Fortschritt Karibik – A Magic Theater Box at Kottbuser Tor

Fortschritt Karibik

I remember being quite surprised when my literature teacher told us in school that the friendship between Robinson Crusoe and Friday had a big “Gay” Factor. It is one of the things that are so painfully obvious that you don`t notice it.

Experiencing the theatre performance Fortschritt Karibik at Vierte Welt you will have a large amount of this painful “of course, how could I don’t see it” moments. Both pieces are about the situation in the Caribbean after the earthquake or furthermore the “European” commercialised fantasy of their situation. Even if the topic is rather serious, it does not mean that the pieces lack in humour. In contrary: inside the small theatre right in the Kreuxberg-Center of Kottbusser Tor a magic box will open in front of you charmingly showing you what kind of self-complacent shitty attitude we have towards the human catastrophe in the Caribbean. I definitely recommend you to watch the piece not only for the stunning performances of sisters in crime Tatiana Saphir and Tamara Saphir but also because of the multitude of experiences and perspectives you will get with just one theatre ticket. Photos, dates and a funny/crazy Trailer after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 21st, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Theatre
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Love in Times of Grindr – An Open Discussion


The season opening of the HAU Theater never got as much attention as the current one thanks to the installation project Wanna Play from the Dutch artist Dries Verhoeven. The artist created a physical chat box right in the middle of Heinrichplatz in Kreuzberg. In his glass container he is planning to live until the 15th of October. During this period of time he will only communicate with the outside world through gay dating apps like Grindr trying to hook up with men, but not for sex but for other social activites inside the box. The idea was to criticize the explicit and care-free sexual behaviour of gays with the app. Turning the world of Grindr upside down he wanted to just make appointments for harmless dates: “I will play chess with them, have breakfast, make pancakes, we’ll shave one another or read to one another from our favourite books,” Dries Verhoeven writes in a statement about the project.

But in the end nothing was really harmless about this project. All digital conversations were projected live in public on his pavilion so that everyone stopping by could read them. The faces of the chat partners were made unrecognizable but some argue that it was not really anonymous enough (if you took a picture you could easily remove the uv-filter through photoshop) . But the problem that made most people furious and legitimately offended was the fact, that he did not inform his chat partners about the fact that they and their conversation were part of a public “art” installation. The rage got viral and the story of Parker Tilghmann who fell into the “trap” spread all over the internet. To respond to the massive protest from the public and the queer community the artist and the HAU Theater decided to interrupt the performance for an open discussion tonight 19h at Hau 2 (Hallesches Ufer 32, 10963 Berlin). There will be the possibility to ask and criticize the artist directly in an open dialogue. Some questions I would like to ask the artist and more critical thoughts about the project after the jump.

UPDATE: Following the public discussion on October 5, HAU Hebbel am Ufer is hosting a further talk on October 15. Short statements will be given by sex researcher Martin Dannecker, internet activist Nathan Fain and journalist and blogger Kevin Junk. The discussion will then be opened up to questions from the audience, at which time Dries Verhoeven and Annemie Vanackere, artistic and managing director of HAU Hebbel am Ufer, will also participate. Moderation will be provided by journalist Martin Reichert. The event is free and begins at 8 pm at HAU1.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 5th, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Theatre
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The All-Day Breakfast Guide for Berlin

Spreegold 03

I’m a total breakfast person. Well, I’m a food person in general, but breakfast is the most important meal for me and even if I have a busy day ahead of me I will take my time and endulge in my daily breakfast routine.

I love eating out for breakfast with friends or for business meetings. It sets me in the perfect mood for just anything to be serviced with coffee, scrambled eggs, pancakes or cakes. But sadly the majority of cafes and restaurants don’t align with my nighthawk schedule and super late breakfast sessions. I never understood why restaurants decide to limit the time they serve certain dishes even though they still have the same cook and the same ingredients in the house. It seems to be one of those German beaurocratic rules that you just have to oblige.

But Berlin wouldn’t be Berlin if there wouldn’t be at least some places that operate outsite of these silly rules. I have selected 6 of my favorites places that I gratefully visit on a regular basis and put together a little all-day breakfast guide for Berlin.

If you are looking for more places to have an amazing breakfast (also at more common hours) I have curated a list of the 10 best breakfast places for the brand new and phantastic Friendly Berlin offline city guide iPhone app. You should definately download and check out this app if you want to get some inspiration on how to spend your days here as I have written many original themed routes about Berlin.

Frank by Frank
on August 18th, 2014
in Cafés, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg
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Milou – A New Place of Fresh Deliciousness

Milou – A New Place of Fresh Deliciousness

For those of you who like to hang out at Admiralbrücke and around the riverbanks along the Landwehrkanal we have some good news: No longer do you have to sit on the streets. Right at the popular hang-out spot at the bridge a brand new cafe and restaurant called Milou opened up offering freshly made breakfast, lunch and dinner from healthy and local ingredients.

We checked out the place recently and tried out all their breakfast options which includes a variety of egg dishes, yummy pancakes and oatmeal. Thew quality of the food and coffee was really good and the prices really fair, what more can you ask for?  There is of course a lot more, but we needed to save some space for the gorgeous looking cakes (which tasted as just as great as they looked). For lunch and dinner they have a colorful menu plus some daily specials which we yet have to try out. It includes freshly made pasta, fish and meat dishes, salads, soups, Tarte Flambee, Quiche and a lot more. You won’t be missing anything here in this sunny and friendly place. Get some first impressions and the details after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on August 8th, 2014
in Cafés, Kreuzberg, Restaurants
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Ohlauer Straße – The End of the Occupation


photo: Ole Ukena

Last night the occupation of a house at Ohlauer Straße in Kreuzberg achieved something like a bitter happy end. The solidarity and all the engagement of the people from Berlin towards the refugees of Ohlauer Straße has proven to be succesful. The 40 remaining refugees will be able to stay and meanwhile the house will be rebuilt to a proper refugee center. But still this result is not a success but more like a bitter reminder that it takes guts, will power and boldness to fight injustice. The images and stories from Ohlauer Straße seem to be from another country. Police brutality resulting in pepper spray against demonstrating teenagers and multiple fractures and damages under all the people protesting is a shameful result for the local government. The most expensive intervention of the police forces so far would have financed so much more important things in this city than this inhuman, senseless and unjust blockade. I just hope that the images from this days will stay sharp in our memories and in the consciousness of the government as well. More photos to be remembered after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 4th, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Photos, Stories
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Taking Off in the Sputnik Cinema


Our new guest author Anabel will share her Berlin discoveries with you every once in a while. Follow her stroll through the concrete jungle:

It does happen relatively rarely that I find myself on a tiny rooftop balcony instead of the movie theater that I actually planned on visiting. With a bottle of lime beer in my hand and an excellent view of a merry-go-round.

But last Sunday I was reminded once again that I do live in Berlin – and that, around here, nothing should strike you as a surprise. So if you happen to be looking for the cinema ‘Sputnik,’ you will find the hidden entrance to it in a backyard’s backyard. That the stairs shoot five floors high and that there is no reliably functioning elevator shouldn’t raise any eyebrows, either. And that, upon reaching the upper floor, a glowing red little world with tiny balconies opens up unexpectedly should actually be considered logical – Berlin, you know.

by Guest Author
on June 4th, 2014
in Kreuzberg
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Berlin Goods: Shoes by VELT


There is an unbelievably high amount of fashion designers here in Berlin, but when it comes to shoes it’s quite a different story. Being a shoe designer seems to be a rare calling here in Berlin which is really disappointing for me because I really love shoes. However, the few local shoe labels have all the more attention and that is a good thing.

One of them is the Berlin-based label VELT that is currently hosting a pop-up shop at The WYE at Skalitzer Str. 86. Their menswear line of shoes is really the perfect mix of classic shapes and subtle colors with enough unusual and playful details to make this an interesting shoe while still being wearable and not too crazy looking for the less fashionably daring gender. I particularily like their new summer collection that features a few models with cut-outs. They’re not sandals, but still quite airy and perfect for warmer temperatures of the season. Have a closer look after the jump and make sure to try them on at the pop-up shop.

Frank by Frank
on April 16th, 2014
in Fashion, Kreuzberg, Places, Shops
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Möbel Olfe meets Literature


The surroundings of Kottbusser Tor have become part of the intense nightlive and gay scene since a couple of years now. An important anchor for everything that goes on in this area is a bar called Möbel Olfe. The bar has been synonymous for sex-hungry gay bears, beer-drinking lesbians and fun-seeking expats. It might sound a bit extreme but in the end it has never disappointed me by being a relaxed and great place to hang out with my friends and meeting new people.

A while ago, when we published the Strange Magic anthology, we had a nice story from our beloved author Kevin Junk about the Strange Magic of Möbel Olfe. Now he and his author friend Chloe Zeegen have joined forces to create a unique reading night at Möbel Olfe. Both of them have a full set of amazing stories to read from about the amazing nights they spend their. More details after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on February 21st, 2014
in Bars, Kreuzberg
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I HEART XMAS: T-Shirt Collection with ARMEDANGELS


Surprise! If you thought that we wouldn’t have anything special for you this Christmas: Think again! After several X-mas specials and events we also prepared something unique for you guys this year. We teamed up with sustainable fashion label ARMEDANGELS to create a very special collection of T-shirts called Cross Mountain. And the best thing is: After our scarves and leggings it is finally something for the boys! More about it and how to win the shirts after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on December 18th, 2013
in Fashion, Kreuzberg

The Charity Fleamarket

charity fleamarket

This coming Sunday we can all do something for a good cause by doing what we are going to do this month anyway: Shopping! It’s Christmas and all of your friends and family are in need of a present. But imagine with your shopping you would automatically help the victims of the catastrophy in the Philippines or save a homeless person in Berlin from freeze to death in the cold Winter.

Yes, this is not a theory: If you shop at the Charity Fleamarket that takes place on Sunday December 8th at Where is Jesus at Wrangelstr. 57 ALL of your money spent will be donated to the Kälte Nothilfe and to an first aid organization in the Philippines. This is organized by a group of girls who all volunteer to gather and sell donated products for this event and 100% of the proceeds will be used for charity. A lot of agencies, labels and people (including myself) have donated vintage fashion and brand new products for the market. So there is something for everyone! Go and shop from 12-19h. The flyer with more details and a video from last year’s Charity Fleamarket after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on December 4th, 2013
in Fashion, Kreuzberg
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