artwork: Eugenia Loli / CC*
“Men are all the same, just pick the richest one” seems like a solid framework for the jaded urbanite interested in dating men. I’m not classist, I went out with starving artists left and right, but sometimes a girl needs more than hard dick/clit and Späti beer.
I have toyed with the idea of dating someone with a thick bank account and a thin thread of life after an ex-partner suggested that “the lifestyle would suit” me. And of course I’d love to be the “personal assistant” and bed warmer for Gloria Swanson’s Norma Desmond, but my chances of ending up with some Berlin (read: far less wealthy) version of J. Howard Marshall are much better.
photos: Keith Telfeyan
On the scenic Spree riverbank at Hauptbahnhof’s Washingtonplatz sits a pavilion by the tourism board of Mexico. The installation highlights the many wonders of this country – its cuisine, its heritage and its natural beauty. The pavilion’s dome features the latest in flashy, interactive technology – I wore an Occulus Rift VR headset for the first time.
Mexico is indeed an awesome travel destination. I visited in December – it was the perfect warm getaway from the Berlin cold. I went to the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea, home to Playa del Carmen and Tulum of the Riviera Maya.
Spring has sprung! And you know what this means: Outdoor locations are becoming a thing again!
No more standing under heating lamps, clutching to your scarves. The last fluffs of your scarfs are scaling off your necks and many heads turn to other people again. With every raising degree, the core areas of the capital shift from inside to outside.
Berlin awakens in Spring. And along with it the people, the cafés, restaurants, urban parks and festivals are returning from their winter hideout. How we’ve missed the many opportunities to enjoy life under the clear sky. With Spring, all these possibilities are back!
And even better, we compiled a list of activities and locations that are back from winter hiatus and open again for you to enjoy. See them right after the jump.
The blog Abandoned Berlin is the #1 source for urban explorers as it’s the most comprehensive archive of abandoned places in and around Berlin, with detailed descriptions of how to get inside and what the dangers might be; it also has a lot of information about the history of the places. For me the most interesting part of the blog are the comments where recent visitors of each place leave their updates on the current situations regarding safety and accessibility.
The founder of the blog, Ciarán Fahey, also released a book with his favorite photographs from the blog that we reviewed a while ago. Now we stumbled across a brand-new wonderful documentary short that filmmaker Jordi Busquets shot with Ciarán. It includes footage of some of the most stunning abandoned places of Berlin such as the Teufelsberg spy station, the Spreepark amusement park, the old Children’s Hospital nicknamed Zombie Hospital, the former Tempelhof Airport (actually the only one that’s not really abandoned as it’s a huge refugee camp and public park now) and the old airport in Johannisthal. In the video Ciarán tells the story of his passion for urban exploring and how he started his blog and also some info on the history of the featured places. A great inspiration for all urban explorers. Enjoy the video after the jump.
The Berlin underground scene is one of the most diverse in the world. Makes sense – where there is a large society, there is also an underground, an anti-pole to the mainstream. If you look around the Hip Hop scene nowadays, a lot of things have changed. The subcultural character of Hip Hop seemingly vanished and slowly but steadily German Rap became mainstream. But still, Hip Hop is the voice of the unheard, an organ for the youth and a space for resistance.
Young filmmaker and and photographer Mirza Odabaşı took it upon himself to go back in time, to the origins of Berlin and German Rap culture and met up with a wide range of artists and personalities from the scene. In his documentary LeidenSchafft, a pun from the words “passion”, “misery” and “creation”, Odabaşı goes into the deep meanings of the local Rap culture, talks about identity and finding and defining yourself in and outside of the music. He met up with many icons of the scene, ranging from well-known artists like Marteria, Chefket, Eko Fresh and many more to rather Oldschool trailblazers such as Killa Hakan, Marcus Staiger or Spaiche.
In 43 minutes Odabaşı manages to get into topics such as experiences of social exclusion, some of the possible reasons to why Hip Hop is so popular amongst the alleged socially disadvantaged adolscents and portrays the people shaping the German Hip Hop scene in beautiful images in Berlin.
In that way, “LeidenSchafft” is a look back and an appraisal at the same time, bringing light to the underground. And human emotions.
See some impressions of the film and a teaser after the jump.
One of the many facets of Berlin that people really love and cherish is the rough, urban and industrial style of the city. It’s something that Berlin has in common with places like Brooklyn or South East London. But combined with Berlin’s history, the devision, the Soviet influence of the East, it developed a quite particular style that sets it apart from the other cities. Raw brick walls and concrete, factory lamps and Edison light bulbs, this is pretty much an aesthetic you will see all over the world. But Berlin adds old GDR relics, remains of the Soviet military, and remnants of old industries that were specific to Germany. The outcome is a unique mix of history, design and patina that feels specific to Berlin.
In our newest guide we want to introduce you to 3 shops that have specialized in industrial vintage design, all of which combine common aesthetics with more particular ones. We love all three of these shops as they capture so much an essential part of the style of Berlin. Enjoy!
“So, how did you two meet?” I hear myself ask.
15 years ago the Berlin duo Stereo Total sang about threesomes and here I was, the summer of 2015, meeting another couple for what feels like a therapy session but is really a vetting meeting for a possible threesome. How did I end up with yet another “straight” couple that is queering up their existence with a shared Tinder profile, my dear reader? The answer is simple: Because I’m an excellent middle ground for any couple. I’m cute enough to not be intimidating yet hot enough to provoke desire. I’m running an unregistered non-profit. Headquarters? My pants.
When you look around the streets of Berlin, on the tables of people’s homes, on Instagram, we are invaded by blossoms and flowers these days. The glorious beauty of Spring I like to call it. But the warm season is not the only one giving us the bright colors of nature; London-based artist Rebecca Louise Law had her Berlin debut in the past week with her stunning sculptural work. But her material is neither paint nor paper – she uses flowers. Lot’s of them actually. For the Bikini Berlin she created a huge site-specific installation that has the visitors of the concept shopping mall marvel at the beauty of nature. Hung from the ceiling, thousands of flowers form a mesmerizing sky of blossoms that are as enchanting as the Spring itself. We spoke with Rebecca about her new work and her relationship to Berlin. Read our interview and see more photos of the installation at Bikini Berlin after the jump.
photos: Alicia Kassebohm
The fertile fuel of the mythic Berlin of the 90s and early 2000s was the abundance of unused buildings and spaces all around the city, especially in the East. So many business opportunities for small entrepreneurs, night clubs, music venues and even for yoga studios became possible through affordable space. This created a spirit of daring, bold minds open to new and experimental entrepreneurial concepts. And even if the rents nowadays are rising, this spirit remains to enrich the city day by day with yet another new amazing local business.
One month ago my friend and Yoga teacher Michaela Aue discovered a hidden gem in the second backyard of Prenzlauer Allee: an unused loft space with the rough Eastern charm of 90s Berlin. The space inspired her to team up with meditation expert Sophie Weiser to create a unique idea: Your Space – a creative hub that doesn’t need a label. Your Space will offer regular yoga and meditation classes during the week and unique and inspiring workshops in different disciplines on the weekend. Well connected to the local scene Michaela and Sophie gathered some of the best teachers and practitioners in town to celebrate the art of connecting body and mind. Starting from April 11, 2016, and celebrating its official opening on April 23, it will definitely become a place to visit not only once, but to become part of the tribe. For now it’s open until the end of June. Lets see how this concept evolves and finds its roots. Check out their weekly schedule here and follow them on Facebook for news and updates. More pictures, address and info after the jump.
photos: Sascha Wolters
Berlin is no place like others when it comes to special corners and Sightseeing. No wonder here, Berlin has a lot of history. With its many Sightseeing possibilities and countless historical buildings, there is probably no corner in the capital that is not worth knowing about. Which is why there are many city guides, leading foreigners through the capital. But also for locals it’s great to get to know one’s own city better. And there is one guide in particular that offers tours around the city with a special twist.
Tobi Allers is the founder of Berlin Kultour and offers around 15 tours through Berlin with different topics, interesting for anyone who is interested in art, culture and history – or just the city he lives in. We met up with him to take an exclusive, intimate version of his tour “Refugees in historical perspective” and got to know a lot. Get some impressions and see some pictures after the jump.