The Egg Hats of Berlin
I realize that most people visit Berlin for the currywurst, or the head of Nefertiti, or Checkpoint Charlie that is no more, or figuring out from which window of the
Hotel Adlon Michael Jackson dangled his young son, or Frederick the Great’s summer cottage at Potsdam, and those are all fine things to travel for. But the Egg Hats of Pension Kettler are also an excellent reason to visit the once-divided city. Let me explain.
Thanks to the diligent research of Anna, extremely stylish art-historian and young mother, Bine and I stayed last week at the Pension Kettler on Bleibstrau Strasse. The price was right and the rooms were straight out of the 1920’s, including the plumbing. Each room is named for an artist, and I thought this was because the named artist had actually once stayed in the room. This misapprehension was the result of my pint-sized German. But so what if Maria Callas never stayed in my room: outside my door there was a handmade diorama featuring the highlights of her career. Across the hall, the Peggy Guggenheim (who likewise never actually stayed there) diorama featured a pair of exotic sunglasses.
Frau Isolde Josipovici, the proprietress of the Pension, is known in certain Berlin circles as the “Fountain Fairy” (die Brunnenfee) on account of her work restoring Berlin’s derelict fountains. She also takes great pride in preparing breakfast and delivering it to your chamber. The only problem is that the esteemed Frau has a bad hip, a very bad hip, and if I understood correctly is awaiting her hip surgery, but meanwhile she limps rather extravagantly, which makes it impossible to carry a tray laden with teapots, coffeepots, cups, saucers, eggcups, honey, cheese, ham and bread. And eggs hats. But this problem was solved when one of us went to the kitchen, midway down the famous 40 meter hallway, and carried the tray back to the Maria Callas zimmer. Followed by the careening Frau Isolde. Once we had deposited the tray, our hands were summarily swatted away - “This, I will do!” – by Frau Isolde who has a very special way of arranging the table. And each morning our boiled eggs (neither soft nor exactly hard) wore a different pair of hats. Though at first I did not realize that there would be new hats each morning, but soon this became clear, and even when I felt that could not stomach another egg, I also could not forego the chance to see which hat would come next.
No, we never exhausted the collection.
If you want to know more about Frau Isolde and Pension Kettler, you can read here from the English version of the website:
She rented an old-Berlin apartment after the career as photo-model and mannequin beginning of the 70er years. In originator-time - and Art-Deco-Stil, she " did her/its/their pension " from it.
Pictures, gifts of friends, hang at the walls of the 40 meters long hall. The widow of a Jewish art-historian and -händlers puts down beauty and individuality against cold uniformity. Her/its/their living room resembles a parlor of the 20er years. No coincidence - meets here regular Berlin artists however. Not art-connoisseur par excellence but as lover of distinctive pieces sees her itself.
Why the commitment for it, that the wells flow? " The beautiful has no unmitelbaren benefit for many people. Exactly therefore, I want to fight for it that gets it remains ". Watches, like in this city " the culture the brook down goes ", that can can her. So, she commits herself also to the conservation of the Berlischen gallery.