For me, a relaxing day in Cologne starts with “Der Kluge Jakob”, which roughly translates as “Smart Jacob”. It’s my favorite breakfast dish from the menu at Café Franck, which is located right in my lovely neighbourhood of Neu-Ehrenfeld. If it’s the second Friday in the month, I return to Café Franck late at night to spin some house and disco records with my friends in the basement, which used to be their bakery. For that, I need some fresh vinyl. So, first I head to the Topic Drift record store, which is just a short walk from my home. It’s brand new and run by a couple of young techno kids. Then I pay a visit to my friends at the legendary Groove Attack store in the Belgian Quarter because I need to get my hands on some disco edits and soul 45s. To access this record store, you have to pass through Monsieur Courbet, a brilliant men’s fashion store. Their selection of shoes, hats and everything inbetween is exquisitely curated. It’s also where I buy most of my clothes — the combination of a record store plus menswear boutique is really convenient! Next door there’s a small cappuccino bar that makes hanging out on a warm summer afternoon feel like the best thing in the world. The busy Brüsseler Platz square is just down the street, but I try to avoid it — there are too many people there in the evening. I used to live there when only the neighbours would sit on the square after 11 pm. Now there’s easily over a thousand people there every night from April until October! So I head back to my hood, Ehrenfeld. You should check it out, it’s happening! I buy myself a new T-shirt for the night at Ehrenfeld Apparel on Körnerstrasse with the words “Ehrenfeld — Finger Licking Good” and a picture of a proudly smiling döner kebab chef. I drink another cappucino at Van Dyck on the same street. In the evening, I head to Buhmann & Sohn, the latest in a whole string of fresh bars and clubs popping up in outer Ehrenfeld — an area that is rapidly becoming the epicentre of cool Cologne nightlife, which is, to a great extent, my life.
(by Christian Werthschulte)