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Exclusive | Doing Business German-style Part Two

Exclusive | Doing Business German-style Part Two

Whether you're a corporate traveler or casual visitor, Berlin's infectious unkonventionalität tempts you to skip a commitment or two and have an adventure or three.

Convention exit strategy
Take a long lunch between meetings in Mitte and peer into the memorial to World War II gay persecution at the nearby Tiergarten. Just across from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and echoing its design, the gay memorial opened in spring 2008. Not far from there, the reconstructed Reichstag building offers a 360-degree view of Berlin. Designed by Lord Norman Foster and unveiled in 1999, it features a futuristic, eco-friendly dome that's an unmistakable symbol of Germany's reunification. An inverted cone of mirrors reflects the sunlight, making early morning and early afternoon the most magical times to visit, if you can bear the longer lines.

Dig deeper into Berlin's queer history at the Schwules Museum (Mehringdamm 61; 30-69-59-90-50), the gay historical exhibit with a small space that belies the extent of its archive. Afterwards, unwind from the week's crush of suits and meetings with a stiff drink at Roses (Oranienstr. 187; 30-615-65-70), where you'll find arch-kitsch d?cor -- think pink fur walls -- and a comfortable mix of local Berliners and ex-pats. Farther afield, you'll find the young things dancing through thewee hours every Wednesday at Berlin Hilton (Sch?nhauser Allee 36; 30-44-05-16-81). What better way to prep for a 9 a.m. presentation than with house remixes of '80s classics?

Sunday morning recoveries require a good brunch, and Bateau Ivre (Oranienstr. 18; 30-61-40-36-59) -- the drunken boat -- draws its fair share of red-eyed gay men and lesbians every weekend with sturdy milchkaffees (lattes) and meat and cheese platters. Wake up early -- or just stay up all night -- to snag a coveted sidewalk table.

The Bauhaus School, one of the 20th century's most important architecture and design movements, got its start in Berlin 90 years ago this year. The city's most beautiful exhibition hall, Martin-Gropius-Bau (Niederkirchnerstr. 7), will host a massive show commemorating the anniversary from July 22 through October 4. The show later opens at New York's Museum of Modern Art November 8.

If your time is tight, gay American ex-pat Jeremy Minsberg (+ 49-170-173-4438 ) offers well-curated private tours of Berlin, his home for the past seven years. The basic tour is a great way to efficiently see the main sites.

Meal Plan
Authentic German dining can be saturated with heavily cream-sauced meats and over-cooked veggies, but Berlin's multi-ethnicity makes the city an adventure in unique gastronomy. Berlin is famous for its imbiss, or snacks served in little streetside eateries, and currywurst (sliced sausage swimming in ketchup and curry powder) is the most beloved of them all. It's so revered, in fact, that it's inspired its own Currywurst Museum (Kurf?rstendamm 46; 30-88-71-86-30).Konnopke's Imbiss (Sch?nhauser Allee 44a; 30-44-27-765) in the chic Prenzlauer Berg district serves some of the city's best currywurst, having by some accounts invented the dish in 1960. Another classic imbiss is the d?ner kebab (pita stuffed with slow-roasted meats), best found in Turkish Kreuzberg, where it was invented around 1971.

Also in Kreuzberg, Nil (Gr?nbergerstr. 52; 30-29-04-77-13) is an unpretentious Sudanese eatery full of dishes that won't break the bank. Its karkade (hibiscus flower juice) and cardamom-spiced coffee are delectable, but it's the traditional peanut sauce that's responsible for the crowd at the standing-room-only counter.

Part One | Part Two


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