When you think about all those metropolises of the world and what each of them uses as their main trademark (New York the Statue of Liberty, Paris the Eiffel Tower, Sydney its iconic Opera House, London the Big Ben, to name only a few examples) it seems almost odd that Berlin would have something as ordinary as a TV tower as their most prominent sight. Every major city has one of those so it seems kind of like an uninspired choice. So how come both Berliners and visitors love this particular TV tower so much that they raise it above more distinctive buildings like the Brandenburger Gate or the Dom? Is it the unique spheric shape of the platform? Its reflective, faceted surface? Its central position within the city? The fact that Berlin is built so low that it stands out so much an can be seen from almost every major street? There are probably more facts that make the TV Tower of Berlin unique compared to those of other cities. But maybe the answer is much simpler…
photos: Keith Telfeyan
Berlin is an identity. It’s the capital of Germany and a city in Europe, but it transcends those things. It’s a state of mind. I moved here a year ago – not for a job, not for a lover, not for any official reason, but simply because it’s Berlin. I identify with this place – this idea – and now it feels like home. For creative people, the journey naturally leads here. These pictures are how I see Berlin, through fresh eyes of the inspiring city.
Today we have a very special piece for you that was submitted to us by one of our lovely readers. It’s a poem about the so-called Berlin Broken Hearts Club and it pretty much sums up the fate of many lost hearts in the city. We love the humorous approach to it, because what else are we gonna do than take it light and mend our broken hearts with a good laugh about our miserable selves. Welcome to the Berlin Broken Hearts Club, you lovely single girls and boys!
You know it’s probably bad for you. Some things so consuming just are. Berlin is a city that gets under your skin, making it hard to imagine leaving. Perhaps it is the intensity that you fear you will find in no other place, at no other stage in your life.
It’s the highs, the transient moments on rooftops, the unexpected displays of colorful allurement that forbid you from leaving even when it feels like Berlin has shown you no empathy for so long. But it knows how sweet you find a bit of snow kissing your forehead, so it surprises you just enough to endure through its cold, grey behavior. Those gestures you hold onto through winters, even the winters in summer, whenever – it’s not up to you. As brilliant as you are, when you are out of its sight, you are out of its mind.
Excuse me for repeating myself. I have to emphasize though, just how much of Berlin’s spirit is shaped by the many different parts and past particles floating in the air. Stories that are engraved in house walls. Moments that are carrying on. All the tears cried in bars, all the words unspoken on park benchs, every fight in front of a house: worth telling and still palpable. When you walk around the city you don’t see them. But be sure to know: the city’s vibe is made of every single one of it.
To not get carried away in theories of time, let me get to the point.
Berlin has always been and still is a prominent place for poets, thinkers, musicians, architects, painters. There is something about this city that draws people in who expressed or express themselves artistically in any shape, way or form. Here is a selected list of musicians, who have experienced Berlin in one way or another. Next time you walk around in the city, maybe you feel a bit closer to it, knowing who has walked the streets before you. Get to know the famous exiles of Berlin – after the jump.
We love the submissions from our readers that we get sometimes. It’s lovely to see their perspective of the city, which could be a completely different one from our own, and interesting nonetheless. A few days ago I received a submission that made me all teary-eyed. A girl spoke about how she had a hard time letting go of Berlin, even 5 years after she moved away from here. She calls herself a snowflake in the end of her emotional and beautiful text, which instantly reminded me of a photo of a seagull in front of the Berliner Dom by Instagrammer steffimarla. So I decided to bring these two together by combining the melancholic words with the moody and mysterious photos of Steffi. Her pictures paint a really romantic picture of Berlin, full of memories and emotions that perfectly reflect the sentiment of the text. Enjoy!
As much as I enjoy looking at the photos of snowy Berlin on Instagram, I do prefer one thing: The cosy and warm atmosphere at home. No one captures this better than Saskia Bauermeister on her Instagram account @oh_hedwig. For me she is the queen of “coffee and cake in bed” and “curling up at home” as she turns this mundane activity into an art form. Her charming photographs wrap me up in a warm blanket of comfort and let me forget all the horrible things that are happening outside like dirty, melting snow, black ice and hail storms.
Looking through Saskia’s stream I feel inspired for many activities that you can do at home in Winter when you just don’t want to leave the house. And so I thought I transform this into a fine list of suggestions for you accompanied by some of her most beautiful photos. Enjoy 20 things to do at home in Winter, right after the jump.
photo: Jaron Verlag / Günter Schneider
We love Berlin for its multicultural feeling and the endless freedom – everyone can be and look just as they like to. But not only the people, who live in Berlin make up an interesting mix. The Berlin architecture has its own language and tells a lot about Berlin’s past, history and constant change. Yes, there is still a wild clash of different architectural styles, which attract lots of visitors. But there are also a lot of buildings that have become victims of the passing time and inevitable changes.
Some left quietly without anyone hardly noticing and others left with lots of protest and a loud bang. Either way the second world war, the cold war and the GDR left their marks on our beautiful skyline and within the different areas of Berlin. Inspired by the book “Abgerissen!” by Arnt Cobbers we want to take a look back at some of Berlins architecture that we lost along the way…
photos: Ania Banaszek
During my first walk outside after Christmas I noticed a beautiful, big, perfectly shaped Christmas tree just lying around on the sidewalk. Thrown away one day after Christmas. One day! I thought that’s a pretty tough timing. Maybe it was due to my post-Christmas melancholy or the winterish lack of sun (or both) but I could not help thinking how sad and absurd it looks like. During the next days I noticed how the streets and sidewalks of Berlin got flooded by the suddenly homeless Christmas trees of all kinds: big, small, still ‘fluffy’ or completely abandoned of needles. Something I’ve never seen with such a density anywhere outside of Berlin. And something I found a great metaphor of Winter time melancholy. So I took a camera out and off I went, to photograph this (for me) typical Berlin curiosity.
High Deck Siedlung, Neukölln
I want to start this article with an apology: Sorry for bringing up the exasperating topic of Berlin’s rental market. But I had some sort of awakening thanks to the Rent Map that made the rounds on social media yesterday. Claudio and I both have contracts for our flats that are more than 10 years old – way before the hype and sky-rocketing rents that everyone complains about these days. So I kind of didn’t have a real idea of how much rent has actually gone up. Judging from this map, the reality is that average rents are 50% higher than what either of us pay now, thanks to our old contracts in our respective neighborhoods. Jesus, I will never move again…
Nevertheless, Berlin still has the reputation of being a cheap city, even though evidence suggests otherwise for the most part. Do these cheap rents still exist somewhere in the city, perhaps in a small forgotten neighborhood that we just don’t know about? Well, let’s have a closer look at this map to find some answers, and possibly some cheap apartments, too…