Berlin, Germany: The band plays on
The opening of Clärchens Ballhaus pre-dates the Weimar Republic in Germany by a few years, though its walls most clearly echo the music and dancing of Berlin in the '20s. Through the peeling paint, the well-worn wood, the weight of history is nearly tangible and, even more so, audible.
Depending on the night, you can still waltz at Clärchens, and tango, and cha-cha. There are also classical concerts and The Broken Hearts Club has a monthly event there where musicians and DJs share their favorite love songs. Outside, you can have a peaceful lunch in the front garden.
It's at night, though, that this aging ballroom seems young again. The crowd is mixed in the best possible way, welcoming all comers. Clärchens may be very much of its place but it is almost entirely out of its time. It doesn't promise that life is a cabaret, it only wants you to dance.