We all know the glossy Instagram accounts that almost make you think Berlin is a permanently sunny resort where all you see are fit yogis running around with their cute puppies and the occasional elderly couple sitting on a bench in Tiergarten. Well, one look out of the window will suffice to realize that the reality is not all that ideal. But we love that about Berlin – its unpredictable weather, extraordinary characters, and the fact that some corners can get a bit rough. We found three Instagrammers that celebrate those characteristics of our beloved city – and provide a much-needed antidote to the pointless strive for perfection.
illustrations: Berk Karaoglu.
Even before my attempts at vegetarianism, I never really got the German hype about the Wurst. While national pride is usually a concept that I wouldn’t necessarily embrace, the sausage debate is the one instance where I could almost argue for the Polish supremacy. But in Germany, at least in the linguistic sense – you just cannot do without the Wurst. As we continue our iHeartBerlin mission of trying to provide some guidance while you navigate the maze that is the German language, the time has come for the most ridiculous set of idioms. Click through to enrich both your vocabulary and imagination!
After one particular night of slow dancing that ultimately resulted in me exploring the contents of somebody’s nightstand the next morning, a book was lent to me. Although this incident happened well over a year ago, I just somehow never got past the cover. Last month I thought that the Christmas break would be as good a time as any to give those pages a go.
The book, The World of Yesterday: Memoirs of a European by Stefan Zweig, is most definitely an excellent piece of literature, delineating, among other things, the concept of a European identity and its crisis during both of the world wars. Which makes it a very important work, especially relevant in the turbulent times of growing right-wing extremism and Brexit.
photo: Katja Stückrath.
Everyday life in Berlin is often compared to a very forgiving journey into the uncharted depths of your own identity and Berliners aren’t exactly known for keeping their promises. That might be one reason why New Year’s resolutions tend to fall into the same category as the signs prohibiting alcohol consumption on the U-Bahn – we are aware of them. To a varying extent.
But New Year’s resolutions don’t actually have to be these dreamed-up, unrealistic visions. We came up with 5 examples of positive change and some practical advice on how you could try implementing them into your Berlin life.
Community integration is a goal we are all working towards in Berlin. The fact that our city is home to individuals from many different backgrounds is something we should cherish and never take for granted, especially given the current trends in politics. We have already written about the actions you can take against the xenophobic far right – be it taking part in demonstrations or supporting particular initiatives. Today, we want to look at things from a more positive angle and focus on the amazing ventures which have truly enriched the city and which were started by people who came to Berlin as refugees. One organization that provides an environment which genuinely fosters such projects is Give Something Back to Berlin – we spoke to them and created this list featuring five success stories.
Last Wednesday, we had a grand old time with you over at Hallesches Haus! With a generous supply of ice-cold beer sponsored by Pilsner Urquell, we’ve celebrated both the new look of our website and the launch of our very first sassy little book. It was an unforgettable night for so many reasons – even nature acknowledged it by sprinkling this winter’s first snow down on us. But don’t despair in case you couldn’t make it – now you can check out our impressions from the party!
A poetry slam is a creative writing competition where contestants perform spoken word poetry. This fresh take on the oral performance of poetry first originated in the USA in the 80s. Later, the format has spread internationally, encouraging many to explore the world of spoken poetry.
One such enthusiast is Florian Cieslik, a slam poet, and lyricist. This true master of the words has made a name for himself on the German Poetry Slam scene, performing and taking part in competitions all around the country. Lucky for us, he’s willing to share some of his expertise with other language aficionados and the iHeartBerlin team had the chance to take a closer look at his technique during a recent Poetry Slam Workshop organized by the Irish Whiskey brand Tullamore D.E.W. Read on…
One motif recurring in all kinds of Berlin-related memes is the metamorphosis one is supposed to go through after living in Berlin for a certain amount of time. The emphasis is usually on the stark contrast between the person’s initial chastity and beauty and the result of the transformation – most often symbolized by an ugly mess in some form.
Although the mundane day to day routine sometimes makes us forget all about it, German is in fact way more than the apparent mother tongue of bureaucracy. Some actually use it to communicate on a daily basis – even in a joking or figurative manner. While you might have reasonable doubts about the feasibility of such venture, we’re here to introduce these 10 ingenious idioms from the German vernacular that will instantly elevate your conversational competence and make you question everything you thought you knew about particular farm animals at the same time.
photo: Luuk Wouters
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – as much as I appreciate Berlin’s party culture, I find it a shame that while sex and drugs seem to be all the rage, the rock’n’roll part is usually replaced with techno. It just doesn’t seem right when you consider the tremendous legacy of our Hauptstadt as the place where David Bowie used to share a flat with Iggy Pop and where he was inspired to record his astounding Berlin Trilogy. In fact, many other rock musicians followed into the footsteps of the late Starman and acknowledged Berlin as an inexhaustible source of creative energy, be it for its unique atmosphere or poignant history.