Tim Betzin of “Rausgegangen” and his Belgian quarter
Tim is one of the three founding members of “Rausgegangen” (literally “gone out”), a website and app with daily updates on what’s on in Cologne. From culture to sport to parties – it’s all in there. Everything started with an e-mail that Tim and his now colleagues sent to friends to see what they thought of their recommendations for places to go. The result was overwhelming – everyone wanted more and “Rausgegangen” was born. Tim, a fountain of going-out knowledge having lived in Cologne for ages now, lives right in the middle of things – in the Belgian quarter, which is also home to the “Rausgegangen” office. I met up with him in his district one afternoon so he could show me some of his favourite places. I should point out though that he really seemed to have trouble picking favourites what with all the amazing places the Belgian quarter has to offer. But the following are definitely among his favourite locations:
Everyone knows the Belgian quarter has lots of great cafés but Tim’s favourite place for a coffee is HEILANDT on Bismarckstraße. It’s a perfect blend of a café, coffee roasting house and shop. There’s a wide range of high-grade coffees from all over the globe to buy or to enjoy in the café with a slice of cake or a panini. And the place is really cosy too, with its stylish retro tables where you can sit back, enjoy your drink and indulge in a spot of people-watching – the Belgian quarter is one of the best places to do it!
Tim is also a big fan of art and particularly of a small gallery called 30works. Situated on Antwerpener Straße, the gallery specialises in street, urban and pop art. In fact, it’s one of the first in Germany to do so. If you’re into these forms of 21st century art, you just have to drop in and let the art inspire you as you wander through the gallery’s bright, open spaces.
Tim’s favourite place to go out in the evening is “Die Wohngemeinschaft” on Richard-Wagner-Straße. Though the name literally translates as “flat share”, it’s actually a hugely popular bar, theatre and hostel rolled into one. But the name perfectly reflects the concept behind the place: the bar really is divided up like a stylish, four-person flat share, with all the fittings and furnishings you’d expect. Each (fictitious) flat mate has their own room with its own specific style and flair. “Die Wohngemeinschaft” also hosts numerous events, such as Mundo Lingo where people of all languages and nationalities meet every Wednesday. Plus the theatre regularly stages plays, readings, slams and other events.
What is “cloud nine” to an English-speaking person is “siebter Himmel” to a German speaker and I certainly do feel like I’m on cloud nine as soon as I walk through the door of this shop! Tim mostly comes here with his girlfriend, who gets the cloud-nine feeling too every time she visits this book and design shop. The problem is it’s almost impossible to know what to buy! The shop has a huge, lovingly put-together selection of books, decorative items, clothes and lots more. By the way, don’t be deceived by the shop’s exterior – it may look small from the outside but it’s actually pretty big inside and seems to stretch on forever. Time just seems to fly by in “Siebter Himmel” and there’s always something for everyone.