During the Second World War, not only the Berlin Zoo but also other zoos across Germany such as the Zoologischen Garten in Düsseldorf and the Dresden Zoo were severely bombed and consequently destroyed. Despite years of existence and many promises of evacuation this did not happen and the animals were not spared. Many died due to injuries and mistreatment or due to hunger, poisoning or thirst and some of the few survivors that were left were put to use in an effort to rebuild what was destroyed, such as the elephants at the Hamburg Zoo. Nonetheless, some of the large and potentially dangerous animals such as panthers, jaguars and gorillas who managed to escape the unfolding inferno had to be chased down the streets and shot dead. It was hellish. In the Berlin Zoo only 91 of almost 4000 animals remained alive by the War’s end, including two lions, two hyenas, an Asian bull elephant, a hippo bull, ten hamadryad’s baboons, a chimpanzee, and a black stork. Here are two examples…
Admit it, you’re a people watcher. Whether it’s ogling eccentric passersby, eavesdropping on the U-bahn, or pretending not to stare through the uncurtained windows of the flats opposite, we’ve all been there. And club nights are no exception.
I’m sure you can relate when I confess that, no matter how otherworldly the musical offerings in this city, sometimes there are much more entertaining things to watch on the dance floor than the hypnotically rhythmical nods of the DJ and the feigned enthusiasm of his Klingon Krew – and boys, I’m not talking about girls’ skirts.
photo: Eylül Aslan
Dating in Berlin isn’t always easy, but certainly can be a dilemma, as you might have already read here on iheartberlin.de. The cautious approach to each another and one person feeling or interpreting more into the encounter than the other is part of those first acquaintances globally, though. Matthew David Morris wrote a short story about those different expectations when getting to know someone.
Dreams are made of magic, timeless, faraway places, faceless people, and sometimes clouds, beer, and music. Having lived in Berlin for a few months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to briefly run my fingers over its cloudy grey skin, and dive into the depths of its rainbow colored soul.
About a year ago I moved to Berlin to finish my final semester in university, and it took me on a most overwhelming journey. It felt like being reunited with an old lover after so many years. Only, we hadn’t really met before. And though I was a stranger to this place, it felt strangely familiar from the moment I arrived. It had an air of nostalgia and mystery to it, like most surreal things do. And I wondered if I’d ever get to understand it, and see what lies beneath its many faces.
Filmstill: Welt am Draht
The startling cold of February in Berlin has returned, and with it comes the 67th edition of the Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, also known as the Berlinale or Berlin Film Festival. The festival begins February 9th and runs through the 19th. As with every year’s edition, there are an overwhelming number of screenings to choose from, even though most bigger-name titles tend to sell out of public tickets at alarming rates. Nevertheless, there are plenty of lesser-known titles worth your time. Guest Author Maximilien Proctor highlights a few of his most anticipated pictures (but don’t let it discourage you from seeking screenings even further off the beaten path!).
I’d landed on my feet and hit the ground running. I knew people. My pockets were lined with the contacts of DJs, photographers, film makers and the owners of bars. Before I had even arrived in Berlin I was told that Neukölln was the place to be; and here I was right in the thick of it. Purposefully unpainted, candlelit bars selling mezcal from Oaxaca, trendy vegan cafes which serve coffee in bowls, makeshift pop up galleries, neo-vintage clothes stores with humanitarian ideologies and hipster beards galore, it’s an orgy of artists and underground musicians not wanting to make the mainstream. Weserstraße operates as one of the main arteries. When I told people was staying there they looked at me differently.
photo: Chase Elliott Clark / CC
In my dreams I am always driving in the reverse gear. The car almost inevitably falls into a pit. And the brakes never seem to work.
Perhaps this stems from my insecurity of never having perfected the art of parallel parking. Or just the undulating shame of once having driven my dad’s car into an unguarded manhole. Episodes like these resurface in my head every time I commit a serious faux pas while driving.
A few weeks back I met with an accident. A minor car accident. Which inflicted a few minutes of amnesia. Or so I thought.
Located on the bend of the River Spree, right in the middle of the heart of Berlin lies the Regierungsviertel, or Government District. Welcoming not only the Reichstag, the building complex consists of three parts: the Bundestag office, the Marie Elisabeth Lüders House and the Paul Löbe House, with the Federal Chancellery as the most striking building of the “Band des Bundes“(literally, the Band of the Federation), a metallic ribbon which was specifically conceptualize to cover and unify the former east and west sides of the city, in a true symbolic gesture that stands for democracy.
Berlin is blessed with culinary delights of lands near and far. A mélange de tout, the Hauptstadt has something to offer to everyone. While the influence of Middle Eastern flavors is felt on every corner in form of Döners, Falafel, and kebabs, the Iranian cuisine is still heavily underrepresented. Few restaurants are trying to inject some of the exotic East into Germany’s beating heart and few people too. Among such people is Anahita, an Iranian girl whose Sabzi and Coucou are bringing in the Persian flavors with an added twist.
photo: Michael Mayer / CC
Du bist verrückt mein Kind, du musst nach Berlin …
At the time, we’d never even heard of Franz von Suppé. Still, we went. From our protected northern hometown to a coal-heated loft a few blocks north of Landwehrkanal. We arrived just in time for Berlin’s darkest winter on record. As the ice came biting at our feet and the carbon monoxide took to our lungs, we turned to speakers as big as houses and dance floors where three nights became one. Our hearts exploded, only to close again like fists every time we returned to collect our winter coats.
In the vacuum that followed every weekend, to cope with the whispering ghosts and the buzzing ears, we found comfort in other sounds. Our own sounds. As sparkling as our make-up, as forgiving as our gin; only asking for more of both.