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Mingle with the Maastricht´s bohemians and hipsters

Through the eyes of a G(raduate)

I fell in love with the Take Five on my first visit. They played Bon Iver´s Holocene, a little detail that I have not forgotten since. An artist and song that I very much enjoy but whose melancholic and slow music I would have never expected to be played in a bar.

The family owned lounge/bar has two entrances; I usually take the one on the side. In the front, there might be someone standing around, nervously looking at his watch, waiting for a “late” date. Both entrances are sheltered with heavy black curtains from the inside. Especially after a few glasses of wine they become a little tricky, but in general leaving this place becomes increasingly difficult as time passes. In combination with the rest of the bar: black walls, black leathery interior and the long wooden bar, those heavy black curtains give the place some sense of “black magic”. Of course I do not mean that this place carries malicious powers, in actuality it is very much harmless. Just be careful with whom you are going with. When I told my housemate that I will be writing about the Take 5 for this week´s column, a big smile stretched over his face: “such a classic, they got Absinth for €3.70, that makes it difficult to stick to one drink”.

Next door there is the Trader’s Pop, a shop that is full of visuals and beautiful things, from magazines to postcards and second-hand clothing to first-hand luxurious brands.  That place can literally keep you occupied for an hour, not simply because they have a cool (and often, sadly too expensive) collection of stuff that makes you want to marry the shop owner, but also because of the well-chosen collection of magazines and post-cards. Once you have finally chosen one, you already know you have to go back to get another. In the back of the Trader´s Pop, there is a door leading to an exhibition space, the so-called “Wild West Active Space”. There are usually flyers lying around at the Take Five to inform you about their upcoming exhibitions.  Soon, the novel exhibition “LOST IN TRANSLATION / PERMANENT VACATION” will start as of Tuesday 9th of December and will continue until January 18th, 2015. Just as the Take Five this place inevitably asks you to mingle with the Maastricht´s bohemians and hipsters. If you would like to “meet” some creativity outside the university or apply your “thinking outside the box” in real life, join one of their vernissages for a glass of wine, some art and chitchatting.

Once you make your way back to the Take Five, a drink might be a good idea. Amongst many things, I like their fruity and slightly bitter Ale. If you are not a big fan of beer, a drink that was recommended to me by one of the barkeepers is a novel “slow gin” which they only began serving a short while ago. The liquor is related to, but less strong than ‘the Monkey 47 Gin’, which I had already been introduced to during my last visit to Berlin. It has “a sweet raspberry flavour that should be tasted without ice or tonic” he says. As it is the middle of the day, I tell him “before I am leaving for winter holidays, I will give this drink a try on my next night out”. Having said that, I take my notebook from the bar, turn to the exit, lift up the heavy black curtains and return into the cold wintery air of Maastricht.

Lea Schäfer

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