Iren Tonoian is one of the organisers of the CityLeaks Festival and the artrmx association. cityleaks-festival.com
I live in the Südstadt (the southern part of inner-city Cologne), where there are lots of lovely cafés that are perfect for whiling away the time. My favourite is Geschnitten Brot, which serves the best coffee in the neighbourhood. I often think about buying a lottery ticket from Cologne’s oldest lottery kiosk and imagine what it would be like to be a multimillionaire. But I never do and usually end up happily strolling around instead. If I have time, I’ll check out my favourite store window in the Südstadt — of the Plan B fashion atelier, and treat myself to an accessory or two. I might even buy a dress by designer Karin Breul, who’s known for her classic, sophisticated design and fantastic choice of fabrics. Then I hop on my bike and ride through Cologne’s green lung, the Grüngürtel, to the district of Ehrenfeld, where I visit the shops and ateliers of artists and creatives I know for a chat. If the weather’s good, I’ll take a walk along the public street art gallery to admire the murals by international and local artists. And to help me decide on my plans for the evening, I check out what exhibitions are on. I prefer to put my own route together so I can see several in one night. There’s so much going on in Cologne’s galleries and museums and it’s always of a very high standard. I love discovering new artists in the many artist-run spaces of the city’s independent art scene. To find out what exhibitions are on, I check the Art Initiatives Cologne website (www.aic.cologne). And if the mood takes me, I’ll round off the evening with some French cuisine and a whiskey sour mixed by Jona — back in the Südstadt at Keimaks.
(by Christian Werthschulte)