Lia McGarrigle – From Dublin to Berlin and writing for a global audience.

Lia McGarrigle – From Dublin to Berlin and writing for a global audience.

As Senior Staff Writer at Highsnobiety, Lia McGarrigle is usually the one doing the interviewing. A native of Dublin, Ireland, she has lived in Berlin for two years via New York. At Highsnobiety, Lia and the team create content at a pace that stays ahead of today's feeds with their latest in fashion, footwear, music, art and culture enjoyed by over 11 million people around the globe every month. We spoke to Lia about creative life and culture in Berlin, where she finds inspiration, falafel, ramen, and getting Irish brown bread into the country.

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ON WHERE YOU’RE FROM

Dublin, Ireland. 

ON CITIES YOU’VE LIVED 

Dublin, Brussels (when I was a kid), Milan, New York, and Berlin. 

ON WHERE YOU’RE LIVING IN BERLIN 

I’ve already gone through a few apartments in my time here but I recently signed a lease on a place in Mitte.

ON MOVING TO NEW YORK AND NOW BERLIN  

Opportunity, I moved to New York because of the sheer amount of publications there (and I could get a visa after finishing college). With Berlin it was less about career and more because it’s one of the last affordable major cities for young people.

ON WINDOW SEAT OR AISLE 

After a particularly rocky flight to Japan last year, I’ve developed an intense fear of flying that overrides my seat preference!

 

Above: Highsnobiety printed issue featuring ASAP Rocky. Below: Highsnobiety instagram feed. Images courtesy Lia McGarrigle and Highsnobiety.

ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BERLIN 

Tame. Most people who move to Berlin go through a 6 month period of clubbing before they settle down to a job, but I pretty much landed into my job straight away which gives me more of a 9-5 view of the city.

ON HOW BERLIN INSPIRES YOU 

The general creative atmosphere in Berlin inspires me there’s always something happening as does the notable lack of careerism in the city. Work is important but creativity only really happens when you give yourself space to actually think, take a break and take chances, which thankfully is something you can do here.

The general creative atmosphere in Berlin inspires me there’s always something happening as does the notable lack of careerism in the city. 

ON AMERICAN AND GERMAN WORK CULTURES 

The work culture between the US and Germany is hugely different. In Berlin, in particular, there’s an emphasis on work-life balance people actually take their lunch break and leave when the workday is finished. Berlin is also home to a huge amount of freelancers and artists, which sucks when you work full-time as it means you miss a lot of cool events, but it’s inspiring to be surrounded by so many people working on their art.

ON CREATIVE INSPIRATION 

Berlin has so many great magazine shops which are so helpful if you’re in a creative rut. Do You Read Me?, Soda and Motto are my favourites.

 

Inside the Highsnobiety Berlin office. Images courtesy Lia McGarrigle and Highsnobiety.

ON A POPULAR TOPIC OF CONVERSATION IN BERLIN   

I’m not sure if popular is the right way to describe it, but there have been a lot of talk recently about how we can fight against the threats of right-wing nationalism and gentrification.

ON A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU AT HIGHSNOBIETY 

I’m a Senior Staff Writer. In the morning, me and the news team cover all the stories that broke overnight. Then when things quiet down I write and commission long-form features across our Style, Life and Design verticals with an emphasis on emerging talent.

Honestly, the internet is still where I do most of my research. But being able to connect with the people I meet online in person and experiencing a different city’s creative scene is invaluable.

ON STAYING AHEAD OF WHAT’S HAPPENING OUT THERE  

Honestly, the internet is still where I do most of my research. But being able to connect with the people I meet online in person and experiencing a different city’s creative scene is invaluable and gives you a much clearer picture of what’s actually happening.

ON GOOD FOOD

Barb’s Soul Food is currently only doing pop-ups but whenever they have an event you know there’s going be good music and even better comfort food. Al Andalos on Sonnenallee has the best €1.50 falafels in the city, and Cocolo is the spot for Ramen and beer.

 

Above: Editorial article by Lia McGarrigle on Highsnobiety. Below: The architecture of Berlin. Images above courtesy Lia McGarrigle and Highsnobiety, image below courtesy Artem Sapegin.

ON ENTERTAINMENT  

Berlin has the best nightlife, from art openings to bars to clubs, so it’s hard to pick just one event!

ON SOMETHING FROM IRELAND YOU NEED A FIX OF IN GERMANY  

Brown Bread! You can’t get the brand I like outside of Ireland so I bring it over in my hand luggage every time I travel home.

ON SOMETHING ONLY IN BERLIN 

Späti culture.

ON BERLIN IN ONE WORD 

Independent.

 

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Nuggets in this interview

events

Barb’s Soul Food, Berlin

"Barb’s Soul Food is currently only doing pop-ups but whenever they have an event you know there’s going be good music and even better comfort food".

–Lia McGarrigle

inspiration

Do You Read Me? Berlin

"Berlin has so many great magazine shops which are so helpful if you’re in a creative rut. Do You Read Me?, Soda and Motto are my favourites"

–Lia McGarrigle

inspiration

Soda Books, Berlin

"Berlin has so many great magazine shops which are so helpful if you’re in a creative rut. Do You Read Me?, Soda and Motto are my favourites".

–Lia McGarrigle

inspiration

Motto, Berlin

"Berlin has so many great magazine shops which are so helpful if you’re in a creative rut. Do You Read Me?, Soda and Motto are my favourites".

–Lia McGarrigle

food and drink

Cocolo, Berlin

"Cocolo is the spot for Ramen and beer".

–Lia McGarrigle

food and drink

Al Andalos, Berlin

"Al Andalos on Sonnenallee has the best €1.50 falafels in the city".

–Lia McGarrigle

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