Review: A Sur-Really Happy Birthday To You!

The day had begun with the freakish spectacle of summer arriving in October. The sun was shining and we headed out to sip prosecco and beers in Treptower park where people were grilling; boats full of tourists were sailing; and an openair party was happening under a nearby bridge, just like any other Tuesday in summer.

We hung around the free tunage for a while until we realized that some sort of fairground sounds were coming from an enclosed garden nearby where the Wilden Renate crew were holding some sort of birthday party.

Carnival music suited the scene we saw as we stepped into the place around 10:00 p.m.  A bouncy castle was slowly sinking to the ground as whooping party-goers flung themselves around inside of it. Hammocks and a boat swayed lazily in the air, suspended from the yard's sturdy trees. On top of the main doorway, a sculpture of a lady dressed in jester's clothes reclined like a magnanimous hostess. Was she inviting us to chill with her... or announcing her indifference to our arrival?  Either way, like an aging cougar crouched at the corner of a kneipe bar, her snide sensuality gained a strange appeal after a few drinks. I was lured by her promise of wild times, even though I sensed I'd regret it in the morning...

And then there were the people. Every single surface was covered in people - swiveling their hips to the music, chilling on bean bags and fallen logs, kicking their legs in the air as they wrestled in hammocks, sipping cocktails in dizzying costumes.  The combination of extended partying hours and an unexpected boon of good weather had set their eyes alight with the need to do something mad, and this place was custom-designed to suck them in, with a vortex of silliness.

We headed into a bar to order some drinks, where still more people were boogeying amidst an explosion of fluffy confetti which mingled with hastily-torn pink wrapping paper and giant, gift-wrapped boxes.
Despite all the people arriving by the hour, the space didn't start to feel crowded. If anything, it seemed to expand in size, like a rooster spreading its wings to catch a few rays of late afternoon sun.

Several hours of shenanigans later, the sounds of spinning vinyl were cut off and replaced by the paean of a brass band, which marched in from the neglected back-road on which the club is situated, at 11:00 p.m. Apparently the 'night' club was now open.

Upstairs we were greeted with impossibly kitschy leopard print benches and pole dancing stands.  A sign, perhaps, that the club owners take their ironic chintz a little too seriously.  A joke is only funny as long as it is done in jest, guys.

At 11:30, we went downstairs to say 'bye to our [lightweight] friends. After that point, the night turned into a hyperreal blur.
For a while I studied my friend who studied a Sandra a piece of wax that she was studiously shaping into a face on the bar top.  Some sort of flapper/big-band music played in the background, mocking us with tasteless strains of jazz. Eventually these sounds were rudely supplanted by a live band hammering angrily at their hipst-ruments.  My German-speaking friend confirmed for me that their lyrics were, indeed, "humorous", but seeing as the Germandefinition of humour still eludes me, I was left none the wiser.

Later on, I ventured next door where a silk-screener was slaving away, putting logos onto various undergarments which appeared to have been donated either by his mum, or by a previous resident of the club's "WG" style premises. A gracious young woman offered to model them (over her own clothing, of course!) As you can see..

But for me, the highlight of the whole evening came early in the next day, when a DJ played a subversively deep set of what I reckon he termed 'house music'. It was a bit too dark to fit comfortably under that label... but to hell with semantics.

Making my way down the stairs the next morning, realizing how far my place was from Renate, I started to regret the decision to drop in... until I stumbled into the bouncy castle and finally slept.

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.