Stories

The Pleasures of Berlin’s Abundance of Green

Parks Berlin-7118

Berlin’s green spaces are probably one of its most cherished assets – and rightly so. They are as diversified as the city itself and will easily transform according to your daily agenda, no matter if you need a sunny picnic spot, a peaceful field for your yoga session, or a chilled location to drink up your recent Späti purchases.

Indeed, 59% of Berlin’s whole surface has some vegetation going, and although this does not place our capital anywhere close to the top ten of Germany’s greenest cities (and 12% shy of Hamburg’s score), I like to think we’re doing our best. Just take a look at all the random plants people put on their balconies (or sometimes windowsills) in no particular order, giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘’urban jungle’’.

Michalina by Michalina
on August 15th, 2017
in Stories

Berlin Biting you in the Ass

Berlin by Tania Strauss 1

photos: Tania Strauss

My story is not different from anyone who has moved to Berlin and got stung by its venom. The venom is strong enough to infect you and leave you alive with its side effects, happily suffering. My friend describes it as “Berlin biting you in the ass”. This is quite accurate. You see a bite in the ass leaves a mark, a literal mark and a feeling. So does Berlin.

I moved to Berlin exactly 300 days ago. Just writing this is making it even harder to believe. 300 days. That is the longest I have ever been away from home. Well, I am kind of confused now as to where home is, but Berlin seems the most appropriate next to this word. I have found a home in the coldest, greyest, probably cruelest city in Germany. It is also the coolest, most liberal, accepting and very different from the rest of Germany.

by Guest Author
on August 9th, 2017
in Photos, Stories

A Guide to Getting it Together

getittogether

illustrations: Berk Karaoglu

There are certain typical Berlin problems that we have seen too many times; too many fresh starts that just ended in a year of doing nothing, too many conversations about amazing, innovative, entrepreneurial projects that were never realized. We’ve heard too many stories about dating neuroses and complaints about being single, the weather, tourists, gentrification or life in general. Even if there’s NOTHING to complain about! Yes, Berlin is the destination for procrastination but it’s 2017 y’all! Let’s make it the year we all start to get it together! Especially, if you relate to one or more of the following 5 shortcomings.

Andy by Andy
on August 7th, 2017
in Stories

Why the Fuck Am I Single?

Gay Dating Berlin Grindr-0380

photos: Stella Manouseli

Location: Berlin. Display Name: … Remember to pick a super funny and witty name later. Edit Profile. About Me: …Uhm… Well, twenty-something, decent height, well proportioned, I’d say, comparably smart. Looking for… Mr. Right …or Mr. Right now (?). Relationship Status: Single.

That’s probably what I typed into some dating app 5 years ago after moving to Berlin. Things changed, but that one thing hasn’t: Relationship status: Single! Single, Single, SINGLE! Let’s be honest here, I want a boyfriend, no denying that. We all want a professional cuddling partner. So, no shade! People have said I’m “damn cute”, “oh so hilarious”, “definite bf material” and I have spent a whole lot of time on living up to my own visual expectations. Time that I could have easily used on pizza, beer, and Sex and the City binge watching. Still, I can tell many bed stories, but no love story. So, seriously guys, why the fuck am I single? But, as the hopeless, self-ironic optimist that I am. I see every awkward date and disturbing sexual encounter as a funny, absurd life lesson to learn from, laugh about and carry on. And, as I am such a talkative person I will let y’all participate now, life lesson by life lesson. And maybe by the end of it all I will write ‘Lesson #378: How I got my boyfriend’ … but first things first:

Andy by Andy
on August 3rd, 2017
in Stories

Dancing in the Streets of Berlin

Dance Street Berlin Karneval

photos: Min Kyung Choi

Dearest Berlin, let us dance!

Already wearing your prettiest summer-dress and smiling your brightest smile!
Finally your days are long, your nights short. Melt into each other. Have no beginning and no end.
The melancholic spirit of winter seems long past and is forgiven.
Dark November blues melt simultaneously with my frozen lemon popsicles.
The sky painted in radiant blue. This is why I fell in love with you, Berlin.
Everything is blooming and the city is raging with life. Listening to street musicians while bathing in the sun.
Watching shimmering shadows dancing in the moonlight.
Dreams seem to come true during summer.

by Guest Author
on August 1st, 2017
in Photos, Stories

Has Berlin become too Touristy?

Berlin Tourism by Christian Schirrmacher CC-BY-2.0 3

photo: Christian Schirrmacher / CC

Since the early 90s, after the Wall in Berlin fell, the city has seen slow growth in tourism, still not compared to that of London or Paris, but which in the last few years rocketed to the sky. And that of course hasn’t left the ready-to-complain Berliners without something to say about it: Locals nag about the city having become too busy, too noisy, and of course overpriced. The Berliners’ sentiment for foreigners has gone so far that there are even anti-tourists movements who hold real protests, against the city’s enemy: you. But how serious are Berliners in their detest of visitors?

Stella by Stella
on July 31st, 2017
in Stories

Dealing (or not Dealing) with Berlin’s Crappy Weather

Rain in Berlin by Streichwerk header

photo: Maximilian Streich

My infatuation with Berlin knows no boundaries. If all else fails, I plan to become like one of these viral stories ladies who marry Eiffel Tower or something, and be officially Mrs. Berlin. Its unpretentious coolness, its chilled vibe and inclusive, tolerant attitude, makes it #citycrusheveryday. There’s only one instance when Berlin poops right inside my soul: those grey, rainy days when Berlin experiences an identity crisis, raining cats and dogs for hours at a time, forgetting completely what season it’s supposed to be.

First of all, this is not even a season. I mean in winter you look out the window, grey, wet: you process this information and dress accordingly. With this mess of a weather you don’t know what to wear anymore, because even if it’s pouring it’s 25 degrees, so you’re both cold and sweating, ending up in a fur coat flip flops and an umbrella, looking like a pimp in the middle of Kotti. Setting aside the constant headache from the humidity,  this weather also messes with your general will to exist: suddenly the outside of your house feels so hostile, the slightest relocation is certain to have you drenched, so there goes your motivation to go to work, to the supermarket, to your friend, anywhere.

Stella by Stella
on July 24th, 2017
in Stories

A Night with the Royal Couple in Berlin

Royal Visit Claerchens Ballhaus-3881

In Berlin, we are famous for Techno, for being creative and for solving problems with minimal resources. But to be perfectly honest we are also famous all over the world for being frank and direct to the point of being actually rude. So are we rough Berliners able to be gentlemen and gentlewomen and to respect a certain etiquette when the British Royals come to visit? Let’s say, that we tried our best.

On occasion of the visit of William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (or Prince William and Kate Middleton for the less yellow-press-savvy readers) we got the chance to meet them and be part of a small gathering of Berlin creatives. Inside the beautiful Clärchens Ballhaus, emerging entrepreneurs and passionate artists from different disciplines came together to exchange and network following the invitation of the British Council and the British Embassy. Guests of honors, the Royal Couple, made an elegant appearance and seemed to not even sweat while the room was boiling hot from the humid air of a stormy summer night.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 21st, 2017
in People, Stories

These Berliners Have an Important Message to Share

Marlen Michael Frank Alice Soeren Laetitia

photos: Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert

Continuing my story about our campaign for the Ehe für Alle organization together with SKYY Vodka I would like to present you today with the results of a photo shoot and interview we did with some of my dear colleagues from the world of blogs and Instagram. We designed a T-shirt that is calling for support from our straight friends and family members in our fight for marriage equality and other causes important to the LGBTQ community. We gave these shirts to a group of fellow bloggers and Instagrammers so they can spread our message to their fans and followers. We asked Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert to take some photos of them with the shirts. He’s one of our favorite Berlin photographers who we have featured multiple times here on iHeart over the years with his amazing analog portraits and who has empowered the LGBTQI community with his book Gender is a Spectrum. Today we want to share with you the beautiful results of our shoot.

We also asked all of them what their position is on the campaign, on the involvement of a brand like SKYY Vodka and what they think the next big steps should be now that marriage equality has been introduced. Their answers were so strong and beautiful that we want to share them with you as well. Thanks to everyone who participated, especially to the Ehe für Alle initiative and all the organizations that are part of it who fought hard for marriage equality to become a reality in Germany.

Frank by Frank
on July 21st, 2017
in People, Stories

Dreaming of Hot Summer Days in Berlin

andrea9

photos: Andrea Padoan

We’re all waiting for summer. We’re waiting for that true Berlin Summer. When there is no cloud at the sky, when the sun beams down mercilessly and the asphalt burns under our feet. Days that never end, days where we’re floating from park, to Späti to Balcony. We’re high on life, Vitamin D, wine and our best friend’s joint. These Berlin summer days create unforgettable memories. Memories that we share with our friends, or with that special someone. Maybe a romance, only for these steaming weeks of August, or maybe we keep that person by our side a little longer to warm us, embrace us for the cold Berlin winter months.

In his photo story photographer Andrea Padoan captures one of these special Berlin days. Two men spending a hot summer day at Tempelhofer Feld together. They have a few beer, Mate, and they have each other. Living in Berlin, it’s easy to relate. A day where time doesn’t matter anymore, nothing’s planned and we just live by the course of the sun. We wear the least amount of fabric, we eat whatever we want, we drink whatever we want, we are covered in sweat but no one cares because everybody is. One of these days where Berlin vibrates and stands still at the same time. We are all waiting for these days. Maybe they’re gonna come…

Andy by Andy
on July 21st, 2017
in Photos, Stories