The story of Berghain being recognized as a venue that produces “work of cultural significance” and is, therefore, subject to lower taxation made it even to the Guardian a couple of weeks ago. It is impressive to say the very least; as it is the following song by Rachel Glassberg & The Disasters, which narrates an imaginary story about the famous photographer Sven Marquardt, who is also known as the notorious Berghain bouncer. Pay attention to the lyrics; they are full of grit and humor.
“Before you think, music makes you feel” states Pedro Carneiro Silva at the beginning of his beautiful video shot on a Berliner roof. Watching the sun go down along with the view over the city makes it impossible to argue against that, as one is instantly overwhelmed by the Brazilian’s heart-warming piano melody. The concrete of the roof in combination with the bricks, the clear sky, his music and voice in the background showcase a different aspect of the German capital: calm, creative, cordial; away from its well-known untameable wildness.
The Lollapalooza festival had its second Berlin edition this past weekend and it was quite spectacular. I hadn’t been to the one last year in Tempelhof, but this year there were a few acts that I didn’t want to miss so I took Absolut up on their invitation to join them, and I’m so glad I did.
This was probably the biggest festival I have ever been to (I admit I haven’t been to that many) and being surrounded by that many celebrating people is quite the thrill. Especially at the two main stages the crowd was so massive and to see them move and cheer with the performances is really powerful.
Between concerts I checked in with Absolut as often as I could. They had a big set-up that was part of the Fun Fair of Lollapalooza, which was a big playground to hang out in and goof around between installations and vintage circus tents.
The best thing about Berlin is, how it consists of cultural pieces from every part of the world. Some further some closer. Italian culture is most definitely one of the most established ones here. Our friends from Berlino Magazine, a Blog run by – and written for Italians in Berlin, decided to create an event that lets you enjoy the wonders of italian cuisine and culture for 72 hours, which is called True Italian. We got inspired by this and thought it is about time, we created a guide to true Italian lifestyle in Berlin just for you.
There is so much more to it than Pizza and Pasta (don’t get us wrong, they will always be our best friends). Find your way into art, music, food and fashion from Italy in Berlin.
The countdown has begun: In just a few days – from September 2nd till 4th to be exact – the new Bread&Butter by Zalando is happening at Arena Berlin. The consumer trend show has the theme “NOW” this year and will be celebrating what is hot in fashion, music and food. Have a look at the program and line-up now to get an idea.
The Bread&Butter has quite a long and diverse history. It started off in Cologne in 2003, but then moved to Berlin and later Barcelona for a while where it rose to international fame, before returning to Berlin to become one of the major events of Berlin Fashion Week. But as many of you have probably noticed it stopped happening a couple of seasons ago. But this was not the end, it was a necessary period of transition and reinvention. Now it’s back, rising like a phoenix from the ashes and everything is different! What happened? And why should we care? Here’s the break-down..
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.