Author Archive

The Glorious Past of Berlin’s Subway and Train Stations

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Bülowstraße, 1903

One of the most iconic things about Berlin is surely its subway lines. Like a yellow snake it makes its way through the city, it’s so recognizable and its shade of yellow so particular. Berliners and visitors alike seem to love it so much, also the tiles underground stations that often have beautiful patterns that have been cherished and capture many times for Instagram.

But there was a time when the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations had quite a different aesthetic. At the turn of the 19th to 20th century they were glorious big buildings with stunning architecture. Thanks to the fact that Berlin’s streets weren’t so dense with buildings at the time these stations really stood out in their places, having so much room to breath. Some of the stations actually remained like that for over 100 years until now, while others have been reconstructed or rebuild in more modern ways. Many subway stations have indeed been replaced with simple staircases into the underground without a building on top.

Today we want to take a look back at the history of Berlin’s most beautiful and stunning U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on April 26th, 2016
in Photos

The Story of Abandoned Berlin

Abandoned Berlin Documentary

The blog Abandoned Berlin is the #1 source for urban explorers as it’s the most comprehensive archive of abandoned places in and around Berlin, with detailed descriptions of how to get inside and what the dangers might be; it also has a lot of information about the history of the places. For me the most interesting part of the blog are the comments where recent visitors of each place leave their updates on the current situations regarding safety and accessibility.

The founder of the blog, Ciarán Fahey, also released a book with his favorite photographs from the blog that we reviewed a while ago. Now we stumbled across a brand-new wonderful documentary short that filmmaker Jordi Busquets shot with Ciarán. It includes footage of some of the most stunning abandoned places of Berlin such as the Teufelsberg spy station, the Spreepark amusement park, the old Children’s Hospital nicknamed Zombie Hospital, the former Tempelhof Airport (actually the only one that’s not really abandoned as it’s a huge refugee camp and public park now) and the old airport in Johannisthal. In the video Ciarán tells the story of his passion for urban exploring and how he started his blog and also some info on the history of the featured places. A great inspiration for all urban explorers. Enjoy the video after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on April 18th, 2016
in Videos

A Berlin Guide to Urban Industrial Vintage Design

Urban Industrial

One of the many facets of Berlin that people really love and cherish is the rough, urban and industrial style of the city. It’s something that Berlin has in common with places like Brooklyn or South East London. But combined with Berlin’s history, the devision, the Soviet influence of the East, it developed a quite particular style that sets it apart from the other cities. Raw brick walls and concrete, factory lamps and Edison light bulbs, this is pretty much an aesthetic you will see all over the world. But Berlin adds old GDR relics, remains of the Soviet military, and remnants of old industries that were specific to Germany. The outcome is a unique mix of history, design and patina that feels specific to Berlin.

In our newest guide we want to introduce you to 3 shops that have specialized in industrial vintage design, all of which combine common aesthetics with more particular ones. We love all three of these shops as they capture so much an essential part of the style of Berlin. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on April 14th, 2016
in Design, Mitte, Schöneberg, Shops

The Flower Wonder of Berlin by Rebecca Louise Law

BIKINI_BERLIN_Installation_Rebecca_Louise_Law (3)

When you look around the streets of Berlin, on the tables of people’s homes, on Instagram, we are invaded by blossoms and flowers these days. The glorious beauty of Spring I like to call it. But the warm season is not the only one giving us the bright colors of nature; London-based artist Rebecca Louise Law had her Berlin debut in the past week with her stunning sculptural work. But her material is neither paint nor paper – she uses flowers. Lot’s of them actually. For the Bikini Berlin she created a huge site-specific installation that has the visitors of the concept shopping mall marvel at the beauty of nature. Hung from the ceiling, thousands of flowers form a mesmerizing sky of blossoms that are as enchanting as the Spring itself. We spoke with Rebecca about her new work and her relationship to Berlin. Read our interview and see more photos of the installation at Bikini Berlin after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on April 12th, 2016
in Art, People

The Secret Fountain of Youth: Dancing Through Life

Excite Video still 2

A couple of weeks ago we showed you a fun music video with a guy dancing through the streets of Berlin. What was so special about it, was that the guy was not a young crazy party kid, but a slightly famous older gentleman: Günter Krabbenhöft. Certainly an unexpected sight, but a really enjoyable one as the success of the video shows. It was this feature that prompted yet another video submission that we received that has a related theme: it’s about an adorable couple of elderly dancers in their 70s.

Cities like Berlin are so obsessed with youth culture. It’s always about what’s young, what’s hip, what’s sexy. There seems to be some kind of ageism going on, because when it comes to the older generation things automatically become uncool. Why is that? Why can’t old people be cool, too? And why are we so afraid of aging? I think the answer is that there are not enough role models that prove wrong all the stereotypes of older people that we dread so much. We associate being old with being out of touch, being slow and sick, being opposed to any kind of change, being yesterday’s news. In a fast-paced world that is all about individualism and self-fulfillment, this really sounds like the most horrible thing that could happen to us.

Frank by Frank
on March 30th, 2016
in Videos

The Most Exciting New Restaurants in Berlin – 2016

Lena and Nir - the wedding, photo: Kfir Harbi

Kanaan, photo: Kfir Harbi

Berlin never ceases to amaze me in terms of its relentless ability to open new places. I was reposting our “new restaurants” guide from last year only a couple of months ago only to realize that it’s already been a year. So I thought, with all the news of new places popping up recently, it’s time for a brand new “new restaurants” in Berlin guide – the 2016 edition, so to speak. And again here I was thinking it would be a quick piece with maybe 6 or 7 fresh new restaurants. Well, think again, Frank – it’s BERLIN – there is not gonna just be only 7 new places… My list ended up including 15 (!) exciting new restaurants that opened their doors in the past few months. And I’m just talking about the places that stand out and already experience a good portion of hype! Of course we’ll add new ones along the way this year, so stay tuned for more. But for now here is our fresh pickings.

Frank by Frank
on March 29th, 2016
in Charlottenburg, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg, Restaurants

The Spring Cleaning Dilemma: eBay or Flea Market?

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Vanellimelli, photo: Philipp Bogle

Believe it or not, but we almost made it through the grey Berlin Winter, yeay! And this means that one old tradition is coming up again: the Spring cleaning. Spending so much time in your home during the cold months has the negative effect that we horde way too many things and it’s time to get some order back into our four walls and clean out everything that we don’t really need anymore.

And once we’ve gone through all the things one big question will arise: Flea market or eBay? In our modern times the struggle to answer this question seems to be quite a luxury problem. But we want an answer none the less. In the last years online market places have become a tough competition for the traditional flea market as they really changed the game. On a platform like that you will reach a much higher audience than any local flea market ever could. And for certain types of items you will be able to sell to much higher prices. On the other hand the flea market booth offers you a social experience and interaction with the potential buyers, and you will be able to sell many things in only one day. So obviously both options have their advantages. But what is the best option for you?

Frank by Frank
on March 25th, 2016
in Videos

When Berlin Was Invaded by Colors

BAFW 2016 by Sebastian Pollin 8

photos: Sebastian Pollin

Even though Berlin sometimes is dominated by shades of grey there are often splashes of color coming up like shimmers of hope. The Berlin Alternative Fashion Week is one of those shimmers. No other fashion event in Berlin has ever managed to bring so much color, creativity, happiness and humor into one place. I’m so glad that we have this event in our city, proving that Berlin is the fruitful soil for a spectrum of fashion that is beyond fast fashion and commercial brands. Beloved Berlin-based designers such as Tata Christiane, Maison Mason, Tzuji and UY show their expressive collections here together with many newcomers and international designers. For me one of the big highlights this season was the sculptural collection of Justyna Koeke who created dresses modeled after children’s drawings. The elaborate and playful gowns were beautifully presented on senior models, what a fantastic presentation this was! And of course Russian artist Andrey Bartenev’s Bubbles of Hope parade in the end was once again an unforgettable finale that made everyone jump up from their seats. Principal sponsor airberlin has chosen wisely to support this wonderful platform of creativity and positivity for so many seasons now and we are forever grateful.

Fashion photographer Sebastian Pollin went backstage to capture some of the most amazing looks and he described the experience as a paradise of photo opportunities. And looking at the photos he seems to be more than right!

Frank by Frank
on March 25th, 2016
in Fashion, Photos

Here’s to the Beauty of Men

Jean-Baptiste Huong

photo: Jean-Baptiste Huong

For the longest time showing the beauty of the human body was a bit of a taboo in art and artistic photography. What was completely natural for the old masters is now deemed to be too commercial to count as art. Art should not be appealing, let alone be beautiful. This is something for advertising, or in the case of the human physique: erotica.

It’s a shame really, because the human body is as good of an object for art as any, and not just as something abstract or for the sake documentary. I’m glad that the art world seems to slowly but steadily overcome this prejudice. More artists experiment with nudity, sex, even pornography. Even galleries are picking up on this. Now more than ever artists who dedicate themselves to the beauty of the human body are no longer just considered photographers, but actual artists. I think this development is very positive and we should embrace this positivity.

This weekend in particular seems to celebrate the beauty of the male body as there are not one but THREE different exhibitions with over 10 participating artists opening in Berlin. We took a closer look at a selection of the artists and how each of them celebrated the beauty of men.

Frank by Frank
on March 23rd, 2016
in Art, Books

The Hottest Breakfast Ever

FERTILITY BAPTISM by Mikel

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day and especially on the weekend I like to celebrate it in all it’s glory: Eggs, avocado, granola, fruits, milk, honey. What a lovely feast. And there is basically only one thing to make it even sweeter: combining it with the second best thing that you can do on a Sunday morning: Sex. The following video must have been the result of a particularly hungry and horny morning session of photographer Mikel Marton. I came across it a while ago during my research for the trailers of the last Berlin Porn Film Festival and I was basically just waiting for the right moment to serve this to you. But I guess today is as good a day as any. So here comes the hottest breakfast session ever in the form of this super sensual artsy video. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on March 20th, 2016
in Videos