The Berlin Experts: Give Something Back to Berlin

Volonteer Alejandro Martha Gemeinde

photos: Give Something Back to Berlin

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

25 Years of a United Germany – 25 Highlights

Festival der Einheit am Brandenburger Tor

On the 3rd of October Germany will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its re-unification. Wait, didn’t we do that last year with the balloons and all? No, that was the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall which happened about one year before the actual re-unification of Germany. So as you can imagine this is a pretty special day for us here, especially for those who were born in the time when the country was still separated.

As in previous years the “Tag der Deutschen Einheit” will be celebrated with a big street festival at the Brandenburger Gate that is free for everyone to join. The Festival der Einheit is presented by Coca-Cola and will feature some of the most promising German music acts such as Lena, Felix Jaehn and Revolverheld as well as reviews on some of the most beautiful moments of the past 25 years.

Since the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall last year we have been publishing a lot of features about Berlin’s pre- and post-wall history here on the blog. This has been a very educative process for us as we learned so many things about the city that we live in that we didn’t know before. For the 25th anniversary of the re-unification of Germany we want to give you another history lesson by collecting 25 highlights of the united Germany. We picked both big and small happenings, personal and general events that were important to us. Join us on a trip down memory lane after the jump. For more of those moments come to Brandenburger Tor on October the 3rd!

Frank by Frank
on September 28th, 2015
in Stories

Dating in Berlin: Relationships Gone Wrong

Amy Fisher 2

artworks: Karla Marie Bentzen

As if dating in Berlin wasn’t already hard enough, keeping a relationship – especially in a way that both parties are happy – is even more complicated. The struggles you might possibly face will sometimes make the single life seem like the better option. But as with many things in life one universal rule applies here as well: No pain, no gain. Relationships require a constant effort from both sides, otherwise they will go horribly wrong sooner than you expect. And the amount of pain and disappointment that you experience during a failed relationship will make you want to do things you didn’t think you were capable of.

The artist Karla Marie Bentzen has dedicated her new series Crimes of Passion to this topic. She selected some of the most shocking romantic tragedies of the past that have been subject to tabloid sensationalism including the O.J. Simpson case, the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez from TLC who burned a house down because of a conflict with her boyfriend, and the story of adult entertainer Amy Fisher. Karla turned these unbelievable stories into paintings that are tongue-in-cheek comments on modern day topics such as polyamory, violent relationships, and raw unbridled emotion. You can see the entire series and read all the stories they are based on at her solo exhibition that is on display right now at BOLD at Torstr. 68 until October 6th, 2015.

As far as these tragic love stories seem away from Berlin, their essence still applies to the hardships of dating here. Observing the quirky paintings reminded me of some of the wild stories that I have heard and witnessed here in Berlin. Obviously the victims of the love tragedies here haven’t responded as violent as in the the artworks. But they sure all thought about and and felt the impulse of violence. I felt a inspired to list some of the most typical cases of failed relationships spiced with a little wishful vengeance… Enjoy the relationships gone wrong – Berlin-style.

Frank by Frank
on September 22nd, 2015
in Art, Stories

Moving to Berlin

Moving to Berlin

In the last few years Berlin has become a magnet for people who want to start a new life and a new career here and more than ever before people from all over the world are moving here to try their luck. In the beginning it was mostly people who have already been here before and were somehow in the know about the infrastructure of the city. But things have changed. The city has evolved and the type of people who come here have changed, too.

With iHeartBerlin we have always tried to give a bit of guidance both for those who live here, but also for those who are new in town or are planning to come here, either for having a good time, or for starting a new job or university program. While we are mostly giving advice in terms of places and events what’s been missing here is some general guidance to the process of moving here, including choosing the right district, finding an apartment in Berlin, getting the basic stuff for the house and how to get around town. These are all important things of your own Berlin story and today we would like to contribute to that.

After the jump we will give you some basic advice about moving to Berlin and we’ll also be pointing out a new contest where you can win 3 months rent-free in a lovely Berlin apartment.

Frank by Frank
on August 26th, 2015
in Stories

A Visit to the Hoppegarten Horse Race Course

Hoppegarten 2015 -13

For everyone who wants to stay open-minded for new ideas and suggestions for their Sunday program in addition to the usual flea market visits, Berghain and staying in bed, here comes an unusual alternative recommendation. We visited the Hoppegarten horse race course on Sunday for the highlight of the racing season – the 125th edition of the Grand Price of Berlin – and had a look at all the horses and well-dressed people. Actually, some of the (older) ladies could have easily been mistaken for the Queen from behind – it was very fun to watch outfits in general and try on hats at the hat shop!

The horse names in all the different races were also quite exceptional, for example A Miracle, Waky Sol, Kimberley‘s Dream, Banana Split and Amorous Adventure. But all those wacky names didn’t give them a big advantage – in the end the horse with the almost subtle name Second Step and its jockey Jamie Spencer took the victory of the most important race on Sunday. Between races you could enjoy your Florida ice cream or a glass of wine listening to the live band playing songs from Buena Vista Social Club (one of my very favorite summer music) to modern pop or jazz interpretations. Or you could have a closer look at the beautiful horses at the parade ring or the presentation ceremony.

A visit to Hoppegarten is a very nice opportunity to swap your dark clothes for your Sunday dress, hat and picknick basket. And with a bit of luck and knowledge you could actually leave the racing not only with great new impressions, but also with a bit of betting money in your pocket. Enjoy my impressions after the jump. The next races are on September 20 and October 3, 2015.

Alicia by Alicia
on August 12th, 2015
in Photos, Stories

Awesome Outdoor Activities in Berlin

Der Kegel

Outdoor activities may not be the first thing you think about in context with Berlin but in summer this metropolis’ parks, unique green areas and the Spree are the perfect backdrop for some outdoor fun. Berlin is filled with little and big parks so there is always the option to get your friends together for a picnic in the park, sip a cold drink and just chill in one of the beach bars by the Spree or take a day trip and go swimming in one of the many lakes around Berlin.

But maybe you’ve done all this already and and are now looking for a bit more adventure? Fret not, you don’t need to leave your beloved city to find adventure. We have compiled a list for you on where to get active and get your blood pumping in Berlin. Read more about our recommendations after the jump.

Yoori by Yoori
on August 7th, 2015
in Stories

Letters from Berlin

Letters from Berlin

photo: Linka A. Odom

I first visited Berlin in the spring of 2008 when I stayed with a friend in Kreuzberg. As we roamed the city, we bumped into people he knew at every turn, even though he had only been living there a few months. A vegan poet cooked us dinner, we rode the U-Bahn without paying, we went to a party in an abandoned warehouse where one of the musicians was, by coincidence, someone I had met the day before in a bookshop. I found all of this unbelievably cool. In Berlin, I felt unbelievably cool. Yes, it was grey and gritty, but there was space, it was cheap, the cafés were filled with unemployed creatives from around the world and a glass of wine was only 1.50 euros.

I fell in love with Berlin in one weekend and its allure lingers with me. Most recently I’ve had the pleasure of returning to it through the eyes of an eclectic and talented group of Berlin writers who are contributors to a series of essays, Letters from Berlin released by The Pigeonhole. More about it after the jump.

by Guest Author
on July 29th, 2015
in Stories

Why Do Straight Girls Go To Gay Parties

Why Do Straight Girls Go To Gay Parties

From cheap, awesome gays bars such as Möbel Olfe to highly sexual institutions like Lab.Oratory, it is no secret that Berlin’s queer scene has been under the spotlight for a long time now. Considering the fact that parties like Homopatik are causing insanely long queues in front of ://about blank every month, one might be tempted to argue that what was long meant as safe haven for the queer community has slowly become a refuge for straight people wanting to have their cake and eat it too…

by Guest Author
on July 15th, 2015
in Party, Stories

City of Exiles: Berlin from the Outside in


Iggy Pop, 1978, Berlin, photo: Esther Friedman

When I moved to Berlin in 2009, I was struck by two things. One was the strong feeling I had, a feeling that is hard to describe. It was a kind of peace that washed over my restlessness. At the same time, I noticed that Berlin was a meeting place, that people from all over were flooding into an open city. Berlin was a city of strangers and between them I sensed a beautiful solidarity. As a writer who has lived in several cities and had travelled much, I wanted to understand these things about Berlin. I soon realized that a certain kind of free spirit had been drawn to Berlin for a long time, and often for similar reasons. I wanted to know why. So in 2011 I began to write a book, City of Exiles: Berlin from the outside in, which was published in May by Noctua Press. After the jump you can read an excerpt from the second chapter of the book. Enjoy!

by Guest Author
on June 19th, 2015
in Books, Stories