uberlin

überlin official opening party!

by James Glazebrook

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Ever since we announced that we were going to launch the überlin coworking space and photographic studio, people have been asking us “when’s the opening party?!” Well, our friends, fans and all the borderline alcoholics we know will be happy to learn that we’ve finally set a date for our official opening. :)

On 888 (8th August, at 8pm), we’re throwing open our doors to celebrate the opening of our brand new creative space. There’s going to be booze and beats – both made in Berlin – bulldogs and beautiful people. And me. ;)

So join us to get a sneak peak of Kreuzberg’s new creative hub and to raise a glass to the people who helped make it happen – including our super-supportive community. That would be you!

RSVP and get event updates over on Facebook, or get the details for your diary below. Me, Zoë and Olive look forward to welcoming you to überlin!

uberlin coworking and photo studio 1

überlin Official Opening
Facebook event

Friday August 8th, 20hr
at überlin, Böckhstrasse 26, Berlin 10967 (map)

Drinks from Our/Berlin vodka, Berliner Sommer and Alchemist Gin (made in Berlin!)

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A big announcement

by James and Zoe

We have BIG news here at überlin. But before we tell you what it is, we’d like to explain how it all came about.

überlin started as a short blog post written on a one-way flight from London to Berlin, back in November 2010. We had sold our belongings, packed up our laptops and popped our two cats into their travel crates. When we stepped onto the tarmac of Tegel airport on that rainy winter’s day, we were equal parts thrilled and terrified. We had nothing, we knew no one, and we had no idea what was going to happen next.

It soon dawned on us that moving to Berlin was the best decision we had ever made. Unshackled from her desk, former digital designer Zoë bought her first camera and started developing the beautiful photographic style that graces our blog’s pages. I got paid to write, sat in my pants at our kitchen table. In our spare time, we explored the city we loved and shared our experiences with a small but enthusiastic readership: our friends and family back home.

We were pleasantly surprised by how popular überlin became, and how quickly it happened. The close-knit expat community in Berlin took us under their wings, and into their hearts. They read, commented on and shared our content, pointing it out to their German friends and anyone they knew who was planning to move to, or visit, Berlin. Before we knew it, we were running one of the city’s biggest English-language blogs.

überlin has given us the chance to thank the community that still supports us, by extending all the help we can to expats and Berliners alike. We pay it forward by highlighting the awesome things that are happening in the Hauptstadt, and the talented people behind them. Now a customer support guy, I take my work home with me, spending my evenings answering questions and offering advice about moving to Berlin, getting an apartment and a job here, and how and where to learn German.

But while überlin has been more successful than we could ever have imagined, we’ve always longed for more. We’ve been looking for a chance to bring this community to life, to make our virtual network a bricks-and-mortar reality. And now we’ve found that opportunity…

Which brings me to our big announcement: as well as a blog, überlin is now a coworking space and photographic studio!

We’re busy fitting out a split-level space in the heart of our beloved Graefekiez in Kreuzberg. The bottom floor of this carefully renovated former factory is already a fully-equipped professional studio, where Zoë shoots for clients like Etsy. Now we’re hard at work upstairs installing custom-built storage and wireless speakers – as well as the all-important desks that we’re going to rent out.

Our hope is to provide freelancers and creative professionals with everything they need to establish themselves in Berlin. As well as a beautiful workspace, überlin members will get access to our network of experts, exposure to the opportunities that come our way, a bunch of perks and the privilege of spending all day in the company of Berlin’s cutest office dog, our Frenchie Olive. Anyone who uses the space or studio will also benefit from the support of a powerful platform to promote them and their work – this blog!

Don’t worry, überlin the blog isn’t going anywhere. We’re currently in the process of a huge redesign, and we’re going to continue to explore the places and people that make this city great, make funnies about expat life here, and provide valuable information for anyone thinking of coming to Berlin, whether for a short-break or a full-blown life-changing experience.

Stay tuned for updates and for an invite to our upcoming preview party, when you can come have a drink with us and check out our beautiful space! Until then, we’d like to thank you all for reading the blog, and providing us with years of support and friendship. You are the reason we do this, and without you we might not even be in Berlin, let alone embarking on this exciting new adventure. Danke sehr!

Liebe Grüße,

James and Zoë

20140506-115242-u

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Happy Easter!

by Zoë Noble

Happy Easter

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Merry Xmas from überlin

by Zoë Noble

merry xmas from uberlin

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Hund in Herbst

by Zoë Noble

autumn leaves and olive

Hasenheide park

autumn leaves and grass with feet

olive french bulldog in autumn

autumn red leaves

olive in Hasenheide dog park

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Give Something Back to Berlin: The Official Launch!

by James Glazebrook

GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO BERLIN logo

We’re super-excited to be helping to launch the inspiring new initiative Give Something Back to Berlin this Friday. One year after getting the feeling of “let’s do something – let’s get involved”, the GSBTB team are finally ready for their official launch – and we’d love you all to join us for a little celebration!

Give Something Back to Berlin is a platform connecting new Berliners with social initiatives. It’s about mixing, learning and sharing; about breaking down barriers between “us” and “them”; and about giving back to the city that we love. Through an online platform people can easily donate some of their time and skills to a local initiative that helps improve the city and the lives of the people that live here. One part Berlin DIY creativity, one part social engagement and one part social media makes a great equation for exciting collaborations! You can hear us talk about the project in this video, and read an interview with the GSBTB founders Anders and Annamaria by clicking on their little faces below :)

GSBTB founders

To celebrate the launch of the Give Something Back to Berlin website and the official start of the project, GSBTB and überlin want to invite you for a unpretentious release at the beautiful Agora co-working space in Neukölln this Friday! There will be free drinks and Korean sushi in the garden, followed by a short introduction to the project, before we open up the doors for the eclectic Agora Collect Festival.

Swing by to celebrate the many ways of giving something back – because this is just the start! Every skill and idea that we share will help develop Give Something Back to Berlin into an inspiring initiative that really works for the city! The only thing we know for sure, is that – Berlin being Berlin – this is the start of something really exciting :)

Give Something Back to Berlin Launch Drinks
Friday 21st June at Agora Collective, from 5pm
FREE ENTRY
Event details on Facebook

If you can’t wait until Friday to find out more, check out the check out the GSBTB website givesomethingbacktoberlin.com, and follow Give Something Back To Berlin on Facebook.

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Video: The street aesthetic of Berlin

by James Glazebrook

We can’t wait until Berlin looks like this again – all green and leafy with soft light warming the streets. Until then, here’s “The Street Aesthetic of Berlin”, filmed last summer by Danish artist Christian Andersen.

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Official überlin merch! Going cheep(!) this Easter weekend

by James Glazebrook

Apologies for all the exclamation marks and the appalling pun, but we’re pretty excited about releasing our official überlin merchandise. We have big plans for our line of products, but we thought we’d keep it simple for now and launch with our classic ü logo on t-shirts and tote bags. Everything is hand-printed here in Berlin by local studio Mother Drucker, in hipster-friendly black and white. Shipping is always free within Germany when you order more than one item – ü on ü is such a good look! – and for this weekend only, we’re giving you 20% off all the products in our store! Visit our store before Tuesday 2nd April and grab a wearable piece of überlin memorabilia at a special low price: uberlin.bigcartel.com.

Überlin Merchandise

Visit uberlin.bigcartel.com.

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Interview: Give Something Back to Berlin

by James Glazebrook

Annamaria Olsson and Anders Ivarsson are the brains behind an exciting new project called Give Something Back to Berlin, which will connect expats with community projects here in the city. Read on to find out more about GSBTB and how to get involved.

Annamaria Olsson and Anders Ivarsson Give Something Back To Berlin

by Jessica Povoa

Who are you and how did you come up with the idea for Give Something Back To Berlin?

We are Anders and Annamaria, two quite typical new-Berliners. We came here five years ago to take part in the city’s brilliant vibe with music, culture and interesting history… Anders worked as a freelance translator and ran a record label, while Annamaria studied and wrote.

As a DJ and a journalist we were in many ways at the epicentre of Berlin culture and expat life. From this viewpoint, we saw the city going through a lot of rapid changes and noticed some challenges in both expat and ”normal” Berlin life. Having lived in Kreuzberg and Neukölln it was obvious that a lot of different groups are ”struggling” within the city.

What kind of challenges and struggles do you mean?

The related issues of gentrification and increasing rents have obvious consequences for poor Berliners with limited opportunities. The mix of those two social questions leads to a lot of frustration and tension. Some people have the feeling that a lot of expats are not getting ”integrated” but just consuming/using the city as their own playground while other people get pushed out or get nowhere.

This discussion has been very polemic, at times xenophobic, and has avoided seeing the big picture or creating any good ideas for how to deal with this new situation. People seem to look more for people to blame than actual solutions, which is both sad and counterproductive. Because it doesn’t matter how much Angela Merkel says that the idea of ”multiculti is dead”, or racist and nationalist parties say that they want no immigrants – migration is a hard fact for the whole world, be it Muslims or creative freelancers. Expats and other groups are in Berlin to stay, so they need to find ways of living and working together, not against each other.

Most expats love this city and want to contribute in different ways. With Give Something Back To Berlin we wanted to create a good alternative, somewhere where new- and Alt-Berliners can meet, get to know each other and the city in a broader sense, and at the same time contribute to society and make this city better for everyone. Whether you are German, an expat or any kind of Berliner, we believe that you should share not only with your own kind, and that broad views are the key to understanding and progress.

Give Something Back to Berlin logo

What is the project and how does it work?

The idea is very simple – the initative helps expats and new Berliners get socially involved. Through our online portal and social media channels people can easily sign up to donate their skills and a couple of hours to a local initiative that is helping to improving other Berliners’ lives. Maybe a soup kitchen for homeless people needs some extra help, a kids’ centre wants to offer extra English lessons or a girl’s club wants some cool women to talk about different kinds of career possibilities. Our partner organisations tell us their needs, we post them, you sign up and get involved!

Why is it only for expats?

It’s not ”only” for expats, but because we are doing everything on a volunteer basis with no funding, we thought this would be a good place to start. If someone were to give us a lot of money, of course we will open up Give Something Back to Berlin! There are already existing infrastructures for native Germans to get involved in, and we will work with them, but for many expats it might seem too daunting for them to get involved directly.

What kind of projects will you work with?

We met a lot of different organizations over the last months and they are excited to work with us! They include Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands, with their huge network of 1,000 employees and 750 volunteers, Kulturwerkstatt Neukölln, The Roma Theatre Café, St. Richard Gemeinde with its night café and soup kitchen for the homeless, Youth Club Bildog at Richardschule, the AIDS-home and café The Orangerie, Schilleria Mädchen Café in Neukölln, Nachbarschaftshaus Centrum, Kreuzberg… to mention just a few.

What’s happening next?

Give Something Back To Berlin will officially launch in April when we will start posting the ”givings”. Until then we are busy contacting the partner organizations, organising the project, searching for funding, building websites and planning events where expats and social organizations can meet, mingle and talk about possibile collaborations. If you (expat or German) feel like helping us building the project – holla right back to us! We are always in need of skilled people! Our GSBTBerliner Luke Atcheson is setting up a pilot project offering English lessons to local social organisations right now, so if you are interested in contributing you can contact him on lukeatcheson@gmail.com. You can also like us and Facebook and help us spread the Give Something Back to Berlin idea so we will have a lot of possible ”givers” when it all kicks off.

Follow Give Something Back To Berlin on Facebook or check out the website givesomethingbacktoberlin.com.

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Frühling Good: A Photo Walk with Olive

by Zoë Noble

So the sun has finally decide to show up here in Berlin and I think we can all agree it’s about bloody time. When we arrived two years ago people warned us that winter here can be one long grey nightmare and boy were they right! Aaaaaaanyway the sun is here, so we can all cancel those return flights home and enjoy it while it lasts!

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