Berlin is… Cold and Dark

berlin ist kalt

photo: Alexander Rentsch

Every year around the same time – yes, let’s say, every year in November – the darkness is creeping up on us. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes without us even realizing – until it’s to late. First the time goes away, almost unnoticed: only one little hour, one hour of light, one hour of Summer. When the Summer sun leaves us and the November nights become longer, never-ending – you slowly take our breath away. Your grey covers are like a thick blanket, ready to tuck us in and push us down. You are ready to rest, but are we ready yet?

Kate by Kate
on November 23rd, 2015
in Stories

Berlin Dating Fails


photos: Eylül Aslan

Berlin. As we’ve all noticed by now the city is not only a heartbreaker, psycho but still hopeful: Berlin is also a pool of fairy tales gone wrong. Cosmopolitan life often leaves you shattered to a reality that is far from anything romantic. Now you could argue, that this indeed is just life and life is happening anywhere. True, but in a fast pace city like Berlin that communicates in matches the mass of mishaps is too damn high. Which of course also leaves you with the best stories to tell. Whenever I encounter a dating disaster, for a short moment, I leave my body and watch myself from the upper right corner of the room, thinking: ‚fantastic story to tell your future grandchildren.‘

And then I have to laugh. Of course, if too many of these stories happen, there never will be grandchildren to tell them to. Sort of a catch-22. But who cares, this is life, this is the capital and these are some of the most entertaining dating fails. These are real stories of dysfunctional dating. One of them is mine, the other ones friends experienced. Somehow only men being the bad guys here. But of course we know it’s not only them. It’s also us. If you recognize yourself in one of these: you have my full support. Read for yourself and hopefully laugh after the jump.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on November 19th, 2015
in Stories

Berlin is… Hopeful

Berlin Rooftop by Jeisson Martin

photo: Jeisson Martin

We are at times a little hard on Berlin. It’s messy, it’s heartbreaking, it’s lost, it’s dirty… But with all the things that are going wrong here, one thing is for sure: It’s always going forward. And this gives us hope.

It’s sad, that some places we love are vanishing, that people we care for are leaving, that districts we live in change for the worse. But when you take a look at Berlin from a distance you can see that it always moves on. And we will, too.

We might not have the power to change everything that we think is bad, but we will fight for it, regardless, and remain hopeful. When things get difficult, the people of Berlin will stay strong together and pull through, hand in hand, may it be to rebuild the city, tear down walls or help those in need.

This city has proven so many times through history that it can overcome pretty much everything from war to economical crisis, and from oppression to separation and I’m sure it’ll handle present and future challenges such as globalization, migration, and the looming commercialization just fine. Berlin will keep on changing and with its past as a testament we can be hopeful that it will always remain a unique place in the world.

Frank by Frank
on November 16th, 2015
in Berlinstories

Berlin is… a Psycho

Berlin Psycho

At first it looks completely normal. Smiling at you, looking like the big city next door. Then, one day, it happens: The crazy comes out.

And I’m not talking about the good kind of party-night-life-crazy. I am talking literally insane. I am talking about one of these days where it seems Berlin is only inhabited by lunatics. The cyclops of the city crawl out and start coming after you. The city loses itself in a constant rambling and shoving and you start asking yourself, where all these maniacs emerged from? You’ve all seen them, mumbling in the metro, gazing at you in the shop, yelling at you on the street.
‚What did I do?‘ you will ask yourself. ‚Did this old man in a genie outfit just point at me and put a spell on me?‘ ‚Did this woman just urinate in the supermarket?‘ ‚What is this man doing in his dirty underpants, scaring people on the street?‘

But even more important: ‚Am I one of them? Am I the psychotic one here?‘ Truth is, both is accurate, probably. Some days, you’ll find that Berlin drives you crazy. And some days you’ll understand why. And you will still love it, despite or even because all of it’s nuttiness.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on November 12th, 2015
in Stories

The Most Unforgettable Party Nights in 15 Years of Berlin

Unforgettable Night

A couple of weeks ago we gave you our first official Club Guide for Berlin with some of our favorite clubs and parties that we like to recommend as part of the AXE BLACK NIGHT campaign. In continuation of this collaboration we have now been asked by AXE to share our most memorable experiences in the Berlin nightlife, those parties, that took us by surprise and will remain in our memory forever. Of course living in Berlin for 15 years and having been to all the notable clubs and a lot of amazing parties and places of this period I have quite a few stories to tell and it was a little hard to narrow it down to only a few. Flipping through my huge catalog of party photos (believe it or not I have an archive that exceeds 18.000 photos) I took a trip down memory lane and collected some of my most special nightlife experiences that go all the way back to my first year in Berlin.

Frank by Frank
on November 6th, 2015
in Party, Stories

After the Party is before the Party


photos: Moritz Jekat

I’ve never been a fan of after parties – at least not the ones that involve pretending life isn’t going on outside and the best thing to do is to numb yourself into oblivion. Everybody gets annoying, nobody listens to each other and the music that is played is mostly inadequate.

What I’ve always liked, however, are the short, silly and often funny moments that happen right before hopping into bed. The unnecessary, hardly remembered trips to get a second dinner slash breakfast (which is the better, cooler version of brunch when you think about it). The endless trips home that always seem to involve more means of transportation than you thought existed. The drunken cab rides spent battling sleep and watching the city’s blurry lights go by.

A whole new adventure starts the minute you stumble out the club, one that somehow manages to be much less predictable than whatever happened before. Most of the time, you knew which DJ was going to play or which club you would eventually end up at, but knowing how and with whom you’d go home is a different story…

Frank by Frank
on November 1st, 2015
in Party, Stories

The Berlin Experts: The Hundert – A Magazine about Start-Ups

The Hundert

photos: The Hundert /Irene Wissel

About 5 years ago Jan Thomas arrived in Berlin with a plan to do “something big” here. His professional background was marketing but his main interest was the thriving startup scene in the city that he didn’t know much about at that point. He started to write about it on his small blog called “Berlin Valley”. While writing, analyzing and reading other blogs and media, he learned very quickly how the scene works, what its problems and needs are. He went to all kinds of events, where he met a lot of people and collected their business cards. After a year he had a large pile of cards lying on his table and Jan began wondering, how he could use all of his new contacts on his blog. First idea – ask the ten most important players he knew to write their statement on the Berlin startup scene. It should be simple but interesting. Yet he struggled to narrow the group down to ten, so broadened the number of participants to fifty and then quickly to a hundred – the concept of the Hundert began to take shape. From this simple idea a new magazine completely dedicated to the startup scene in Berlin was born and the first issue came out in October 2013. Since then 6 issues of the Hundert have been released, with currently 4 editions a year.

We spoke with the editors of The Hundert about the advantages of Berlin as a base, how to start a project, how to network and how to find investors. Read our interview in a new edition of The Berlin Experts after the jump.

Olga by Olga
on October 23rd, 2015
in People, Stories

Berlin is… a Heartbreaker

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

photo: Saskia Bauermeister

At first it lures you in with the promise of freedom, fulfillment, love and pleasure. But you will soon find out the reality is quite a different one. It will make sure to feed you with little crumbs of each of its promises, but you will remain hungry and starving.

It speaks so many languages, but you will still find it hard to fully understand it. It will give you the cold shoulder, when all you need is a warm hug. It will keep you in a state of uncertainty, give you just enough to keep you hoping for more, but never enough to make you feel save.  It will dance the night away to techno and drugs while all you want is a cosy night at home. It will give you cheap pizza on the street corner when you want a candle lit dinner. It will be your friend, when all you want is a lover. It will keep it casual, when you want to commit. And all the while it’s dating so many others at the same time. And you fear one day you will not be enough.

Frank by Frank
on October 16th, 2015
in Stories

The Berlin Experts: Give Something Back to Berlin

Volonteer Alejandro Martha Gemeinde

photos: Kalle Kuikkaniemi

In our time it’s increasingly important that we all work together and no matter where you come from – humanity is of great importance! For our next edition of The Berlin Experts we interviewed the makers of a great platform that offers a variety of social projects in Berlin. Everyone can join the projects and “give something back to Berlin”. There is already a huge amount of hard-working volunteers and since 2012 the platform organizes community projects that aim to better the lives of many different groups of people in Berlin. There are language courses for foreigners who migrated here, creative evenings, workshops, food events and so much more. Since 2013 there are also many projects to help refugees and other people in need.

Read the interview after the jump and have some impressions from the work of Give Something Back to Berlin.

Olga by Olga
on October 6th, 2015
in People, Stories

Deutsch Lernen: The Best Ways to Learn German

das woerterbuch

photo: Days of Deutsch

Actually fact is that you can easily get by in Berlin without any German. It has happened to me more than one time that I started speaking German in a cafe or restaurants only to be stared at blankly with the response of ‘Do you speak English?’. So why bother?

Because you are missing out on nuances of the German culture. As with every language, there are things that you can only express in German and any attempt of translation will lose the meaning immediately. Jokes are not funny anymore by the time somebody has translated them. Or take the word ‘Schadenfreude’ –  so unique in its meaning that the word is now used worldwide in German and everybody understands what this means. So what is the best way to actually learn German, one of the most difficult languages to learn? Read more about our recommendations after the jump.

Yoori by Yoori
on September 29th, 2015
in Stories