photos: Carrie Schneider
Nudity is nothing a Berliner is particularly shocked about. In contrary, I think that Berlin is the city with the most public nakedness in the world if you consider all the nude beaches and public sex parties. It is also a different nakedness than in a tropical or Mediterranean city because the weather is not actually inviting to take off your close. The Berlin nudity is a public statement to the liberation of the human body from all the social, political and gender oppressions. At least that is what I like to read into it, even though I doubt that all of the half naked 19year old kids at the Pornceptual parties would agree.
But I am losing track here. Let’s discuss Berlin’s political intentions on nudity another time… I actually just wanted to recommend a damn sexy contemporary dance festival starting today: Tanz im August. Scrolling through the pics I saw some naked flesh popping up in the press folder and I was wondering if a conservative audience would claim that the dance world needs sex to get more attention from the younger audience. This could not be more wrong. Dance is not automatically sexy when the bodies on stage are naked.
But there is an element of contemporary dance that I find extremely sexy (which is why I also used this alluring headline). It is the intensity and the ability to control, perform and present yourself and your body that intrigues the spectator. A contemporary performer is always in a constant dialogue between his own body and the audience and is within this dialogue able to create tension and persuasion. From my point of view, most of the times the nakedness of a performer is actually not erotic but rather a narration of intimacy and disclosure.
We selected several dance pieces from the festival taking places in some of our favorite theaters including Sophiensaele, Hau and Volksbühne, that we think are promising and worth visiting. Our recommendations after the jump.
photo: Hara Katsiki
As mundane as it may sound, Berlin is the very definition of a melting pot. It has always reminded me of an immense theater stage, where all countries take their position and as soon as the lights start to dim, they begin interacting with each other; they fight, they love, they live, but most of all they constantly try to make their stories get heard as loud as possible. There is one thing they have always in common: they are fully in sync with their multicultural environment and in the case of Greece miles away from the picture drawn by Nia Vardalos’ Big Fat – filled with stereotypes, yet utterly entertaining – Greek Wedding.
Several Greek places around the world – cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, concerts etc. – have always made me feel like Alice in Wonderland, but to a more twisted and disturbing extent than Lewis Carroll’s bizarre universe. It is mostly the image of people being lost in their Greek microcosm, fully ignorant of the overwhelming benefits life abroad has to offer, that brings discontent to me. And it is then, when you realize that for some coming from the same place has developed into the one and only criterion of socializing with people.
However, this story is about those who have become citizens of the world and their Greek identity represents a part of it and not vice versa. Here a few examples of Greek businesses and artists active in Berlin who choose to work and live through the aforementioned identity.
From video games (e.g. Prison Architect, Star Citizen) to software (e.g. Augur, DigixDAO) and from financial aid (e.g. Greek Bailout Fund) to films (e.g. Veronica Mars) crowdfunding has consistently represented a broad platform, where ideas and wishful thinking have the potential to become reality with the financial help of their staunch advocates. Innovation and creativity stand as synonyms to a myriad of projects, several of which are found in the soon-to-be-too-cold Berlin. We chose a couple of our favorite ones that are currently seeking support and deserve your attention.
photos: Stas / CC
Being superficial isn’t normally something to be proud of. Walking the streets of Berlin, it can make sense though, since the architectural surfaces of the urban space can be fascinating. Even the most banal things can be inspiring and beautiful, if seen from the right perspective. Someone, who has an eye for beautiful details is photographer Stas. Under this nickname, he shares his pictures of Berlin. We are especially fond of his series of doors of Berlin, because you never know, what awaits you behind them. Those ugly and pretty doors also tell a lot about the history of the city, about long gone trends in architecture, design and art. Have a look!
photos: Valerie-Siba Rousparast
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing more beautiful than summer in Berlin, but when crowded places get even busier and riding the subway becomes a sweaty nightmare, it’s amazing to escape the chaos for a moment or two.
Sometimes it’s just very healthy for body, mind and soul to get out of the fast pace and the heat. What nicer place could there be than Liepnitzsee with it’s clear, turquoise water and the tiny beaches? This lake is not as easy to reach as Wannsee, or Schlachtensee, but trust me, it is worth the ride. Depending on where you start your trip, you will reach the lake in about an hour, going to the far north of Berlin and entering Brandenburg. And you will actually feel like you are entering a different tiny universe, since round Liepnitzsee time seems to stand still. Even on the hottest summerdays, the lake isn’t very crowded.
Just a couple of days ago I had an interesting conversation with one of my co-writers about the current mood in the city and it was pretty surprising how contradicting our individual impressions were. It really got me thinking about my views of the city that I have kept for a long time. Of course it is pretty much a given fact that the place you live in becomes a conduit for your personal moods. But I had this idea about Berlin that – beside the obvious spikes up and down – it somehow averaged in a state I would describe as a bit grey, a bit dirty and a bit grumpy. I remember I often thought that the people in the subway had the corners of their mouths turned a little more downwards than any other city in the world. And the perception of my co-writer that she currently had of Berlin pretty much confirmed this notion, even though her view was even a bit more gloomy than that.
I reacted almost perplexed. My perspective was completely different. I was away from Berlin for the past 6 months and after I returned recently the city has greeted me with such a good mood. The city seemed so cheerful, so many people in the streets smiled and me and looked so carefree and happy. I saw such a colorful, vibrant and relaxed world around me. So clean and so green. I felt and still feel like in some kind of paradise, every day that I leave the house. It was really curious, because I absolutely didn’t remember the city like that. Of course now in the summer the mood of the city and the people is generally on an upwards trend. But this was more than usual.
Every year, slowly but steadily, summer finds its way to Berlin. And with it the festivals pop up, seemingly endless. Your Facebook feed is basically exploding and they all appear like your wildest summer dream come to life. But where to start, which to choose, and who should join the perfect festival squad? …Struggles, so in the end you surrender and end up at Volkspark-Friedrichshain, having a barbecue. At least that’s how it feels like to me.
So, when Somersby – the fruity Scandinavian Cider – invited us to the Helene Beach Festival, of course, we went – Far to the east, actually, as east as it gets if you weren’t planning a spontaneous trip to Poland. The thought of half naked bodies, sun screen and apple cider, convinced us to pack our things and leave Berlin for the weekend. A summer beach festival located directly at a beautiful lake, with a wide variety of artists was waiting for us. Summer – music – chill – Let’s do this!
photo: Miguel Silva Rodrigues / CC
Weißensee – ever heard of it? If you haven’t, don’t blame yourself. There are some districts in Berlin that kind of fall under the radar concerning public attention. Lichtenberg is one of them, or Reinickendorf, Marzahn. And so is Weißensee, it seems to be also one of the hidden gems. Even though there is quite a lot going on, the clocks are ticking a little slower here. This might not be the version of the Berlin you know. But maybe you should.
Weißensee is a part of Pankow and used to be like many other districts a little village, back in the 13th century. Named after the big lake, the then-village Weißensee has more to offer than meets the eye. With the help of the new aber hallo, Weißensee map we selected some of the most interesting places that will make your visit worth while.
photo: Kristian van Kuijk
Trying to perfect the art of dating in Berlin, I’ve met different, recurring types of men and fell for them over and over again. One of them being the hedonist. You might have come across this beautiful creature as well. What makes him special is his way of not just being a stranger until your paths cross, but instead staying one until after you have had an intense encounter. Soaked up by the colors, lights, the music and parties, influenced by drugs and a never ending fear of missing out, he is feeling driven, always feeling the urge to experience more, more more. The hedonist came to Berlin to indulge life, to consume it. For him you will never be enough. Not because you are insufficient, or because he doesn’t care enough about you, but simply, because he wants so much, he wants it all. All the feelings, the euphoria of the first touch, the pain of hurting each other, the violence, the intense sex, the heartbreak and the comfort. By never giving you everything or entirely opening up, he will always leave you wanting more, giving you an inside into his emotional distress.
A few months ago my neighborhood in Prenzlauer Berg has been enriched with a great new Vietnamese restaurant that I would like to introduce to you today. We have already a couple of Vietnamese place and fusion restaurants here, so did we really need yet another one? I can confidently answer this with: yes. Because Anjoy is really quite something. It’s run by a charming young lady who’s mom used to cook in the Dong Xuan center in Lichtenberg. Her kitchen there was super popular, so it made a lot of sense to give a bigger audience a chance to taste her amazing cooking. At Anjoy you’ll be served traditional Vietnamese dishes, but the menu was curated in a way that it stands out from the typical Vietnam restaurants. Here you can enjoy a beef stew so rich in taste it almost reminds you of a Gulasch, crunchy pork belly and lemongrass skewers and a platter full of delicious sea food, to name only a few of the options. Even the drinks are little pieces of artwork. We tried almost everyone of their mixes and we couldn’t get enough of them.
The ambience of Anjoy is also worth mentioning here, a quite modern interior, yet still approachable and comfortable, with lots of seating outside which makes this a great summer option. To give you a bit more of an impression we took some photos of you. But be warned, they are quite mouth-watering…