If you’ve lived in Berlin for a long time and your job is all about knowing everything about the city, I can tell you, to surprise me with something new is a feat you are gonna be destined to fail at. Alas, of course, you are really inventive. And whoever organized that scavenger hunt by glo™ that I was invited to join last week sure was!
The whole experience made me realize, that the city has an infinite amount of surprises left for me to experience. Discovering Berlin from a new angle, seeing places I hadn’t seen before, or seeing familiar places in a new light – this is what keeps me motivated to do this blog and it keeps my enthusiasm for Berlin as fresh as on the first day.
We are really craving for some adventures to undertake in Berlin. Aren’t you, too? The options were quite limited lately, to be honest. But luckily there is something fun on the horizon this weekend and we wanna take you on this ride! Prepare for a view of the town you haven’t had before.
From August 27 till 30, the glo Wheel is coming to Berlin and bringing along some much-needed festival vibes right to Neukölln. We are totally down for it!
When the entire nightlife pressed the pause button a few months ago, we really had to completely rethink how we experience Berlin. This was especially noticeable to us when we were putting together our event listings. All of a sudden the calendar was empty, then slowly it filled up again with streaming events, and eventually, IRL events returned, but not in the same way as before.
The sound installation “Eleven Songs” that happened at Halle am Berghain a few weeks ago was one of these events that stood out: Through its iconic venue it bridged the longing for a return of the club culture and our craving for a cultural and artistic experience. It was, as to be expected, a huge success.
The club lockdown has put the entire nightlife scene into the most difficult situation it has ever been. While other countries are already back to partying the Germans haven’t released their clubs yet from their enforced hibernation. In our previous two stories, we already took a look at what the Berlin clubs are up to during their closing and what Berlin’s party people are doing without their clubs.
As if by magic the big news broke yesterday, that Berlin’s most famous club – Berghain – will transform into something else for the remainder of the club lockdown starting on September 9th: Berlin’s biggest gallery. In collaboration with the private art collectors Boros who are showcasing their pieces in yet another big grey cement building that used to be a nightclub – the bunker – the new exhibition will, most likely, include Berghain’s resident artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans who has his abstract artworks at Panorma Bar, Joseph Marr who made the sugar men sculptures inside the Klobar, and Norbert Bisky who has his large painting downstairs opposite the cloakroom, as well as Sven Marquardt, Marc Brandenburg, and Piotr Nathan.
Last week, we had the absolute pleasure to co-present the first IRL Voguing Ball in Berlin since the lockdown. It was hosted by the charming David Milan who already gave us the big Pride Ball and Ocean Ball last year that we also covered. The venue was once again the Säälchen at Holzmarkt – it’s just the perfect venue for a ball of this size!
The theme of this ball was Superheroes which was without a doubt the most specific and playful theme of the series. Of course there were a lot of classic superheroes and villains such as Spiderman and Catwoman. But the call for participation asked people to be creative, so you could also see everyday heroes such as nurses, single moms, activists – we even saw the first trans presidential candidate there.
As we are still living in a pandemic the circumstance for the event was quite different: Usually, over 1000 people show up for these balls, but to comply with the current legal safety measures this time only the participants and a few fellow house members were allowed into the venue. The usual spectators were able to watch a professional live stream of the ball either from the comfort of their homes or at the public viewing at Neuzeit Ost in collaboration with Mobile Kino. The required distancing and face mask rules also had to be respected, which was hard during the performances when the energy of the voguers was taking over, but I think the crowd did a fairly good job at complying.
It was a great ball, with a lot of stunning performances, great international participants, and a powerful audience. Of course, we took some impressions for you which you can enjoy below!
For me, the success of the Berlin summer is measured by the number of lake visits that I managed. I’ve come to learn to take immediate advantage of good weather no matter if I have time or not, because you never know how many good lake days you gonna get. This year has been not great. Not been to the lake at all. So I have a lot of catching up to do in the remaining weeks of the summer. Let’s hope for some good weather, right?
We already published a big lake guide a while ago which you can find here. For this year we decided to make a smaller, updated version for you guys that reflects a bit more which lakes we personally actually frequent. Enjoy!
photos: Roger Sabaté.
Back in March, right before the lockdown, I had the opportunity to try out a new retreat concept that brought me to the countryside of Brandenburg to the charming Neuhausen castle.
I haven’t done any retreats so far, so I was curious about this invitation and happy to confirm. One of the key aspects was the digital detox element which meant that for the entire stay all guests had to give up on all of their electronic devices including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, computers. Considering how attached I usually am to all of these and how I often feel almost enslaved by the connectivity they offer, I felt it was about time for me to try out something like this. It was a test on how strong my addiction to being connected and constantly checking my phone I actually am.
Be Retreats is a project by daughter-mother duo Laura and Kathrin from Berlin who found there to be a great need for stressed-out Berliners to get out of the city and get away from the habit of being glued to their phones. Apparently, we grab the phone on average 200 times and spent 7 hours consuming various types of media per day. That sounds like a lot, but it also sounds pretty realistic.
photos: Roger Sabaté.
One of the most rewarding parts of running iHeartBerlin is getting to know some of the most interesting people in Berlin. Throughout the years I was able to connect and make friends with talented designers, musicians, artists, as well as entrepreneurs, event makers and creative people with fantastic projects. They all contributed greatly to what makes iHeartBerlin unique and inspiring to so many others. And I am glad to be able to support them with my platform and connect them with collaborators and audiences.
For our interview series iHeartBerliner we sat together with one of those inspiring people of Berlin: Shani Ahiel, owner of Shishi and Yafo. We talked with her about running two restaurants in a male-dominated gastronomic scene, about life in Berlin as an Israeli and so much more. Shani shared with us her experience of building up a business in a foreign city, how life here feels like compared to Tel Aviv and what interesting encounters she made because of her restaurants. Enjoy the video below!
photo: Jubal Battisti.
At the end of August, the operas and theaters of Berlin will be able to reopen again after the lockdown. We are really happy about this but it’s not going to be the same with a lot of restrictions on stage and behind the scenes, as well as way fewer seats in the audience room. A lot of the new productions we were looking forward to were scrapped because they either didn’t comply with distance rules or could simply not be rehearsed due to the restrictions.
For a few months now the dancers of Staatsballett Berlin were not able to perform nor practice together. In an earlier stage of the lockdown, we already shared a really wonderful video initiated and edited by Principal Dancer Ksenia Ovsyanick that showed the dancers performing in their homes and gardens during self-isolation. Now, a few months later, the dancers were able to leave their houses and practice again, but still not together like they were used to. Following the big success of the first video, they now released two more videos that we want to share with you here.
When I saw the oversized artworks of Katharina Grosse for the first time back in 2014 at the St. Agnes church a.k.a. König Gallery I was so impressed that she instantly became my favorite Berlin artist. The intricate layering of colors was so spectacular, that you were just standing in awe in front of the large canvases.
With her new solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof, that just re-opened after the lockdown this past weekend, she is going a size up and a step further. When you enter the main hall of the building you see a 3dimensional explosion of colors. It’s almost like a 3D animated glitch of reality. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.