uberlin

Bumper Berlin Map of Coworking Spaces

by James Glazebrook

We’re slowly going stir-crazy in our office/flat/shared cell. We can’t carry on like this, so we’ve started seriously looking at coworking spaces – and the city’s startup blog Venture Village is proving an invaluable resource. Not only have they published a list of the ten best coworking spaces, and are running a competition to find an overall winner, but they’ve also assembled this bumper map of all(?) the shared workspaces that Berlin has to offer. So much choice!

Do any of you have experience of coworking in general, or these places in particular? Feel free to leave your tips in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you.


View Venture Village Berlin Co-Working Map in a larger map

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Dolce & Gabbana’s Flagship Store Opening Party

by Zoë Noble

Last weekend I was invited to the opening party of Dolce & Gabbana’s new flagship store in Berlin, along with guests like Bonnie Strange, The Lives Of Others star Martina Gedeck and Bang Bang Berlin Clubs editor Jackee Word. I was even asked to cover the event for the official Dolce & Gabbana blog! You can see all the photos and read my highlights on Swide Magazine, but here are a few shots to whet your appetite. Enjoy!

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überlin does Copenhagen

by James Glazebrook

Part two of our Excellent Scandinavian Adventure! (Zoë’s busy cutting-and-pasting our heads onto Bill and Ted’s bodies as I write this.) After Stockholm (read our highlights here), Copenhagen was colder and even more expensive! Case in point: brunch for two at Café Europa, recommended by the chic @Lilies_Diary, came to €70. Despite this, the Danes were warm and welcoming, and we had loads of fun: here are the best bits of our three days in the CPH.

We stumbled across a couple of early highlights on our first walk through the historical waterfront Nyhavn district into town. First, we picked up the best brews of our trip in the Coffee Factory, and then we spotted an actor from Forbydelsen! (For the nerds: Nicolas Bro, who plays Thomas Buch. If he wasn’t deep in conversation, you’d now be looking at a picture of him, me, and my two thumbs.) We celebrated by hitting the shops, killing (geddit?) time in Wood Wood and the city’s countless independent boutiques – naturally, I bought some Clarks.

Shamefully, we only followed one tip on our friend Ed’s excellent Foursquare list, but we picked well. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, rightly called “the most beautiful museum in the world”, is one of the best things we’ve ever seen. Situated an hour away on the north Zealand coast, the museum combines an excellent collection – of sculpture in particular – with panoramic views across the Øresund that had us vowing to one day live somewhere like that. Back in town, we went from the transcendent to the touristy, popping into the Ice Bar to warm up (its -5°C was a few degrees balmier than the street outside) and grabbing the best hotdog in town at the nearby Andersen Bakery. Muscular, sexy versions of those limp dogs you get in Ikea, these are like the Brigitte Nielsens of meaty treats. I’ve said too much…

Check out our Stockholm highlights, and stay tuned for more stunning photos of the Louisiana Museum.

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What I’m Wearing: Vintage Cape

by Zoë Noble

It’s been over a year since I shopped on eBay, so I’m not quite sure why I decided to trawl its pages last month. I’m glad I did though, as I spotted this amazing vintage (“second hand”, my mam would say) cape buried among all the rubbish. Since winter has finally arrived in Berlin, I’m finding capes a godsend with so much space to add layer upon layer underneath – particularly important when you go for a stroll ON a frozen canal, as I did for this shoot.

Buying this was a bit of a gamble, as the seller’s photos were terrible (surprise, surprise) but the gorgeous white fur foxtail details, reminiscent of Alexander Wang, made this a risk worth taking. The seller wouldn’t post to Germany because so many customers had complained about customs hold-ups, so I had to get the cape shipped to my parents in the UK and THEN posted to me…yeah I know, I’m a fashion slave but I’m a warm one at least!

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Music Montag: Lucky Paul

by James Glazebrook

Lucky Paul

On this Valentine’s Eve, we give you the most heartbreaking thing we’ve heard in some time: the Lucky Paul rework of “I’d Rather Go Blind”, by the recently deceased Etta James. “I would rather go blind, boy, than to see you walk away from me…”

Lucky Paul’s Elephant Island EP, out today, isn’t romantic in the traditional sense, but then neither is the producer’s sometime home of Berlin (at least, according to our own Mr Sexpat). The lyrics of Maori singer Mara TK may be about Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica, but there’s enough of the epic and universal in his words and his fellow New Zealander’s emotive backing to foster thoughts of life, love and loss. It would perhaps be too pretentious to call “Elephant Island” electronica’s answer to Moby Dick or the lost love song penned by Superman in his Fortress of Solitude… so I won’t. Skip to the Midland remix for maximum swoon.

For more on Lucky Paul, his previous EP and his awesome remix of Amelie’s “One Thing”, check out this Music Montag post I wrote for Bang Bang Berlin.

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Sorry Sunday Times, Berlin’s clubs aren’t “satanic”

by James Glazebrook

A week before our last visit to Berghain, Zoë’s parents read something that gave them cause for concern. According to a hysterical article in The Sunday Times, the UK’s most popular weekly newspaper, inside the (in)famous Berlin club the “smell of sex is overpowering”. I’ve never smelt anything like that inside the club, but I did get a whiff of something when I opened the copy of the Times my in-laws mailed to us. Bullshit.

Berlin's "return to decadence" by The Sunday Times

I can’t link to the article, because the News International dinosaurs have hidden it behind a paywall – which is either unfortunate or lucky for you, depending on how much you like to be angered by sensationalism and lies. (As you’re about to find out, I love it.) You can however, see the “trailer” for the article (click through on the image above), and read a pretty decisive dismantling of it over on skruff.com. Quoted there, former Bar 25 resident DJ Beaner is the voice of reason:

it’s just the basic London journalism. You know, it’s using vague second hand non-facts to prove a story that you set out to write already… That kind of stuff [writer Christopher Goodwin] described does exist in a few places in Berlin though I honestly think Berlin was wilder and more hedonistic a few years back.

The point is not that sex and drugs aren’t common features of certain Berlin nightspots, just that they aren’t everywhere, in every club – as Goodwin suggests. His assertion that “the Berlin scene is driven by such blatant sexual licentiousness and ubiquitous drug-taking that it would make the denizens of the decadent Weimar clubs of 1920s Berlin blush in their velvet coffins”, is based 75% on a visit to the Kit Kat Klub, and 20% on a trip to Berghain. If you go to a fetish club, you are going to see sex, and if you go to a gay club, you are going to see gay stuff.

To “report” such goings-on so pornographically (“a model-beautiful blonde woman in her early twenties is being taken from behind by an athletic young guy as she orally gratifies another man while stimulating a third with her hand”) and to imply that they take place in every Berlin club is far more irresponsible than any of the participants’ actions. Labelling an article “not suitable for children” is the worst kind of tabloid journalism, as is the use of homophobic and demonising language (“minces”, “as satanic as the club he owns”) and the outrageous, downright racist suggestion that “many fear [Berlin] will degenerate into a crisis as serious as that which gave rise to Nazism.”

Count yourself lucky you can’t read this shit. But be prepared for questions from concerned relatives back home who have been conned into believing that everyone in Berlin is fucking and drugging themselves silly, out in the open. Just be straight with them: drug-taking is more open here, but probably no more prevalent than clubs in London or anywhere else; the sex is consensual and takes place in designated fetish clubs (which also exist everywhere); and you’ve seen far fewer casualties of substance abuse or violence here than anywhere else you’ve ever lived. Stick that in your bigoted, fear-mongering pipe and smoke it, Sunday Times.

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Walking on Water!

by James Glazebrook

Just been for a Sunday stroll… ON the Landwehrkanal! It’s frozen solid, so bring your ice skates!

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Sexpat and the City: Cause when it comes to love I stay sharp, cool and collected…

by Mr. Sexpat

Mr. Sexpat is a twentysomething English expat living, and occasionally loving, in Berlin. Join us as we follow him into the seamy underbelly of the city’s single scene.

“LARGE SCREAM! It’s the first year in ages that I’ve been single; single and in Berlin! Enter slightly agitated emoticon stage left. This is the one day of the year dedicated to that crazy little thing called Love (and to emptying your wallet). But worry not – for I am about to advise a number of people I have never met how to survive Valentine’s Day based on nothing more than common sense and crushing narcissism.

In a relationship? Either you leak currency all over your loved ones or face potentially fatal levels of passive-aggressive psychological warfare. “But wait!”, you exclaim. “I just handed all my money to some fat, pissed prick in a red suit not more than a month ago!” My advice, mate, is never argue with winged men-children wielding a bow and arrow. Also, always check if anyone nearby can also see said flying Roman deity before replying…

Love is in the Air

Currently single or “it’s complicated” (not a real thing)? Things shouldn’t appear quite as bleak as they probably really are, because – thank Eros – Berlin clearly doesn’t give two flying heart-shaped shits about February 14th! Not just because it’s a massive waste of effort and money but it’s also quintessentially un-Berlin. Case in point: not one single person in the German office I occasionally pretend to work in is celebrating or even thinking about V-Day. Meanwhile, walk down any high street in the UK and it suddenly becomes imperative that you spend at least 100 English dollars on reminding your loved ones that you remembered that you should remind them to remember that you love them very very much.

The closest I’ve come to witnessing any kind of romance in Berlin is on a small patch of grass in Tiergarten frequented by naked men. Don’t believe me? How about a hot date with a sexy doner in Hermannplatz watching homeless people pass out in portable toilets with needles sticking out of their arms? This city was built on Sex & Drugs, not Ro & Mance.

So, single Berliners, what are we going to do while the balls and chains of the city loudly exchange mouth DNA on various mode of transport? As in any capital city, the lonely hoards are paying more rent and taxes and not getting laid frequently enough – they must be entertained! For instance, you could go sit in a bar, get drunk, take some rotter home and “fuck the pain away”. Or why not paint your bathroom windows black, kill the lights, blindfold yourself in a cold tub full of ice and wait until morning comes? You’ll be saving countless Euro Pounds by not plying someone you’ve already seen naked 7,822 times before with toxic amounts of alcohol just to see if their legs will bend an extra two inches further behind their head.

For those that are perfectly happy with their partner and are planning to make everyone else feel totally shit about it, why not buck the trend? Instead of letting-him-or-her-do-that-thing-he-or-she-likes once a year take pity on a desperate, lonely pal and treat them to a trip to the movies. Head down to the state-of-the-art (plug!) English language CineMaxx in Potsdamer Platz. The last slushy film I saw there contained scenes of anal rape, patricide and incest. Well romantic.

How about some Tuesday group ping pong action at Dr.Pong in Prenzlauer Berg or some sociable spitting off the Warschauer Bridge? Whatever you do, let’s not forget that the real point of Valentine’s is proclaiming your love to an unsuspecting crush who may not know – or even want to. Why not throw caution to the Windgeschwindigkeit and mail that Fraulein what makes your heart flutter a nice, big origami penis? She’ll know who it’s from.

Me, I’ll be taking the night off from trawling the Berlin streets for vagina and sitting in bed watching Say Anything – which is ten times cheaper and 10 million times more romantic than getting drunk and pulling some rotter just to “fuck the pain away”.

Failing that, do you think it will be too cold for a late night trip to Tiergarten?”

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überlin does Stockholm

by James Glazebrook

Welcome to part one of überlin’s Scandinavian Vacation! (We’re still working on the poster.) This is no Stockholm city guide, as we’ve only seen a fraction of what the Swedish capital has to offer, and have no practical advice beyond: take LOTS of money. Instead, these are our impressions from three short days in the beautiful, too-cool “capital of Scandinavia”.

We ended our first afternoon’s walk by passing through the arches of City Hall, and watching the sun set over the archipelago which represents Stockholm’s icy heart. Over the next couple of days we enjoyed breathtaking views across the water, from the bay’s shore and its islands. Suggestion: skip the touristy Old Town of Gamla stan and head for Skeppsholmen, the pretty island that houses the Moderna art museum, among others, and was eerily quiet on the Monday we were there (when the museums are shut!). We don’t know if the sun always casts the same golden glow over the waters, but the broken mirror of floating ice is one good reason to visit in winter.

What else did we do? Well, apart from *loads* of shopping (which Zoë’s going to describe in detail in another post!), we followed a couple of top tips from our friends on Twitter. Ben Perry pointed us towards the Vasa Museum, built around a seventeenth century ship salvaged from Stockholm’s bay fifty years ago, and an object lesson in how to bring history to life. Björn Schmidt earns foodie points for recommending Grill, where we enjoyed cocktails, spicy fish ceviche, and a shared grill of mixed meats in one of its many themed rooms – let’s call it the Marie-Antoinette-according-to-Sofia-Coppola suite. Nom oo la la nom.

Stay tuned for Zo’s ode to Stockholm fashion collective Acne, and our highlights from Danish capital Copenhagen. God natt!

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New Tattoos

by James Glazebrook

Ever since we got our first tattoos at AKA, we’ve been itching (not literally!) to get more. No matching designs this time, though. As I’m a little more impulsive than Zoë, and a lot less concerned about what is indelibly inked onto my body, I went ahead without her for tattoos two and three. Having said that, she still plays a part in the designs – she was there at the Fischerspooner concert where we saw the neon light that was basis for the upside-down pyramid on my right arm, and she *is* the Z that now appears on my ring finger.

If you like these, and are looking for sharp tattoos with poker-straight lines, I totally recommend Ana at White Light Tattoo. I have a bunch more tattoo ideas in my head, and I’ll be getting them all done there!

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