In our 15 years of iHeartBerlin, we have seen quite a bit in terms of Berlin photos and of course taken a lot ourselves. Especially the great Instagram photography era has given us many wonderful impressions of our city, which has shown us many unknown and surprising sides of Berlin. So understandably, it’s a bit difficult to impress us with Berlin photos nowadays. Or so we thought.
A few weeks ago we received an email from Mark Rautenberg, who drew our attention to his Berlin photographs. We get such submissions every now and then and are of course always grateful and happy when we can share the work of creative Berliners on our blog, especially because it allows us to give new or lesser-known creatives a platform.
When the founders of Berlin-based massage therapy platform Soulhouse reached out to me a while ago to ask me if I would be interested in trying out their new massage service, they probably had no idea that this would be such a dream opportunity for me. I’m somewhat a massage fanatic and to get offered to try out such a premium service is like Christmas and my birthday is coming together on the same day.
I really love to get massages and I will jump at any opportunity to get one. Whenever I book into a hotel that offers massages, the first thing I’ll do is book one at the earliest time possible. When I discover a new massage studio in my neighborhood, I’ll be the first one to try it out. And pretty much all of my previous and current partners have come under pressure to give me massages. So, clearly, I’m an expert now in the field of receiving massages and I won’t shy away from sharing my qualified opinion 😉
photos: Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for Nowadays.
When I met Esther Perbandt back in 2010, she was one of the already quite established Berlin Designers that decided to join Designer Scouts – the runway show event at Berlin Fashion Week for avantgarde and upcoming designers that we hosted as a sister project to iHeartBerlin. I was pretty much at the start of my involvement in the creative scene of Berlin and I remember I was especially in awe of those who had already made a name for themselves in the city. I admit that I was a little nervous at first. But Esther was so approachable and kind, there was this instant familiarity that she builds with you that made her so many friends over the years.
Esther was always a bit of a wild child in Berlin. She rarely joined the official runway of Berlin Fashion Week, rather making her own shows and events, in the streets of Berlin, or in one of Berlin’s biggest theaters, the Volksbühne, and one time even as a concert where she performed herself. She never really fit in with the other designers, because her designs were always beyond any current trends or established aesthetics, nor were they particularly compatible with pop culture. Esther has always designed for the type of individuals that want to remain individualistic. She was always bending gender norms and mixing up male and female silhouettes and details – long before genderless fashion became a trend. She always stayed faithful to the avant-garde and artistic side of fashion.
Even though it seems there is very little good news these days, we have something great to announce that will really bring some joy to some of you. Kreuzberg just got a brand new nightclub: Marktlokal Klub! The district that is so famous for its nightlife and bar scene but oddly has so few actual clubs is finally getting a new one. Located at Markthalle 9 in the basement of the Marktlokal restaurant the new nightlife spot follows suit with Berlin’s tradition of having clubs in basements.
I instantly had to think back to places such as ZMF in Mitte (the original location from the makers of the iconic Griesmühle) or the famous Fuchs & Elster at Weserstraße (the original club from the Klunkerkranich team). In Kreuzberg, for instance, there were the two cute Kellerclubs Kleine Reise at Spreewaldplatz and St. Georg next to Ritter Butzke, both of which served as earlier locations for the Pornceptual party. In addition to that, there were countless places all over the city, that didn’t even have proper names, or at least I don’t remember them, as they were often lowkey hidden underneath restaurants or bars. I really like these smaller, intimate clubs, because they often have the best crowd and are never shy to surprise you with the most fun vibes.
Berlin protests against Ukraine War, by Lewin Bormann, CC BY-SA.
While probably many of us are still struggling with the effects of the ongoing pandemic, the world has been thrown another shocker of a curveball just a week ago: A violent war that is closer in front of our own doorstep than many of us ever expected to witness. The people from Ukraine had to deal with the aggression of the unpleasant neighboring autocrat for such a long time now that we in the West of Europe have already pushed this ongoing conflict into our subconscious. But now it can hardly be ignored and is a brutal wake-up call for the rest of Europe about how fickle the world we believe to live in actually is.
The response from the people of the other European countries has been overwhelmingly positive towards the people of Ukraine. It is touching to see how people have not only massively expressed solidarity and sympathy in countless freedom and peace marches across the continent (also from within Russia), but also how many organized help and support in terms of transport, supply, and accommodation for refugees from Ukraine. It might be a biased impression, but I can only hope the determination and efficiency of the PEOPLE, will also inspire more CORPORATIONS and GOVERNMENTS to follow suit.
Imagine you are sitting in a secret bar in Berlin, between hundreds of candles and listening to atmospheric sounds. A person dressed all in black accompanies you to an old closet. Inside is a hidden door that leads you into an ancient cellar of the building. At the end of this corridor, you find yourself in another world – deep inside the heads of 10 artists who lead you through a dark labyrinth of their imagination… The path through the darkness leads you back to the red bar, while the experiences in the darkness fade into a dream.
Following the huge success of the group exhibitions “The Darkrooms” and “Lost Art Festival” the makers of these shows are bringing you a brand new underground art experience from March 23 – April 3, 2022: “Himmel unter Berlin” (Sky Under Berlin) takes you on a journey into the underground of Berlin, to a secret place that will vanish forever once the show is over.
A few weeks ago we had the pleasure to be invited to try out a brand new resto-bar in Berlin and we finally want to share our experience with you today.
Bellboy Berlin is a concept bar that comes from Israel and much like other places from there such as Benedict, Night Kitchen, and Shishi, you can expect an overall experience for the senses and heart and not just a regular restaurant visit.
If you are looking for a cute thing as a gift for a friend, loved one or even just for yourself it’s sometimes not so easy to know where to start looking, right? But don’t worry, that’s what we are here for. We went through our mental archive of all the shops in Berlin to find those that would fit the bill for this very purpose and came up with a cute little list of the best concept stores in Berlin that are perfect for gift shopping.
photo: Thomas Aurin.
With clubs closed, events canceled, and generally December being a month mostly dedicated to anticipating Christmas and buying presents, there is not so much to do in terms of entertainment and nightlife. Or is there? Well, as by magic, some of my most anticipated theater pieces happen to have performances this month and I’m so excited about it because due to several lockdowns and what not I haven’t seen a lot of theater in the last 2 years and I miss it.
To avid followers of iHeartBerlin and regular readers of our event guide, it might not come as a surprise that we are big Constanza Macras fans. The Argentinian director and her company DorkyPark have blessed us with many memorable nights in the theater (or whatever other place she chooses for her pieces because it could also very well be a forest or an abandoned industrial hall). So this month she does not only have one but two of her big stage productions playing at Volksbühne and I really recommend you to go. The West is a piece about colonialism that premiered last year and I’ve seen it and it’s fantastic! The Future is her new production from this year, I have yet to watch it, and I will and I can’t wait.
Also on our list is Bibliomaniacs, a dance piece from a newly formed collective of female performance artists that we had the chance to see last year already and warmly recommend. It’s playing this week at Fahrbereitschaft in Lichtenberg. And last but not least, the opera that prompted our recent Cocktail & Movie Night at Staatsoper Berlin: Sleepless is one of the contemporary productions from Staatsoper that I believe is a great opportunity for a younger audience to get into opera and see how impressive a full-blown opera production in one of Germany’s main opera houses actually is.
illustration: Guen Douglas.
After 16 years in office, our chancellorette Angela Merkle has stepped down just a few days ago. Her departure from her position as head of state of Germany was preceded with several photos of her in very private settings that prompted many memes, such as the iconic one of her with some tropical birds at Vogelpark Marlow, or the recent photo spread in Bunte magazine of her in casual clothing with her husband. In all those photos she looks really happy and relieved, probably looking forward to the time where she doesn’t have to deal with the Trumps, Putins, and Erdogans of the world. For some reason, her release into the private life seems to be the vibe of our time. It doesn’t take a lot to imagine under what pressure this woman must have been.
Despite being part of a very conservative and capitalistic political party that has basically blocked any kind of progressive or social movements in the last decades she was an icon of the liberal world and respected worldwide. It’s a mystery to many, why she was even in this dreadful party and her internal quarrels with her more conservative male colleagues were no secret. But she managed through all of that and because of her more social policies in recent years she even had voters on her side that might have voted green or red this year. In a way, the fact that she didn’t run again this year, was a relief to many that might have been torn between her and more liberal/social/environmentally friendly parties.