Suzanne Forbes, an expat New Yorker in Berlin. Made possible by the generous support of her Patrons. https://www.patreon.com/SuzanneForbes. Former DC Penciller for Star Trek, former courtroom artist, painting portraits and teaching drawing.
My friend and Patron Robert Wimpory is a bastion of the indie music scene in Berlin.
He goes to see everyone’s shows, all the time. (“I try to support the scene”, he will say modestly when complimented on his showing up for the community.) Plus he has a band or two and is in the OK!Chorus and often co-hosts Uke Boogie and of course, also has a (really cool) job! And he is an archivist and curator of his own history, like I am, and has a wild collection of video and film from the 80’s. Here’s his YouTube channel!
One of my very favorite things about going to events in Berlin is that the crowds are of all ages. It’s rare that I am the only middle-aged person; often there are lots of us!
And this is the lead singer of Pump Gang, below, who played some serious 90s hits.
I was listening to alt-radio for the 90s so I didn’t know most of them! Plus, there is a whole Euro-dance thing that is very specific to this side of the Atlantic, like the Vengaboys, who I only learned about last year. Apparently, they were a THING!
I had to tip out suddenly partway through Pump Gang’s set, as the decibel level was just too much for me. But nobody ever judges me for doing what’s best for me, in this community <3
I am so very grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to document Berlin life and art!
I was feeling wrecked but I got myself out the door to see Das Flüff, because I knew I would be glad I did.
As always, frontwoman Dawn Lintern and her lineup of sexy Gen-X rockers burned the place down. Wendy, on bass, is a woman Dawn played with in their twenties, and they were back on stage together in the 21st Century, making post-punk electric filth!!
Former bandmate Misty joined in for a bit to spell Joe Sparkle, recovering from some time in hospital. I drew him with Das Flüff the first time I saw them so it was fun to draw him again 🙂
Seeing a woman my own age dominate the stage and growl and rage was good medicine this week. Das Flüff always sounds amazing and leaves it all out there. You can buy the new album “Anxiety Dreams” here, follow on Instas here and check out the upcoming London and Vietnam tours here. Thank you, Dawn, for being an inferno of sound and fury. I needed it.
On Friday I was feeling a little shaky. So I went rambling around Friedrichshain in the just-a-bit-raw weather with Daria, and felt immeasurably better.
On the train I was working on the drawing of the violinist I started last week, (when we went to Dussman Cafe, pics soon), and then:
this guy with a pink accordozylophone thing got on!
Ninja drawing by Daria Rhein, photo by Daria Rhein
As I drew the guy I could hear Daria’s voice in my head saying “Don’t overwork it!”, just as I hear the voices of my teachers and mentors advising me at so many moments.
To be guided by the wisdom of artist friends is the best thing in the world.
We got china markers when we went to Modulor, because I hadn’t one for decades; here’s Daria’s first china marker drawing! I used a mix of greyscale marker and china marker on the musician drawings.
There is nothing, absolutely, nothing, like living and working around true peers for an artist.
Yesterday we went first to look at a possible flat for her and the adorable auburn-haired English lad. It was a really gorgeous perfectly reno’d altbau, in the absurdly desirable neighborhood around Boxy, about 700 sq. ft., rent about $750. Yes, you should still move to Berlin. Changes in the law meant to control rising rents appear to have worked, and you can still get an incredible place for what seems like nothing.
It is open in the front half to the incredibly charming handmade burlesque fashion design shop Redcat7, where a pink-haired gal manned the counter. One of the tattoo artists was working on sketches for a throw-up style tat; in the back Sammy, the designer and owner of Redcat7, was getting ready to be tattooed by Vivien.
They have benches and a tattoo bed and rests of every kind, to tattoo any part of you comfortably, and a big lightbox for composing designs, and a screened private area.
The walls are covered with framed art and there is a tag wall too.
After we rifled through all the pretties at Redcat, we walked to Aunt Benny.
It was a long walk, through all the charms of Friedrichshain, past the coolest shops and dive bars and eis cafes and music shops and print shops where people were making beautiful real screen prints like people do in Berlin.
We had to go in to Coexist Berlin, a totally amazing punk pastelgoth alternative fashion shop for local and European designers.
I told the lovely pastel-haired designer of Indyanna who was working that it was like a perfect flashback to Betsey Johnson’s first store in Soho, Manic Panic and Trash & Vaudeville in the 80s.
Indyanna designs included a biker jacket lined with blue leopard and appliqued with blue glitter flames I badly coveted.
Ragged Priest dress
I bought an insane Tyvek paper jumpsuit in Patricia Field in 1980 and it was just the kind of thing Coexist would sell. Daria wanted this mesh flame dress by The Ragged Priest for her next tattooconvention– comfy but rad!
Everything looked gorgeously fresh and delicious. We sat in a secret alcove in the secret corner room that you get to by going to the WCs. We discussed getting a visa so I could go to visit Moscow with Daria later this year and see the magnificence of her home town.