photos: Matthias Piket
Lately, I’ve been totally into workshops. I like the feeling of learning new crafts and perfecting already existing skills. So I was more than happy when Huawei invited me to a mobile photography workshop by Paul Ripke. If you haven’t heard of this man, you should definitely google his name. He rose to fame with his book One Night in Rio where he captured the German soccer team up-close and personal at the World Championship in Rio back in 2014. But he’s not a typical sport and event photographer. With his work he comes so close to the action and the main protagonists that it almost feels like being right there between the athletes celebrating their victory.
With someone so accomplished of course there is a lot to learn, so after he introduced himself to us I was really curious what secrets of his success and profession he would share with us during this workshop. Much to my surprise, in the end the most valuable insight that I got beside a lot of technical stuff, was something quite more personal and inconspicuous…
Why the House of Red Doors’ theme parties are not to be missed and how Berlin’s authentically wild side is reflected in them, is something we have already written about. What you might have missed though is the mannequin challenge the whole Bad Bruises crew, that organizes the parties, has recently shot. If this does not make you feel butterflies of excitement in your stomach and the need to learn more about this talented group of people and their vision, I do not know what could then. I personally expected Jessica Lange’s Elsa Mars from American Horror Story to show up owning it as always.
January 26th 2017 will be day of the one year anniversary of this already iconic party and you should definitely check it out.
When you visit one of the many abandoned places of Berlin you will most likely find traces of previous visits, or even habitation there. Squatters, ravers, sprayers, vandals, urban explorers. They all left their marks on these forgotten buildings of Berlin and contribute to the decay of what these places once were. If you’re lucky you might even find some traces of creativity there.
When I first stepped into the abandoned railroad yard in Pankow last summer I was amazed by the spectacular light inside the circular building that came in through the panoramic windows in the ceiling. The place itself was completely empty and pretty much devastated by vandalism. But within all the debris and decay I found golden confetti and feathers on the floor like a little glimmer of hope and joy. It looked like someone had a good time there not too long ago. Maybe a small party, or an euphoric photo shoot. Either way it was another trace of life in an otherwise dead place.
When I stumbled about the contemporary dance video titled “Ephemeral Rooms” by Ruben Reniers and Nora Vladiguerov that was shot in this location earlier this year I was reminded of my visit. Just like whoever left the golden confetti the two choreographers and dancers breathed some life into this abandoned place with their beautiful performance.
A new, exceptionally nice speakeasy bar called ROOK opened a few weeks ago in a place where you, dear readers, would probably least expect it: in an old water tower in Cologne. Yes, you’ve read it right – it’s not about Berlin today, but about a thing that we in Berlin are especially crazy about: secret bars in hidden locations.
In a world of the Internet and smartphones, where all information is constantly accessible, the concept of speakeasy bars is more attractive than ever. It’s no wonder, since nothing tastes sweeter than a secret that you only share with a few people. We’ve known that this rule applies to the club and bar scene for ages.
That’s why it’s totally understandable that also the ROOK team decided in favor of such an idea. A few months ago, Luisa und Rike entered the Shape Your City competition organized by the international premium beer brand Heineken with their own bar concept. They managed to win over the Jury, composed of, among others, the restaurateurs Philipp Treudt and Tobias Mintert, as well as our Berlin blogger-colleagues from Dandy Diary. ROOK is the result of a cooperation with Heineken and celebrated its opening on the 18th November 2016. This coming Friday, the Dandy Diary members of the jury are going to throw a party in the location that they’ve helped to single out. More about that later in the text!
Even in Berlin, maintaining the individual desired level of social prosperity may present some difficulty. In other words: during a party spree comprising of multiple venues in, say, Kreuzberg, you may choose to rely on an ubahn rather than an uber as you proceed with the night’s schedule. You may be more inclined towards the latter if you’re visiting from Scandinavia.
Because even though Berlin is undoubtedly a much cheaper place to live than London or Paris, most people don’t necessarily earn enough to be able to appreciate it. Especially when we acknowledge the rise in the housing prices, Berlin is no Shangri-La, or at least does not become one until Friday night.
And after you’ve had your go at Berlin’s blissful spare time opportunities, and hopefully you’re still in possession of all your belongings, or at least dignity, sobering Monday kicks in and you need to deal with the reality – rummaging your pockets in search of some euros is a common first step. If by some chance it turns out that you’ve got more hickeys on your neck than notes in the wallet, Berlin may awake yet another kind of desire – the desire to save money…
Berlin during winter is inspiring in its bleak scenery. Sitting here, breathing there – existing, like a child that was told what to do. There is no way to live it right or wrong – if you’re dressed up well, it’s going to be fine. It’s going to be fine. For myself, coming from the warmer climes, the winter here has been harder to go through than I expected. It’s colder than I can take, but that feeling when the brain freezes – that’s a true wake up! And if it’s too cold and work allows so, I can stay at home and make music in bed, pretending I’m Virginia Wolf, during a downfall. No matter what I ask for, the city can bring me. The city will accept my doings. The city will let me be who I feel like being without judgements and assumptions. The city understands it’s cold during winter, the people understand it’s cold during winter. They don’t expect much, but appreciate it when you do. So privileged we are, here in Berlin.
Christmas: the time of year, when buying, consuming and eating reaches the frequency of breathing; all this accompanied by an often neglected essence of religion in the background. It is the time of year, when you look back at the last twelve months of your life thinking how many of last year’s resolutions you failed to achieve and set a new array of brand new unrealistic goals. On a more positive note, Christmas is the time of year, when you are surrounded by your loved ones exchanging gifts and appreciating having them in your life. If you are still contemplating what to get them this year, check out the following suggestions of presents, that are all made in Berlin and neatly curated by the awesome of berlin platform for stylish local design products that make excellent gifts and Berlin souvenirs.
If you’re an expat like me, you’ll probably agree that while living in Berlin might equal a lot of things, becoming a part of the German community definitely isn’t one of them. Quite the contrary – it is actually quite likely to live surrounded by the members of international or maybe even your native community, shifting every day from your WG to a foreign startup you work in, and not having to speak a word of German. Ultimately, the only considerable encounters with the culture of the country you presumably chose to live in might be limited to YouTube ads and an occasional Tinder date.
Another fact you might acknowledge when you’re an expat is that one should try to broaden their horizon, venture somewhere off your usual paths and beyond the reach of the basic Spati vocabulary. At iHeartBerlin, we’ve always been trying to help on that quest, offering advice on both the linguistic and cultural issues.
Today we’re back with a combined force: brush up your Berlin trivia and hear some of the most endearing German attempts at being funny with the 70s short film: Rundflug über West-Berlin (flight over West Berlin)!
photo: bronx. / CC
I spent 29 nights under the same roof with a German tap dancer. In the spring of 2014. In the heart of Berlin. In my artistically-starved senses.
It started with a simple Craigslist search. I was looking for an accommodation with a limited budget in a week’s deadline. The reason? I had been offered a tremendous job opportunity at a startup in Berlin.
The money was mouth-watering. Given my absolute lack of ambition, I had already started dreaming of retirement in five years. Ergo I jumped at the opportunity and packed my bags, which were only two at that time. And moved to what I call the Bohemian Silicon Valley of Europe.
I was enthused to work among respectable professionals during the day and schmooze with pretentious artists in the evening. That was my plan. But finding an apartment in Berlin was like finding a steady boyfriend on a dating site. You had to go through a series of bizarre/eccentric/not-so-right ones to be able to meet a half-way mediocre one.
photos: Sascha Kohlmann / CC
There are these times – especially when adulthood seems to be overwhelming and I am supposed to pretend to be an adult among others who are trying to fake it until they make it -, when I reminisce the old days, when I was a child unaware of the grown-up world and its tedious complexity; when my deepest frustration would revolve around my aversion to the lunch my dad had prepared for me that day and my biggest joy would be Santa’s advent with his presents. I am inclined to believe that it is a universal tendency to look back at the past with nostalgia and think how beautiful it all was back then. This kind of nostalgia is the feeling that takes over when I see Sascha Kohlmann’s pictures of old gumball machines. I automatically have to think of my mom bringing me home after kindergarten and me stopping her on the way to ask her if I could have a gumball, which back then meant the world to me. What memories do gumball machines bring up to you?