Torstrasse is loud, it's wide, it's dirty - and lately it's morphed into one of the most exciting streets in Berlin. In contrast to the sterile name-brand shopping to its south and the cutesy cobblestone cafe-filled streets to the north, Torstrasse is hopping with small galleries (Bongout gallery and shop, junk shops, little designer shops, über-hip bars (Trust Bar), and lots of quality restaurants, from living-room eateries (Tartane, Themroc) to tiny, hip French (Bandol sur Mer) to sleek and fancy (Dudu). What they all seem to share is an innovative, do it yourself joie de vivre and a passion for creation. Luxury lofts (hello, Angelina and Brad) bump elbows with Eckkneipe, and Rosenthaler Platz is its growling epicenter, the streets streaked by colorful tire marks, created by paint poured out into the intersection by a lo-fi graffitti artist. It all starts just a few steps from the Miniloft apartments.

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