photo: Schall & Schnabel
Perfect, care-free, enviable: these used to be the three adjectives that would come up in my mind the moment I would take a look at the shiny profiles of my acquaintances on social media – one cannot really call them friends, right? There would have been plenty occasions in the past, where I would start wondering what my life lacks and is not as “cool” as theirs.
Taking insecurity to a brand new level I would even catch myself feeling sad, if my new post had not received the expected number of likes; choosing my new profile picture would demand a full-fledged strategy, that would put even the most acute Brexit negotiators to shame. However, I would still sense that this is not enough. There would always be someone flaunting various parts of their life they would be most proud of ranging from abs and new pieces of clothing to luxurious holidays – I still refuse to believe the existence of hashtags, such as #moneyisnottheproblem – and partying in the most talked-about clubs.
photos: Markus Braumann
Winter could be described in countless ways. Among the most positive ones would be its definition as the time of year when all you want is to stay somewhere warm and cozy and spend quality time with your loved ones, while you are protected from the cold awaiting you outside. Should you be lucky and get the chance to see snow, well this can lead to a lot of fun. These days in Berlin, we have been experiencing both. In any case, there is a social and artistic side of winter in this city, that is perfectly encapsulated in the impressive photographs of Markus Braumann, which range from cars, train platforms or streets covered in white, the entire city disguised under the vail of fog or when the snow is combined with the breathtaking sunrise that cuts through the city. Enjoy his beautiful photos and let’s appreciate this snow-covered Berlin.
photo: Finding Berlin
Among the many benefits Berlin hast to offer, the endless torrents of culture and centuries of history coming through its endless museums are breathtaking. From the largest ones to the most unknown, the history enthusiasts find it hard to visit each and every one of them; there are, also, many who most probably do not feel like spending their time in museums upon visiting Berlin. We have picked the ones we can guarantee that they are worth your time no matter which category you belong to. We will be happy to know your favorite ones
Since there is no such thing, as “I have seen pretty much everything when it comes to great films”, here is another edition of our Berlin movie guide (see part one and part two). Grab some popcorn and sit comfortably on your couch along with your friends or by yourself and enjoy some of our favorite picks. We guarantee you there is something for everybody. Should you have any suggestions of your own, please share them with us in the comment section below.
photo: Rowena Waack / CC
The year is coming to an end in just a few days; there is often a sense of relief in the atmosphere, as if we are truly excessively happy and grateful for the new year; it seems that every year there are some of us who will claim that that specific year has been horrible either because of personal mishaps or rather due to unfortunate developments that affected the entire world. Along with the good-riddance vibe many of us feel like making new resolutions, setting goals, promising to themselves that they will finally lose that extra weight, start learning mandarin, take more yoga classes or make their wildest dreams come true etc. It is, as if we automatically reset ourselves becoming concurrently confident that it will be different this time, we will not forget our goals and remember that we neglected them as soon as the following year comes to an end as well.
Whether it is Christmas, New Year’s Eve, holidays in general or a simple Saturday night, we have all had this friend urging us to go out, forget worries and problems and just let ourselves loose by partying and….having fun. It has recently dawned on me how bizarre it is that a term as vague and broad as fun would be strictly and exclusively defined by very specific activities, such as hanging out in bars and clubs. Should you ever opt for doing something different, such as read a book or play board games, you would most certainly run the risk of being labelled as boring, miserable and generally “not fun”. Should this one incident develop into a pattern of behavior, that does not abide by the sacred and inviolable guidelines of how to have fun, then the situation might even be considered alarming and lead to people asking you if everything is alright in your life in general, so that they can find and eradicate the root of all evil.
Countless words have been written on the magnificence of the Berliner Summer and its superiority to cold seasons of the German capital. Yet, I cannot stop thinking why we need to compare such dissimilar cases. Fall and Winter in Berlin can be tough even for the ones, who grew up here, with regard to the weather. Thankfully, there are always viewpoints of people who do not fixate on how many degrees above or below zero the temperature is, but focus on the beauty that lies in every situation instead. Watching the following video by Chloé Schnorhk, one cannot help but be positively surprised by her black and white take on the city with the numerous faces. The music of the cello in the background reminds me of the heyday of the European cinema. While I was watching this, I could not stop wondering how come Woody Allen has not shot a film here yet.
There is Kantstraße, Savignyplatz, Warschauer Straße, Lützowplatz, Hohenzollerndamm Platz and the list goes on and on… More than 4000 street names are to be encountered, upon wandering around Berlin. Their wild variety would leave one contemplating, if there is actually a system, according to which names were given to the streets. As stereotypical as it might sound, we are in Germany and, thus, it goes without saying that all these names were not randomly selected and allotted to the streets.
Map enthusiast and publisher Gerd Gauglitz has devoted considerable time and energy researching this topic. His unwavering love for city maps has culminated into the development of several fascinating and innovative projects, that shed light on areas and questions we might not even have been able to come up with on our own. On his Berliner streetname map the reader has the opportunity to look at the different neighborhoods of Berlin and recognize the name patterns that arise based on the thematic pools they were chosen from (e.g. poets, politicians, flowers, wars). Every area inside the S-Bahn ring as well as the closest surroundings are depicted. Apart from the street map, there is a booklet, that delves into the explanation of how different street names were adopted, discarded and changed through the years. You can purchase the map along with the booklet either on Tagesspiegel Shop, Edition Gauglitz or at various book and museum shops in Berlin.
Who draws the line between privacy and policies aiming at public safety? Is it the people through voting and demonstrating or is it the governments, who are in total control of this somehow delicate matter? The fact that these questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no, but need to be thought through first, before shaping an opinion is what it renders this issue one of the most controversial and exciting topics of this century.
We are currently living in countries that are constantly under the shadow of potential terror attacks. As far as Germany and more specifically Berlin is concerned, this has led to the installation of nearly 15.000 surveillance cameras around the city, the vast majority of which are part of the system of public transport. Their presence is discreet making the feeling of being monitored rather rare. One of the current governing parties, the CDU, has always pleaded for the presence of closed-circuit television. Yet one inconvenient question seems to linger: does this measure have a positive effect on people’s safety and if yes, is it substantial enough to justify the countless eyes following us in our daily life? Especially in light of the recent assault of a young woman in the Berlin subway this topic has come up in people’s minds again.
The intervention artists Rocco and his brothers have addressed the issue through the following brass initiative documented in this suspenseful video.
photo: Berlin Station / EPIX
No matter how hard to believe it might prove to be at first, Berlin has hosted the shooting of a variety of tv shows and films, from unknown indies to massive, Hollywood blockbusters, such as Inglorious Basterds and Hunger Games. It is very hard to describe the feeling of watching your beloved city on camera being the centre of a plot that has very little in common with the way you choose to spend your time in the German capital. Here are my favorite picks, when it comes to tv shows and films worthy of binge-watching, that have been shot to a great extent or even entirely in Berlin. Make sure you share with us your opinion/suggestions on the comment section below.