Stories

How I “found myself” in Berlin

Finding Yourself by Keith Telfeyan-033334

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 Keith
on November 22nd, 2017
in Stories

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

Trump_Merkel

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 Claudio
on November 17th, 2017
in People, Stories

Altered State of Mind: 5 Ways to a Controlled High

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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 Andy
on November 2nd, 2017
in Stories

What Techno Can Teach You

club neon

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

Don’t take Free Things for Granted: 10 Years of Free Digital Publishing

Yannic Pöpperling

Sponsored

Nobody from our team of iHeartBerlin ever planned to become a full-time blogger or to be working as an independent publisher in the beginning of the project. If we would have thought it through from the beginning we would have logically stepped away from doing anything like that. Essentially because it does not sound really promising.

First you put years of money, energy and time into a project that is freely available to everybody and has no financial outcome. Secondly, even if it turns out to become eventually a business like it happened for us, you never know if this business model will be outdated and irrelevant in a short period of time.

So why did we become an independent publisher in Berlin than? A city with no big brands or investors and no state-funding for digital publishers? The answers to this questions and also why we decided to collaborate with Flattr, a new digital startup supporting independent content creators all over the world is easy.

Claudio by Claudio
on October 24th, 2017
in Party, Stories

The Stories behind Berlin’s Icons

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photo: Camilla Bundgaard.

Perhaps one of the main thoughts when thinking about Berlin, at least for young people that is, are its popular nightclubs, music venues, events, clubs and techno parties. In fact, Berlin has been gaining a reputation of this wild and sleepless city where the party never ends. However, Berlin is much more than just an endless rave – not to mention that it was the capital of Nazi Germany and it was also infamously divided during the Cold War – and its historical landmarks are a crucial part of what makes Berlin such an interesting city. So, although we usually try not to write about mainstream tourist sights, through the big urban icons listed in this piece you will get to understand a little bit of the history behind them.

by Guest Author
on October 23rd, 2017
in Mitte, Museums, Stories

Berlin’s Special Relationship to Drugs

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photo: Ricardo Mancía

People do drugs in Berlin, and not just a few to be honest. Drugs, drugs, drugs… I could easily dive into the discourse now, stressing the risks, debating labels like legal and illegal. And, paint dreadful pictures of needles, white powder, pills… But, let’s just focus on the fact that people DO it, and not just in nightclubs since the early 80’s, people have been using substances to change their state of mind since the beginning of time. Even if it’s just these four glasses of wine on a Friday night or that good old nicotine shock, still, we’re using a drug.

People could just sit together and have a cup of tea, right? But, they don’t. Where human logic comes to a sudden end, there must be some ‘higher’ need. But, why is it that people in Berlin appear to desire this change of mindset so much, more than in other cities? When people come staggering my way out of overcrowded bars at Oranienstraße, when I take in the scent of burning rolled-up leaves, walking past Görlitzerpark, and staring eyes with big, round pupils pass by at Ostbahnhof, I can’t help but ask myself: If you all need to alter your consciousness in Berlin, is there something wrong with Berlin?

Andy by Andy
on October 20th, 2017
in Stories

Why are all the Gay Men Straight?

Berlin Party Photos-9522

Location: Berlin. Display Name: I should delete this app. Edit Profile. About Me: Could you ask me before you send me photos of your dicks. Thank you. Looking for: A conversation that does not go like “Hi”,“Hi”, “Horny?” for a change (?). Ok whatever I’m deleting this. Relationship Status: Single.

I did it. I’m off the Grind. I’m out in the real world and ready to get to it. So, just be confident, out-going and it’ll get so easy from here. Who am I fooling? The world is there to complicate things. So, once more, scene entrance: Berlin, this major side character, wanting to add some drama to the narrative. Berlin might lure thousands of suitable gay candidates into town. But, it’s also that catalyst making half of the male population pretty metrosexual. What’s the story’s premise: All men seem so pretty damn gay! Everyone is either ‘Berlin-Straight’, with an abnormal sense for fashion, ‘bi-curious’, and actually more curious than really bi, or ‘hetero-flexible’, which is an absurdity of a name anyways. Hooking up with a straight dude – mmh mmh that fantasy. But, mostly that fantasy only gets real juicy once, … or really not at all, ever.

Andy by Andy
on October 16th, 2017
in Stories

How Berlin influences Celebrity Artists from around the World

10. Nadja Sayej and James Franco, Berlin, 2011_Photo_NadjaSayej

Nadja Sayej has interviewed them all: From Susan Sarandon, to Yoko Ono, Dita Von Teese and James Franco. In seven years she found her way into the worlds of the rich and famous, and listened to extravagant stories told at VIP parties over champagne glasses at pool bars. But, despite all these quirky talks about glamour, life philosophies, and bizarre scenarios some celebrities took their time to mention the German capital and what role it played in their life or for their work. Nadja Sayej’s new Celebrity Interview Book, a collection of 21 interviews of some of the world’s biggest stars, will be published on October 26th and we have already collected a few Berlin anecdotes for you…

Andy by Andy
on October 16th, 2017
in People, Stories

The Most Dreaded Moments in Berlin

auslenderbehorde

illustrations: Berk Karaoglu

With Halloween coming up in just a month, we thought we’d embrace the everyday spooky scenarios we are constantly exposed to in Berlin. And while the standard Berliner does not get intimidated by darkness, demons, or ghosts, and, as a matter of fact, is usually rather encouraging of experiencing any amount of supernatural visions, there are still some things that make us freak out. We’ve selected 5 top examples for both your reading pleasure and party inspo – I personally can’t think of a cooler way to boost up your Halloween game than arriving dressed up as a letter from Waldorf Frommer.

Michalina by Michalina
on October 13th, 2017
in Stories