California Breakfast Slam

by James Glazebrook

We’ve *hearted* California Breakfast Slam since it was based near our old Kiez, before it shut down and then magically popped up a few streets away from our new flat! Berlin’s best Mexifornian (?) brunch is currently based on Pflügerstrasse in Neukölln, although according to their hilarious, ranty Facebook Page, they’re looking for a permanent home in the neighbourhood. Our advice: get down there and enjoy the heuvos rancheros or two eggs plate (with turkey sausages and pancakes) before they go all nomadic again!

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

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.

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!

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.

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 KitKatKlub, 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.

Walking on Water!

by James Glazebrook

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