photos: Valerie-Siba Rousparast
Using something old and repurposing it for something entirely different – doesn’t this sound like something totally typical for Berlin? Just think of all the old, disused buildings close to the “death strip” back in the early nineties that were re-used by the artist and subculture scene for various new purposes, all the nightclubs in old factories and power stations. Think of all the cafes and bars fully furnished with granny’s old interior, the urban playgrounds like Holzmarkt or Klunkerkranich made of scrap wood and metal. There are countless examples here in Berlin that paint a picture of a city that constantly recycles and repurposes itself.
Stuart N. R. Wolfe is one of the creative minds in Berlin that perfectly understands the spirit of Berlin. For his project berlin-re-cycle he found one disused material that Berlin has quite a lot of: Old abandoned bikes. The streets are full of them and Stuart saw them as a great source for material. Through his work as a sculptor and furniture designer he already handled a lot of unusual materials and created new shapes in the past. With the scrap pieces of the bikes he now extended his repertoire with something quite practical: lamps.
TH!NK? Festival, photo: Arvid Wünsch
For Free: One brown vintage v-neck sweater and one oversized striped H&M tank top!
Why am I giving them away? Well, let me explain…
It all began a few weeks ago when I made the two hour bus ride to Leipzig to attend the TH!NK? festival, an annual one-day techno festival located next to a beautiful lake. When I boarded my bus in my blue marbled stretchy spandex shorts and striped crop top tank, I knew I was going to have an amazing day. I had no idea, however, that life as I know it would be forever changed. Furthermore, I had no idea that as a result, I would return to Berlin a much happier, more romantic version of myself.
photo: Valerie-Siba Rousparast
The “Berliner Schnauze” is not a term by accident. Berliners are well known all over Germany for their rough tone, their unique way of expressing their anger, antipathy and impatience. In all this verbal roughness, there is also a very honest authenticity and directness that most people come to appreciate really quick. If a Berliner tells you something nice, you can be sure that it is not out of politeness, but a true compliment.
It is common knowledge that our generation of digital native, commitment-phobic cellphone-addicts has developed some fun, new and exciting neuroses. One of them being described as FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out.
Missing out on what? You don’t even have to be a social media addict to know this fear, but if you are, it might be even worse. You will check your Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat so frequently that it sometimes feels like there is something amazing happening all. the. time. But there is one important thing you have to learn in Berlin as soon as possible: deal with your FOMO.
Just a couple of days ago I had an interesting conversation with one of my co-writers about the current mood in the city and it was pretty surprising how contradicting our individual impressions were. It really got me thinking about my views of the city that I have kept for a long time. Of course it is pretty much a given fact that the place you live in becomes a conduit for your personal moods. But I had this idea about Berlin that – beside the obvious spikes up and down – it somehow averaged in a state I would describe as a bit grey, a bit dirty and a bit grumpy. I remember I often thought that the people in the subway had the corners of their mouths turned a little more downwards than any other city in the world. And the perception of my co-writer that she currently had of Berlin pretty much confirmed this notion, even though her view was even a bit more gloomy than that.
I reacted almost perplexed. My perspective was completely different. I was away from Berlin for the past 6 months and after I returned recently the city has greeted me with such a good mood. The city seemed so cheerful, so many people in the streets smiled and me and looked so carefree and happy. I saw such a colorful, vibrant and relaxed world around me. So clean and so green. I felt and still feel like in some kind of paradise, every day that I leave the house. It was really curious, because I absolutely didn’t remember the city like that. Of course now in the summer the mood of the city and the people is generally on an upwards trend. But this was more than usual.
Every year, slowly but steadily, summer finds its way to Berlin. And with it the festivals pop up, seemingly endless. Your Facebook feed is basically exploding and they all appear like your wildest summer dream come to life. But where to start, which to choose, and who should join the perfect festival squad? …Struggles, so in the end you surrender and end up at Volkspark-Friedrichshain, having a barbecue. At least that’s how it feels like to me.
So, when Somersby – the fruity Scandinavian Cider – invited us to the Helene Beach Festival, of course, we went – Far to the east, actually, as east as it gets if you weren’t planning a spontaneous trip to Poland. The thought of half naked bodies, sun screen and apple cider, convinced us to pack our things and leave Berlin for the weekend. A summer beach festival located directly at a beautiful lake, with a wide variety of artists was waiting for us. Summer – music – chill – Let’s do this!
photo: Kristian van Kuijk
Trying to perfect the art of dating in Berlin, I’ve met different, recurring types of men and fell for them over and over again. One of them being the hedonist. You might have come across this beautiful creature as well. What makes him special is his way of not just being a stranger until your paths cross, but instead staying one until after you have had an intense encounter. Soaked up by the colors, lights, the music and parties, influenced by drugs and a never ending fear of missing out, he is feeling driven, always feeling the urge to experience more, more more. The hedonist came to Berlin to indulge life, to consume it. For him you will never be enough. Not because you are insufficient, or because he doesn’t care enough about you, but simply, because he wants so much, he wants it all. All the feelings, the euphoria of the first touch, the pain of hurting each other, the violence, the intense sex, the heartbreak and the comfort. By never giving you everything or entirely opening up, he will always leave you wanting more, giving you an inside into his emotional distress.
Sad news for urban explorers of Berlin. One of the most beloved abandoned places of the city has vanished. In the night of July 22nd 2016 the former public swimming pool and water park Blub in Neukölln burned down. The place was a popular spot for explorers, photographers and Instagrammers alike for years now, especially since it was one of the more easier ones to get into. Many abandoned places are heavily sealed off, or guarded by righteous neighbors or even security. But here you could basically just stroll in through an open fence.
I went there last year with a friend who is a born and raised Berliner and he still remembers going there to have some fun in the water as a kid. He was shocked to see the place abandoned, so vandalized and full of graffiti. Of course places that are so easily accessible also attract all kinds of shady people that want to let out some steam. There had been several fires over the past year, but the last one took down the main wooden constructions and tower which makes the place completely inaccessible and unsafe. It’s probably going to be torn down entirely soon now and new buildings are already planned to be constructed in its place. Such a shame, not just that this fun water park had to shut down business many years ago, but also that this amazing ruin is also vanishing now. Of course with the development of Berlin there is a lack of space, so all of our beloved abandoned places are endangered to but torn down for new constructions. Let’s hope we can keep a few of them as our urban playgrounds.
To really feel like you live in a place – to feel a real sense of belonging in a city – you need four things: A literal place to live (obviously), work of some sort, a lover or something like a love life, and then this fourth, often overlooked thing: a social life.
We take friends for granted a bit. When I moved here from Brooklyn, I sort of forgot that I’d have to start from scratch to have an active social calendar: to know where to go and what to do, and have people to do these things with. It can be quite hard to make solid plans! Berlin is a vibrant city, of course. With so many visitors and hostels and everything, it doesn’t take too long to learn that, say, clubs exist. But without some effort, you might think that nightlife is all about Matrix! Who knows when you’ll meet the cool person that turns you on to Sisyphos?
Fortunately, there are lots of resources out there to help those of us new to the city. After you’ve sorted your anmeldung and visa and all the headache stuff, and even found an apartment (miraculously!), it’s time to have fun. I don’t need to tell you about Tinder or im gegenteil or the many other dating apps focused on finding love and sex. But finding friends is another story. It’s sort of hard to imagine a Tinder for friendships, isn’t it?
photos: Eylül Aslan
Oral sex is a sticky topic across all genders. Putting your mouth on/around/into someone else’s genitals is somehow a battleground of opinions.
What I find curious is that’s (almost) a non-issue between homosexual pairings. In the meantime, douchey guys running around proudly proclaiming how they “don’t eat pussy” are combated by another species of men: the guy that loves to munch on fur burgers. And even the latter is usually only mediocre to tolerable at it. (Although I’ve met one or two exceptions in my time. Sadly they’re both dead. To me anyway.)