Awesome news this week, as I am telling you about our new office in Berlin. No development update this time, but you get more of me in return. Who would not take that deal?!
I went to Berlin to help the guys move their stuff from our old HQ at Kottbusser Damm to the shiny, new, grass-is-greener-there Black Pants base at “Colonia Nova” in Berlin, Neukölln. On Sunday evening, I arrived in B and I instantly knew that this move would not be the fun kind, since rain was pouring and the next days looked to be the same. But brave movers do not falter, so after an awesome home-cooked meal and a good night’s sleep at Stamm’s, we ventured out into the rain on Monday morning to meet up with Jones, the designated driver, and retrieved the van at Robben & Wientjes, a rental company with an all-smokers office (felt like an episode of Mad Men minus the booze) and affordable prices. At the old office, we encountered a little slapstick moment, finding this:
In fact, the elevator had been broken for a week, but the others failed to mention that minor detail, to have a little surprise up their sleeves – well played. So, three stories without elevator, hooray! At least we are poor, so we don’t own that much stuff, making things a bit easier. After an hour of climbing stairs, stealing Tobi’s cigarettes and wet feet, everything had been (more or less) neatly packed up and stored in the van, and we set sails to Colonia Nova and a bright future.
The new building is pretty impressive, the tenants are artists, media agencies, software and game developers, etc. and everything looks industrial mixed with artsy stuff and designer furniture. Bonus: The elevator works! Our new space is huge, compared to the old one. We have around 42m² and can use the kitchen, which conveniently is on our floor and sports a few fridges a sandwich maker and tasty coffee.
We started bringing in our things from the van and after throwing everything into the office, we went on a discovery tour of the building. First stop: Roof deck. You heard me right: Roof deck! When the elevator stopped on the fifth floor and we stepped out onto the roof, I was amazed, albeit a sunny day and less wind would have made the experience better. This place is destined for some awesome summer barbecue evenings, if I do say so myself as a vegetarian. On Rusty Trails release party incoming?!
One mildly interesting observation: Looking out of our new office window, one can see the following sign:
I am not 100% certain, but so called “MSA” surveillance cameras?! You can do better, NSA! We have nothing to hide! Or do we?
At this point, WordPress has cost me another hour of my life that I could have spent watching cat videos on the internet and I cannot, for the life of me, insert pictures the way I want, so I will add a gallery at the end with the remaining pictures. Take that. Just click the pics to enlarge.
One story down from the roof deck is the so called event loft, which offers a massive space for parties, exhibitions, receptions and photo shoots. You can also find a ping pong table and some more art, plus a bar and some smaller meeting rooms. Satisfied with what we had seen, we went out to get some food, after all we had worked hard. Right next to our building is the canteen for the Neukölln tax office, mediocre food at an affordable price, exactly as German public servants like it. I can only speak for myself, but I definitely prefer buying food at the next door supermarket and preparing it in the Colonia Nova kitchen. With food in our bellies and full of vigor, Jones, Stamm and I went to IKEA to buy some more furniture, remember: we have space now!
IKEA to me is always the same. Endless walking to buy more than you had planned, but don’t you already know it. Suffice it to say we were not able to use the express checkout, because we exceeded the limit of 20 items by quite a bit. Who in their right mind counts 5 boxes with matching lids as 10 items? That Italian guy at IKEA does! At least I got free coffee and we fished some cheap shelves out of the IKEA repository (no idea how they call it in English speaking countries, I mean the area right before the checkout where you can score some deals on slightly damaged furniture). Plus, we bought the marvelous lamp of glory, which will forever brighten our office to the max. It’s basically a flood light pole – not. But see for yourself in the gallery.
After bringing the furniture over to the office, we had to return the van and went for some more coffee and after that we met up with Julia (Stamm’s girlfriend) for Mexican food. It was already evening so all that was left to do was having some drinks at “Fuchs”, a bar in Kreuzberg with all the Pants and some friends. My phone’s battery had died at that point, so sadly I have no pictures of the evening. But do not despair, we did not have too much energy anyway and left fairly early to find some sleep.
Tuesday started even better than Monday, with snow instead of rain, and some professional furniture assembling. For lunch we went to the supermarket and bought some snacks and after some more assembling and moving, everything had found its place, and production started again. Tobi went right back in and toiled away on some level balancing. It has to be said that certain people have coma-inducing fart potential. Names shall not be disclosed. I went online to get started on some bureaucratic work, like informing important people of our new address. It had gotten a little late and around 7 pm Stamm and I left the office to get home to some more awesome cooking. After two days of action, we decided on a quiet evening and on the next day I already made my way back to Kassel.
As promised, here are the pictures I took. Noteworthy: The magnificent lamp, how small the old office looks, compared to the new one and the master picture I took, looking like a cover for a Black Pants music album.