Photos

The Glorious Past of Berlin’s Subway and Train Stations

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Bülowstraße, 1903

One of the most iconic things about Berlin is surely its subway lines. Like a yellow snake it makes its way through the city, it’s so recognizable and its shade of yellow so particular. Berliners and visitors alike seem to love it so much, also the tiles underground stations that often have beautiful patterns that have been cherished and capture many times for Instagram.

But there was a time when the U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations had quite a different aesthetic. At the turn of the 19th to 20th century they were glorious big buildings with stunning architecture. Thanks to the fact that Berlin’s streets weren’t so dense with buildings at the time these stations really stood out in their places, having so much room to breath. Some of the stations actually remained like that for over 100 years until now, while others have been reconstructed or rebuild in more modern ways. Many subway stations have indeed been replaced with simple staircases into the underground without a building on top.

Today we want to take a look back at the history of Berlin’s most beautiful and stunning U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on April 26th, 2016
in Photos

Why We Love Spring

Spring by oh_hedwig

photo: oh_hedwig

We’re not alone on this one. Doesn’t everyone enjoy Spring? The blossoming of their surroundings? Isn’t it beautiful for every pair of eyes to see colors again, to feel warm air on their skin?

Spring is the season of hope. It is to a year what the morning is to a day. A beginning, a new start, a hunch. It is an opening, a promise to what might be. With the colorful flowers, the smiles on people’s faces and the memory of a warmth slowly coming back, spring is also high spirits. Drunken from the first soft drafts of air that don’t cut ice cold when inhaling, we all tend to take a leap of faith.

A leap of faith into the sun, out of our scarves. Away from the heating and into the outdoors. A step towards us all, we see ourselves again: Walking freely on the streets, with a swing in our steps. Spring in Berlin is like a flower thriving, each one of us a petal, with our arms open to the sky and to each other.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on April 8th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

Polish Lifestyle in Berlin

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“Doublefaced No. 21″, photo: Sebastian Bieniek

Berlin is a city made of puzzle pieces, a mosaic of multitudes. Its irresistible charm and distinctive difference is made of the people that shape the city culturally. A Berlin without its cultural diversity is not only hard to imagine – it just wouldn’t even be as interesting probably. The contributions of inhabitants from all over the world helped forming a colorful kaleidoscope of ethnic elements.

We want to take a closer look at all the possibilities and present to you the manifold ways of experiencing Berlin’s diverse cultures. Today: The Polish Edition!

Polish people are some of the best people! In our last edition, we told you about the Turkish Lifestyle in Berlin. This time we want to cover the beautiful polish things to spend your days with in the capital. From Pierogi to Polish Fashion, Germany and Poland have a lot of history together that lingers on. See our little selection right after the jump. Baw się dobrze!

Yasmin by Yasmin
on April 4th, 2016
in Art, Bars, Books, Cafés, Food, Photos, Restaurants, Shops

Mauerpark: A Berlin Institution

Mauerpark Berlin-10

photo: sfreimark / CC

It’s hard to think of anything more quintessentially Berlin than Mauerpark. It contains so much of what this city is about. Is there any phrase more encapsulating of Berlin than “wall park”? It speaks to the city’s storied past, and to our contemporary lifestyle of leisure and charm. Situated on Prenzlauer Berg’s western border with Gesundbrunnen, it’s perhaps the perfect spot to spend a pleasant day, while momentarily reflecting on the city’s history.

Every visitor to Berlin wants  to see the wall. To this end, we have options. There’s the East Side Gallery in Friedrichshain with its famous paintings, there’s Checkpoint Charlie, the most touristy and mainstream spot, there’s the stately, dignified Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer), and there’s Mauerpark. Mauerpark is cool because it really is a great destination on its own, and is surrounded by the most vibrant neighborhood out of these options.

Keith by Keith
on April 2nd, 2016
in Photos, Prenzlauer Berg, Stories

When Berlin Was Invaded by Colors

BAFW 2016 by Sebastian Pollin 8

photos: Sebastian Pollin

Even though Berlin sometimes is dominated by shades of grey there are often splashes of color coming up like shimmers of hope. The Berlin Alternative Fashion Week is one of those shimmers. No other fashion event in Berlin has ever managed to bring so much color, creativity, happiness and humor into one place. I’m so glad that we have this event in our city, proving that Berlin is the fruitful soil for a spectrum of fashion that is beyond fast fashion and commercial brands. Beloved Berlin-based designers such as Tata Christiane, Maison Mason, Tzuji and UY show their expressive collections here together with many newcomers and international designers. For me one of the big highlights this season was the sculptural collection of Justyna Koeke who created dresses modeled after children’s drawings. The elaborate and playful gowns were beautifully presented on senior models, what a fantastic presentation this was! And of course Russian artist Andrey Bartenev’s Bubbles of Hope parade in the end was once again an unforgettable finale that made everyone jump up from their seats. Principal sponsor airberlin has chosen wisely to support this wonderful platform of creativity and positivity for so many seasons now and we are forever grateful.

Fashion photographer Sebastian Pollin went backstage to capture some of the most amazing looks and he described the experience as a paradise of photo opportunities. And looking at the photos he seems to be more than right!

Frank by Frank
on March 25th, 2016
in Fashion, Photos

Berlin is… Alternative

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photos: Fredrik Altinell

Of all the big cities in the world, Berlin appears to be somehow mainly one thing: an alternative. Not just another option, an alternative. An alternative to the high-pressure in New York, to the expensive prices in Paris, to the suboptimal living conditions in London. Berlin in itself offers so many alternatives. Every culture has a counter culture here. You have the choice to go along with the mainstream, or to take an alternative route. You have the big Berlinale Film Festival with very few women directors, writers and producers taking part, and than there is the Feminist Film Week. You have all the big theater stages with your typical theater fair, and than there are all these small independent ones showing highly progressive and experimental pieces. You have heaps of conventional night clubs and bars, and you have those where you can appear naked or have sex in the middle of the dance floor.

And of course you have the official Berlin Fashion Week with celebrity craze and commercial labels, with its counter part being the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week that brings young, eccentric and creative designers into the limelight. Exactly this BAFW stands as a perfect example for the parallel worlds inside Berlins fashion scene. I have personally been to both, and I can tell you the audiences they attract couldn’t be further apart from each other. If you don’t believe me, believe your eyes this coming Friday and Saturday when their runway shows dedicated to recycled and avant-garde fashion, respectively, take place.

Frank by Frank
on March 18th, 2016
in Fashion, Party, People, Photos

Stacked Berlin – The Hidden Beauty of the Plattenbau

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photos: Malte Brandenburg

What to do when you miss your hometown? Right – you just take it with you, piece by piece!

I always liked Berlin’s post-war buildings, the so-called “Plattenbau”. I spent my fair share in and around them as a kid when playing with my friends who lived there. I think they are a very interesting part of Berlin – they hold a lot of history, the foundation of what makes Berlin a very special place. And I am happy to see that the city is able to re-create itself, that these buildings might be ugly, but people have started to like them again.

With my photo series “Stacked” I simply wanted to be able to see these buildings next to each other, see how similar they are and how nice they look on a bright and sunny day. And by isolating them, I wanted to touch upon this particular concept of urban life, vertical density instead of horizontal density, and how society around these buildings evolves.

by Guest Author
on March 17th, 2016
in Photos

The Secret Imaginary Friends of Berlin

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photos: AnaHell

Can a city have imaginary secret friends? Maybe not every city, but Berlin is different in my opinion. Our dear Berlin gets run over by so many kooky inhabitants – why shouldn’t it have some nice imaginary friends to cope with all the mess going on? At least that was the idea of multimedia artist and photographer AnaHell when she came to our beloved city. In her childhood she invented weird but lovely friends to spend her time with and play. Imaginary creatures with little secret stories to live all kind of adventures with. Fortunately for us, AnaHell did not forget about her childhood fantasy and recreated it with the photo series Secret Friends, a playful narration of this story. Documenting a parallel reality of bent-over humans, which form a new creature that share our world but cannot be seen by us ordinary humans. With the Berlin series of Secret Friends she wants to show different aspects of life in a our city, from the clichés to real people in their homes doing what they normally do.

I am totally in love with the concept and the realization of this playful idea. I guess we should all search once in a while after our imaginary secret friends from our childhood. Maybe they are just sitting next to you in the U-Bahn or waiting in line with you at Berghain. What I want to say is that we should be open for the wonder and for the surprise that can come by reactivating our childhood fantasy. Berlin especially is a place that rewards this kind of openness with a charming magic, you won’t find anywhere else. More Secret Friends by AnaHell after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on March 11th, 2016
in Art, Photos

The Time Berlin Became a Metropolis

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Mehringplatz, photo: Robert Prager, 1894

There was a time when Berlin was a kingly residence, a time of Prussian glory.
In the 19th century, the city changed with the industrialization in full swing. After that, it became the capital of the Wilhelmine empire. The photographs of that time document a city in change, Berlin’s transition into a metropolis.

Miriam Paeslack put together a coffee table book full of treasures of photography that illustrate the city’s change. Her book “Berlin im 19. Jahrhundert: Frühe Photographien 1850-1914″ was published at Schirmer/Mosel. See some of the impressive photos of a Berlin long ahead our time right after the jump.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on March 7th, 2016
in Books, Photos

Let’s Dance – A Berlin Ballerina

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photos: Anna Rafeeva

Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free. - Rumi

Sometimes, no matter how hard the surroundings – all you can do is dance. There are enough reasons no matter what the situation. Seems odd? But you can move forward lightly even on the hardest grounds. All you need is the right inner rhythm.

The photographs of Anna Rafeeva are dreamy, soft and powerful – what better location to place them then good old, rugged Berlin? In the midst of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, the photographer captured a Ballerina flying through Berlin and dancing away in front of colorful walls. See the beautiful shots right after the jump.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on March 3rd, 2016
in Photos