A great way to express your identity to the outside world is definitely clothing. Berlin’s community is extraordinarily supportive of people sporting clothes that are anything but appropriate, genuinely individual and often mocking the standards of what’s considered trendy. That’s why the capital is all excited for the Berlin Fashion Week starting on the 17th of January. Before you set out on what may become a crazy marathon between different shows and sales, get a little heads-up on where to shop the real Berlin Designers in our latest guide.
Apart from the permanent shops in our list we also recommend the Projekt Galerie designer sample sale that happens only during this special week and features a lot of local design treasures.
photo: Brammibal’s Donuts
I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Ever since I was a little kid hanging in my parents’ grocery shop, I’d covertly fill up my pockets with candy. Not much changed. I mean, luckily I started financing the addiction on my own and the only thing I may occasionally steal is the show, but, despite strong human competition, my love affair with confectionery is still at the top of my most toxic relationships list. Basically, when I first saw the phrase “death by chocolate”, I felt like that’s what my gravestone is going to read. If you’re like me, or want to really impress a boy or girl with a tendency for sweet self-indulgence (there are many of us around here!), take them to one of those places:
photos: Alejandro Arretureta
The countless attempts at interpreting what we know now was David Bowie’s parting gift, the album “Blackstar”, reflect our yearning to get closer to the mind of this sublime artist. A yearning which is all the more compelling as it can never be fulfilled. For over a decade now, David Bowie has let his art speak for itself.
The admirable, yet silent dignity of Bowie’s final years, together with his incessant creative pursuits, always rich in fascinating cultural references, forces one to simply marvel at the intricate structure of the whole career. For it is clearly the acting part of it, namely the appearance in 1976 “The Man Who Fell to Earth” , that is the key to grasping the essence of the music video for “Blackstar”, and also “Lazarus” – the Broadway musical which Bowie was working on.
Last January, a lot of people experienced an overwhelming sense of confusion and disbelief. Not only did we lose a man who influenced the way we viewed the world, but also, just two days before that, we got another stunning glimpse at his genius. Literally, the last chance to genuinely appreciate the man.
photo: Susanne Nilsson / CC
In the small town where I’m from, verbal interactions in any language other than Polish are an extremely rare occurrence. After I started high school in Warsaw, I have become exposed to a little wider range of foreigners, but not quite to the extent that would really meet the demands of my thirst for the exotic. So when in 2014 I got a chance to spend my summer vacations at my brother’s in California, I couldn’t contain my excitement at actually being able to use English on an everyday basis. But it wasn’t before I experienced Berlin that I really got to know an environment truly fitting for a cosmopolitan spirit; I’ve realized that my typical day in Berlin comes with more linguistic challenges than I’d face in an entire year had I not moved here.
I’ve been in Berlin for a year now. It’s been a great adventure involving a good deal of self-exploration, and I’ve already covered some aspects of it on the blog. And, quite ironically, that’s the part I find most exciting – the fact that I’ve slowly started to carve out my path as a writer. And I can’t complain about the lack of inspiration. As a matter of fact, Berlin is home to quite a lot of amazing, independent women who have a clear vision of themselves and work hard every day to make it their reality. Following the tradition of previous years we want to recapture the past year by honoring the amazing women that have done great things in these past twelve months.
Kottbusser Tor, 1902
A lot of us might have felt the urge the escape the present since last Monday. Although we were planning to share this interesting project that takes you onto a virtual journey in Berlin in some more peaceful circumstances, let’s take the current opportunity to appreciate how Berlin has remained a glorious capital throughout many different times of social anxiety and political instability.
The appropriately named Time Travel Berlin website is a complex project bringing us closer to the history of Berlin. What I mostly enjoy about it is although it does make you learn a lot about history, it does so in a completely unbiased manner that rather encourages making your own judgement. The non-profit project, created by Alexander Darda, depicts Berlin in 8 different periods of time (one of them is even in the future, but only on the German site!), providing only a few sentences of background information about each of them.
Each year listed up on the website is a link to an intricate Berlin map, enriched with multiple interactive points. Those take you to pictures of buildings that used to exist in Berlin at the given time. I recommend you to take some time out of your schedule to enjoy this project, because just a fleeting look over any of the maps may make you feel literally lost among the dark alleys of the past. After you’ve approached the website with enough attention, though, you’ll find it a very rewarding experience.
photo: Alex Alvisi / CC
Somewhere among the many idiomatic expressions that you may encounter in Germany there’s this one that translates to “not have all your cups in the cupboard”. Its meaning is supposed to convey the notion that the said person is a bit weird, and both this and the literally meaning apply to a lot of Berliners I know. In fact, these two characteristics seem to be connected.
It is indeed hard to remain a calm and collected person when you are in a constant state of uncertainty about your flat, let alone the condition of your crockery if you happen to possess some. In Berlin, someone is always hunting – and the reasons vary tremendously. Some have had their contracts suddenly terminated, some seek cheaper rent, others cannot stand their flatmates. You just can’t prepare to avoid all of the possible housing disasters – even if you resolve on sticking with your new place at literally all costs – you still may end up having to send out endless e-mails via wg-gesucht.
photo: Christmas Garden Berlin
Although the weather doesn’t really suggest it, the holiday season is indeed upon us and while some are anxiously waiting to open another window in their advent calendar, others regard all the festivities merely as an opportunity to steal a ketchup container from Christmas hot dogs stands on Alexanderplatz, which is an exceptionally Berlin-like crime I have actually witnessed.
And that serves as a sufficient example to say that the idea of a perfect Christmas will definitely differ from person to person. Many of you will travel to see family, others will celebrate with friends, and there’s more than a few that are going to be happy to finally not be bothered with any company at all. So for those of you who’re staying in Berlin this month and consider leaving the house at some point, we’ve come up with a few suggestions as varied as it gets, and some of them not even Christmas related.
photos: Eylül Aslan
I’m looking forward to January 18th. Not only is it my birthday, but, thanks to the almighty coincidence, it’s also going to mark a year since I put my signature on my first WG contract. But metaphorically, although I was quite unaware of it at that time, I signed up for so much more. Saying that Berlin made me grow up wouldn’t be quite enough – any place where you need to pay for your food and rent for the first time would make you grow up. But Berlin, with all its peculiarities, which became evident as I started to get to know more people here, proved to be a very special environment. It made me question virtually everything – the only thing I’m sure of is no matter how often things would escape my mental and/or emotional capacity, I have never entertained the thought of leaving. I like it here.
Even in Berlin, maintaining the individual desired level of social prosperity may present some difficulty. In other words: during a party spree comprising of multiple venues in, say, Kreuzberg, you may choose to rely on an ubahn rather than an uber as you proceed with the night’s schedule. You may be more inclined towards the latter if you’re visiting from Scandinavia.
Because even though Berlin is undoubtedly a much cheaper place to live than London or Paris, most people don’t necessarily earn enough to be able to appreciate it. Especially when we acknowledge the rise in the housing prices, Berlin is no Shangri-La, or at least does not become one until Friday night.
And after you’ve had your go at Berlin’s blissful spare time opportunities, and hopefully you’re still in possession of all your belongings, or at least dignity, sobering Monday kicks in and you need to deal with the reality – rummaging your pockets in search of some euros is a common first step. If by some chance it turns out that you’ve got more hickeys on your neck than notes in the wallet, Berlin may awake yet another kind of desire – the desire to save money…