You know it’s probably bad for you. Some things so consuming just are. Berlin is a city that gets under your skin, making it hard to imagine leaving. Perhaps it is the intensity that you fear you will find in no other place, at no other stage in your life.
It’s the highs, the transient moments on rooftops, the unexpected displays of colorful allurement that forbid you from leaving even when it feels like Berlin has shown you no empathy for so long. But it knows how sweet you find a bit of snow kissing your forehead, so it surprises you just enough to endure through its cold, grey behavior. Those gestures you hold onto through winters, even the winters in summer, whenever – it’s not up to you. As brilliant as you are, when you are out of its sight, you are out of its mind.
photos: Ania Banaszek
During my first walk outside after Christmas I noticed a beautiful, big, perfectly shaped Christmas tree just lying around on the sidewalk. Thrown away one day after Christmas. One day! I thought that’s a pretty tough timing. Maybe it was due to my post-Christmas melancholy or the winterish lack of sun (or both) but I could not help thinking how sad and absurd it looks like. During the next days I noticed how the streets and sidewalks of Berlin got flooded by the suddenly homeless Christmas trees of all kinds: big, small, still ‘fluffy’ or completely abandoned of needles. Something I’ve never seen with such a density anywhere outside of Berlin. And something I found a great metaphor of Winter time melancholy. So I took a camera out and off I went, to photograph this (for me) typical Berlin curiosity.
Kreuzberg, photo: oktober bay
I love Kreuzberg. Especially the area around Kotti because it is really special and it reminds me of Exarhia, a neighborhood in Athens that I used to live in. At Kotti you can find everything and everyone. It’s like Babel. Sometimes it can be really, really overwhelming, but that’s its beauty. And while everybody seems to mind their own business, it feels that each and every person is more present than ever. That’s how strolling around Kottbusser Tor feels like.
photo: Linka A. Odom
I first visited Berlin in the spring of 2008 when I stayed with a friend in Kreuzberg. As we roamed the city, we bumped into people he knew at every turn, even though he had only been living there a few months. A vegan poet cooked us dinner, we rode the U-Bahn without paying, we went to a party in an abandoned warehouse where one of the musicians was, by coincidence, someone I had met the day before in a bookshop. I found all of this unbelievably cool. In Berlin, I felt unbelievably cool. Yes, it was grey and gritty, but there was space, it was cheap, the cafés were filled with unemployed creatives from around the world and a glass of wine was only 1.50 euros.
I fell in love with Berlin in one weekend and its allure lingers with me. Most recently I’ve had the pleasure of returning to it through the eyes of an eclectic and talented group of Berlin writers who are contributors to a series of essays, Letters from Berlin released by The Pigeonhole. More about it after the jump.
From cheap, awesome gays bars such as Möbel Olfe to highly sexual institutions like Lab.Oratory, it is no secret that Berlin’s queer scene has been under the spotlight for a long time now. Considering the fact that parties like Homopatik are causing insanely long queues in front of ://about blank every month, one might be tempted to argue that what was long meant as safe haven for the queer community has slowly become a refuge for straight people wanting to have their cake and eat it too…
When I moved from Denmark to Berlin in October 2014 I had no intentions of starting a food blog but of course I have always enjoyed eating burgers of any kind. Then I quit my call-center job in January and was thinking about starting this burger blog and so I did in February.
Denmark does not give you the chance to focus on for example burgers, it needs to be wider to survive. Because where I come from we do not have these magnificent burger places. The cliental is very limited and therefor only suitable for a franchise food chain. Copenhagen is the only place in Denmark where you can have a decent burger!
In Berlin I am totally ecstatic – there are literally burger joints “überall”. Some better than others of course but the standard is more than often high and the prices low. You can eat burgers from different cultures, Asian burgers and American burgers – big burgers and small burgers – expensive burgers and cheap burgers. Whatever you are searching for Berlin will provide food and shelter to your hunger!
For iHeartBerlin I created a list of 10 amazing burger places that include some of my favorites in town including brand new places and old beloved classics. I will not rank these burger joints but recommend every single one because to me they have something extra to offer. More burger reviews will follow on my blog Chessy Burger, but for now let’s enjoy these 10 amazing places.
Iggy Pop, 1978, Berlin, photo: Esther Friedman
When I moved to Berlin in 2009, I was struck by two things. One was the strong feeling I had, a feeling that is hard to describe. It was a kind of peace that washed over my restlessness. At the same time, I noticed that Berlin was a meeting place, that people from all over were flooding into an open city. Berlin was a city of strangers and between them I sensed a beautiful solidarity. As a writer who has lived in several cities and had travelled much, I wanted to understand these things about Berlin. I soon realized that a certain kind of free spirit had been drawn to Berlin for a long time, and often for similar reasons. I wanted to know why. So in 2011 I began to write a book, City of Exiles: Berlin from the outside in, which was published in May by Noctua Press. After the jump you can read an excerpt from the second chapter of the book. Enjoy!
The first weekend of May has been notable not only for Labour Day, but for art in Berlin as well. For the 11th time 47 galleries (this year) opened their doors from the first until the third of May.
Among this year’s highlights were definitely the large scale sprayed paintings by Katharina Grosse, who inaugurated the new exposition domicile in the St. Agnes church of Johann König. Her bright colorful art is characterized by her demolished paper bits spray technique, as you would normally know from collages. One could not have filled the great room on the first floor of the church any better. Along with other art pieces on the ground floor of the concrete church Jeppe Hein’s mirrored chrome balloons with colorful strings on the ceiling were much admired too. More impressions after the jump.
Berlin has always been a place for new beginnings. Many people come here to start a new life. Berlin becomes their personal clean slate.
“Neuanfang” is a photo project that wants to show the everyday life of four “Wahlberliner” (Berliners by choice). With my camera I follow them to their favorite places, in particular the places where they can “breathe” their new beginning in the German capital. It’s all about “change” – change as a new way of life that is completely different from the lives in their respective hometowns.
Trying to catch their thoughts is an inspiring process for me because this topic touches me deeply. I am a Wahlberliner, too. I share their feelings and even if I think that we are all very different, this magical feeling of a new beginning simply connects us.
photo: Vanek London
Even if youʼve never heard of the Naked Boys Reading before—you kind of get the idea. Itʼs literally naked boys, reading. What is a huge success in London and Brighton comes to Berlin for the third time on October 29, 2015. Founder Dr. Sharon Husbands will be your host together with the infamous Berlin drag queen Pansy. Sharon Husbands partner in crime, The Duchess of Pork, will be serving tunes before, in between, and after the readings. To prepare everyone for Halloween the theme for the evening will be “Ghosts”. Hand-picked boys will read their favorite stories wearing not more than a book. Support for this event has been provided by the Berlin publishing house Bruno Gmünder. After the literal meat inspection, the party will go on with a performance by Berlin-based band Hyenaz… A little preview after the jump.