in the city. Yesterday she came with electronic devices that she pushes with her feet, connected with an african instrument called Kalimba that she plays with her hands. Amazing and entertaining. I bought her CD because I thought it was a good thing to do and also because I was thrilled by her creative talent. Coby Grant was enjoying the music. With each song, we had a little story about the process or the story about it and we felt like connected. After the performance, Coby Grant started hers. She is also staying in Berlin for the time being. She explained that she is recording next week her next album in the city. A few songs you can already listen on her website. The mood was really good and I appreciate very much when the artist puts a connection with the audience. I think that, where big concerts with thousands of people give you energy, the acoustic ones in bars or small locations simply give you happiness, the feeling that you're having a privilieged moment. And that's what happened. I also bought the CD but not for me. A friend of mine wanted to be with us but could not make it, being away from the city. That will be his Christmas present with a special word and signature from Coby Grant. I hope he will be thrilled with the music and word as we all were.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Art Gerecht

This evening we try something new. Art Gerecht. Live will play Coby Grant. I noticed the place a few months ago and I thought first it is only a (good) coffee bar, only open during day time. But it happens to be much more than that, very much more. On the rear there is a concert room where coms artists who play acoustic music. Last month I found no time to go but I book my evening and wants to go. This is what is said about the artist (from the main page of Art Gerecht) : "Australia’s sweetheart of acoustic pop, Coby Grant is a woman of many talents. Fiercely independent, she is a free spirit, savvy business woman and most fittingly, a genuine artist. The popular single, “A Song About Me” has been used on television commercials around the world, revealing new supporters in the most surprising places, such as Scandinavia! Having performed over 170 shows in the past year throughout Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, the UK and the USA and securing a number of stellar support slots alongside international artists such as Don McLean (USA), Newton Faulkner (UK #1 Artist) and Toni Childs (USA), Coby’s soaring vocals and candid lyrical style continues to win the hearts of Australian audiences and now, she’s going global. This year, Coby Grant will embark on her most epic journey yet, with tours planned through Europe, Canada and the USA." I quite interested I must say. I never had the idea such a place was so nearby and I am already a fan on Facebook. I might go more often at concerts. They also give singing and other art lessons.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day

Please don't forget that today December 1st, is World Aids day. It is sad to remember but there is still so much work to do. Of course medication exists but not anyone does have the access to it. I heard that before 2015, we want to eradicate the disease transmitted from mother to child. I'd like also that my fellow LGBT friends, this community always very prompt and active for a cause, and most of the time has access to doctors and medication, probably feeling safe in the city, and mostly the young ones who don't have nearby someone dead from AIDS, stops to think that they can cure with meds and they can carry on sucking dicks all night long and be fucked or fucked without protection. It's for life, you will never get rid of it. I also think that it is the duty of the oldest ones, me for example, to explain this matter. But believe it or not, I'm not listened. Worse : people of my age start to take advantage of the so-called innocence of the youngs. Not sure it really gets better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Get married

when my gay canadian friend says to me he will get married, at first I laugh. then I remember he can

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kumpelnest 3000


After a very nice concert evening at the Philarmonie last Saturday (I just love the Mozart's requiem, everytime I listen to it, I'm shivering), my boyfriend asked the right question: where is the bar? It’s not that I don’t like Potsdamer Platz, I know very well the cocktail bar of the Mandala hotel and I used to go from its opening at the Victoria Bar but It’s not my favorite outside their school of drunkenness (see website) but that, I can do on my own. Because we didn’t want to travel through the city to find something to drink (though it’s no big deal in this city), because we wanted to stay in the neighborhood and not going back to East, we figured out what the options were … walking down west on the Potsdamer Straße. On this street, you will find dance and drink clubs and all look like a red light district with neon color lights inside, men with black suits and hair gel, with doorkeepers and luxury cars at the entrance, girls with so short dress that every man on the planet is their gynecologist. In the middle of that, you also will find the Wintergarten. I remember a few months ago the place became famous because of the gay parties inside which was abandoned because there was too much noise. Anyway, opposite of this  legendary theater, there is a dark road, the Lützowstraße and at the number 23 please open the door and get into Kumpelnest 3000. You will not believe it. Well, you will. After one or two drinks or more. If you are used to go out with me or follow my links, you certainly know the Roses in Oranienstraße, this tacky bar with walls covered with plush and kitschy taste. Coming in, Kumpelnest has been entirely decorated by art students, using old scraps of carpet and broken mirror, but the bar – in all of its crumpled glory – is still one of the stalwarts of the deep down and dirty Berlin club scene of yore. The crowd is as chaotic as the interior is, getting going to disco dance anthems into the extra-early mornings, as this place often stays open past 5am, and even later on weekends. Gay or straight, you're welcome here. All that's asked is that you enjoy a kinky good time in what used to be a brothel. This crowded and chaotic place is really a bar now. Berliners often show up here for early-morning fun after they've exhausted the action at the other hot spots. This lurid bat cave is sensuous, kooky and kitschy enough to feature in a 1940s Shanghai noir thriller. A true classic, famous for its wild, debauched all-nighters, it attracts a hugely varied public, from 20’s students to 70’s retired (but the lady with leather jacket please) without forgetting the 30’s mid something straight guy, feeling not so comfortable, sharing a beer with his so-called straight married friend (searh for the ring). You could also have the opportunity to chat with a black wigged woman or with the blond legged transexual. Some say the doorkeeper, arrived late, is not as friendly as he seems, maybe true but didn’t have to complain that evening. Don’t be surprised if your bar keeper is not there anymore, service changes. Once my friend Axel comes back to work in Berlin, he will have to taste aperitif there (he’s not working far from the place and I’m sure it is on his way home). Latest advice: forget the wine, any color.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday

Today my horoscope said : "Daydreaming will bring your downfall. Do not count on others to do your work. If you run from a situation, it will follow you in the worst possible way". How can I survive the day ? I looked at tv series all day, tried to paint the guest room but the colour does not match my desire and I think I'll go to the bar to end all this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doubt

Not sure again I've made the right choice. It looked right at first but then, like everytime, my personality takes over everything. I mean, what's the point of having a relationship if I'm not happy ?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tante Horst


Always on the thirst to investigate new bars, I was appointed 2 weeks ago on Saturday evening at Tante Horst, in Oranienstraße, Kreuzberg. I talked with friends about it after my wild night and this understated and modestly-priced café happened to be famous, that I didn’t know before. Anyway, when the meeting was set up, I liked spontaneously the name of the bar : Tante means aunt and Horst is a male name. So I wondered what kind of bar could be named with a male aunt ? Well, I was not disappointed : It’s a queer bar, meaning all kind of people can meet there and It’s no cliché : LGBT welcome and hetero friendly, let’s say. When I saw those boys with full make up and silver dress, I thought “they’re going to a party afterwards” but no, the party was meeting friends at the bar. Oups. When the students request free seats at our table, I thought “there is a birthday party upstairs” but no they sat next to us and ordered beers. When the DJ played louder the music, the mood really rises and changes from a nice and gentle start sipping caperihna to dance floor, which was good because after that we had to join a lesbian party called “mermaids” (didn’t see many, really, but It is another story). For the record, the bar, where like Bloona you can stay at the bar, is located on the less-trod side of the Oranienstraße, near Moritzplatz where Prinzessingarten is, closed now for winter : don’t forget to make yourself a note for next spring to go there (and It’s again another story). Drawing its entirely mixed crowd, Tante Horst prides itself on being a Likörchenkollektiv, which translates as a schnapps collective, offering an array of liquor that includes, but luckily is not limited to, sheep’s milk schnapps.With a rotating display of artwork by various local artists, the café creates a comfy atmosphere, ideal for unaffected cups of tea or glasses of beer. Every Sunday, Tante Horst hosts a vegan/vegetarian brunch buffet (12:00-16:00), whereas every Saturday night a DJ spins the crowd into a tizzy. We couldn’t stay too long and moved on to GoldenFinish before visiting the Mermaids (still makes me laugh) but I went back last Tuesday for apéritif. It’s of course quieter but you will appreciate the good mood of the bar to make a good start in the week.. I also read they are linked with other “Kollektiv” like Silver Future in Neukölln, but this one I know already. Didn’t I write about it? OK, next time then. (But it’s another story).


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bloona

I thought I knew every bar in my neighborhood but no, there are still some I have to discover. Coming back from drinks at Place Clichy the other day, we wanted to have the “one for the road” drink. I didn’t have the bike so walking through Boxhagener Platz, I noticed that between Schlecker and the Ampelman shop, there was a bar, with nice lights, a real big wood bar with stools. And people were smoking inside. My kind of place. They have also a very nice room behind the big tables for a more comfy living room atmosphere. But It’s also the room where you can book to launch your private party. OK, if you’re at the bar and want to go to the toilets, you will have to cross the crowd of screaming girls and boys with strange hats maybe but It’s part of the fun and you can make nice acquaintances. They have everything you like to drink from beer to wine and Ricard to Absinthe, I guess they also can make cocktails but I’ll stick with the standard, though the Riesling was a bit sour. During the week, It’s of course quieter but there is a big chance that you’ll meet the barfly. I was there twice this week and he was twice there. I wouldn’t say It is a coincidence because he talks a lot with the (nice and smiley) waitress and always tries to make conversation with the others sitting next to him, same chair, same place, same drink, same attitude.You want to be at Bloona's because you like it. Simple as that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Need a drink

Honey, I ordered you a gimlet. I know you don't drink in the afternoon but you will eventually so why not starting now ?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Instantanés

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Today at work I felt sexy and attractive with the perfect match with my clothes. It simply makes happy and spend a good day with your colleagues and boss and appointments and presentation and deadlines and lunch break and coffee break and breakfast break and no cig break and you just wonder when you will be able to switch off your computer to go back to normal life again safely at home.

Monday, October 10, 2011

So I'm back from all the family thing and today is the first day I put the heating system on. It's definitely the start of the cold season. Need a cig.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

RIP

My grandmother just died. The mother of my father. It is sad and it is not. She was for me and my parents long time ago not from our world anymore as she was a vegetable, not capable of doing anything by herself. So it is not sad and even a relief, probably for her and certainly for my parents who do not have to pay a fortune to keep her alive in this antechamber of death where she lived the last years. It is sad because the last time I saw her was I think two years ago when visiting my parents and friends in Paris, I went with my mother to see her. As the time before she did not recognize me when she is the one who raised me because my parents worked a lot. I remember our breakfast paying cards together, our scrabble play on lazy Wednesday afternoons, our adventures in Paris well dressed to go shopping, the care she had for her beauty skin and nails, her impeccable way of wearing her dress, handbag and gloves, the whole body perching on high heels, she was to me a true lady that I admire and loved very deep in my heart. So it is sad to think that whatever you achieve in life, you’ll end sadly in a bedroom, dark, alone without even having a thinking or memory of it. Tears are rolling again on my face just by writing those lines but I truly wish she finds a new way to be happy where she flies now. I remember how many wonderful stories she told me, having had the privilege to watch the 20th century. Her father was a pioneer with airplanes in the East Europe, she spent her youth always in the move, traveling from country to another, having to adapt herself where her parents brought her. Approximate school years that she would eventually notice back to Paris where she had to re-adapt with a controlled scheduled, the little expat girl with her memory already full of images and faces, the children of her age would never probably have in their entire life. Then another unstable life, the second world war, met my grandfather, my father was born and 20 years later, here I was. I remember her preparing her trunk for holidays that she would make deliver to her holiday home in Brittany on the island. She always traveled “light”, a handbag and a magazine, my grandfather following religiously with his cig glued on his lips, and where they would stay 4 months. When they returned, there was always one present, of course, but also many new stories and It was the time of going back to school. And it went on and on for years until I made my own way. She kept her house as long as she could, long after my Grandfather's death but it came one day she fell and could not stand up anymore. Living alone inher house was not an option anymore and we had to place her in a house, you know, the one you wish never to go, where only people like you live. Though it is a nice one, very expensive, with caring and competent service, I know she spent almost the last years isolated. It's like my hamster who was used to live in the house free of cage. One day he made a big mistake and we had to put in in the cage and he died a few days later. I guess when you don't have any will to live anymore or no stimulation for your spirit and body, the only thing you want is to lie Earth as quick as you can. The last time I saw she did not even recognise me, thinking that I was a burglar coming to steal her jewelry. That hurt. Any way, I'm flying to Paris tomorrow, will stay a week, having the time after the ceremony to go and meet my best friends that i miss a lot. I think also what disturbs me is the fact that for the ceremony I will have to face people I didn't meet for more than 15 years. And the feeling that will come with it. I guess as usual I’ll be as closed as an oyster.My father asked me to do a speech, which I try to work on since two days without a big success. But I'll do my best, for you Grandma. So you know you will always be in my heart. Adieu, dear Grandmother.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Where was the bar ?

In a week, our beloved Kiki Blofeld will be closed forever. Unlike its fashionable neighbor ex-Bar25 - new KaterHolzig - which informed year after year that it-is-the-last-time-ever-come-celebrate-the-party-of-the-year (it finally happened last year), Kiki just made a note on its website confirming the news we had read in the daily paper. Some investor I guess bought this exclusive part of the land and probably next year, where we had until last night our feet in the sand near the fireplace watching the boats passing or stopping by, will stand a new empty offices’ skyscraper. The day had been beautiful, warm and sunny, a real summer day. We had so few this season. It was obvious we had to enjoy looking at the stars and Kiki Blofeld was the only choice possible. For a short moment, I suggested going to the lake but no, the lake will be there next year when Kiki Blofeld won’t. We arrived right on time to enjoy sunset and listening to the concert it was playing on the roof terrace. We quickly moved for a more comfortable place on the beach near the fireplace for the next drink listening this time a concert of Balkan music by Fanfare Kalashnikov. When the music stopped, people assembled near us because when the stars shined that night, the firework exploded. It was very intense. The time to finish the (x biiiiiiiip) drink and It was time to take our way to the boat garage where the party started. A mix of North African and Balkan music awaited us played together with live instruments by Dj Barış Cengiz und Dj Gypsy Aldi, comfy in our red velvet sofa, we felt the urge to share our sadness about this great location’s coming to an end and we will miss it. Now only a place in our mind. Another part of the Berlin, the one that made its name and reputation, is going away against profitable gain and with it a part as well of our energy to keep it alive as it welcomed us years ago. Another great step of what is called now in the city “Gentrifizierung”: I really start to understand the meaning of it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Instantanés


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Thank you's

for the comments I receive.
It is much appreciated.
If you have any ideas of what you wish to see in this blog, feel free to share.
To Susan : happy that my photographs bring you (hopefully nice) memories.
But between you and me, Berlin's wall is still up, in a way.

Money again

No money in the pocket, can't withdraw, I feel alone and abandonned but alive and free. Strange sensation.

Harry Potter, the last one

I just saw yesterday evening the last Harry Potter. It’s like living someone you met years ago and say him growing and know that you will never see him again. I didn’t read the books, probably never will, but fans expect always that the director puts in images what they read and what their imagination created. In fact, I heard It is the fact, maybe outside the previous episode which was very disappointing (prince of something, can’t remember). Anyway, the first part of the last episode, unfortunately, I completely passed in theatres and watched it on my computer screen, which was ok but not very thrilling. So I wanted to see this very last movie in good conditions, in 3D (It’s trendy today), booked my seat well situated, far from screen, high, bought my ice cream and lemonade, not too late in the evening so I can still focus and here we go ! It’s disturbing in a way because we go immediately in the story when I was expecting a few seconds of the previous one, just as reminder, but not at all. Of course, Harry can’t die, of course the angry one will disappear, of course my beloved cute Ron will not have sex with me (I have a little something for red head) but will kiss Hermine (since the time we are awaiting) and everything is going to be ok. In the end, no surprise, I liked the 3D because it was not a following of images bouncing in your eyes but more something like reliefs. And we noticed that we all grew up and there were no children in the theatre but only people our age. It’s not that I was expecting an action movie but Ron and Hermine kissing in the middle of the battle or waiting calmly down the stairs that Harry comes back is surprising. Furthermore, I had the feeling that everyone fights when the three of them have really something else to do (is also true). When the story is completed, suddenly we make a jump 19 years forward and we the story carries on with the children of them all departing on the platform kissing goodbye their parents awaiting the last advice (Ron, yes, you look fine with the beard). Anytime soon, I’m sure, they will do a Harry Potter 2, the son of his father.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kjosk

No, I didn’t make any mistake. It is really written Kjosk. After going to Katerholzig and the wind blowing, we decided to take the bicycles and drive in another place, outside if possible but protected from the cold. Our friend Silke knew something that we heard of but never went and so here we go heading in our favorite place in Kreuzberg, Oranienstrasse. At the corner of Görlitzer Bahnhof, there is a former garbage dump that has been reinvented as an urban oasis, as said my friend Axel, with umbrellas, benches, cages for lamps hanging on the trees, also a ping pong table. The idea is to find there anything you need from the coffee to bretzel and apple as well as wine, champagne or beer. The homemade cakes look delicious and the service is really friendly. What makes the place funny is that this shop is located backyards in a 1970s (I guess) BVG Doppeldecker bus. Don’t forget in all this assortment the cigs, magazines, and many other surprises. You also can sit upstairs if the view suits you but it’s a bit narrow of course. It’s my kinda place, the one you go alone or to meet friends, for a coffee after work or a last glass of wine in the night. Don’t miss it.