Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wurgeengel meets its nemesis

Originally uploaded by Andrei Singer
There are few places one can go and from the very first time to feel at home. When it comes to bars it is getting close to impossible. Most are true horrors when it comes to drinks and many are short on atmosphere. When you consider the patrons as well it gets hard to find a bar that is indeed special. I have a very short list of favorites with most falling in the category of bars doing one thing great: one particular drink, one great presence behind the bar, music, design, crowd. Then there are even fewer that excel at everything and are the perfect Bar! Some of those on my list include: Archiduc in Brussels, Schuman's in Munich, The Hemingway Bar in Paris, Caprice and Limbo in Boston (but I hear these two went south). The common thing is that these all are rather small places. Berlin's Windhorst just made it on the list. The owner/bartender is doing some very special and rare magic in this little place. Crammed between two large buildings on a side street crossing Friederich Strasse, Windhorst is arguably the best cocktail bar Berlin has to offer. For some reason it reminded me of another favorite in the city the Wurgeengel though the two places couldn't be more different in size, location and appearance. After talking to the bartender now I know why: he worked there for many years. The attention to detail in this place is akin to a fine and lost art. The selection of spirits, the perfectly and tastefully selected bar list that is in itself an object of beauty with its book-cloth binding and superb paper, all are just a hint to the perfectionist, detail fanatic, while minimalist in gestures, ritual of making a drink that Windhorst displays. Double frozen ice, elegant Boston shakers, fresh fruit and juice and a diversity of ingredients that is also reflected in two sections of the list that are rarely found in small bars: old forgotten classics with rye whisky and an extremely generous and imaginative non-alcoholic drinks. All these preparatory steps being taken one reaches the apex of the Windhorst experience: the perfection of preparation that justifies all of the above. The party of six I joined occupied the entire bar-front and couldn't be more different in tastes. Three rounds of cocktails later we were all tipsy but enchanted. To complement this Windhorst offers a music selection that matches the sophistication of his drinks. A vinyl collection heavy on old-time R&B, soul, jazz and newly resurrected groove. King Brit meets K&D. We said our goodbyes on Belleruche ... try it.

Angel Esterminador

Originally uploaded by Andrei Singer
This is it! The weirdness of it all. Life as a social species. Trying so fucking hard ... no escape and no resolution. Determined to keep rolling and destroying everything and everybody-else. We are all alike we are not identical. We escape the rules but we make new ones. No escape of being executioners. We all take turns and we regret not having done enough ... Are we good enough?