Berlin is a magnet to the youth from all over the world. Especially the pulsating nightlife seems to be one of the main attractions. Illeagal parties in abandoned villas, dark and raunchy clubs in old industrial buildings, spontanous raves in the middle of a park, artsy opening events of quirky little galleries and decadent champagne receptions in expensive boutiques. Berlin seems to have it all.
But how do you find the places that are too new or too underground to be in a tourist guide book or on some website’s event listing? We have met someone who has dedicated himself to answering this question. For more than two years Frank has been running the blog iHeartBerlin.de which now seems to be the number one source for many to find the best parties. We talked to him about Berlin and it’s nightlife after he finished a 7 day party marathon last week. Read on for the interview.
Do you always party everyday of the week?
Frank: Hell no, I don’t want to look like 40 by the time I turn 30. (puts two slices of cucumber on his eyes)
What is the trickiest day to go out here?
Definately Monday. There’s always something going on here. But Monday usually is the day of resting after a long weekend. If you are not interested in resting you can always go to the open booth night at Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke, like we did last Monday. With a few drinks and a group of fun friends this will be the most hilarious start into the week that you can imagine.
Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke. More impressions here.
But this seems to be a pretty popular place. Where is the secret stuff?
In Berlin we have a variety of secret places and parties. Sometimes they are kept secret for legal reasons, sometimes to be selective about the audience. Sometimes both. On Tuesday for instance we often meet up at Appartement to have a free Dinner For Friends and some drinks. If you unlike most people stay longer than the final course it even turns into a little mini-party.
Appartement. More impressions here.
The words guestlist, free drinks and invitation only often pop up on your blog. Isn’t it a little pretentious to write about things like that?
Totally! But hey, we put a lot of heart and time into this blog, we deserve a little pampering in the end of the day. Like we received on Wednesday at a champagne reception by Firma at the Department Store at Friedrichstrasse. Free champagne and facial cremes, what more could you wish for.
Firma’s Champagne reception at Departement Store
But doesn’t Champagne also get boring after a few glasses?
(takes a sip from his tropical fruit smoothie) Yeah it does, doesn’t it? After the champagne thing at Department we went along with the group to party at The Corner at Gendarmen Markt where we switched over to vodka cranberry. Don’t even ask me what they were celebrating there, I have no clue. But it was that kind of event where Barbara Becker was putting on a wild show on the dancefloor while three camera men were filming her. No wonder I was only fascinated with the free bar sponsored by a fancy vodka brand.
Party at The Corner
If there is no exclusive media event at hand where would you normally go on a Wednesday?
Oh, we did do our regular Wednesday program after filling up with free booze. The music is definately not a reason to go to the gay (but straight friendly) night at NBI, though on this particular night a crazy Japanese band called Apotheke was playing live and the host himself was DJing and that was actually kind of fun. Or maybe it was just the 5 vodka drinks from the party before.
Berlin Hilton at NBI
Your blog seems to be a bit ambivilant about a certain type of party goer: The hipsters. What is your take on them?
Oh, the young Berlin hipster crowd, don’t you just love/hate them? I was surprised to meet so many of them at the otherwise totally unfashionable Tommy Hilfiger party at WMF on Thursday. Many dislike them as they seem arrogant and shallow (but probably just because they are better looking, haha). For party photos they are perfect, because as you can see they know how to party and they like to be photographed (unlike many other people who prefer to turn their back on me). They are young, they are playful and they want to be sexy. Nothing harmful about that.
Hilfiger Demin Live ar WMF. More impressions here.
Do you ever feel out of place at a party?
Yeah, sometimes I do. Like for instance on Friday at the Pet Shop Bears party at the Berghain Kantine. My blonde hairless self just felt like it didn’t belong amoung those bearded hairy guys there, haha. Though they always have excellent music!
Pet Shop Bears at Berghain Kantine
Gallery openings seem to be a big thing for you guys. Is this yet again because of the free drinks?
No, we actually care about the art. The Kunstnacht 09 party at Berlinische Galerie on Saturday was a blast for example. The exhibition is huge, had so much to offer – I loved it. Right now the average reader of this blog will not be able to afford the art we write about. But we introduce them to many things. You never know which one of them will become an art collector when they start earning money.
Kunstnacht at Berlinische Galerie. More impressions here.
What is the best moment for you when you are out partying?
Apart from having a flirt with a pretty stranger you mean? There sometimes are very emotional moments on the dancefloor that take you by surprise. On Saturday we went to Picknick after the Kunstnacht. It was a 90s themed night and they were putting on trashy euro dance songs. When they played a song from my first favorite band 2 Unlimited I almost had a tear in my eye as I was taken back in time to my teenage years. (sighs deeply)
Picknick, photos by Katja Hentschel. More impressions here.
So, when you went out on every night of the week, you must have met so many people. How many hook-ups?
Pfffff…. I leave this to your imagination.
How did you end your week?
With my first Sunday afternoon visit at the Panorama Bar. The Berghain and Panorama Bar have become so overly popular that it is not even exciting or interesting anymore. But the Sunday after hour has kept much of its charme and I can warmly recommend it.
Wow! One week, ten parties. You are a party boy! Are you?
Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no… I’m not a party animal in the classical sense. I don’t smoke, I don’t take drugs and I don’t drink excessively. But if you asked me if I’m someone who likes to party, then yes.
Parties, drinks, beautiful people. Is this what it’s all about?
(lifts one of the cucumber slices from his eye and gives us a look) Jesus Christ… What’s with the attitude? It’s about letting go of your everyday life. It’s about enjoying the music you like. It’s about feeling good about yourself. It’s about having a good time with your friends. And sometimes with a perfect stranger. That’s what a party should be about.