photo: Monika Rittershaus
If the devil came to Berlin he would not be able to scare a single soul. Because Berliners have real problems like rising rents, shitty jobs or not getting into Berghain (depending on priorities) and have no time for religious superstitions. It’s quite a different story in the small village of Sorochinsky in the middle of nowhere in the Ukraine where the devil is the cause for a lot of fear and trauma.
At least what I learned from the opera “The Fair of Sorochinsky” by Russian composer Mussorgsky which I had the chance to enjoy last weekend at Komische Oper Berlin. In between Russian folklore, impossible relationships and a devil’s feast with pigs on fire I had a musical enlightenment I would like to share with you.
The Plattenbau buildings of Berlin never fail to inspire people. They are not exactly conventionally beautiful, but they are so characteristic, they symbolize urban life, concrete architecture and a bit of nostalgia. We’ve already showed you how they were used for a game of tetris, as a canvas for art, appreciated as design icons, and a backdrop for free runners.
With our latest discovery we can add another use of the Plattenbau to our list. Artist Guido Zimmermann created some very awesome looking cuckoo clocks in the style of Plattenbau. He has a whole series named Cuckoo Blocks that explores different brutalist variations, but one in particular is titled Berlin and modelled after some Plattenbau buildings that are typical for the city, including grey concrete pendants and satellite dishes. Aren’t they cute?
Maison Mason, photo: Daniel Gebhardt
Berlin is one of the most versatile capitals of the world when it comes to all its locations. It was fun to have been thrown in this little town with no previous knowledge – I still remember setting foot on Kottbusser Tor for the first time, entirely by chance, way more appalled than inspired, completely unaware of Kreuzberg’s undeniable magic that I’d grow addicted to.
Music, is a magical ordeal. An escape from ordinary into a vast sea of feeling, vibes and sensations. To professionals, music is not only a job, but also a way to express themselves through creativity and poetry. But what for the average “9 to 5″ Mensch?
Recently I have stumbled along something deep that doesn’t normally meet the eye. Open Mic, Jam sessions where professionals and amateurs alike can express their feeling of passion. This is something truly amazing, that Berlin has to offer.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, locals and travelling musicians flock to bars that post Open Mic on their webpages. Lines and lists of these creative souls pour out their emotions, talent and comedic gestures as they blast out tunes from their piano or acoustic guitars.
illustrations: Berk Karaoglu
Contrary to a popular belief, communicating in the German language does not necessarily equal having to study extremely long grammar structures for hours on end. I mean – that may be useful when you’re applying for the German citizenship, but in casual everyday life conversations you’re better off mastering a few magic keywords that, although absent from the typical German as a foreign language curriculum, will polish your small talk game with the sought after air of nonchalance.
A little while ago passers-by at Hermannplatz were treated to a very special private experience. A pianist was sitting right in the middle of the square offering a little concert for those who dared to sit with him and put the headphones on. In the little video documentary you can see some of the people who took advantage of the free seat and it’s lovely to see how moved some of them were.
The video comes from the guys from RAWCreation who also brought us the lovely video about the rooftop piano concert that posted a while ago. Enjoy the new video below.
photo: Marlen Müller
Lina Jachmann’s new book Einfach Leben, the title meaning live simply, is a lifestyle guide that escapes the usual traps of this kind of literature: it’s neither about fast trends nor is it pretentious or preachy. On the other hand, it provides you with a lot of practical insights into the minimalist lifestyle based on portraits of (extra)ordinary people who have found ways to incorporate this philosophy into their everyday lives to make them more sustainable. Since quite a few of them are somehow linked to Berlin, we’re introducing them and their alternative habits we could all learn from below!
Parma di Vinibenedetti, Wedding
You know, there is pizza and than there is original Italian pizza! When it comes to this beloved comfort food I am totally loyal to the people who invented the dish sometime in the 18th century. I actually live right on top of a regular pizza delivery shop, so the temptation is so near, but to be honest I would rather order in a real Italian pizza from further away before I eat even a bite of that globalized crap (sorry) from downstairs.
Berlin is full of pizza places, but how do you know where to find the real deal? A lot of great places are actually really low key in their appearance, so you can’t judge those kind of books by their covers. Luckily our friends from Berlino Magazine found a solution for this dilemma. With their True Italian food festivals they are promoting the best and most authentic Italian restaurants in Berlin. The next edition that takes place from April 6-12 2017 is dedicated to Pizza. We thought the True Italian Pizza Week is a great opportunity to extract our first True Italian Pizza guide from their list of participating restaurants. If you want to try out some of the best pizzas in town you should follow their map and get a taste of some special pizzas in each of the places marked on it. You’ll even get a good deal during the festival: a whole pizza and a drink for only 10 EUR.
To wet your appetite we selected our favorite pizza place per district in our new guide!
“Would you like a make-over?” This is usually not the kind of question you want to hear from anybody (especially family or friends who should always love you the way you like). But when this question comes in an eMail send by Brunette – a hair salon some of my friends were already telling me so much about – Frank and I didn’t think twice about giving it a try.
A couple of months ago we decided to arrange a “hair date” to test this newly redesigned hair salon inside a former barn. Actually, for me it was more like a social experiment to see if a hair dresser would dare to tell my dear Frank to cut his rocker hair off. But unfortunately the gay couple who runs this place, Lars and Andre, have more an open heart for the well-being and the comfort of their customers rather than my entertaining hidden agenda. So be it! The hair date went fine, and while I really got quite a strong make-over, Frank just got what he wished for: a little trim of the end of his long blonde hair.
The salon is situated in a hidden courtyard at Tempelhofer Ufer, not too far away from the gallery district of Potsdamer Straße. The whole area around Potsdamer Straße has become the new it-place. So Brunette might be on your way if you want to spend your night at some vernissage or other social event in that area.
Still we recommend to make an appointment when you have some free time to spare to enjoy their treatments and care to the fullest. The address and some images after the jump.
photo: Andre Ligeiro
The wild colorful Carnival might be over in Brazil but I want to introduce you to a place where the carnal sins don’t need glitter or costumes to be celebrated during night and day: Sao Paulo. Maybe New York never sleeps but Sao Paulo never stops to fuck. The two times in my life I have been to Sao Paulo I felt every time like falling through Dantes Inferno and seeing devils, demons, witches and pagan gods celebrating love and lust to their fullest. This megalopolis, this biggest city in the whole South American continent is a safe haven for the artists, the crazies, the queers, the rockers and everybody else who does not want to conform to religious rules or a closed minded society.
But wait! What about Berlin you might say? Well, of course the apple of sins in the neighbor’s garden looks always more delicious. While Paulistas and Brazilians in general love the open mindedness and carelessness Berliners tend to have towards sex and sexual relationships I definitely enjoyed the way Paulistas flirted and interacted with each other. Much more warm and friendly, still carnal and maybe even more body-centered then in Berlin.
Last time, three years ago, I danced inside an abandoned skyscrapers turned into a cultural center in the middle of the city. This time around I visited a former brothel turned into a night club called L’Amour. A place that is so small that most part of the party crowd is actually enjoying and celebrating each other on the street in front of it. Fortunately, there were a couple of photographers taking shots of the crowd (that enjoyed their presence while posing to the death).
Have a look on how the wild kids in Sau Paulo enjoy their nights and let’s hope for some good street parties in a much more warmer Berlin soon, too.