As a native species of sub-Saharan Africa, the wattled crane isn’t normally seen this far north. That said, if anything was going to induce the distinctively-billed bird to go the extra migratory mile and visit Berlin, it would be this lovely rooftop garden bar that shares its name. Why Klunkerkranich — a 2,500 sqm concrete car park atop the Neukölln Arcaden — is so named is thus far a pleasant mystery to me. Maybe it’s for no other reason than when properly pronounced in an authentic German accent, the word is somewhat mellifluous.
What is for certain is that this place has got a bird’s eye view of the Berlin cityscape, and it’s a beauty. Cityscape is a word usually associated with towering skyscrapers, but from this vantage point on Karl-Marx-Strasse the sweeping panorama is one dominated by a vast open sky carpeted with more traditional architecture; tower blocks form a perimeter in the distance. The concrete has been smoothed over with wooden decking and and a liberal camouflage of flowers and shrubbery. It’s a particularly special spot to watch the sun disappear below the horizon while enjoying a glass or two, and to add aural pleasure to the visual treats, there’s a rolling guest list of DJs and live musicians throughout the week.