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Holzmarkt – Berlin’s Unique Urban Oasis

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Who would have thought in the mid 2000s that a tiny shack of scrap wood on an abandoned lot at the river Spree would ever become the quirky urban oasis that is the Holzmarkt today?

It was in the year 2004 when I stepped into the so-called Bar25 for the first time. At the time it was a tiny improvised bar made of recycled wood at the end of an overgrown footpath in the wastelands of the Spree riverbanks in Friedrichshain. There was no techno party going on there, just the comfort of a worn out couch and some beers. I was on a date then that I hardly remember now, but I remember the place because it became of one the most legendary international techno clubs and a hub for youth culture of the post-millennium era.

Over the course of the next 7 years the buzz around this inconspicuous little place became louder and louder. I dropped by every now an then observing their journey to techno heaven and international fame. The bar grew bigger ever year, adding a small circus arena, a pizza parlor, a restaurant, a spa, a pool, a hostel and more cute little things to its world making it a little paradise that you never wanted or needed to leave. They started the whole cult of going to a place and not leaving it for 5 days straight. You didn’t have to, because there was everything you needed – plus a swing with a lovely view of the sunset over the Berlin city silhouette. There was a lot of feathers, confetti and glitter involved, something that set the Bar25 apart from it’s more understated neighbor Berghain that opened around the same time as them.

Frank by Frank
on May 9th, 2017
in Clubs, Friedrichshain, Restaurants

Experience Berghain without Techno

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It is widely known for its progressive Techno nights that go on from Saturday to Monday, but this is not the only thing that Berghain is doing. They have always used their space for much more than just music. They have also released a book about their engagement with art and also the theater and performance world has had its collaborations with this cathedral of Techno.

This Thursday another big art event is happening there opening the doors to an audience that goes beyond the usual party crowd on weekends. A Partial Eclipse of the Heart is the title of the event, borrowed from the lyrics of Bonnie Tylers Total Eclipse of the Heart. Two of the main artists contributing to the night are Autist and Rainbow Arabia who are both performing live. There will be quite a few more video presentations from artists such as Carla Chan, Dorit Bialer, Jem the Misfit, Lisa Wassemann, Mariana Jukica, Natasha Mankowski and Resi Bender. But you will also be able to see performances from Peter Kirn, Gabriela Prochazka, and Simonne Jones. It’s going to be an immersive experience bringing you an eclectic mix of talents from Berlin.

The event is curated by Your Mom who also put up great shows in the past in venues such as the Konzulàt and Kaufhaus Jandorf. Having seen some of these previous events I can guarantee you that you don’t want to miss it, also because it’s one of the rare occasions you can see Berghain during the week and separate from its techno parties.

Andy by Andy
on May 2nd, 2017
in Art, Music, Party

How to Dress for Berlin’s Nightlife

Berlin Nightlife Outfits

photo: Pornceptual

Pornceptual, House of Red Doors, Gegen, Revolver and basically every Klubnacht at Berghain – Fetish and sex positive parties are taking over the capital. From being more of a niche branch years back, sexy, kinky fashion has become the new normal on the dance floors. So, the question is no longer: “What’re you gonna wear tonight?” but more: “How much are you gonna wear tonight?”. Being fully naked is easy, but choosing just the right amount of fabric to make everyone be like: “Oh wow! DAMN!”. That’s the fashion challenge here! For anyone who wants to join the party, but does not feel quite ready for this less-is-more fashion extravaganza – Here are some go-to-looks that never get old.

Andy by Andy
on April 28th, 2017
in Fashion, Party

The Most Awesome Parties in Berlin

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Berlin is known as the hedonistic capital of the world. People from all over the world come here to explore their fantasies, even if only for one night on the dance floor. But, with so many clubs to choose from, so many distinct crowds and different DJ bookings things can get a little confusing. So, instead of going to a party that turns out to be a flop, you don’t go at all and spend your night watching Grey’s Anatomy alone on your sofa – And we can’t let that happen! True, not every club guarantees an insane night out but there are plenty of party series in Berlin that might not happen every weekend but if you watch out for them, you might just experience what this crazy city is all about. So, here’s a little list of parties that won’t dissappoint, with a ‘lil something for everyone in the mix.

Andy by Andy
on April 28th, 2017
in Party

To You, a Berlin Newcomer

Boxhagener Platz

To You, brave adventurer who is in Berlin for the first time and who has left his comfort zone for a fresh new start and brand new experiences.
Let’s assume you have managed to pass the test of finding a permanent home, one of the worst nightmares of all the new Berliners, have one or two acquaintances in the city (even if it is the son of your grandfather Julius’s cousin that you have never heard of before but know he has three Siamese cats) and have already planned on how to get a job or to go further in your education. You have everything outlined and you are all excited – “This will the BEST time of my life”, you think, “Berghain, I will destroy you with my dance moves” – however, when you arrive (with a big smile on your face and high expectations), you see that things are not quite what you have imagine they would be. The son of your grandfather Julius’s cousin is not that interested in showing you around, maybe because he is too busy or simply because he is a jerk, getting a job is harder than you have imagined and you feel lonely at times.

by Guest Author
on April 20th, 2017
in Stories

A Devil’s Feast at the Opera

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photo: Monika Rittershaus

If the devil came to Berlin he would not be able to scare a single soul. Because Berliners have real problems like rising rents, shitty jobs or not getting into Berghain (depending on priorities) and have no time for religious superstitions. It’s quite a different story in the small village of Sorochinsky in the middle of nowhere in the Ukraine where the devil is the cause for a lot of fear and trauma.
At least what I learned from the opera “The Fair of Sorochinsky” by Russian composer Mussorgsky which I had the chance to enjoy last weekend at Komische Oper Berlin. In between Russian folklore, impossible relationships and a devil’s feast with pigs on fire I had a musical enlightenment I would like to share with you.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 12th, 2017
in Theater

A Not So Typical First Time Visit at Berghain

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Maison Mason, photo: Daniel Gebhardt

Berlin is one of the most versatile capitals of the world when it comes to all its locations. It was fun to have been thrown in this little town with no previous knowledge – I still remember setting foot on Kottbusser Tor for the first time, entirely by chance, way more appalled than inspired, completely unaware of Kreuzberg’s undeniable magic that I’d grow addicted to.

Michalina by Michalina
on April 9th, 2017
in Fashion, Party, Photos, Stories

Get your Casual German on Fleek

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illustrations: Berk Karaoglu

Contrary to a popular belief, communicating in the German language does not necessarily equal having to study extremely long grammar structures for hours on end. I mean – that may be useful when you’re applying for the German citizenship, but in casual everyday life conversations you’re better off mastering a few magic keywords that, although absent from the typical German as a foreign language curriculum, will polish your small talk game with the sought after air of nonchalance.

Michalina by Michalina
on April 6th, 2017
in Stories

Goodbye to my Favorite Berghain Artwork

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Piotr Nathan, The Rituals of Disappearance, Berghain, Berlin (2004), photo: © Christine Frenzl

A visual memory can be triggered over and over again by art and architecture. Therefore it is like saying goodbye to one part of your own history when a building or an artwork has to leave its original place. This morning the news spread out that the artwork by Piotr Nathan which is presented in the entrance hall of Berghain will be sold piece by piece on this website.

First I was kind of sad, about the fact that I will not see the entire artwork in the original form again. I remember seeing it over 10 years ago for the first time and being impressed by the fine lines creating the landscape and storms. The artwork is like a mysterious representation of a natural phenomena. Nature that was regarded as divinity in indigenous times and that loved and feared by the little humans at the same time.

The Rituals of Disappearance (2004) have nowadays such a cult-status that it probably won’t last long until its completely sold out (in fact only an hour after its release only a few blank plates were left to buy).  The artist prefers to sell it in fragments to the people who have experienced and loved the club, and wants those who danced near the mural to have a part of it. The lasting impression of the complete work should exist only in the minds of those who experienced it at the club. A memory to keep up in mind and cherish for its beauty and brutality at the same time.

And since  life ist fortunately not just about old memories let’s be excited about the new dance floor and what artworks will be presented there…

Claudio by Claudio
on March 17th, 2017
in Art

Photography in Berlin: Sven Marquardt & the Ostkreuzschule

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photo: Hannes Gade, Ostkreuzschule

Sven Marquardt is a Berlin living legend. And although this notion may sound a little bit generic at first, virtually all about him corroborates it. It’s as if his story and image were made up by a pretty skillful writer for some character in a novel. But no – it’s just that Berlin fate proving again that sometimes, seemingly the most coincidental occurrences make up for the best storylines.

Find out more about the famous Berghain bouncer who’s also a renowned photographer and a preview of the graduate exhibition “REPEAT” by his photography class students from the Ostkreuzschule for photography below.

Michalina by Michalina
on March 13th, 2017
in Art