Is Berlin for Dreamers or Settlers?

For many, Berlin equals that nice kid on the playground you could always turn to without getting picked on. A big toy box where, magically, all squares, balls and triangles fit into the same hole. A safe space to announce becoming a lawyer on Monday and a modern artist on Thursday – basically a place where individualism bites conformity in the butt.

During my first internship I met heaps of creative people who just moved to Berlin and I couldn’t help but wonder: What is the fascination this place seems to hold? And most of all, can those who joined us here imagine to stay or just call this a phase and leave us behind? We know that Berlin is a stimulating place for people of every industry. Some people come uninspired only to find something they become passionate about, some come with a plan and see where it takes them, some got pulled in by a job offer only to apply for something else a few months later and some moved here for love, only to stay for something completely different.

Franziska by
on December 27th, 2017
in People, Stories

The Art of Intuitive Archery in Berlin Kreuzberg

Both my parents studied German Philosophy at University.  The hallway of our home was an entire library filled with old books showcasing the Stars of this particular scene. From Kant to Nietzsche, we had them all year around us and our lives. One day I discovered one particular book that was called “Zen and the Art of Archery”. Little did I know as a teenager that this book was a tremendous bestseller back in the days when German philosophy was really hip and cool. It’s about a German professor going to Japan to learn more about Zen. On top of getting philosophy lessons the old Japanese master also teaches him archery.

Now, nearly 15 years after discovering this book I am going to my first intuitive archery lesson here in Berlin. On Kottbusser Damm I am looking for a Dojo called BerlinAikido where I am meeting my teacher Latifa Rothacker.

Claudio by
on December 21st, 2017
in Stories

A Dating Fairytale: Hansel & Gretel in Berlin

photos: Felix Russell-Saw

Sometimes I wonder if our generation is more obsessed with fairy tales than previous ones. Faced with a reality of the gig-economy, serial dating and an all too uncertain future, who can really blame us? And honestly, nothing prepares you for life in Berlin quite like a steady diet of stories about abandonment, witches and cute animals. The revelation that fairy tales are not real (for better or worse) is one of the milder let-downs of adult life. As grown-ups, we just have to conjure up our own magic. The good thing about this is that we can be whoever we want to be. Siding with the witch, especially if she is beautiful and satisfyingly revengeful might be the best choice in the end.

I have met a lot of people in Berlin and despite an excellent memory I surely don’t remember all of them. Few people became part of my personal lore and some just vanished. And there is one that managed to do both: I call him Hansel.

on December 19th, 2017
in Stories

I tried “6 Unique Ways to Meet Quality People” in Berlin

illustrations: Berk Karaoglu

I came across an article offering “Unique Ways to Meet Quality People”. Since dating apps have become a haunt for the visually unfortunate and dull over the last years I was keen to find other options to acquire a “quality” mate. Please humor me when I say that I’m not quite sure how to spot a “quality person” in the wild and the guide offers little advice on that matter. But I wasn’t going to be stopped by such a minor obstacle. I followed the instructions step by step (or as close as personally possible). Here is what happened…

on December 11th, 2017
in Stories

A Trip to the Cutest Creatures of Brandenburg: Alpacas

For some Berliners, Brandenburg feels like Mordor from Lord of the Rings. A dark place you are not supposed to go. But our recent discovery will make this assumption disappear even for the most sceptikal ones: An Alpaka farm with the most fluffy creatures of the world

Just one hour from Berlin by car is the little village of Börnicke near Nauen. There you will find the privately run Alpaca farm run by Nora and Joachim. Both are big fans of Alpacas who normally live in South America. They decided to build a little stable for these incredible animals next to an idyllic forest.

When we arrived we did not really know what to expect. But as soon as we stood in the middle of the field the funny animals avidly came towards us eating crispy bread from our hands and cuddling with us. We instantly got high of joy. I would have never believed it myself, but playing with these animals gives you the absolute feeling of happiness. When they look at you with their cute big brown eyes you cannot avoid feeling a deep warm sensation around your heart.

Claudio by
on December 6th, 2017
in Stories, Travel, Wellness

Where is the Way to the Darkroom?

Location: Berlin. Display Name: What is love?. About Me: Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me. Looking for: No more. Relationship Status: Single.

Remember how I was like: “I’m off dating apps – Yay!” Yeah well, I got weak, I’m human, bear with me. But it’s fine, feeling generally good about myself right now: Bought myself socks with pineapple print, my 4 pack recently became a 5 pack, coconut butter is my latest skin care discovery, and I established a new, successful flirting strategy. When you combine your tendency to creepily stare at someone with a subtle charming smile, and just keep on staring, through all the different stages of weird, creepy, lunatic, and serial killer, respective person of interest can’t help, but finding you kinda cute after all – Success rate: 85% so far. So, as you can see, life is good!

Andy by
on November 27th, 2017
in Stories

How I “found myself” in Berlin

photos: Keith Telfeyan

People say Berlin is a city of lost souls. You can feel the drifting energy, black-clad and disembodied, the streets at all hours full of ghosts and zombies… There’s a prevalent zeitgeist of Sisyphean searching. You can drink cheap beer all day, never opening your eyes beyond what is necessary to obey the crosswalk signs. You can cut off all contact, drift away into total obscurity. Berlin: where young people retire, or: How to disappear completely.

Of course you can also get a job, start a family, normalize just like anywhere else. But there is a difference in Berlin… And first, in order to find yourself, you have to lose yourself, or at least recognize that you are lost. It tends to be a theme in this town.

Keith by
on November 22nd, 2017
in Stories

Be Part of the Human Chain in Berlin to Save the Whole World!

Sometimes Berlin is such a tolerant and peaceful place to live that we tend to forget how fucked up certain things really are. I mean, of course, there are many terrible and dangerous things going on (climate change, terrorism, HIV and so on). But certain things are beyond bad. They are so bad that we can’t even believe that they actually exist and are a real threat to us. I am speaking about nuclear weapons, which became more like an abstract concept in the last 25 years of the end of the cold war (at least on European soil).

But nuclear weapons are absurdly real and in times of Trump and Kim Jong-Un they get even closer to our privileged peaceful lives. This Saturday there is an incredible opportunity to fight them here in Berlin. ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year are organizing a Human Chain between the Embassy of North Korea and the US-Embassy. I had a little chat with the Board Member of ICAN Germany, Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm, born and raised in Berlin, about the protest and why we should all show up there.

Claudio by
on November 17th, 2017
in People, Stories

Altered State of Mind: 5 Ways to a Controlled High

artwork: Matt Furie

Even if you don’t agree with any form of drug use, there is a controlled, or more healthy way to consume many substances, and there are many different reasons why people seek that respective substance. Knowing and reflecting these different forms how and reasons why people are looking for their high, can prevent a lot of misunderstandings and stigmas in our everyday life. In light of the Altered Conference, held in Berlin for the first time next week, with workshops, talks and rituals on the subject of psychedelics, conscious drug practices and the social issues that come along with it, we thought about different approaches to substance use that exist here. After all, it’s not as easy as: You take drugs, so you’re a total wreck! In collaboration with the Altered team, we put together a list of 5 different scenes and motivations that are significant in Berlin.

Andy by
on November 2nd, 2017
in Stories

What Techno Can Teach You

photo: Alexander Popov

Techno is obviously not a new subject on this blog. After all, whether you like it or not, it’s one of Berlin’s most defining characteristics, the basics of which have already been discussed by Andy, the club culture expert we’re blessed to have on board. But, this time we look at techno from a little different angle.

Like with any social phenomenon that gained cult following, the subject is quite controversial. Although techno in general probably has more advocates in Berlin than it has opponents, there are still people willing (or less willing, but nevertheless reckoning) that they just don’t get it and regard the term ‘’club culture’’ as a modern-day example of an oxymoron at best.

This piece goes out to all of you. As baffling as the notion of gyrating on a crowded sweaty dance floor – only beaten in monotony by the two-hour queue preceding it might be, there are particular things thoroughly positive about it. I really didn’t think so either. But a funny turn of events steered by my own curiosity and the goodwill of some wonderful friends proved me wrong. And here are my takeaways:

Michalina by
on October 27th, 2017
in Music, Party, Stories