Author Archive

5 Hidden Contemporary Architecture Highlights in Berlin

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photos: Laura Fiorio

The local architect Itay Friedman presents his top five lesser known but most appreciated buildings in Berlin.

Berlins’ urban and cultural experience is composed of numerous structures and architectural marvels, from museums to concert halls, clubs to historical structures, parks, and monuments to statues and government building. All together elegantly compose what we call and define as the rich Berlin urban cultural experience.

As an architect that has been working in Berlin for almost a decade, I find that so many unique and important buildings that contribute profoundly to our cities cultural and social growth in an unprecedented way go unknown and unrecognized.

In Berlin we can find great examples of the purest form of architecture, which unfortunately are not always in the limelight as mostly nowadays architecture is not measured and examined by its own merit but by the name of the architect him/herself.

As Tag der Architektur 2017 is upon us (a yearly event celebrating architecture), created with the support of local architects, foundations and led by the chamber of architects Berlin, I wanted to share my top five buildings that are mostly unknown and that I essentially love the most in Berlin. In my eyes, they represent uncompromised professionalism by colleagues with unwavering resolute to our field, that I am proud to work alongside in the same city.

by Guest Author
on June 19th, 2017
in Design

A Message to Berlin

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photos: Jan Rückert

My dearest Berlin,

you are loud, moody and exhausting. A city driven by hectic energy.

But you are also calm. This is why we come from all around the world.

We – the outsiders of norms. We – who love to go against the flow.

And here with you we can be free. No cages, no bars.

You are a city of freedom. I can’t think of a city that is more free. No rules, no limitations.

by Guest Author
on June 16th, 2017
in Photos, Stories

Wear It: The Fashion Tech Festival in Berlin

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photos: Galya Feierman

Wear It Festival, unfolding the world of fashion tech in Palais Kulturbrauerei, offered a profoundly engaging and mind-expanding platform for wear it, discover it, produce it, believe it and network it, and provided a tremendously insightful two-day journey into the nature of IT. Gathering an incredible populace of participants ranging from inventors to fashion designers, from software geeks to academics, from cutting edge international companies to multimedia students, from start-ups, investors, government representatives to colorful wondering fashionistas in bling and synthetic fabrics, among others. The continuous flow of lectures in the auditorium added a few credits to your future masters degree while the foyer provided a trade fair-like exhibition of the latest merchandise and prototypes attracting future producers, collaborators and consumers.

Throughout the building the conversation continued and the visitors were drawn like moths to the numerous LED lights of high tech, brought together by workshops and free coffee and cake breaks and entertained by music and visuals. Kulturbrauerei’s scraped old walls joined in a familiar Berlin recipe with neon lights and synth sounds, but also counterpoised the sleek and refined appearance of future technology that is already happening now.

by Guest Author
on June 15th, 2017
in Design, Fashion, Photos

Berlin’s Summer Music & Arts Festivals 2017

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photo: Ben de Biel / Nation of Gondwana

It’s officially here! Festival season has begun,and we felt the need to tell you about all the great festivals coming up this summer in, around and sort of near Berlin. From German pop to techno, house and street food in Neukölln we’ve compiled a list of festivals that are definitely worth a visit. Take a break from the city life, pack your things and go to the beach or forest nearby! There will be great music, good food and art. From workshops to exhibitions, performances: you can have it all this summer – at the following festivals. See them after the jump.

by Guest Author
on June 6th, 2017
in Art, Events, Music

Dating in Berlin: Why You SHOULD Date German Guys

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I took me about a year of living in Germany to start feeling the challenges of life among Germans as a foreigner. Berlin had always been a dream for me, long before I even had any interest in partying, alcohol or other substances. I had always heard what everyone in the world seems to be hearing, that it is: a great multicultural place of freedom for artistic minds. So my first months living here were an exciting bliss even if I was working for a (rather particular) German family who lived nowhere near the city center, not in anyway close to Kreuzberg or Neukölln, but in a small village in the woods that was technically still Berlin but felt like a whole other world. This didn’t discourage me though, I took the bus (not even the S-Bahn went as far as where they lived, ah!) every evening after work to go to punk shows in cool squatted houses.

Half a year later when I finally broke free from my nanny job and moved to Friedrichshain I was still very excited and with no more job or endless bus trips to get anywhere, I felt free, alive and learned the real party ways. But then, another six months later, I started noticing all the small things my expat friends always seemed to complain about: passive aggressive Germans in the supermarket line, passive aggressive Germans who press the speed pedal of their car if they spot you jaywalking, passive aggressive Germans doing all these annoying little things all the time.

by Guest Author
on May 31st, 2017
in Stories

Goodbye Berlin

Goodbye Berlin

There was no more city, just countless trees lining a mirage of endless autobahn. There would be no more abrasive Sonnenallee mornings, no more late night Spätis, no more dreamy parties of sunshine dancing. There had been mere danglings of hopeful sunny days but I could no longer wait. I had made a decision and I was finally driving out of the city for good. No longer finding the fun in the perplexing allurement of escapism, I wriggled out of the grip of city life. Berlin had made final attempts of kindness — in classic narcissistic fashion — only after I had made the decision to leave.

Janis Joplin once said about men in an interview, “Have you ever seen those mule carts? They dangle a carrot in front of the mule’s face and it keeps chasing something it’s never gonna get.” I felt like I was the mule, stepping forward but never being able to taste the sweet earthy goodness. I saw Berlin as the carrot, having much to offer that I could never really savor.

by Guest Author
on May 29th, 2017
in Stories

The Ups and Downs of Being a Female DJ in Berlin

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photos: Olga Khristolyubova

Berlin is such a diverse and open minded city, yet the music industry has not been cracked by women, as I noticed the lack of female presence behind the decks.

No… I’m not a DJ… but three years in this magical city has allowed me to explore Berlin’s electronic music and club scene, through the eyes of a music enthusiast, dance floor filler, and a social party girl.

Some ladies have successfully crept there way into the music industry, as many of my best memories in this city, has been witnessing legends like Sonja Moonear, rocking it at CDV, Anja Schneider who burns Watergate down with her vibrant connection to the audience or my personal favorite, Anthea who rocks the boat at Hoppetosse.

by Guest Author
on May 25th, 2017
in Party, People

The Memories of the Holocaust in the Streets of Berlin

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photo: Norman Poznan

How can you live in a building having such a history? One of my friends whatsapped me, after I told him about my neighbor, Flora Friedel Brandt. I get that a lot from people, how can I live in a city like Berlin, as a Jew, as an Israeli. How can I live in a city that didn’t want us before, that sent Flora away from here.

Flora Friedel Brandt was born as Flora Friedel Silber, on October 11, 1866. Flora was a Jew, a Berliner. Fire, she was living in Schöneberg in West Berlin. Then she moved to Wedding, “Little Turkey” of today. Finally, she had moved to Pappelallee 3 in Prenzlauer Berg at the east side of Berlin. Where she lived until Tuesday, June 16, 1942, when Nazi soldiers entered her building to take her. The soldiers evacuated Flora from her home, and sent her 260 kilometers south, to Theresienstadt Ghetto, in modern Czechoslovakia.

Theresienstadt Ghetto was flora’s new home for three months, until September 19, 1942. On that day, along with many other Jews, she was crammed into a beef freight train. The train was heading to a destination unknown to any of its passengers.

I find it hard to believe that Flora trusted the soldiers who told her she was heading to a new work camp, as she was boarding this crammed freight train, on a Saturday, going about 700 kilometers east, to the Treblinka Death Camp.

by Guest Author
on May 24th, 2017
in Stories

Berlin Life Outside the Ring

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“Where?” – It is often the reaction when I say where I live. And when I repeat “Botanischer Garten”, close to Dahlem, Rathaus Steglitz and Zehlendorf people are normally amazed and wonder why I chose to live in an area far away from the center, away from the parties and predominantly residential. Sure, it is not multicultural Kreuzberg or dynamic Friedrichshain, but it is a safe zone where colorful flowers blossom in the sidewalks and old ladies greet you with a smile. And if you think this is a lame reason then you should try the Johannisbeere flavor at Lauter Eis, the ice cream shop in Hortensienstraße. It gets me every time.

I am not going to lie and say this is the neighborhood I dreamt of living when I first moved back in October. In fact, I had a completely different idea of where I was going to live – I envisioned myself sharing a flat in Prenzlauer Berg with one or two roommates, in a relatively close area to my university. However, as I quickly learned, finding a house in Berlin is a nightmare. And it gets worse when you delay the problem because you are too busy counting flies on the wall. Often a temporary solution is to crash on friends’ sofas or stay at shady hostels, and until you find your castle you have to kiss some very unpleasant frogs.

by Guest Author
on May 22nd, 2017
in Dahlem, Stories

French Lifestyle in Berlin

French Lifestyle in Berlin

photo: Chloé Desnoyers

What I like most when I go to a restaurant is to find someone truly passionate about what he does: a pastry chef meticulously preparing his macarons and giving them a perfectly smooth shape, a wine shop owner talking about wines as if he were talking about his lovers or a chef telling you how he chose his potatoes for cooking French fries that are crispy outside and just a little soft inside. I’d like to share some tips with you about authentic French restaurants, bakeries, crêperies, cheese and wine shops, and also present you French artists living in Berlin.

by Guest Author
on May 17th, 2017
in Art, Cafés, Charlottenburg, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Restaurants