Kinky Creativity: Learn the Art of Shibari Bondage in Berlin

Kinky Creativity: Learn the Art of Shibari Bondage in Berlin

Shibari Study, photo: Viktor Herak

Berlin is known for a lot of different things: the history and the wall, Berghain and techno, döner and currywurst, just to name a few. But two elements central to the culture in the capital are sex and art. These two intriguing aspects of life in Berlin perfectly unite in Shibari, a type of Japanese bondage that focuses on the aesthetics of the bound body. Although we’re in the middle of a pandemic and sex clubs and museums are closed, Shibari is a great way to satisfy your craving for something both kinky and creative. There are a number of organizations and instructors still offering workshops and courses about the art of Shibari during the pandemic.

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Greetings from Berlin 1981 – Photos of a Divided City

Greetings from Berlin 1981 – Photos of a Divided City

photos: Maarten van den Berg.  

With this post, we would like to share a very special gem with you that was submitted to us by our reader Maarten from the Netherlands. We are particularly excited about what he sent to us as we haven’t really had anything from that part of the history of Berlin on the blog – at least not specifically that decade. The story he shared with us is about his visit to Berlin in 1981 – a time when the reunification wasn’t even on the horizon, a time when Berlin was still a divided city with the wounds of this division still raw and open. During his visit, he took street photos of both the West and the East of Berlin, and of course plenty of impressions from the Wall that seemed to be some kind of tourist attraction at the time. It’s impressive to see the city that we are so used to today in this condition. So many of these former dead areas of Berlin are now integrated into the city life and filled with new places and buildings that make us forget the scars that they used to be.

Maarten has self-published a photo book of this stunning series which you can order here. He also shared some words about the visit and the photos he took that were long lost and just recently resurfaced. We hope you enjoy these images!

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16 Amazing Creative Responses to the Pandemic from Berlin

16 Amazing Creative Responses to the Pandemic from Berlin

This year was quite different, wasn’t it? There was a lot of crazy stuff happening, but we can all agree on what the most significant thing was: the pandemic. If you would have told me a year ago that this would happen, I probably would not have believed you. But here we are, 9 months into a global outbreak of an airborne viral disease that has turned the world upside down.

Of course, this pandemic brought us a lot of negative things, but I don’t want to focus on those – you can simply turn on the news for that. I want to focus on the things that were good, specifically on how people responded to the crisis in positive ways. While a lot of us were struggling with our lives, our work, and our mental health, some people gathered their creative energies to come up with great things to brighten the days of everyone else and show some optimistic spirit.

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Assimilation – Wilfully Forgetting to Remember Who You Are

Assimilation – Wilfully Forgetting to Remember Who You Are

In trying to get back to a sense of normalcy again, we must all agree that a lot has happened. People have lost their lives. Children have whisked themselves away from family responsibilities into distant places to ensure their parent’s safety. Plans have been shifted, changed, and postponed. Jobs, relationships, and several other opportunities have evaporated into thin air. Universities, Shops, and Restaurants have turned down services. Schools and other institutions have closed their doors and turned towards the digital. And we are now learning new ways of treating ourselves and each other as we find better alternatives to our lives. In the spirit of wanting to take a new leave, I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I forced myself to remember. I reflected on my past. I traveled through certain corners of my mind I had completely cut off for reasons I cannot say out loud without risking putting myself in an uncomfortable position.

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Play the Game: What Dating Type Are You?

Play the Game: What Dating Type Are You?

When it comes to dating in Berlin, things are not quite as black and white as you imagine. There are all these different new ways of life and love we have come to accept here and it only proves the liberal spirit of the city we love so much,

But where are you on the spectrum of love? For our book Like A Berliner (which by the way makes for an excellent Christmas present – order it here!) we sat together with illustrator Sophia Halamoda and came up with a smart little game of questions and answers that will solve the riddle and define what dating type you are.

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How to be Funny in German: A Guide

How to be Funny in German: A Guide

After living in Berlin for eight years, I finally started consuming German mass media because of my work. A few months ago, I got a job as a subtitler; I essentially binge-watch German movies and write subtitles in English. While I enjoy my job because I get to sit around, watch TV and write all day, I can’t help but notice a trend in all the German content I watch; it’s seriously lacking comic relief that I can relate to as an American. However, it is also witty in its own unique way that I, as a native English speaker, can’t entirely grasp.

There’s this extremely prevalent stereotype: “German’s can’t take a joke; Germans have no humor” bla bla bla. But this doesn’t really match up with the German people I know and love, many of whom are absolutely hilarious.

I decided to unpack some of the intricacies of German humor through a few conversations and an internet deep dive. Here’s what I found:

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Show Your Business – A Competition for Freelancers and Solo-Entrepreneurs

Show Your Business – A Competition for Freelancers and Solo-Entrepreneurs

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Having your own business is a tough choice. Not only because you have to navigate new challenges and obstacles every day. But also because you have to be responsible for all of your choices and own the consequences.

This said if you build up your own freelance activity, your yoga studio, or even if you become a self-employed tax consultant it can feel immensely rewarding when your efforts become a tangible enterprise that pays your bill, your rent, and even your drinks on a Saturday night.

Because 2020 without being too polite has been a fucking disaster for freelancers and self-employed entrepreneurs our colleagues from the Blog Mit Vergnügen and Holvi, an online-bank specialized in the needs of freelancers launched the competition #ZeigdeinBusiness to give freelancers more visibility and also the possibility to win some amazing supports for next year.

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9 Wonderful Things to Do to Make the Best of the Lockdown

9 Wonderful Things to Do to Make the Best of the Lockdown

We’re halfway through November lockdown and to put it mildly: people are on the edge. I’ve had so many phone calls about depressions, worries, fatigue, anxiety – and that was just about November in general! I’m feeling you here, I’m feeling all of that – I really do. But to be honest, I think at this point it’s better not to dwell on these feelings too much. It’s just going to become a spiral that leads further down, and we’re probably better off staying optimistic hoping things will get better once the situation somehow passes – whenever that will be. 

And in that optimistic spirit I did what we do best here at iHeartBerlin: gather some ideas for a fun listicle – this time about some lovely spirit-lifting things to do to make the lockdown period and winter, in general, a bit better. And I’ll spare you the obvious such as taking walks in the park and binge-watching Netflix because I think we’ve done enough of that already. And I’m sure you all already Marie-Kondoed your house and perfected your sourdough baking skills during the last lockdown. So we’re moving on to new things, more specific things – all of which are approved and tested by me personally!

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Learn How to Complain Like A German

Learn How to Complain Like A German

It’s been a while since we last published a feature from our ongoing series “Learn Deutsch with iHeartBerlin”. In fact, you haven’t got any German tips from us since you were introduced to the “10 German terms that describe complex personalities in one word”. But now, we’re back, and taking it a step further: here’s not just a few new words, but actual sentences! And might I add: extremely practical sentences, since Berliners have always been somehow notorious for their complaining. So if you want to bridge the gap between a tourist and a rightful dweller of this city, you better learn these by heart. 

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How Americans in Berlin Experienced the 2020 Election

How Americans in Berlin Experienced the 2020 Election

Caitlin Hardee, an American who’s lived in Berlin for almost 10 years, slept badly beside her laptop on Tuesday night awaiting results she knew would not come by morning. With the presidential election still undecided until Saturday, Americans in Berlin haven’t slept much at all last week.

Because Donald Trump hinted he would declare victory before all mail-in ballots were counted, Democrats Abroad, the overseas chapter of the Democratic Party, organized a “Rally in Berlin for free and fair elections in the United States” in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday to demand all votes be counted. Around 50 people attended the rally with little commotion, but police were present to ensure social distancing measures were followed. Emily Lines, the vice-chair for Democrats Abroad, said that only two counter-protesters came to the rally. One of the counter-protesters was not an American, but still chose to support Trump and was not wearing a mask.

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