Soldiner Kiez, Wedding
Even after months (or years) of exploring Berlin, it’s still possible to stumble onto hidden gems and unexpected surprises. Hop of at U-Osloer Str. and take a stroll through Soldiner Kiez to find peaceful cafés, cool community spaces, and a home away from home (literally).
Rosa Parks House
Tucked in a small corner of Soldiner Kiez in Wedding is a surprising piece of American history. The home of Rosa Parks, famous African American civil rights activist, sits in between apartment buildings and a parking area. Of course, Parks never lived in Wedding herself – though she did live in the Detroit home in the late 1950s after leaving her native Alabama. When the house fell into disrepair and was scheduled for demolition after Parks passed away in 2005, American artist Ryan Mendoza worked with Parks’ niece to ship it over, piece by piece, and put it back together in Berlin.
The juxtaposition of the old 1950s house with the familiar Berlin apartment structures can feel like a window back in time, and makes for a great pit stop on a bike ride around the neighborhood and nearby Panke. Because it’s located in a private residence, it might be easier (and less intrusive) to drop by and take a look from the Hinterhof next door (20 Wriezener Str). To get a closer look, keep an eye on special events, like open mic nights or viewing hours, are posted every now and then on the artist’s page.
Update on Rosa Parks House in Berlin: According to an interview with the New York Times, Mendoza only intended Soldiner Kiez to be a temporary home for the structure – and in recent days it looks like there’s renewed interest in returning the structure to the United States for exhibition. Be sure to drop by and see this unusual gem before it’s gone for good!
Rosa Parks Café
Just around the corner on Soldiner Str. is the newly opened Rosa Parks Caf’é, which takes it’s name from the house nearby and is decorated with photographs and images of civil rights movements icons, from Nelson Mandela to John Lennon. When I showed up on a Friday afternoon, baked goods were just coming out of the oven and I got friendly smiles from the owners. Their Milchkaffee was huge, foamy, and served with a tasty sugar cookie – perfect for a rainy weekend morning. If you’ve been hunting for an American-style breakfast (but aren’t excited by the thought of waiting for a table at Cabslam), Rosa Parks Café has pancakes with syrup(!) and omelettes for under five euros. With an ambiance that’s more warm and cozy than hip (they’ve got a rocking chair and Tibetan prayer flags out front), the good vibes just pour out of this place. Check it out now while it’s still a true hidden gem.
Address:Soldiner Strasse 32 Berlin 13359.
Kakadu / Wedding Community Kitchen
Kakadu is one of those places that once you’ve found it, you wonder how you ever could have missed it. Their claim to neighborhood fame are the quesadillas, ranging from the traditional (veggie, cheese, or chicken) to ones that incorporate Italian or Korean flavors (hint: they’re even cheaper if you take them to go!). But that’s only the start – with British-style breakfast with beans and toast (the “Brexit”), hummus platters, quiches, and more, Kakadu has a round-the-world type menu that has something for everyone (even vegetarians). True to their name, Kakadu combines food and community, serving up events from photo exhibitions to the Kulinarischer Salon, which pairs food and film screenings. Drop by during the Wedding Kulturfest in September, where you can eat your quesadillas while listening to some groovy tunes. Kakadu does keep an ongoing lively cultural (live music, art exhibits, talks) agenda, so keep checking their website!
Address:Soldiner Str 13 Berlin 13359.
If you are into street art, Berlin Wedding is a great place to explore. We even created a Street Art Itinerary! For more ideas on how to explore this amazing neighborhood, check out WEDDING NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVES.
*This article was written by Olea Morris and edited by Tulio Edreira.