Author Archive

The Funniest & Weirdest U-Bahn Flash Mobs in Berlin

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photo: Berliner Stage Company e.V.

I think one of the most peculiar symptoms of this digital era of self-representation are flash mobs. It does not matter how talented in acting, dancing, and singing the performers are. From the moment on they are willing to sacrifice their last bit of integrity to perform to an involuntary audience we can not stop watching.  It’s like being the spectator of an incredible stunt that could turn every moment into a horrible (and by horrible I mean horribly embarrassing) accident.

A favorite place for those public flash mobs (or flash tortures) is the Berlin subway or train stations. I guess the idea is to turn an everyday boring situation like a subway ride into a magical eye opening experience. Sometimes the results are close to that description. But it can also happen to be a deadly trap for the poor innocent Berlin souls who just wanted to have a chill ride to their workplace.

After the jump I collected some of the funniest and some of the weirdest U-Bahn flash mobs that you can find on Youtube for your amusement.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 27th, 2016
in Theater

20 Years of Sophiensaele: The Greatest Show on Earth

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photos: Anna Agliardi

Last night I was honored to be part of an evening of celebration, surprises, glamor and a bit of nostalgia. My favorite off-theater in town, the Sophiensaele, celebrated their 20th anniversary. I can’t believe so many years have passed already since the theater located in a former ballroom near Hackerscher Markt was founded by contemporary dance choreographer Sasha Waltz and the theater makers Jochen Sandig, Jo Fabian and Dirk Cieslak.

The festivities were accompanied by the Berlin premiere of  The Greatest Show on Earth by Anna Wagner and Eike Wittrock. This particular show is a celebration of dance and performance art in a circus-like setting. 14 artists show in different ways  the challenges facing humans in the 21st century and combine the risks of body art with the spectacle of physical performance.

I was absolutely stunned and surprised by a freaky show between Zombie Apocalypse, Cat Content and Shit-Musical. Every performer had a unique style to communicate with the audience. Some were engaging and entertaining others were disturbing and obscene like the zombie artistics by Vincent Riebeek and Florentine Holzinger. What all had in common was authentic passion for their showpiece. The whole show was supported by the amazing music of the Neo-Dadaist 2-person “thing”-orchestra Les Trucs which certainly ranked as the evening’s favorite between the audience, right after the cat.

Photographer Anna Agliardi took some great impressions of the show, which you can discover with the dates right after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 22nd, 2016
in Mitte

True Italian: Where to enjoy the best Italian Food in Berlin?

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Food culture is nothing you are supposed to take lightly. Especially when you have Italian origins. Food is love, passion, dedication and joy. There is no better way to get closer to other human beings than sharing a meal and a good drink. When I was younger and living in a smaller town (in East Germany) a good meal was something I could only enjoyed at home (because restaurants in East Germany pretty much failed at that). When I moved to Berlin I discovered the diversity of the gastronomy here and I was especially surprised that I could enjoy so many authentic Italian meals so far away from the land of my origin (now I sound like a grandpa).

But let’s face the facts. Berlin is also full of places that are not authentic and not the best. Our friends and food lovers from Berlino Magazine did not stand the fact that there are so many wannabe Italian restaurants only serving the mediocre cliche dishes (Pizza, Pasta, Lasagne, you name it) and so many Berliners did not get to enjoy the real authentic and special recipes only Italians know and like. Italian food culture has such a variety of amazing dishes that deserve to be known and appreciated that they started the 72hrs True Italian Food Festival. Starting this Thursday September 22nd at 19h until Sunday evening September 25th, 47 Italian restaurants, pizzerias, wineries, bakeries and bars will offer their own specialties to all Berliners for just 6 EUR.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 21st, 2016
in Food, Restaurants

Zins – A Beauty Oasis in Neukölln

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photo: Sasha Kharchenko

I have an irrational fear of new hair dressers. Now you might think that I am a diva and that cutting a men’s hair is actually not so hard and what should go wrong with short hair, right?. But believe me: growing up in east Germany taught me that the people with scissors in their hand cannot be trusted. For years I always went to the same hairdresser here in Berlin not because I thought the salon did an amazing job, but just because I thought they didn’t do any permanent damage.

But when I stumbled upon the beautiful Zins Hair Salon on my way to visit a friend at Körnerpark, I knew that the day arrived where I had to try out something new. The hair salon is owned by a charming lady called Nadine Zins and you immediately realize that there is a lot of passion behind the project. While cutting my hair Nadine told me enthusiastically how she created most of the furniture for the beautiful interior of the shop herself together with a friend who is a carpenter. Also, the concept of only using organic natural product is quite unique for the neighborhood and I like the fact that she selected all the beauty products with research and care.

A longtime fan of Neukölln Nadine wanted to contribute with her passion to the district. She succeeded in creating a unique place with a charming interior and top skilled team of professional hair dressers working for her. I love when I get the chance to stumble upon passionate micro-entrepreneurs in different neighbourhoods and when they cut my hair with style I love it even more. More snaps of the space and the address after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 13th, 2016
in Neukölln, Wellness

A Tale of a Never-Ending Summer

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photo: Jacob Schickler

Summer in Berlin is a blessing of another world. Everything seems weightless, effortless and without complications. Pleasure is spelled differently all of a sudden. All the things that are only possible in these few month, few weekends of heat and sun become part of a ritual. A jump into cold water of a green sea means purification. Breathing in the dust of a festival dance floor means contemplation. Looking into the sun until your eyes start to cry means devotion. Kissing a stranger at night, while sitting on a concrete sidewalk still warm from the sun means dissolution.

Time to save some light for the long months of darkness and cold. Every sensation, every taste of watermelon and mango, every lick on salty sweaty skin is experienced and immediately stored into a library of memories. Some of these memories are only meant for yourself. Others are meant to be shared with others to make them turn to life over and over again.

The photographer Jacob Schickler was kind enough to share his private visual memories of this never-ending summer in Berlin. Take a look, but promise me to cherish them without discontent. That summer will end one day is a fact that we can’t ignore. But we don’t have to taint our sunny days in grey even before Autumn will do his job. Enjoy his photos after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 11th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

Agape Zoe – The Coolest Yoga Festival in Berlin

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photos: Grit Siwonia

Yoga is just for yuppies, for crazy hippie women or for body fanatics. The prejudices about yoga are numerous and persistent. And they are all true. Because yoga is for everybody. The yoga world is one of the most non-excluding bubbles I have ever stumbled upon. Either you wear a suit and work in a bank all week or wear a long hippie gown and sell tea in a tea shop. It doesn’t matter anymore when you are standing on the mat practicing yoga together. And that is actually kind of the best social side effect of yoga. People who would never interact with each other start speaking with a cup of tea in their hand after the class. For me it is the diversity of people practicing yoga that makes it a great social adventure all the times I go to my sun yoga studio.

If you are intrigued by this world of yoga and spirituality but never got the chance to experience it I can warmly recommend the Agape Zoe Festival. Inside in the paradisiac Eden Studios (where contemporary dancers train during the week) this weekend from September 10th till 11th a great spectrum of yoga, meditation and other approaches to all kinds of mind and body practices are presented. And since it is Berlin after the yoga classes there will be a nice electronic DJ set to finish gloriously. If you want to participate you can buy a ticket our take part in our raffle in the comments area. Check out their website for more info and watch the trailer and more photos after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 5th, 2016
in Wellness

Your City as a Canvas: Build your Bar – Shape your City by Heineken

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Urban Life is a human paradox by itself. We live between grey concrete walls just to realize that we would rather paint them with graffiti. We turned our back on the countryside just to build urban gardens on our rooftops and choose the anonymity and isolation of big cities, just to connect through social networks for joined nightlife experiences.

But it is not a coincidence that cities like Berlin become a canvas for creativity for all of us. To realize what kind of potential is in our surrounding, we need people who make the first step for us, who take the first brush of paint so we are able to see the free canvas space. The new Heineken campaign “Build your Bar – Shape your City” is dedicated to those individuals making our urban life a bit better day by day. Heineken has shown a long-term commitment in creative innovative concepts for urban life already with their “Cities” Campaign. But “Shape your City” is going even a step further. Everybody who wants to create an innovative bar concept for his hometown can participate in this creative contest. Your idea will be judged by no other than our blogger colleagues Jacob and David from Dandy Diary, gastronomy experts Tobias Mintert & Philipp Treudt and Team-Heineken Germany.

Now is your chance to feel inspired and see your city as a canvas for your creativity. On the Heineken campaign page you can submit your best idea for an innovative Bar concept that will change your street, your neighborhood and your city’s nightlife. You are not only competing for an amazing experience but also for the expertise to implement your concept: Heineken and the two gastronomy experts will help you realize your concept and open the bar in a totally new space. Take your chance to be part of this creative contest until the 16th of September.

After the jump you will find a short spot about the campaign, which can be used as inspiration for the concept.

Claudio by Claudio
on September 2nd, 2016
in Bars

Get a Taste of Mexico in Berlin

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It’s really hard to think outside the box of cliches and stereotypes when it comes to foreign countries you have never been to. When I think of Mexico, I instantly think of the unibrow of Frida Kahlo, Aztec pyramids and hot and spicy burritos. Of course Burritos, Quesadillas, Guacamole and Tacos are the first food associations coming to everyone’s mind regarding Mexico.

But behind every set of culinary cliches there are even more unexpected and delicious surprises. We had the chance to get an exclusive tour through the new food court exhibition at KaDeWe. Presenting all kind of Mexican ingredients and delicacies this food show taught us that there is more to the Mexican taste than just hot and spicy. Vanilla, Chocolate, Agave and many more essential products were discovered and developed in Mexico and I can’t even imagine a culinary world without all these ingredients.

You can visit the food show, take part at several tastings and product presentations and shop exclusive ingredient’s until the third of September in the 6th floor of KaDeWe. Just to give you a nice preview of what you can expect from this experience we took some pictures of some of the colorful and delicious products. Taste them with your own eyes after the jump ;-)

Claudio by Claudio
on August 22nd, 2016
in Food

Berlin’s Sexy Dance Highlights in the Summer

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photos: Carrie Schneider

Nudity is nothing a Berliner is particularly shocked about. In contrary, I think that Berlin is the city with the most public nakedness in the world if you consider all the nude beaches and public sex parties. It is also a different nakedness than in a tropical or Mediterranean city because the weather is not actually inviting to take off your close. The Berlin nudity is a public statement to the liberation of the human body from all the social, political and gender oppressions. At least that is what I like to read into it, even though I doubt that all of the half naked 19year old kids at the Pornceptual parties would agree.

But I am losing track here. Let’s discuss Berlin’s political intentions on nudity another time… I actually just wanted to recommend a damn sexy contemporary dance festival starting today: Tanz im August. Scrolling through the pics I saw some naked flesh popping up in the press folder and I was wondering if a conservative audience would claim that the dance world needs sex to get more attention from the younger audience. This could not be more wrong. Dance is not automatically sexy when the bodies on stage are naked.

But there is an element of contemporary dance that I find extremely sexy (which is why I also used this alluring headline). It is the intensity and the ability to control, perform and present yourself and your body that intrigues the spectator. A contemporary performer is always in a constant dialogue between his own body and the audience and is within this dialogue able to create tension and persuasion. From my point of view, most of the times the nakedness of a performer is actually not erotic but rather a narration of intimacy and disclosure.

We selected several dance pieces from the festival taking places in some of our favorite theaters including Sophiensaele, Hau and Volksbühne, that we think are promising and worth visiting. Our recommendations after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on August 12th, 2016
in Theater

Monypolo – A Theater Game in an Empty Supermarket

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What the fuck is this thing called capitalism? And why it is actually messing up all our lives instead of making them better? As simple as these questions seem at first, as complex are their answers. To take a look at one aspect that is going completely wrong with capitalism let’s reflect one moment about the Berlin start-up bubble.

Our beloved Berlin is a fertile ground for start-ups of all kinds. Low rents and many smart international people as potential employees are great resources to start your company. With the right investors, you can literally create any kind of business in this town. But as genius some start-up concepts can be, as stupid and absolutely useless to humanity the others are.

With their new theater game Monypolo the collective Prinzip Gonzo is reflecting about all the absurd aspects of hyper-capitalism and über-entrepreneurialism. With 60 other players you create a fictional career and play for success inside an abandoned supermarket at Kudamm. Between luxury boutiques and high street brands you enter a desolate mall to find a giant playground for adults waiting for you to be explored. More about our experience, the dates and some photos of the exciting game after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 20th, 2016
in Theater