A Street Art Giant saying fuck off to Berlin?


Photo: Marc Honninger

Last night the giant street art mural near Schlesisches Tor got painted over in pitch black. There are various speculations behind who did it and for which reasons. What I found most plausible was a statement found in a Polysingularity article, claiming that it was the italian artist Blu who commissioned the cancelation of his own artwork.

“(…)the artists decided to paint them all black, so that nobody can take advantage of the original work… A “fuck you” gesture towards the city, towards the real estate company, but most of all – to all the people who love this artwork and everything that it’s come to represent. The argument of the people who are doing that is that Berlin is not the same anymore, that the real estate company will just use the artwork to sell apartments more expensive, that a new statement needs to be made at this new moment of time… In a way, they are doing exactly what the artwork says: “reclaim your city”.”

The rest of the article goes on about how pessimistic the destruction of the artwork is. That it is not the right message the city needs right now in this turbulent time of turbo-capitalism & neoliberalism, remodelling Berlin into a Lego-Gotham.  Even if I can relate to the arguments, in regards to the artwork, I don’t agree 100%. I share my thoughts on the repainting, along with some videos showing the artist at work, after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on December 12th, 2014
in Art, Kreuzberg
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Nasty Peace – An Audio Walk about Gentrification in Kreuzberg


photo: Silke Bauer

The monster of gentrification is eating Berlin’s free spirits and creative culture. Maybe this way of thinking is rather extreme, but what will happen to the so-called “cool neighbourhoods” when all people who are currently living there will not be able to afford it anymore. And much more important: what will happen to our city when the income will strictly determine where you can live. Not so much of a multi-cultural free society in the end. A horrible faith that happened already in so many cities before and that must be stopped in Berlin.

People have been protesting the rapidly rising rents for years at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg. The theater collective copy &waste created an audio walk that guides right into a conflict zone for living space, money and love. Through the headphones you’ll hear just what it sounds like – the dividing of the loot. The audio walk is called “Nasty Peace” and it is in German, English and Turkish and is created with the participation of the Turkish community living in the neighborhood.

For Nasty Peace, copy&waste returned packing a great deal of research material: conversations with residents, observations of everyday life, sociological, scientific and philosophical texts about property and privatization play as significant a role as Berlin Circle, a piece by Charles Mee inspired by the same source as The Caucasian Chalk Circle and fantasy material such as Game of Thrones and Masters of the Universe. All the dates and the trailer after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 20th, 2014
in Kreuzberg, Theater
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Win the ALL NEW KreuzbergKalender


After three editions of advent calendars the team of the KreuzbergKalender thought of something entirely new for this year’s edition. Instead of little presents the 2014 edition contains little riddles you are asked to solve. The 24 questions from the categories gossip, sports, culture and politics call odd, extraordinary and important events from 2014 to mind.

Instead of using many words the girls let images speak this year and created a cute little film explaining how the KreuzbergKalender 2014 works and how you can participate. Watch it after the jump.

Lia by Lia
on November 17th, 2014
in Entertainment, Kreuzberg

A Guide to Berlin’s Best Alpine Restaurants


If you ever went skiing in the Alps, for instance in Kitzbühel, you know that there is nothing better after a full day of skiing than a warm lunch on the top of a white mountain inside a cosy hut. You don’t need a master in geography to notice that the Alps are not really nearby. Luckily to appreciate some mountain flavors you don’t have to leave Berlin since this city has some really nice restaurants serving savory Alpine cuisine.

To recreate a little Alpine feeling we put on our Ultra Light Down jackets from Uniqlo (previously featured here) and went on a little culinary excursion. Filling our bellies with Schnitzel, Kaiserschmarn and Käsespätzle we had some nice evenings around town. Check out the resulting list of our Top 5 Alpine restaurants in Berlin after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on November 11th, 2014
in Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Restaurants, Tiergarten
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What Bar Type are you? – A Bar & Cocktail Guide for Berlin

Tier (640x434)


One of the things that’s awesome about Berlin is the fact that it has something for every taste. This applies not just to the art galleries that range from big snobby ones to small playful ones, or the theater culture that has big name actors on huge stages on the one side and experimental pieces in improvised settings on the other. It is also something that you will notice in terms of nightlife. There is basically a party for every type of crowd and for every taste in music. The same goes for the bars and this is something I want to explore today.

What bar type are you? You like the classic ones with the best cocktails in the city? Or are you all about friendly and cosy atmosphere? Or do you like to have an awesome view over the city while sipping on your long drink? In our new comprehensive Bar Guide for Berlin we tried to split up the bar scene of Berlin by different types and give you some recommendation for every taste and occasion.

To save you from having to study the drinks menu for 10 minutes in every bar before you know what to order we consulted the cocktail archive of and selected a few suitable drinks for each of our bar types. This website comes in handy when you are looking the right cocktail for you as you can search by occasion, spirit or ingredient and also have a look at the recipes that range from cocktail classics to new trendy drinks. Very practical! But now enjoy our bar and cocktail guide after the jump!

Frank by Frank
on October 31st, 2014
in Bars, City Guide, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg, Schöneberg, Wedding
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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, Theater
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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, Theater
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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
1 Comment

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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