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Falckensteinstr. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

Falckensteinstr. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard.

1. To love dogs. I used to have panic attacks, when I saw a dog, and I never wanted to have one myself. Berlin changed it all. From big to small Berlin dogs never bark, never jump, don’t wear a leash and can sit outside the shop without making a move or noise what-so-ever. See for yourself here.

2. That the artist has to know how to sell. You are the product, the marketer and the seller all in one.

3. To love beer. Before I moved to Germany, I strongly disliked this type of alcohol. Now I can tell the tourists what is what. I also learned that your bathtub is your beer fridge for the house party. And if you haven’t drank beer in -10, you have not been to Berlin.

4. That Berlin has the best Zoo in Europe. When you’re sad, I strongly recommend visiting this place, where you can easily spend the whole day.

5. To make the bridge bounce while dancing on it (Modersohnbrücke in particular). Get DJs, get a good stereo system, invite people, make a party, let the heavy cars still go over the bridge, dance like none is watching, make it bounce, feel it!….

6. That unfortunately yoga and being vegan can be fashionable. After several years of living here I got a flock of sheep impression. Because people without reason are trying to do both and are not realising, that it does not suit every body, and both vegan lifestyle and yoga can do harm. Yet on every corner in Berlin you now will find a yoga center and even though Germany has really good meat and lots of farms and farm product delivery options, Berliners are trying to avoid iron and take B12 Vitamin. Dear readers, everything should be in balance. I have vegetarian/vegan friends and I respect them. Find your reason first, and make sure your body agrees with it.

7. To multi task. German classes in the morning, work until 20:00, meeting friends in the evening + contributing to 10 other projects at the same time.

8. To cook crackers and bread without flour and eggs. I worked for a paleo restaurant, where I learned the secret.

9. To cycle in Neukoelln. Neukoelln inhabitants have a tendency to stop their cars randomly in the middle of the street, they also ignore traffic lights which turns a cyclist experience into survival.

10. To travel with soup pots and baking dishes on the underground. Shared food parties is a normal practice here. Great and sweet idea too!

Kottbusser Tor. A part of a university project.  Don't have the name of the author, if you know please drop me a line.

11. That the trash bags can cost €3,50 when they’re bio  supposte to normal ones for €0,59. Recycling is a big thing here.

12. What means an amazingly relaxed big city life. It’s the capital, but there is no stress and no rush. No rush in the morning, no rush in the evening, no rush for the party…

“There just isn’t really this fear of missing out,” Mr. DeNorch said. “You just feel like wherever you’re at is fine. You’re just having a good time.” … “When you want to go out to the club, you grab a beer on the way,” he said. “You can buy some weed on the street so you can smoke a joint if you want to. There’s all these little things you can do here that you can’t do there to get you in the mood.”

“In New York specifically, there’s a huge amount of stress about what you’re doing tonight and where you’re going to be in the city and who you’re going to be with,” said Mr. Ladner, a founder of the Janus party. 

Read full Article on NYTIMES

13. A feeling of blended genders. Berlin is the city where I’ve received the least amount of compliments. In here you forget that you’re a woman, as it does not matter how attractive you look, people seem to not pay any attention, because they like it all: any size and any gender. There are both negative and positive aspects of this, yet this is typical Berlin.

14. That Berlin is a temporary stop for many of us.

“It’s like living in an airport here in Berlin”
Ben Sömethingorother

15. That work and parties in Berlin are like black and white. “…half of all Berliners make under 1500 EUR a month, and a third less than 1000 EUR” (source)

Berlin is the poorest German city, with highest unemployment rate and half of the expats are receiving the job-centre benefits. Berlin is the place where jobs don’t last long. And it’s also normal if you have not been paid up to a year, but then you might want to go to the lawyer. On what really is happening in Berlin and the city’s mayor you can read here.

As about the parties – they are always here: cheap or absolutely free, 7 days a week. On a hot summer weekday all the parks in Berlin are full with jobless people or people who do odd jobs. Berlin parties more than it works. If you are considering Berlin as your next career destination, please think of Hamburg first.

16. That Berlin’s tech startup scene is far behind the Silicon Valley, and that we Europeans are modest in comparison to brave Americans, who can sell an old three-leg-chair without blinking as a brand new one.

17. That bio products in Germany are at least 95% bio, full stop. My research on eco label in Germany you can read here.

18. That a Berliner is a traditional North German pastry similar to a doughnut with no central hole made from sweet yeast dough fried in fat or oil, with a marmalade or jam filling and usually icing, powdered sugar or conventional sugar on top. 
John F. Kennedy‘s words “Ich bin ein Berliner” are standard German for “I am a Berliner”. Mentioned in Len Deighton‘s 1983 novel Berlin Game, an urban legend has it that due to his use of the indefinite article ein, Berliner is translated as “jelly doughnut”, and that the population of Berlin was amused by the supposed mistake. The normal convention when stating a nationality or, for instance, saying one is from Berlin, would be to leave out the indefinite article ein. Throughout the 1980s, the legend was spread even by quality papers and reputable media like The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC or NBC.

A berliner in a box by Dorit Bialer http://iwanteverything.de/

19. I also learned that giving a birth and remaining skinny is a normal practice in Berlin. The answer to “how?” I still haven’t found.

20. That it is okey to be explicit, naked and have sex in public spaces. Freedom to everyone. Just be yourself. No judgement, no fashion, no boundaries. From train station to night life. Berlin is possibly the most sexually open city on earth, that also makes a stable classical relationship almost impossible. Berlin greets open relationships, swingers, gay/lesbian/transexual, BDSM and other experimental loving methods.

“Ask any straight woman over 30 and she’ll tell you that the odds of finding a committed man in this city are about as high as unearthing the Holy Grail. Is there any hope for the single Berlin female?”

– See more at: http://www.exberliner.com

“Men are like toilets. They’re always occupied, and when they’re not – they’re full of shit. Well, welcome to Berlin!”

                                                                                                                           – Emilie

P.O.P Berlin

P.O.P Berlin

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You're crazy my child, you  must go to Berlin.

You’re crazy my child, you must go to Berlin.

This post is about young Berliners, who are weirdly brave in their creative expressions (often compared to equally crazy New Yorkers). Let’s see what those Berliners do, no more words needed:

Take one

Berlin. From huiii mich mal Facebook Page.

no tourists

“Refugees welcome – Tourists piss off!” Backyard on Rosenthaler Straße, Mitte. Author, who are you?

Bubble addicts

Bubble addicts. Taken from huiii mich mal Facebook Page.

Kotti. Author, who are you?

Kotti. Author, who are you?

He-man platz. Kamerapferd.

He-man-platz. Kamerapferd

Honesty wins it all.

Honesty wins it all. Taken from Berlin Loves You Facebook Page.

Action. Antonio Onio

Action. Antonio Onio. Watch the result here: https://vimeo.com/65293810

Author, who are you?

Der Berliner Elefant.

Horse Day in Berlin.

Horse Day in Berlin. Kamerapferd.

Author, who are you?

Just chilling. Author, who are you?

On the way to Kreuzberg. Author, who are you?

On the way to Kreuzberg. Author, who are you?

On the Berlin bus. Author, who are you?

On the Berlin bus. Taken from Berlin Open Air Facebook Page.

Hop. Author, who are you?

Hop. Author, who are you?

Berlin Kudamm. Author, who are you?

Berlin Kudamm. Author, who are you?

Schlafen. Author, who are you?

Schlafen. Author, who are you?

Bosso Fataka

Bosso Fataka

Prenzlauerberg. All rights reserved by Talulah Tamborin.

Prenzlauerberg. All rights reserved by Talulah Tamborin.

Author, who are you?

Just sunbathing. Author, who are you?

U-bahn

Party time. Micaela (Bit)Schäfer?

All rights reserved by Jarkko Riihimäki

S-bahn. All rights reserved by Jarkko Riihimäki

Posters. Author, who are you?

Push the button. All rights reserved by Steve Bauer.

Sbahn monday morning. Author, who are you?

Sbahn monday morning. Taken from Berlin Open Airs Facebook page.

Reading in the sun. Author, who are you?

Reading in the sun. Taken from Berlin Open Air Facebook page.

Axe advertising campaign.

Axe advertising campaign.

TV night sessions. Author, who are you?

TV night sessions. Author, who are you?

Hallo, Winter, please go home. Author, who are you?

Hallo, Winter, please go home. Author, who are you?

From Berlin with ♥

Germany, Micaela Schaefer, Eurovision. Image taken from: http://ruptly.tv/

I stopped watching Eurovision more than 10 years ago. When I was a teenager, who lived in a small city, with no Internet connection, Eurovision on TV was definitely the night to get excited about. Then you grow up and simply forget about it. Countries like Latvia, and certain groups of people who carefully follow this event from year to year take it extremely seriously. Did we send the best one to represent our country? They get really worried. And then the country which holds the event, gets super frustrated about the stage, building it specially for this occasion.

It’s politics under the shiny dresses. It’s love and hate between countries.

But in Berlin it does not matter, in Berlin it is another reason to have a party. They organise a big open air, with a huge screen and beers, and simply have a good laugh. Berlin has definitely gathered all European nationalities by now; so it is extremely fun to watch Eurovision if you and your friends are all from different countries. Is my country representative more ridiculous than yours? It gets sentimental only when it’s time to vote. It’s funny, but all the small shops, bars and cafes screen Eurovision. Everyone is watching as if it was football.

And then if your friend’s country is the winner, it is another reason to get another beer.

May the 18th, Malmo 2013. Have fun!

And it does not matter before the actual night, but if you want to know who is participating, please find all the details here: http://www.eurovision.tv/

Image taken from: germanhistorydocs

There is no doubt that there are true punks in Berlin. At least looking at their clothing and life style I see no difference between them and anarchists in the 80s (and I don’t mean all of them); these are the same leather jackets, the same grinder boots and the same sugar iroquoises. They hang around in the same areas of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Mitte, bagging for money doing absolutely nothing, but drinking beer, smoking weed, and going to punk concerts. We are against the system, fuck the system! In fact, I never saw true punks in London, even walking around Camden those punks seemed too clean and too hip. Most of the young generation has lost this feeling of a true rocker, dirty punk lifestyle. I am no punk expert, but when it comes to self expression it is very easy to look silly. But then again the 21st century laughs at us all:”Is it really important to have a message behind your look?” And what is true anyway?

Vice.com: So where are the real punks?

Well, I don’t think much of British punks, they’re all soft, and they can’t sing either. Russia has the best punks. They make real ska music, stuff you can dance to. Russian’s a rough language and it fits with the idea of punk being aggressive. (UDO, 21. Berlin)

Vice.com Where do you hang out then?

Well, most of the young kids with their “punk“ haircuts hang out in Potse, a bar in the west, so now we’ve moved on. But to be honest, we prefer it here on Alexanderplatz. We’ve got own patch and we know everyone who comes through here. (Dave, 32, Berlin)

With the great amount of punks in Berlin, it somehow made sense to start a film festival dedicated to those, but not only. Too Drunk To Watch has started in 2012, in the cinema Moviemento, then the same year later also took a place in Hamburg. The festival offers feature films, short films and music videos of the punk scene, including many premieres. And beer for just 1 euro, all in style!

Four days of punk cinema; see full programme here: http://toodrunktowatch.de/schedule/

On the 10th of May in Festsaal Kreuzberg there will be 3 live acts and a surprise.

And here is the interview about the festival with the organizer Cornelius (in German): http://berliner-filmfestivals.de/2013/05/too-drunk-to-watch-im-moviemento-2

Camden, London. Image taken from: http://www.turismolondres.com.br/

Image taken from: http://www.ezo-beer.com/

Germany takes the 2nd Place in the Beer Consumption Top, losing it only to Check Republic, where Pilsner was actually made (in Plzeň or Pilsen). Funny enough tiny Estonia is the 5th with 91 litres per capita. 

Germany makes the strongest beer in the world – 57,5% Vol called Schorschbock 57. Brewed by Schorschbräu. This must be the limit.

Germany also owns the most swearworded beer – Fucking Hell. A Pale Lager beer brewed by Waldhaus Privatbrauerei.

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This was one of the first photographs I took in Berlin, when I arrived in 2011.. Balconies in Berlin are very important, everyone wants to have one! Summer 2011, Berlin. All rights reserved by Katja Avant Hard

If you have just hitchhiked to Berlin for the 1st time and want to stop here for a while, make sure you fit following these 10 simple rules…

Rule #1. So, if you came to Berlin, make sure you live in the right area, otherwise you’re no cool.
Kreuzberg is cool, but Neukoelln is getting cool too, so in order to be super cool people have invented the word (not the location) Kreuzkoelln. So, make sure you move in there, and do not try to understand where it starts and where it finishes. If you live on the last floor, that is especially cool: wooden floors, a balcony and a stove  heating- you are quickly getting points!
Rule #2. In Berlin those who have dogs are very cool too, it means you are a good man, the society can trust you.

Rule #3. But you are no cool with your dog if you do not have a bike, and make sure you choose a cool bike too, otherwise you are not cool enough and you’ll be recognized as a fresh foreigner. Make sure your bike is vintage or even handmade. Or maybe you want to have parrots sitting on your bike…

Summer 2011, Berlin. All rights reserved by Katja Avant Hard

Oh forgot to add, when you get a dog, make sure you do not clean it’s poo, it’s cool to leave it behind, so that the neighbor’s daughter going for a walk with daddy steps in to it.

Rule #4. Make sure you drink the right beer too! Sternburg Export is a low budget beer, and that’s the way to go when you just arrive to Berlin, because if you say you just came and you have not fond a job yet but you drink the most elite beer they will think you are wealthy and Berlin is in general not a place for you. When you get a job, you can start drinking Berliner and Club Mate. 


The only people who will have more dogs than you, and will not have a bike… and will enjoy Sternburg Export for the breakfast – are the punks, but this is another story…

Rule #5. Learn 3 the most important and coolest words:

  • Entschuldigung – if you step on somebody’s Doc Martin’s
  • Ausgang -if you run from the policeman at the U-Bahn
  • Genau – just being cool

Rule #6. Do not go and see Brandenburger Tor, because that’s not cool, instead you should go to Spreepark and Taufelsberg or maybe Heilstätte Grabowsee?

Rule #7. Do not forget to check daily Craigslist Berlin and ExBerliner (i still have not found the answer why Exberliner is EX?). However, sooner or later you’ll understand that Exberliner is a bunch of arrogant strangers.

Rule #8. Throw away your favourite pack of cigarettes and start enjoying the great variety of tabaco. Its cool to stop wherever you are and roll one.

Rule #9. Punctual Germans maybe are punctual somewhere else, but when you go for a party or a gallery opening in Berlin make sure you are 2h late, then you are cool enough. And it is triple cool if you find a secret party and squeeze your ass in.

Rule #10. Berlin is the recycling, upcycling, “pass on” city. Nothing should go in the bin, unless you are sure it is no good even to a homeless person. You are extremely no cool if you throw plastic and glass into general waste, you are even worse if you throw away your food. www.tastethewaste.de will tell you how much people throw away, while others are starving. You are super cool using freecycling Berlin service giving away unnecessary furniture and other items.

After these 10 rules you have a chance to be called a BERLINER, which is cool too.

Kreuzberg, Berlin. All rights reserved by Katja Avant Hard

Exciting links: 

http://www.abandonedberlin.com/

www.tastethewaste.de

http://koepi137.net/

The city of Vice

supported by ski-epic.com/

And so I went to The Zone, which is a very new bar/venue stage in NeuKoelln. And I guess their live nights are called   NoiseKoelln. The place looks like many others in Berlin, when you start renting a half demolished space which needs renovating, but being in a military city this is not necessary, and non-design space works in Berlin just fine. You get the chairs, stools and tables from the streets, what people through away, so you end up with 50 different ones and all what you now need to sort out is the bar. Not much hustle there either, just a bigger table as beers come only in bottles and wine is under the table.

The live music took a place downstairs, under the ground. The first act was Earth Chaos(I guess), one guy turning his wires and buttons making us feel like in the bunker during the Second World War. The space was totally dark, only a couple of candles were lighting the room. So, pretty heavy atmos and a carpet for on the floor. The guy was really bombing, for about 15 minutes. Not bad, not bad..

The 2nd act which can not be found on Last.fm i guess were Sun Worship , some sort of metal band who has just released a tape. And it is was the music when all 50 people shacked their heads in unison. And interestingly enough, almost no one left the room during their session, as usually people go in and out peeing and buying beers, this time their were glued. Sabbath..

3nd act Moon Wheel never happened for real, as the Second World War progressed and the Nazis came. The police was called by the 1st floor neighbors and we were told to go to Loop Hole on Boddinstr. 60. which was a weird place with no handle at the door so you can not enter or leave the place, and they had ONLY one type of Polish beer and Club Mate. So, the main act  was finishing his set there.

 

http://soundcloud.com/earthchaos
http://sunworship.bandcamp.com/
http://soundcloud.com/moonwheel

 

Tonight at 8pm you could try the gallery opening: EMPATHIE – BERLIN 2011 Einzelausstellung Osca-Fabian Jentsch

It’s all about thoughts and mind explosion. I hope.

EMPATHIE – BERLIN 2011 Einzelausstellung Osca-Fabian Jentsch

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

Last night White Trash Club, dark and claustrophobic, has welcomed Peaches and her burlesque dancers. When it comes to Peaches – there is always a show. This time it was blood, strip, Barbie nipples and a lot of champagne. 

We came around 11, and it is too early for Berlin. You can chill, smoke outside enjoy the fresh air, drink wine around the corner or stay inside and dance for 2 hours. People seemed to be dressed rather casual, no special costumes or extravagant make ups. The DJ before Peaches was running a rather strange mix of songs – some good old Joy Division, Nirvana then modern indie and some MTV pop. The crowd nicely warmed up and terribly drunk at 1am was more than ready for Peaches. She did not make wait long. I raised my arms and they met the ceiling. The club was not small, but located under the ground and above felt like Pans’ Labyrinth. 

She made it loud, long and wet. Four or five bottles of champagne made the 1st rows sticky and happy. The two dancers entertained the crowd with changing their costumes every 10 minutes, starting as elegantly dressed pilots with cigarettes in silver lips, finishing with stripping and flashing their arses in g-strings and pale topless bodies. Vampiric eyes were drilling the crowd, their robotic movements and skinny bodies fit well the DJ-set, which of course was less exciting than her individual shows where she uses fat dancers with wicked tatoos. But it is still Peaches – expressive, sexy, crowd loving and just a cool chick. She played a mix of her songs which worked the best and some techno club mixes which made the crowd move for 2h non stop, 3am she left the stage and White Trash is ready for a big glass of beer.

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

by Avant Hard all rights reserved

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