Graça is slowly developing the urban vibe we like so much in Berlin
For many years Berlin was our second home. We could leave Down Town Copenhagen by bus at 7 am in the morning at have lunch at Freischwimmer in Kreutzberg around 1 pm.
We loved the city – and we still do 🙂
So it was a big surprise to me when I read that Lisbon doesn’t like to be compared with Berlin in the story in Artnet News that clicked in on my computer this morning.
What’s wrong with being compared with a vibrant and happening city?
I don’t know. And I don’t get it.
Especially since there are so many similarities in both cities pasts – the reasons why both cities are so fantastic.
The funny thing is that the story in Artnet News doesn’t explain why Lisbon don’t like the comparison. This usually provokes me to hit the keyboard and shout out to the world about the nonsense. Instead it encouraged me to think about why so many things here in Lisbon reminds me of Berlin – and even better – why it’s mainly the Graça neighbourhood that has so many things in common with our favorite neighborhoods in Berlin.
Lisbon Is an Artist Hotspot on the Rise—What’s Behind Its Appeal?
Just don’t call it ‘The New Berlin.’
As said – we LOVE Berlin.
We like the city’s diversity. BUT it’s especially the boroughs where the old East and West Berlin met we love. The neighborhoods that blended after the wall in 1989 when the young and urban creative communities that gave a f*** about the past and moved into the cheap workshops in backyards, garages, old commercial shops etc – and turned everything into galleries, studios, music venues, work spaces etc.
It was something Europe hadn’t seen before.
3 years ago – on our first research trip to Lisbon – we could see that Graça, Penha de França and Arroios had the potential to develop the same urban feel as Kreuzkölln, Friedrichshain and Prenzlberg in Berlin. If you want to check it out – it’s the part of Lisbon just outside the touristic old down town (Rossio) – between Almirente Reis ‘line’ from Martim Moniz / Intendente in the south to Alameda and the Penha de França ‘line’ from Alfarma to Alameda. Here we found the same forget-about-the-past-energy we remember from Berlin after 1989.
Opposite a place like Principe Real (another of our favorite parts of Lisbon) that has been driven by mainly one developer with more pretentious visions, the driving forces behind our hood have mostly been young individuals (including many foreign students) attracted by the low rents that make it possible to realize their dreams.
So like Berlin in the beginning of the 90’s, this part of Lisbon is now mushrooming with young, cool and more urban places with in food, art, music, start-up’s co working spaces and all the other things we found so fascinating about Berlin after the wall. Something that adds positively to Lisbon’s diversity.
Graça front page on Time Out
Since we moved here in 2014 we have been shouting out about Graças’ potential to the whole world – the creativity and energy from Berlin PLUS the weather, nature excellent food from Lisbon.
Today the rest of Lisbon will know – Graça is Front page news on Time Outs latest issue.
The funny thing is that the feature in Time Out not only highlights most of all our favorit cafes, bars and venues. It also has the favorit spot of them all (and the main reason for choosing Senhora do Monte as the location for Tings Lisbon) on the fron page: The Miradouro da Senhora do Monte only 50 meters from our door.
The following days we will get lost in our fantastic hood and dig up all our exiting urban venues we have just outside our door.
If you don’t have patience to wait, get a copy of Time Out where most of our own favorites are mentioned.
Or even better – come here and find them yourself.
We have our investors in town and wanted to buy a copy of the Time Out Graça issue – but its sold out. So if you are curious we have uploaded the relevant 12 pages here