Berlin for Orlando – A Memorial Under the Rainbow

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photo: Andi Weiland:

It was one of the quietest Saturday nights of my past 12 years in Berlin. Without any particular expectations a friend and I drove with the bikes from Kreuzberg to Brandenburger Tor while the sun light slowly started to decrease as the evening went on. As soon as we were there I felt my heart change in speed. The whole place was packed with men, women and kids. Some faces seemed familiar from late nights, parties and bars spend in the queer scene. Others I recognized from my everyday life in offices, cafes, bakeries or pharmacies. Does it matter who the people are who mourn for the victims in Orlando? Does is matter if they are young, old, gay, straight, black, white, trans or cis? For me it didn’t. I saw a place filled with heartfelt sorrow. With tears and cries and shattered minds, not able to understand and not able to forget the latest attack.

Nightclubs are a special place in the LGBTI world. On the first look they just seem to be a place for easy flirts, pumped bodies and shallow excitement. An arena of hedonism and a vanity fair. Where broken hearts and sucked dicks exchange numbers just to never actually call each other. But beyond the surface you might find out that nightclubs are a unique place for self exploration. Where first kisses are exchanged and drag stars are born. They offer safety and comfort under the shine of the disco lights to the ones who get discriminated and mistreated in their daily life just for not fitting in.

The shooting in Orlando hit the LGBT communities all around the world by attacking this safe haven. As Berliners we know the power and magic of nightclubs and could feel the horror on our skins, while reading the news about the deaths of the Orlando victims who just wanted to spend a night out with their friends or lovers.

On Saturday night the Brandenburger Tor for the first time in history was illuminated in the colors of the rainbow. But what matters where the radiant hearts of the Berliners that came. Under the collective mourn I felt a community that was not necessarily connected by the same experiences of discrimination or shared sex preferences. Berlin showed the world that its inhabitants are out and proud. Not afraid of hate and not afraid to love.

As the gathering slowly dissolved I felt so happy to be part of this community and at the same time so sad that it took such horrible event to bring us all together. Our impressions of the memorial after the jump.

Claudio by Claudio
on June 20th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

7 Moments When You Have To Stay Strong In Berlin

Stay Strong Moments

Berlin is generally known as an easy going, relaxed happy place to have fun and take things slow. As much as we enjoy this reputation, it’s not all roses and unicorns here after all. We have our moments of struggles as well, some are Berlin specific and some are the same as in many other big cities in the world. It’s a part of life I guess. Sometimes you just have to stay strong.

The new campaign of the yogurt drink Actimel is all about these moments when people have to bite their teeth, make the best of it and stay strong. It’s quite a relatable sentiment, but as diverse as our world is, everyone gets to these moments quite differently. So the guys from Actimel asked us: when do you have to stay strong in Berlin? The question made us immediately think of the hilarious illustrated comics of Sophia Halamoda who showed us how to get into two of the most impenetrable institutions of Berlin: the notorious Berghain night club and the feared Bürgeramt. So we extended the question to her and together we came up with a list of some typical struggles that we face here in Berlin. We’ve all been there at some point! After the jump you’ll find 7 moments when you have to stay strong in Berlin.

Frank by Frank
on June 20th, 2016
in Stories

Finding Your Way Back To Berlin

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photos: Linus Ma

Seven months in the US tore me away from the beloved city at the Spree, and showed me my very own version of the “American Dream”, although I still don’t really know what that truly means. I got dropped into the shiny swirl of the City of Angels and just thrown out again, unprepared and unarmed. Suddenly, I am back in Berlin, and what was once familiar, now seems weirdly odd. So I have to find out all over again: What makes this city desirable? Here is a story about waking up from pink dreams and falling in love with Berlin again.

by Guest Author
on June 17th, 2016
in Photos, Stories

Dining at the Cemetery: Moos Restaurant at Silent Green

Moos Restaurant 5

Berlin is really good at re-purposing old places. Factories turn into clubs, old bunkers turn into art galleries, and in Wedding, a crematorium has been converted into a very nice restaurant and art gallery space. It’s called Moos, and it sits in the middle of an old cemetery.

The food is wonderful, as is the architecture. It feels very refined and classy, but not in a stuffy, expensive way. It’s chic and sophisticated, but approachable.

Keith by Keith
on June 17th, 2016
in Restaurants, Wedding

Exploring Berlin: Schlesisches Tor

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Whether you’re in the mood for romance, showing friends around from out of town, or just collecting your own thoughts outdoors, it’s always a good idea to take a stroll through Berlin’s cosmopolitan wonder. And with the lovely sun shining, can you think of anything better?

Kreuzberg’s Schlesisches Tor might be the hardest U-Bahn station for non-natives to pronounce. It also happens to serve as a junction between three districts, all straddling the eastern intersection of the Spree and Landwehrkanal. This area is full of vibrant activity – how about a stroll around it?

Keith by Keith
on June 16th, 2016
in Kreuzberg

What it means to be Different

Golden Kai Staenicke

In the light of recent events there was a lot of talk about the struggle of LGBT people all over the world. It seems that somehow a lot of people have forgotten how unfairly trans, lesbian, bi and gay people are still being treated. Even though on a superficial level it appears LGBT people have reached a certain level of acceptance and integration (in some places) they forget how difficult it is growing up being different (and that applies not only for LGBTs). This heart-warming short film from Berlin-based director Kai Stänicke finds a beautiful way to explain exactly that: what it means to be different.

Frank by Frank
on June 15th, 2016
in Videos

Berlin’s Nightlife & Music Scene of the 1920s

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photos: Berlin – Sounds of an Era

“The city had a jewel-like sparkle, especially at night, that didn’t exist in Paris”

Josephine Baker

Berlin in the 20′s: With the Jazz emerging and the dresses shortening, a new feeling of life entered the city, invigorating its nightlife. The time frame of the Weimar Republic might have set the tone for the capital’s later years, up until the now – including wild dancing, loud music and free spirit.

The city was in a blaze of glory – with the horror’s of the war and the cultural scene ever-changing – and it has some amazing contemporary witnesses and their music that are testaments for this unique period.

Yasmin by Yasmin
on June 15th, 2016
in Books, Music, Party

Berlin’s Summer Music & Arts Festivals 2016

feel festival

photo: Feel Festival

It’s officially here! Festival season has begun and with the upcoming Fusion Festival (29 of June to 3rd of July), we felt the need to tell you about other great festivals coming up this summer in, around and sort of near Berlin. From German pop to techno, house and street food in Neukölln we’ve compiled a list of festivals that are definitely worth a visit. Take a break from city life, pack your things and go to the beach or forest nearby! There will be great music, good food and art. From workshops to exhibitions, performances: you can have it all this summer – at the following festivals. See them after the jump.

by Guest Author
on June 13th, 2016
in Art, Events, Music

Berlin is… sending Love

Seeing Pink

The only logical response to hate is love, and more love. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of responding with equal hate – it seems like a natural, instinctive reaction. But that’s only gonna make the hate even bigger.

Berlin always felt like a big safe bubble to me. I felt that my life was never affected here in a negative way. How lucky I am! The LGBTQ community is big, strong, well connected, diverse and very opinionated. Of course there have been incidents of attacks or discrimination against LGBT people here as well, but they seem to be much more rare compared to many other places in the world. I have heard heart-breaking stories of people that come from smaller towns and other countries, and of course you hear all these terrible news of horrific tragedies in the most conservative corners of the world. It’s these stories that make you question your own safety. And it makes you realize even more that you are living in a bubble.

Frank by Frank
on June 13th, 2016
in Stories

Design Your Own Magnum Ice Cream at the Pleasure Store

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After a hot summer day in the city, we couldn’t have imagined a better evening activity than visiting the opening party of the new Magnum Pleasure Store last Thursday at the Neues Kranzler Eck in Charlottenburg. During the Chocolate Hour that attracted top models, social media stars and ice cream lovers we had the chance to be one of the first people in Berlin to design our own unique Magnum. With the help of the “Pleasure Makers” in the store you could compile your own Magnum creation out of several tasty and decorative ingredients. The results were definitely the most stunning Magnum ice creams we’ve ever seen (and eaten).

The event was also the opening of the exhibition “Release the Beast” by famous fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott who shot Kendall Jenner for this photo series. The Pleasure Store has already opened in New York, London, Paris and Amsterdam and now it was about time that we got our hands on these deluxe ice creams here in Berlin. Get a preview of the store that will hopefully wet your appetite after the jump.

Kate by Kate
on June 13th, 2016
in Cafés, Charlottenburg