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How to Celebrate Midsommar in Berlin

Midsommar in Berlin-

photo: Bryan Ledgard / CC

Did you know this upcoming weekend is Midsommar? It’s the famous Swedish celebration where people dance around a pole with flowers in their hair. But it’s much more than that, it’s actually the second most important holiday in Sweden after Christmas where all the family and friends come together to eat, drink and celebrate.

This year I will have my very first Midsommar experience because I will follow the invitation of Absolut all the way to Åhus in Sweden to participate in their Midsommar Weekender. I’m expecting a lot of flower crowns, flying ribbons and of course lots of vodka shots.

But you don’t have to be in Sweden to celebrate Midsommar. It’s actually being celebrated all around the world. And since the Berliners love all things Sweden we thought we compile a little guide to Midsommar in Berlin for you guys. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on June 19th, 2017
in Party, Stories

The Notebooks for the Next Generation

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Huawei MateBook X, photo: Katja Hentschel

A few weeks ago we were lucky to witness something quite special during a presentation at the Blogfabrik. Our partner Huawei who we’ve collaborated with recently for our smartphone vs. DSLR camera test invited us and a couple of blogger colleagues to introduce us to a brand new product that they had been working on. But it was not another edition of their high-end smartphone lines as we expected, this time it was something completely different that will expand the spectrum of the company into an entirely new market: notebooks. With the new Huawei MateBook X the brand revealed the long-awaited Windows operated alternative to the Macbook. Of course there have been other products on the market before, but to be honest so far I have seen nothing that comes close to these levels of design perfection and performance.

Frank by Frank
on June 12th, 2017
in Products

How to Enjoy Berlin for Free

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Most things that are fun in Berlin come at a certain price. At least that’s what you would think! But in the spirit of something for everyone Berlin also has a lot to offer for those that have a bank statement with a lot of red numbers and a wallet that has only receipts instead of bills. We’ve all been there, you don’t need to justify yourself or feel bad about it if you spent your entire allowance at Berghain on the first weekend of the month.

Here at iHeartBerlin we have no judgement about your financial status and we still want to make sure you have the right amount of fun in the city. So we compiled a list of many activities that you can pursue in Berlin that are completely for free. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on June 7th, 2017
in Events, Music, Stories, Theater

The Culinary Triangle of Kreuzberg

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Being one of the most popular districts of Berlin it comes as no surprise that Kreuzberg has one of the most diverse and pulsating gastronomic scenes of Berlin. There are some typical hotspots here such as Paul-Linke-Ufer, Oranienstraße, Wiener Straße and the area around Schlesisches Tor that are full of amazing restaurants and bistros with a variety of foods that offer something for everyone’s taste. But today we want to highlight an area that is a little bit under the radar but has some great food spots that you should definitely look into: I’m talking about Prinzenstraße.

Thanks to the dinner event series 3/6 Dreieck Dinner I was able to experience three of the most interesting restaurants in this area and all in the course of one evening and one menu. Instead of just going to one restaurant and eating all courses there how about taking courses in different places that are close by? This is pretty much the concept of the Dreieck Dinner. All three participating places offered 2 courses each and in between you had to walk over to the next place with a bit of entertainment on the way. Sounds fun? It is! And the next 3/6 Dreieck Dinner is already coming up this Friday on June 9, this time with an afterparty at Zwei Drei Raum.

Frank by Frank
on June 6th, 2017
in Kreuzberg, Restaurants

Awesome Breakfast Places in Kreuzberg

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After we’ve already introduced you to our favorite breakfast places in Neukölln, Friedrichshain, Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg we’re now continuing our district series with the most popular district of Berlin: Kreuzberg. Of course an area so diverse also has a breakfast offering that comes in all its variations from trendy to traditional. There’s something for everyone!

Frank by Frank
on May 23rd, 2017
in Cafés, Kreuzberg

The Best New Asian Restaurants in Berlin

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Every year Berlin gets so many new restaurants that it has become a custom for us to make a round-up of all that’s new in the gastronomic scene in the past months. This year it was in fact so much, that we decided to split up our annual new restaurant guide in two and we’ll start with one particularly trendy genre: Asian fusion. Here’s our pick of the most interesting ones:

Frank by Frank
on May 15th, 2017
in Charlottenburg, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Restaurants, Schöneberg

How to Re-organize & Style your Apartment the Berlin Way

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It’s Spring and you know what is one of the favorite rituals for Germans to do in Spring? Bringing everything back in order in the house. We also call it “Frühjahrsputz” meaning Spring Cleaning. Of course in Berlin this means finally bringing all the beer and Club Mate bottles that have piled up in the corner back to the Späti to receive some Pfand, changing out some Automaten photos from some ex lovers with new ones and bringing that stack of vintage clothes that become unfashionable back to the vintage shops.

But if you really want to be a pro about the Frühjahrsputz you also have to consider some re-styling and re-decorating. Because every year is different in Berlin and this should also reflect in your own four walls.

We teamed up with the interior experts of Granit who recently opened their first store in Berlin on Rosenthaler Straße in Mitte to come up with some interior ideas that reflect the spirit of Berlin. Granit hails all the way from Sweden and naturally the Berliners are eating it up as they love everything from Scandinavia. They offer interior products as well as household and office accessories with a very minimal, timeless and iconic design. It’s a total match made in heaven with the style of Berlin that has a quite raw, industrial aesthetic.

Frank by Frank
on May 12th, 2017
in Design, Products

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

100 Years of History of May Day in Berlin

Berlin, Maidemonstration der SPD

photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-09700 / CC BY-SA 3.0

The First of May, that’s when there is a big street party in Berlin, right? Kind of. While the MyFest in Kreuzberg really feels like a big street festival with food stands, concerts and DJs playing in the streets it wasn’t always quite as cheerful and fun-oriented. The Labor Day has its origin in the USA in the late 19th century where it was among other things about the introduction of the 8h workday. There were attempts to establish it Germany in 1919, but it wasn’t until the Nazi time in the 30s that it became an official public holiday that it remained until today. Over the decades it changed its character from festive parades, political demonstrations to violent revolts. Here in Berlin the First of May was associated with aggressive protests, massive police force and burning cars in Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg until the late 2010s. The actual meaning of it feels pretty much lost by now when you look at what’s going on at the MyFest at present day even though there is still enough to protest and rebel against.

Below a photography review of 100 years of the First of May in Berlin.

Frank by Frank
on April 30th, 2017
in Stories

Cuckoo Blocks: Berlin Plattenbau goes Cuckoo Clock

Cuckoo Blocks Zimmermann 1

The Plattenbau buildings of Berlin never fail to inspire people. They are not exactly conventionally beautiful, but they are so characteristic, they symbolize urban life, concrete architecture and a bit of nostalgia. We’ve already showed you how they were used for a game of tetris, as a canvas for art, appreciated as design icons, and a backdrop for free runners.

With our latest discovery we can add another use of the Plattenbau to our list. Artist Guido Zimmermann created some very awesome looking cuckoo clocks in the style of Plattenbau. He has a whole series named Cuckoo Blocks that explores different brutalist variations, but one in particular is titled Berlin and modelled after some Plattenbau buildings that are typical for the city, including grey concrete pendants and satellite dishes. Aren’t they cute?

Frank by Frank
on April 11th, 2017
in Art