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Das Booth

It’s been a decade since two Berliners reintroduced the old Photoautomat photo booths – and they’re still drawing a steady stream of colourful characters

Text by Toby Skinner / Photos⁄Photoautomat Weserstraße & Mitja Schneehage

The French charmer

Simon Deligny is an engineer from Marseille who’s visiting his Berlin-based paediatrician girlfriend. They’re having coffee at Piccalilly, the bohemian bar-café by the booth, but she’s too shy to have her picture taken. “There’s a similar vibe here to Marseille – multicultural, free – but it’s bigger and there’s more energy here. There are no limits to what you can do, wear, say, be. I love it.” 

The global family

Documentary film-maker Frank Lehmann met the woman who is now Goitsy Lehmann in 2008 in Johannesburg, when he was making a film about the African National Congress coming into power. “Meeting Goitsy was just one of those moments in life where you don’t expect to meet someone.” Frank has lived in Berlin for 38 years in total, two of them with his wife and ridiculously cute baby daughter Malaika. He’s now working on an HBO film about how the US has overblown the terrorist threat, and another on how citizen journalists accused the wrong Boston bomber. When relaxing, the Lehmann family like “lazy days on the grass at Tempelhof airport”. 

The bouncy waitress

Solveig Gaydon-Ohl, who works at bar-café Piccalilly by the Photoautomat, seems to dance her way through her shift, and her energy is infectious. She came to Berlin from Montpellier seven months ago, having fallen in love with the place at 15. “I came with my family and just knew I had to live here at some point.” She goes clubbing at Sisyphos, in an old dog biscuit factory, and the legendary Kreuzberg techno club Berghain. “I’ve loved being here, but I’m tired,” she confesses. “There’s too much craziness, and I can never say no.”


Meet more Weserstraße people on the next page...



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