photo: Hara Katsiki
As mundane as it may sound, Berlin is the very definition of a melting pot. It has always reminded me of an immense theater stage, where all countries take their position and as soon as the lights start to dim, they begin interacting with each other; they fight, they love, they live, but most of all they constantly try to make their stories get heard as loud as possible. There is one thing they have always in common: they are fully in sync with their multicultural environment and in the case of Greece miles away from the picture drawn by Nia Vardalos’ Big Fat – filled with stereotypes, yet utterly entertaining – Greek Wedding.
Several Greek places around the world – cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, concerts etc. – have always made me feel like Alice in Wonderland, but to a more twisted and disturbing extent than Lewis Carroll’s bizarre universe. It is mostly the image of people being lost in their Greek microcosm, fully ignorant of the overwhelming benefits life abroad has to offer, that brings discontent to me. And it is then, when you realize that for some coming from the same place has developed into the one and only criterion of socializing with people.
However, this story is about those who have become citizens of the world and their Greek identity represents a part of it and not vice versa. Here a few examples of Greek businesses and artists active in Berlin who choose to work and live through the aforementioned identity.
photo: The Drummer
I always like to refer to Berlin as a playground for grown-ups. Here you can easily try out new things, start new projects and experiment with crazy ideas. You will find lots of enthusiastic people willing to get involved, the resources are amazing and diverse and since Berliners are so curious to discover new things you will quickly find a willing and attentive audience. People here have a certain understanding that some things are a work in progress. Some experiments will thrive, others might not work out, but you won’t fall very hard, because the playground has a very soft floor made of sand.
Last week I met one man here, that totally takes advantage of the playfulness of Berlin and its curious audience. He woke up one day with the dream that he wanted to be a drummer. He was often involved with musicians and rock bands, spending time with them backstage, but in terms of his own musical skills he is a complete novice. Let’s face it: Playing the drums is really difficult to learn. But he saw it as a challenge and decided to make a project about it: The Drummer was born. The Drummer is not simply a nickname for him, it’s also the quest of learning this instrument in only one and a half years, and it’s going to be the name of his band that he is about to form.
A city has many sounds and of course so does Berlin. Especially busy areas like the Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg is full of strange noises. Rico Loop went down the street with his loop machine catching some of the sounds in the street, creating his own noises with bike bells and other objects he finds on his way, beat boxing and singing on top of the loops. The result is a crazy, funky song that is super catchy and perfectly captures the improvised nature of the multicultural district. Check out the video shot by Arthur Moore that shows him in the process.
Berlin has always been a kaleidoscope of cultures. People from all over the world come here to spend some time or start a new life. Each and every one of them brings a little piece of their home country with them, may it be a recipe, a local tradition, an idea, or a project they started there and continue here. All of these things enrich Berlin is creativity and diversity. It gives its inhabitants the feeling they are not just living in one city, but they are living in the entire world in one place.
In our series about foreign lifestyles in Berlin we have already introduced you to the contributions to our city that came from Turkish and from Polish people. For our third edition we are looking at a country that is much further away than that: It’s also known as Down Under!
For our Australian edition we are also introducing a novelty to our series: We teamed up with the beloved international hair care brand Aussie to give you the chance to not only experience the Australian lifestyle here in Berlin, but also to win a travel budget of 2500 EUR to fly all the way down under yourself and get a taste of the Aussie life! More about that after the jump.
I’m standing in front of the tallest, most powerful water fountain I have ever seen. Water shoots into the sky like some sort of glorious tower of refreshment. I’m in Geneva, Switzerland – Germany’s neighbor to the south – at the southwestern tip of Lake Geneva. This is practically France, but more expensive. Some Italian friends drive up from nearby Milan and Turin, pick me up and we drive along the northern side of this lake through Lausanne to a lovely little town on the lake’s eastern end. A historic week of music happens here every year: the Montreux Jazz Festival. Invited by Jeep, I had the chance to get out of Berlin for a bit and explore this beautiful hotspot for music. Follow the jump for more about this unique escape from Berlin.
Even if Berlin may not be well-known as a city for celebrating luxury and extravaganza, sometimes a little bit of exclusive pleasure is just the thing to melt the stress of the week away from your shoulders in an instant. Maybe you have dreamt about it, but never dared to do it: to spend a night in a world-class hotel in your hometown with a close friend or loved one. It could be just the right guilty pleasure to help you break out of your daily routine. And what could make this experience even better? How about an exclusive concert by one of your favourite musicians in the intimate atmosphere of the hotel?
You can officially stop dreaming and try your luck today. Together with Hilton and the HHonors rewards programme, we are giving away a one-night stay at Hilton Berlin and 2 tickets for the exclusive Grimes Concert on Tuesday 19th July 2016. This concert is part of the internationally renowned Hilton Concert Series. The 2016 Hilton Concert Series offers unique experiences that money just can’t buy – tickets are exclusively available to HHonors members: international travellers and luxury connoisseurs.
Find out how to win this incredible experience and additional info about the unique benefits offered to Hilton HHonors members after the jump.
photo: Danilo Sierra
The music industry has long been (and in many ways still is) a boys club, but things seem to finally become more open to women, thanks to the pioneering work of people such as The Black Madonna who’ve been especially vocal about the issues affecting women trying to become part of the music world. In Berlin, Salt + Sass is an interesting event series to check out if you want to learn more about these topics.
While our city is well-known for its electronic music scene, clubs and DJs, people tend to forget that Berlin is also home to a lively hip-hop scene, with collectives such as Broke Boys, Blunt’n'Roses, WEBOOGIE, Berries and more throwing legendary events that don’t rely on 4/4 beats. And guess what – women are representing too!
Here are 10 among our favorite Berlin-based female hip-hop DJs:
photos: Berlin – Sounds of an Era
“The city had a jewel-like sparkle, especially at night, that didn’t exist in Paris”
Berlin in the 20′s: With the Jazz emerging and the dresses shortening, a new feeling of life entered the city, invigorating its nightlife. The time frame of the Weimar Republic might have set the tone for the capital’s later years, up until the now – including wild dancing, loud music and free spirit.
The city was in a blaze of glory – with the horror’s of the war and the cultural scene ever-changing – and it has some amazing contemporary witnesses and their music that are testaments for this unique period.
photo: Feel Festival
It’s officially here! Festival season has begun and with the upcoming Fusion Festival (29 of June to 3rd of July), we felt the need to tell you about other great festivals coming up this summer in, around and sort of near Berlin. From German pop to techno, house and street food in Neukölln we’ve compiled a list of festivals that are definitely worth a visit. Take a break from city life, pack your things and go to the beach or forest nearby! There will be great music, good food and art. From workshops to exhibitions, performances: you can have it all this summer – at the following festivals. See them after the jump.
My Gallery Weekend started with an artistic installation that actually has nothing to do with the official Gallery Weekend (but has some good chances to become my favorite installation anyways). In celebration of its 20th anniversary, German record label raster-noton presents a ‘white circle’, an acoustic-architectural space designed as an audiovisual installation inside the hall of Berghain. On this occasion four of the label’s musician were invited to develop and contribute an exclusive composition: Alva Noto, Byetone, Frank Bretschneider, and Kangding Ray.
The four pieces are all very different but play with the full spectrum of light and darkness in visuals and sound. I was really impressed by the intense atmosphere this installation created. Suddenly I felt transported to a foreign galaxy where an Egyptian god of techno is ruling the world. Don’t miss to visit this place over the weekend. After the jump I created a couple of animated GIFs to give you an impression of the art piece, but of course without the sound it’s only half the experience.