Elizabeth Polkinghome | Hamburg

elizabeth-polkinghome-hamburg.png

Name: Elizabeth Polkinghorne

Age: 29, nearly 30!

Star Sign: Virgo

Hometown: Modewarre, south west of Melbourne.

Describe yourself in 3 words or less: Uncool under pressure

What brings you to Hamburg? Love! Well… study at first, I lived here for two years back in 2007, then as fate would have it, started dating a Hamburger while battling away at an internship in NYC. I somehow got a job in NY and we lived in Williamsburg for five and a half years before venturing back to this glorious harbor city. We both worked as advertising creatives, on crazy big brands and scary big campaigns, and now work in his family business - an art gallery specializing in German impressionist and expressionist art.

We only have 24 hours here, where would you take us? We'd first get on our bikes and cut a lap of the Alster, the big lake in the center of Hamburg. We'd weave through the outlying streets of the fancy suburbs like Winterhude and Rotherbaum, before heading south towards Sternschanze and the back streets of St. Pauli. If it was a Saturday, we'd get all up in the Feldstrasse flea market and find a few goodies. Then we'd waltz down Marktsrasse for a coffee.  It's no Bakeri Brooklyn (my local, my life, behind our old apartment in NYC) but Gretchen's Villa or Cafe Klatsch are super cute and always nice for a people watch. Then we'd make the most important stop of our trip, the second hand shoe shop on Marktstrasse. Then, with purchases shoved in our bike baskets, we'd cycle across to the restaurant Vienna in Fettsrasse. With luck, there would be a table outside (it's summer when you visit) and we'd order tonnes of wine and slowly make our way through the ever-changing menu. And if we had to wait for a table, we'd stand on the street drinking wine having chats with the chef whenever he came out for a cigarette (every ten minutes). We'd see where the night would take us (see what's up at the Kleiner Donner or sit on the sofas at Zoe's for example) and as a last stop, we'd head down to the harbor to the Golden Pudel club. It feels like the owners have been squatting in the venue since the early sixties, it's a dive, but there is always good electro. With the stamina of our youth, we'd stay until 6am and then wander down to the Fischmarkt and see all the characters selling their catch to restaurants and locals (and even have an early breakfast - a fish broetchen or curry wurst). After a decent sleep, we would come to Galerie Herold and sit in the big room rehashing the night's adventures while knocking back a few well-needed coffees. After a stroll through the city center we'd have a final meal at Cafe Paris next to the Rathaus. Hangover permitting, we'd sit outside with a bottle of rose and smash a steak tartare before bidding farewell. If I could twist your arm to stay for another night we'd have a massive cook up at home and host one of our artist dinners in your honor.

Favorite coffee / breakfast spot? gosh i miss melbourne coffee, but playground coffee in the grindelhof do it best in hamburg. the tables outside get sun most of the day, and maybe best of all, they have set up shop inside a burger joint. 

And best place for a fun dinner with friends? ViennaKrug or Chapeau.

Where can we drink on a rooftop? It's the opposite of a rooftop, but the Hamburgers love a beach club - a place like Strand Perle or Strand Pauli are fun for a beer or two during the summer. You can marvel at the monster ships coming in the Elbe while kicking back in a deck chair, dipping your feet in the water.

Favorite place to shop? For food - the farmer's market in Eppendorf, or Frische Paradies at the harbor. For clothes - Hohebleichen and then onto Bleichenbruecke, in the city are great for boutiques. Alsterhaus is an nicely curated, go-to department store. Feldstrasse and Altona flea markets on the weekend for vintage. 

Any galleries you can recommend? Galerie Herold of course. We have new exhibitions all the time, a permanent archive and events like artist dinners, talks, and evenings for young collectors.

Then the Kunsthalle is a must, as is the Museum for Kunst and Gewerbe.

Favourite weekend getaway outside of Hamburg? It sounds a bit old-school (to any Germans reading this) but Sylt! An island north of Hamburg, close to the Danish border - Sylt is a bit like the Hamptons of northern Germany. The beaches are stunning, you can cycle a loop of the island and the food (so much fresh fish, crab, scallops, prawns and lobster on offer) is to die for. Time it with an exhibition opening - party - at Galerie Herold's Kampen or Keitum galleries and your weekend is set.

Or Berlin is, dangerously, only an hour and a half on the train.

Who is inspiring you right now? My friends. From Melbourne to New York, I feel like the luckiest girl alive to have so many friends who are doing phenomenal things. I am inspired by people who focus on their passion and have some fire for what they do. My cousin is a rebel natural wine maker in Australia and he inspires me every time we catch up to do good work (no matter what you do), be true to your vision and live life with lots of love for everyone and everything. From an art perspective, there are only three men I have eyes for at the moment: Paul Ryan, Ben Quilty and Julian Meagher.

Who is on your stereo? I'm the worst when it comes to music but… Asgeir, Phoria and Eves.

Words you live by...to steal a quote from one of my favorite people in the world "dance like your Mum!"

[back to hamburg. guide]