7 Steps How to Avoid Becoming a Smartphone Zombie

Girl Texting by Michele Ursino

photo: Michele Ursino

We’ve all seen them, out in the streets of Berlin, in our offices, they’re in the clubs, in all the cafes. They’ve penetrated our circle of friends, maybe we are even becoming one of them ourselves? I’m talking about one of the ugly results of the Social Media Age: Smartphone Zombies. They walk in the streets without checking the traffic, they sit silently across from each other in restaurants, whole hordes of them in the subway, and all of them constantly gazing into the screen of their smartphones as if they were staring through a magical looking glass into another dimension, one that seems to be significantly more exciting than the world that surrounds them.

How often do you use your smartphone? Is it the first thing you grad when you wake up, and the last thing you see before you fall asleep? How often do you check your new likes, your incoming Whatsapp messages or eMails? How often do you upload new photos on Facebook and Instagram? Maybe you are becoming a Smartphone Zombie yourself and you haven’t even realized it yet? Maybe no-one tells you because all your friends are already infected and this behavior has become a state of normalcy for all of you?

If you think the symptoms are recognizable than maybe it’s time you take action before it’s too late. We’ve compiled a list of 7 steps that will help you to avoid becoming a Smartphone Zombie. You can work your way through our list of steps and depending how early you begin to fail our recommendations the more serious your infection seems to be. But don’t worry, the final step has a remedy that will surely help you as it entails a chance to win a dream vacation on Ibiza in the Vila Mare by Gin Mare. But first things first, here are our 7 steps on how to avoid becoming a Smartphone Zombie…

Frank by Frank
on June 15th, 2015
in Stories, Travel

5 Highlights of Milan Design Week 2015

Milan Design Week-7358

We have to admit that we are a little late with our trend review of the best of the Milan Design Week. But better late than never right? Not only did we have a great experience at the Airbnb House Warming exhibition, but were also impressed by other places with intriguing and remarkably intelligent design installations. Check out the 5 highlights we found after the jump that includes a couple of designs from here that were shown at the Berlin Design Selection showroom that’s currently traveling around Europe to several design events.

Claudio by Claudio
on May 11th, 2015
in Art, Travel

Berlin Escapes: Join the Explorers

The Explorers - Ben Paper Boys

The Spring is not only the time to redecorate your house, start a new affair, get a last-minute gym membership to prepare for summer time and to enjoy the first warm days, it’s also the time to plan your vacations and trips for the year. Of course we are not all going to be here in Berlin all the time and as we are a travel-eager bunch here we would like to give you a few recommendations of where to go in our Travel section.

Today we have an interesting urban exploring project for you that will lead you on a tour to the amazing European cities of Lyon, Antwerp, Bristol, Copenhagen, Florence, Istanbul, Budapest and Hamburg. Initiated by French footwear label Palladium the tour will follow video journalist and blogger Georgia LA from sbtv and photographer and Instagram genius Emmanuel Cole to these cities who will meet up with local insiders and discover the underground scenes and most exciting places. As you can see the tour consciously avoids the big European metropolises such as Paris, London, Rome and (well) Berlin, and instead focusses on less travelled places that are gaining more interest for contemporary travelers in recent years. We salute these choices and cannot wait to see the findings of the tour that will be published on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all hashtagged with #palladiumexplorers.

On May 11, 2015, the tour will start in Lyon where our explorers will meet the guys from local webzine and visual agency Paperboys who will show them around in their city. The smiling gentlemen in the photo above is one of them, by the way. After the jump you can see a first trailer for the tour and get a first impression of Lyon. There will a few documentary films shot and lots of amazing photos taken. Everyone who is also traveling to or living in these 8 cities is welcome to join the project and give insider tips to our explorers and win amazing prices along the way.

Frank by Frank
on May 5th, 2015
in Travel, Videos

Housewarming – An Experience by Fabrica & Airbnb at Milan Design Week

Milano, Fabrica for Airbnb © Cristian Castelnuovo

photos: Cristian Castelnuovo and iHeartBerlin

What makes you feel welcome in a new place, a new city or a new home? When I came to Berlin for the first time it was the free seat in the subway at Warschauer Straße waiting for me every morning to go to the university in Dahlem. I expected the subway to be a hostile and neurotic place and yet it was very relaxing for me to spend the 45 minutes just sitting there to observe the different kinds of people Berlin had to offer (and still has).

While traveling the world I discovered that there are many rituals and even traditions of welcoming strangers in a home. For the Milan Design Week that took place from April 14-19 this year we had the chance to see a very diverse and interesting interpretation of the topic. The social home sharing platform Airbnb partnered with the creative design and innovation center Fabrica to create Housewarming, an experimental exhibition celebrating simple welcoming traditions and the connection experienced by guests and hosts through sharing their home.

The exhibition took place at Palazzo Crespi, a historic and impressive private mansion that was open to the public for the first time for this year’s Milan Design Week. Embedded into the different parts of the Palazzo we discovered the installations and performances of 19 international designers who showed their versions of the welcoming traditions from their home country. Enjoy our impressions after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 28th, 2015
in Art, Travel

Dancing in the Underground of Rome – La Rampa

gda_elektrica (49 di 70)

Photo: Giovanni De Angelis

In Berlin everybody – tourist and locals alike – are celebrating the nightlife as if it were the best thing on the planet. Actually, there is almost an absurd cult around certain clubs, parties and DJs that makes you wonder why people are so obsessed with it. Very often you hear people say: Berlin has the best nightlife all around the world. Nowhere else can you experience so much sexual and personal freedom while going out as in Berlin. With the large amount of abandoned and unused space Berlin has a fertile ground for unconventional locations where amazing nightclubs were born.

But to be honest, I think that the attitude around the Berlin nightlife has somehow began to annoy me. No one will argue that Berlin might have a great nightlife, but this doesn’t mean that every party is going to be great and that everybody you will meet at a party will be great. I sometimes feel that the “fame” the Berlin nightlife has gained over the years is taking away its most important component: The down to earth and relaxed attitude Berlin always used to have.

With this in mind I am always quite enthusiastic when I discover amazing parties in other cities. A couple of years ago I found a great one in Sao Paulo already, and now I stumbled over an amazing club in Rome that I really want to share with you.

Rome is probably not the city you go to for partying if you are a foreigner, but rather for extreme sightseeing. But since I hate sightseeing I was quite happy about my discovery: La Rampa is a cultural center in Rome with several artist studios and cultural associations. It was built as a storage for the Opera, was later repurposed as a school and is now a multidisciplinary art center. I had the chance to go to one of the amazing parties happening in the cellar of the space and was completely in love with the impressive location. You had to go deep down inside the earth to enter the club but could still see the stars above you. The thing that made the party night perfect was the amazing crowd celebrating there and the good attitude of the organizers, door men and people involved. I guess you don’t need somebody mean at the door to make your point about how good your party is. Fortunately, I met talented photographer Giovanni De Angelis at the party from L-Ektrica who agreed on sharing his photos of that night with you. Check out his impressions after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 17th, 2015
in Party, Photos, Travel

Cinéma de Mode: A Berliner in Marseille


Some time ago we presented to you the places project by Italian fashion brand Antony Morato. After showing you beautiful men from Naples, London and Barcelona we are glad now to present you another interesting episode. This time flamboyant model and Berliner Paul Boche discovers rough and urban Marseille for us and elaborates the cultural difference between Marseille to the rest of France in a poetic monologue. We love how the black and white images of architecture goes hand in hand with the fashion looks. For sure this way of connecting urbanity with elegant menswear will stay in your visual memory for a while. The whole video after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on April 3rd, 2015
in Fashion, Travel

iHeartBerlin on the Road – Our Favorite Destinations in 2014

iHeartBerlin on the Road – Our Favorite Destinations in 2014

As much as I love Berlin, there is one thing I love even more: travelling! When I look back I think this year was the one with the most amount of travelling in my entire life. I feel truely lucky to live in a time and place where international travel is so easy and comfortable. I grew up in the GDR so for my parents this was a completely different story. Lucky for me the wall came down when I was seven so from that time on I already made trips with my family to the Canary Islands, Scottland and the US.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram must have been wondering why I call my account iheartberlin at all, because I think I posted more photos from my travels than I do from Berlin (shame on me!). But in the end just because I cherish the opportunity to discover new places doesn’t mean I heart my own city any less. A few of my travels I already featured here on the blog such as my ski trip to Hovden, the visit to Buenos Aires Fashion Week, our art tour to Luxembourg and our amazing week in New York. But there were so many more trips I haven’t spoken about yet that I want to do it here before the year ends.

I think all of the places I chose for this round-up are beautiful and worth a visit. Some of them are great to escape the cold winter in Berlin, and some will be perfect for the pre-season in Spring to enjoy some early summer sun. Enjoy some of my photos from trips to Turkey, Brazil, Austria and Italy after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on December 9th, 2014
in Photos, Travel

Berlin is always there – A Weekend in Deauville

Kristine Thiemann

photo: Kristine Thiemann

The days are getting shorter, it’s cold outside and we are facing at least three months of Berlin winter.

So a few weeks back, I jumped to the opportunity of a little getaway weekend in France. A couple of days in Paris and a few relaxing nights in Deauville near the ocean sounded simply perfect. Little did I know about all the extravaganza the tiny village had in store for me, even a piece of Berlin crossed my path on the nomadic coast…

Lia by Lia
on November 28th, 2014
in Art, Travel

10 Amazing Things to do in New York City

10 Amazing Things to do in New York City

Some Berliners like to climb the Brooklyn bridge and replace the American flags with white ones when they are in New York. When we went to the Big Apple recently, we were maybe not quite as progressive.

I have to admit that I avoided going to the states after my last visit 12 years ago. But despite my general disinterest in this country I always knew that I had to give New York City another try, especially since my last visit is almost 20 years in the past. And boy am I glad that I finally did it. I was amazed by this city, much more than I expected to be. Everything seems to be bigger, better, faster, stronger – and I’m not even exaggerating. It almost felt a bit odd when I returned to Berlin afterwards and everything almost seemed small and ordinary to me.

New York is an extreme city, but much like Berlin it’s totally up to you what you make of it. And thanks to our local guide and good friend Archer we managed to make something really great out of it and had a phantastic time there. To share some of our excitement with you we compiled a list of 10 amazing things to do in New York that will hopefully inspire your next trip.

Frank by Frank
on August 15th, 2014
in Travel

Berlin Escapes: An Opera Trip to Verona


photo: Roberto Bolle at Arena di Verona by Luciano Romano

In the summer months it’s always noticeable that there is a little less going on in town than usual. Even the Berlin visitors are taking little excursions to other European places and before you stay here and get bored maybe you should also plan your next short trip. Today we have one suggestion for you: The beautiful city of Verona in Northern Italy. It’s not only the home of the fictional tragic couple of Romeo and Juliet, but also one of the most charming Italian cities to visit and only such a short flight away from Berlin.

The romantic, historic city is a total contrast to the rough urban landscapes of Berlin. One historic building aligns itself with the next and you will quickly feel like you are lost in another time. Among the many highlights of the city the one location that is going to be in every “Top 10 Things to do in Verona” lists (I checked…) is the Arena di Verona. Find out more about it after the jump.

Frank by Frank
on August 5th, 2014
in Music, Theater, Travel