Close to Home: Framing Berlin - A Burger Joint

December 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment



Sometimes the not so obvious is nice to focus on too. A place to eat hamburgers? So what about it? This one is a little special, as it is located on an pedestrian refuge at a busy intersection in Berlin-Kreuzberg. To top it off there is also a subway line running above, so apart from traffic noise one has the screetching of subway trains as they take the curve over the cooking grate. The kitchen is installed into a former cast-iron newspaper kiosk, and in the warmer months, people sit on empty beer and alternative cola crates around small tables made out of crates as well. Despite the loud and exposed situation there is something of a cosy atmosphere, as it is always packed. People eat, drink, hang around and have a good time. But now it´s winter. It´s cold, often wet and not snuggly at all on an pedestrian refuge. Instead of empty crates everywhere, the entrepreneurs have built a makeshift shack around the kiosk. Ingenuity to earn money in the difficult time of year. And it works. Even when everybody has to stand along a counter to eat, people keep coming, although the hanging around is limited to the time of eating and having a drink. The place gets packed, especially at night when the party-goers shift from one location to the next, and then it really gets warm and communicative. There is no easier way to connect with people from all parts of the world, as they all meet here. This is the interface of the international and local crowd which moves along, clubbing through the night. Being high from music and what not makes everybody hungry, and here is the fuel station, a good, solid and hearty meal at the right time. Another thing which is pretty cool with many burger joints are their names, as many create a small word play. The German word "Bürger" translates into "citizen" and is pronounced like the English "burger". So we have:

-  Bürgermeister = Mayor

-  Bürgersteig = sidewalk (for citizens)

-  Staatsbürger = national citizen

-  Weltbürger = world citizen

And so on, and so forth. My personal favorite is the Görli-Burger. Görli abbreviates and refers to the infamous Görlitzer Park close-by, Görli also sounds exactly like the English "girly", and last but not least a Görli-Bürger is a local resident living around the Görlitzer Park area. There you have it. 






The early crowd is still mixed: Party tourists, but also locals on their way through.





The plastic windows of the shack are laced with endless stickers. It´s like watching TV.





Traffic on Oberbaumstrasse.





Food and drinks are announced by numbers on a display panel.





They really would, as the joint is frequented by just about everybody with every

conceivable background from all over the world.





Dinosaur burger is a big hit.




More pics of Kreuzberg.






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