Why I Could Never Heart New York Like I Heart Berlin

NYC BLN-Murals

Not so long ago, I used to spend two hours on a train to get to my high school in Warsaw. The long commute and initial alienation were worth the thrill of being surrounded by a strange crowd. I got engrossed by it. Every morning, I’d spent at least 10 minutes of my ride in the joyful anticipation of the moment when the train rolls onto the station and I get lost within the urban flow.

This notion of pure excitement and longing for some big city action accompanies me to whatever metropoly I visit, and obviously New York was no exception. I wanted to find out if the famous city that never sleeps could cast a spell on me quite like Berlin did – getting off the plane, I was wondering if I might end up feeling like I want to stay.

Michalina by Michalina
on June 22nd, 2017
in Photos, Stories, Travel

How to Celebrate Midsommar in Berlin

Midsommar in Berlin-

photo: Bryan Ledgard / CC

Did you know this upcoming weekend is Midsommar? It’s the famous Swedish celebration where people dance around a pole with flowers in their hair. But it’s much more than that, it’s actually the second most important holiday in Sweden after Christmas where all the family and friends come together to eat, drink and celebrate.

This year I will have my very first Midsommar experience because I will follow the invitation of Absolut all the way to Åhus in Sweden to participate in their Midsommar Weekender. I’m expecting a lot of flower crowns, flying ribbons and of course lots of vodka shots.

But you don’t have to be in Sweden to celebrate Midsommar. It’s actually being celebrated all around the world. And since the Berliners love all things Sweden we thought we compile a little guide to Midsommar in Berlin for you guys. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on June 19th, 2017
in Party, Stories

A Message to Berlin

Berlin by instalyrik_

photos: Jan Rückert

My dearest Berlin,

you are loud, moody and exhausting. A city driven by hectic energy.

But you are also calm. This is why we come from all around the world.

We – the outsiders of norms. We – who love to go against the flow.

And here with you we can be free. No cages, no bars.

You are a city of freedom. I can’t think of a city that is more free. No rules, no limitations.

by Guest Author
on June 16th, 2017
in Photos, Stories

Art, Faith & Death: Unusual Churches & Crematoria in Berlin

St. Agnes

This city is just full of surprises:  To a newcomer here, a lot of Berlin’s ways might even come as a bit of a shock, until one gets used to it. Among these shocking things,  is seeing spaces with a very particular context, such as churches, not serving solely their religious purpose as gathering points of worship, but instead being used  for other cultural activities: exhibition spaces, concert stages, theatre stages. For most other parts of the world that’d be unthought of: but Berlin is just like no other city, haven’t we established that already? In terms of, well, everything; and churches confirm it.

Spaces so holy, designed to create awe and devoutness, connected with faith or death, both parts of life that are hard for us to conceive, find other, secular uses, and thus step off their high place somewhere closer to us. That’s got a lot to do with the city’s tendency of giving a new life to things old and abandoned: from the secondhand scene being so strong here, people reuse every chance they get, to abandoned places that often become art spaces, to churches and crematoria being reused, having a new life, and gain new meaning. A collection of such spaces, that caught our eye somehow, either with their design, or with the whole new use, we are about to present to you :)

Stella by Stella
on June 13th, 2017
in Art, Stories

How to Plan a First Date in Berlin

Couple on a date-133728

You like him. But you’re also not really sure you do; The lights were dim, the exchange all too limited due to the loud music, and as it’s well known, a 4 can turn into an 8, maybe 9, depending on the amount of vodka shots consumed. But you did give him your number and now he asked you out.  Or, more petrifying, an online date: He sounds funny on text, he looks cute in the pictures, but there’s always a more than 50% chance this could be all miles away from how he is in person.

How do you prep yourself to set out on this frightening adventure, that’s called a first date? The thing with first dates, they can be so awkward.  Even a good first date, still has some good grimacing-emoji moments. It’s two people with zero or little idea of who the other is, trying to figure each other out by a series of questions, that need to be insightful and yet not creepy, and then when they answer questions they must reveal enough, but not too much, cause then where will the mystery go?

Stella by Stella
on June 8th, 2017
in Stories

How to Enjoy Berlin for Free

Enjoy Berlin for Free-204313

Most things that are fun in Berlin come at a certain price. At least that’s what you would think! But in the spirit of something for everyone Berlin also has a lot to offer for those that have a bank statement with a lot of red numbers and a wallet that has only receipts instead of bills. We’ve all been there, you don’t need to justify yourself or feel bad about it if you spent your entire allowance at Berghain on the first weekend of the month.

Here at iHeartBerlin we have no judgement about your financial status and we still want to make sure you have the right amount of fun in the city. So we compiled a list of many activities that you can pursue in Berlin that are completely for free. Enjoy!

Frank by Frank
on June 7th, 2017
in Events, Music, Stories, Theater

How Berlin’s Mood Changes with Sunshine

Enjoying the sun in Berlin-165649

Berlin winter is hard on all of us, grey skies, grey facades, rain and that icy cold. We turn into thousands of grumpy cats grunting at each other in the subway. A deep depression slowly sets in, melancholy, self doubt: Why did we decide to stay in this city in the first place? At some point at the end of February after listening to that gloomy ‘Bon Iver’ record for the two-thousandth time we are actually that close to throwing in the towel. “That’s it! I quit! I am moving to Sevilla!”

But then, it happens: The sun and warm temperatures find their way back to Berlin. And its inhabitants react with some quirky behavior…

Andy by Andy
on June 2nd, 2017
in Stories

Dating in Berlin: Why You SHOULD Date German Guys

Dating a German-133024

I took me about a year of living in Germany to start feeling the challenges of life among Germans as a foreigner. Berlin had always been a dream for me, long before I even had any interest in partying, alcohol or other substances. I had always heard what everyone in the world seems to be hearing, that it is: a great multicultural place of freedom for artistic minds. So my first months living here were an exciting bliss even if I was working for a (rather particular) German family who lived nowhere near the city center, not in anyway close to Kreuzberg or Neukölln, but in a small village in the woods that was technically still Berlin but felt like a whole other world. This didn’t discourage me though, I took the bus (not even the S-Bahn went as far as where they lived, ah!) every evening after work to go to punk shows in cool squatted houses.

Half a year later when I finally broke free from my nanny job and moved to Friedrichshain I was still very excited and with no more job or endless bus trips to get anywhere, I felt free, alive and learned the real party ways. But then, another six months later, I started noticing all the small things my expat friends always seemed to complain about: passive aggressive Germans in the supermarket line, passive aggressive Germans who press the speed pedal of their car if they spot you jaywalking, passive aggressive Germans doing all these annoying little things all the time.

by Guest Author
on May 31st, 2017
in Stories

When Berlin Smiles back at you

1UP Smiley Berlin Ubahn 2

Look up into the sky, draw a circle of trust – the city is coming out of the dust. You can feel the air getting warm around you, building up contentment inside you. Let it culminate, come out of you – burst into laughter, come through.

Berlin is back, was never gone, we know that winter’s beautiful on its own. But no one can deny this side, the city’s warmer, happier smile. With all the gloom and seriousness, how bright can your smile really get? Pretty bright and very wide – just try to laugh about, smile! From ear to ear your teeth should show, how life is getting you to glow!

So laugh away the darker things, smile right into your little wings and fly away into the blue – the city is smiling and so should you.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on May 29th, 2017
in Stories

Goodbye Berlin

Goodbye Berlin

There was no more city, just countless trees lining a mirage of endless autobahn. There would be no more abrasive Sonnenallee mornings, no more late night Spätis, no more dreamy parties of sunshine dancing. There had been mere danglings of hopeful sunny days but I could no longer wait. I had made a decision and I was finally driving out of the city for good. No longer finding the fun in the perplexing allurement of escapism, I wriggled out of the grip of city life. Berlin had made final attempts of kindness — in classic narcissistic fashion — only after I had made the decision to leave.

Janis Joplin once said about men in an interview, “Have you ever seen those mule carts? They dangle a carrot in front of the mule’s face and it keeps chasing something it’s never gonna get.” I felt like I was the mule, stepping forward but never being able to taste the sweet earthy goodness. I saw Berlin as the carrot, having much to offer that I could never really savor.

by Guest Author
on May 29th, 2017
in Stories