photo: Franz Becker
From a bird’s eye view you’re watching, wondering what life might bring
The city’s sleeping in a cloud – summer came by and got right out
What are they dreaming, these sleeping heads, lying in their tiny beds?
Is that a smile upon their face, looking forward to another day?
From the rooftop you see the couple brushing their teeth
The older lady with a cat and a book on her knees
The manager about to work, the party people still up with a smirk
The student studying for an exam, the musician playing a joyful jam
They all are living in this house, this backyard, this street
And somewhere you can still hear a beat…
It’s hard to think of a film that has tapped so well into the Berlin party scene. Last year’s Victoria opened on a club night, but quickly took us elsewhere. Certain soundtracks have used adrenaline-fueled techno to help tell their film’s stories – Run Lola Run comes to mind. And certainly there have been films about partying specifically, like 24-Hour Party People or Berlin Calling. But Der Nachtmahr might be the best film ever to weave the pounding, textural sounds that define Berlin into an immersive, exciting story. And it’s amazing!
We open on a warning: “The strobe effects in this movie may cause seizures”. Also: “This movie should be played loud!” And it’s true! There’s a special feeling of being in a loud, intense club – it’s one of frenzy, euphoria and disorientation, punctuated by surreal melodies and anchored to powerful beats. Der Nachtmahr is full of these things, but it doesn’t use these sights and sounds gratuitously – it all makes sense, often underscoring the psychological state of the protagonist.
The movie is a thriller. Not quite a horror, not gory, not gross. It does keep your heart rate up, does have some gasps and edge-of-your-seat moments. The lead girl is super cool and really easy on the eyes, and her struggle is an intense, fun one to identify with. The overall meaning of the plot is labyrinthine and ambiguous – I certainly cannot say what really happened, even. In this sense, it’s sort of a Lynchian film, with some Requiem for a Dream vibes. It’s a super cool movie and everyone should check it out!
With a couple of brand new, awesome vegan restaurants and cafes that opened in Berlin recently we thought it was about time to put together a new vegan guide for Berlin. Veganism is probably the biggest “trend” in gastronomy right now, though it is inaccurate to consider it a trend, I like to call it an “awakening”. I think with all the information we have nowadays about industrially produced food and its effect on the eco system and on our health it is only a natural reaction that people start to change their consumption and eating habits. I personally really like vegan cooking, mainly because it requires a certain creativity that makes us break out of our decade long food habits of what goes with what and how you prepare certain things. Vegan dishes, no matter if they are simple or elaborate, open up another world of taste experiences and I think that’s really exciting for everyone’s palate. Enjoy our selection of the most interesting vegan restaurants and cafes in Berlin.
Berliners really like to cycle, no matter the temperature you will always see people using their bikes in the city. Obviously they will be less in the Winter, but not gone completely. The only time you will encounter them much less is when it rains. And well, let’s face it, it can rain quite a lot here in Berlin, and always when it’s most inconvenient.
I personally don’t like to use the bike when I know it might rain later that day. Simply because I don’t want to be burdened with a raincoat that I have to carry around with me. These coats never look very good and they will become annoying at some point once the rain is over and you have to carry that big wet piece of clothing around with you.
The Berlin-based fashion label Chance of Rain by Antoniya Ivanova is offering a smart solution here. Her garments combine style with functionality and make the life of cyclists in Berlin a lot easier. Not only does she use breathable and water repellent high-tech textiles for her jackets, coats and capes, she also incorporates reflecting stripes to ensure the safety of the cyclist in the dark. There are a lot of details in her pieces that show that she put a lot of time and evaluation in the usefulness of the pieces, and on top the designs look really cool and timeless.
One year in Berlin, an anniversary of sorts. This is my story of this utterly relenting city. A tale comprised of four distinct seasons, three apartments, numerous jobs, countless fleeting friendships and one difficult language. It is about a city of immense density caught between the heavy weight of its past and the inexplicable light and freedom that shines from the darkest of places.
This city that I now call home is something extraordinary, an anomaly. It has progressed into its next chapter, following the contours of history, flourishing into a liberal and cultural hub. It has changed from all recognition and proliferated into a city of tolerance and acceptance, a place where people are free from judgement, and even freer to express themselves. Yet I have felt Berlin’s depth.
This is my time in Berlin.
The Street Art Museum, photo: Urban Nation
“Urban Art to me, means to hold a conversation in public”
Yasha Young is visibly thrilled. The director of Urban Nation, a network for street art and Urban Contemporary Art is celebrating the start of construction to the world’s first Street Art Museum.
“Urban Art is a contemporary witness, who shows himself to everyone”, Young says with her voice shaking lightly. And with the coming year, this witness is about to be seen by even more people, right in the midst of Schöneberg.
Get more information about this unique project and see first drafts and a trailer for the museum after the jump.
So you finally made it into the club! Now what?
After spending hours reading blog after blog about how to get into <insert your favorite Berlin nightclub>, you are finally ready to put on your dancing shoes and experience Berlin nightlife firsthand. Your outfit is on point (aka black). You managed to queue for over an hour without cracking a smile, much less breathe. You researched who was DJing and successfully memorized enough German to confidently tell the door guy how many people were in your party (Ich bin allein, danke). Congrats! You’re in. Now it’s time to have some fun.
Wait, not so fast. Just because you managed to fool the staff into thinking you’re a regular doesn’t mean that you’re ready to hit the dance floor quite yet. Before you pat yourself on the back, I encourage you to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the following Berlin nightlife etiquette tips.
photo: Eylül Aslan
Men are simple beings. All of them – even the smart ones. We might be a highly evolved kind of hairless monkey but there is one thing we love: organizing things in categories. Giving us a rough idea how to classify our fellow humans seems to be all the rage. Heterosexual men get special categories they only ever apply to women: The Madonna and the whore.
Humor is unique and universal at the same time. One of the perks of laughing besides being, well good, is its ability to unite people and nations. You could probably say that most cultures have some similar funny bones. At least we all can always agree to laugh about something, like physical comedy. Of course there are also things that maybe some cultures would laugh about more than others – because they know where the jokes emerge from. This is where humor get’s lost in translation.
On Saturday, on a taxi ride in Buenos Aires with a few strangers, I had a conversation about my recent trip to Rio, which quickly led to the topic of the Brazilian carnival, and then over to the one in Venice and Cologne. The conversation had almost switched to another topic when it struck me: We have a carnival in Berlin too! How could I forget! And it usually takes place in… oh, it’s this weekend! In contrast to the ones in Brazil, Cologne and Venice, our Berlin carnival is not specifically about one nation, but about all of them – or at least quite a big bunch. As the title “carnival of the cultures” suggests, different countries come together here with their traditions, dance and food. It became this huge thing here over the years with a big parade and food market. People either love it or hate it, but regardless, it’s a big spectacle with a lot of fanfare and the poor streets of the city that have hardly recovered from the mayhem of May Day are again littered with the cultural confetti of the next big street fair.
Photographer Alexander Niklass captured the event through his dark, urban lens; the results present the carnival in quite different light than what we are all used to. Enjoy the amazing photo series after the jump and for more photos by Alex follow him on Instagram.