go for a run – explore Berlin

April 25th, 2015

DSC01337

today i will introduce you to some of my friend’s favourite running tracks. there are countless beautiful routes. since Berlin is quite flat, both cycling and running are rather a pleasure than pain.

 

 

 

 

 

1) the easy – if you just want to do some laps
just 1 km north of the hostel is a  running track for doing laps. take a right from the hostel and you will see the stadium on your right at mauerpark.

 

2) the big lap – the airport run
how about a 7km lap? since tempelhof airport shut down a couple of years ago it became a big recreation spot for berliners. among runners you will see kite surfers, skaters and urban gardeners.there is a 7km lap and a shorter one for cheaters. the best thing – no cars  to be seen
take the U2 to stadtmitte and change there to U8 – get off at platz der luftbrücke

 

3) the friendly neighborhood bunker run
a few steps away from our hostel is a splendid park: volkspark friedrichshain (people’s park freidrichshain). due to its running track’s great  bone friendly surface (no asphalt but dirt) it is very popular. for those of you who want some extra sweat – take a turn onto the hilly thing in the middle. it is not only a great exercise but a history lesson. you are standing on a former anti aircraft bunker. extra perk: cafe schönbrunn
1km east of the hostel – ask at reception for detailed directions

 

4) the canal run
if you enjoy water, beer gardens, thriving neighborhoods and history, this is the route for you.
start at U hallesches tor and take a left eastwards along landwehrkanal. take another left at the canal’s forking – once you hit a massive alley (puschkinallee) take a right. this way takes you to leafy treptower park. in the heart of the park you will find the russian memorial. running back along the river brings you to the next s bahn stop.

 

5) the classic – tierpark
yes of course, there are also some nudies in the park. however, there is much more to explore. this massive park in the heart of berlin connects the historic centre in east berlin and the city west. the park is situated roughly 4 km from our hostel, alternatively you can take the U2 to potsdamer platz -the same line takes you back from zoo station.

 

enjoy!
…and we have plenty of plasters for your blisters at the reception


record store day

April 16th, 2015

don’t miss out, the record store day starts in 1 dVinylay and 7hrs. (just in case you read this blog right NOW)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

here are some of my favs:

1) VoPo Records, Danziger Str. (Punk/Garage/Rock/Alternativ)
2) Wowsville Records, Ohlauer / X-Berg (Garage/Punk/Blues/Soul)
3) Bis aufs Messer, Friedrichshain, (Indie/Hardcore/Punk/World)
4)Freak Out Records, Prenzlauer Al. (Rock/Indie/Soul)
5)Record Store (Mitte / Przlbrg) Schönhauser Al. (Rock/Garage/Soul)
5)Static Shoc (Punk/Hardcore) Kreuzkölln
6) Gallactic Supermarket, Petersburger (F-Hain) (alles vor 1990, + Repress)
7) OYE, Oderbergerstrasse (soul, hip, hop, global grooves)
8) hardwax, Paul Linke Ufer (techno)

 

 

rendom fact. the biggest vinyl reseller in the world is urban outfitters.

pants


Where is ze bunker?

April 14th, 2015

Unless you are capable of time travel you will never see Hitler’s Bunker. The Red Army destroyed it in 1947. An information board on the original location at Gertrud-Kolmar-Straße corner In den Ministergärten gives you the best impression of the size and its history.
However, there are still some WWII fortresses left to admire. Since Berlin is built on a swamp most bunkers are Hochbunkers, meaning overhead hoppers. This makes them not only spectacular but also better photo opportunities.
Here are some of my favs.



1)   Reichsbahnbunker Friedrichstraße

(C) Wikipedia

(C) Wikipedia


Built in 1943. After the war it was used as a prison by the notorious NKDW, later as storage for textiles and tropical fruits from Cuba. Between 1992 and 1995 this was the HQ of Berlin’s gabber scene.
2003 the Boros Collection (contemporary art collection) moved in and made it open to public. Highly recommended! Book well in advance http://www.sammlung-boros.de/besuch/info.html





2)    Hochbunker Pallasstrasse

(C) Wikipedia

(C) Wikipedia


What a beauty. This hulk was only finished on the 1980 and is still used as a bunker nowadays.This one, as most, was built by forced labour from occupied countries. US army tried to bring this bunker down with plenty of dynamite after the end of the war, however they did not succeed. 1977 this ghastly building was accompanied with another beast – 10 story concrete prefab on stills. A must see for urbanism junkies.













3)    Flakturm Humboldhain (above-ground, anti-aircraft gun blockhouse towers)

(C) Wikipedia

(C) Wikipedia


Climbing on top of the remains of this flak tower gives you a breathtaking view of north Berlin. You can also arrange a visit to the adjoined cold war bunker complex with the guides of berliner-unterwelten.de who are more than happy to introduce you to the horrors of everyday war life. http://berliner-unterwelten.de/home.1.1.html


Berlin with kids

March 31st, 2015

3393829490_f4c731d162_qYou might be travelling with kids, or you wake up one morning and feel like Tom Hanks in Big.
For both occasions Berlin boast tons of possibilities to indulge in childhood mode.
Animals:
Don’t we all love those funny furry things on 4 legs? Berlin has 2 Zoos to chose from, one in the east, one in the west. For all who prefer colour over fur – go to the aquarium.  Of course we do have 2of those. There is one in the west and have a guess where the other one is. I recommend going with the west zoo and aquarium since they are adjoined and can be both visited easily at once.
Toys:
When I first went to Lego land I was 25 and I didn’t’ regret it at all. So colourful! So many shapes! So ouch!  I once read the lego brick is the most painful object you can step on so be careful. For those who do not like to interact with this world I recommend to go to the Computerspielemuseum. They have a fantastic collection of over 22 000 computer games and 300 consoles, including the original PONG
Art:
Your kid will probably love the Mitmachmuseum (join in museum) an ambitious combination of exhibitions, mazes, print shop, soap factory and jumping stand. If you are more of a spectator, go to Potsdam and take a tour in Babelsberg film studio. Vocano? Check, explosions? Check. Burning cars? Check
Museums:
2 museums suitable for both, old and young, are the technical museum (look, it’s a plane) and the natural science museum (dinosaurs galore). A good idea might be also Madame Tussauds located Unter den Linden. There you’ll find some 2 statues with world-renowned haircuts: A. Hitler and J. Bieber


let’s… get naked

March 26th, 2015

vfl-pinneberg-sauna-300x199
we need to face (i said look in the face!) the fact  – those kinky Germans get naked all the time.

at the beach: naked
in the club: naked
in every cafe in prenzlauer berg you will spot at least one  breast: naked
sauna: naked

german kinkiness is even discussed on yahoo answers.
so, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. the number one place to see some bare skinis a sauna or a hamam . the latter is unfortunately single sex only so half the fun for some of us.

my top 5 choices for saunas in berlin are:
1) Gewölbe sauna
no frills, just good cleansing heat. a local sauna for local people. cheap, clean and instead of a quenching kale juice people drink beer  in between sessions.
Fröbelstraße 17
10405 Berlin
gewölbe-sauna.de
staring level: zero

2) Saunabad
a local sauna for good looking locals. popular among expats, so if you left your hometown because you were sick of everyone, there is a good chance to bump into sb you dislike. beautiful courtyard to cool off and reasonably priced.
Rykestrasse 10  |  10405 Berlin
saunabad-berlin.de
staring level: hello neighbour

3) Olivin
bit zen: outdoor bamboo garden – bit acid:indoor „wow, look at those colors“.
a rather small and atmospheric sauna for those looking for solitude and relaxation.
Schönhauser Allee 177 · 10119 Berlin
olivin-berlin.com
staring level: too enlightend to care
4) Liquidrom
more a spa than a sauna, incl. a thermal bath and a underwater music floating „damn i wish i was stoned“ pool
the sauna itself is top notch. if you ever wanted a honey facial or a classic infusion this is your place.
Möckernstrasse. 10
10963 Berlin
liquidrom-berlin.de
staring level: look at me damn you! look at me

5) Vabali Sauna
ever wanted to go to india, thailand and the other place where all rich people go? all at once?  check out this gem. it’s more like an ample village with a lot of space to ream and relax.
Seydlitzstr. 6
10557 Berlin
vabali.de
staring level: hello you

relax.there is no chance of meeting me in any of the above mentioned since i had 2 bags of chips while writing this.
enjoy!


The Sunday dilemma

March 17th, 2015
Bildschirmfoto-2013-05-22-um-16.45.49

a place where dreams come true: a späty (C) Daniel Gregors

So you wake up in the morning and realise you have nothing to eat. Or lack some other important personal items, like clean undies .
Thing is, all shops are closed on Sunday in Germany so what are you going to do? Well, you could stay in bed and wait.
On Chorinerstr. corner Fehrbellinerstr iIs a späty which is always open. They have basics but be aware, they are more expensive than normal grocery stores. If you are not satisfied with their range, here is a list with shops open all year round:
Supermarket:
Kaisers at main train station 8am – 10pm
Edeka at Friedrichsstrasse S-bahns station 0am – 10pm
Rewe and Lidl at Ostbahnhof ( next to eastside gallery) 7am – midnight
Pharmacy:
Apotheke im Hauptbahnhof ( main train station) open 24/7
Apotheke at Alexanderplatz:  1pm-6pm
Apotheke at Friedrichstrasse: 9am – 8pm
There are also emergency pharmacies, please ask us at the reception. We are happy to find one for you
Drug store:
Rossmann at main train station : 8am -10pm
Rossmann at Alexanderplatz: 8am -10pm
Souvenirs
there are 2 flea markets in walking distance from the eastseven hostel. Alternatively you can find some official ones at Alexanderplatz station . (open 08amUhr -8pm)

Oh, 2 things you don’t need to worry about: booze and fags. These essentials are available everywhere all year round.


So, what is left of the GDR?

March 3rd, 2015

Nowadays you will probably not be able to distinguish between the 2 halves. Guests always ask us if we are located in the East. Well, we surely are. Look at our name. EastSeven.
But it is a good question indeed. Most obvious signs disappeared and are not easy to read by people who haven’t lived in the GDR themselves.
I have collected some of the spots you shouldn’t miss out if you want to get an eastern point of view.

Fotothek_df_n-06_0000089
1)    Abandoned embassies
We have 2 of everything in Berlin. 2 zoos, 2 football clubs. Makes sense for a once divided city. All countries had embassies in the west and the east. Most left their eastern ones after reunification. And by left I mean vanished, disappeared. Still today, 25 years after the wall came down you can enter vacant buildings formerly used by ambassadors and find some official papers. Go to northern Pankow (Tschaikowskistrasse) and see for yourself. Old empty socialist concrete beauties.

2)    Monuments
You want some Lenin but can’t be bothered travelling to mother Russia? No worries, we have some stunning Monument ourselves. The purpose of socialist monuments was to prove that communism was superior over capitalism. You don’t believe me?  Go to Ernst Thälman Park and have a vodka on the base of this bronze sculpture. Such a pity they don’t build these anymore.
3)    Karl Marx Allee
Alright. So you have all these shiny tanks and missiles you want to show off with. You need to it with style because your fellow dictators have some awesome taks themselves.  Why don’t build yourself a nice little road for all the parades? Something to stress your love for Russia.
This street once called Stalinallee is a perfect replica of Russian architecture. It is gigantic like a spaceship, somewhere between picturesque and awe.
4)    Water from wall
Don’t laugh; living in a concrete block was the dream. The alternative was living with your parent or in an old prewar house with coal heating and outside loo. You had to wait for years before getting keys to an own concrete prefab apartment. Take the M6 tram from Alexanderplatz to the eastern suburbs. Experience the dream yourself.

5)    No such agency
Not really. Everybody knew of the Stasi, the infamous secret service. And on the other side, haha, they knew everything about you, too.  Check out the Stasi museum at Ruschestrasse 103 in Lichtenberg to get an insightful feeling for this organisation


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Posted in history, Nik´s Tips

It’s German Karneval you guys!

February 16th, 2015

Good morning everybody! Today is Rosenmontag!

I’ve never been a german Karneval enthusiast I must say, altough I grew up in a region of Germany, where it’s celebrated HARD. Maybe caused by witches with giant wooden masks, who scared me to death or drunk fat men in clown costumes on the street. Or old candy they threw on you during the parades. Or the terrible music, you had to listen to everywhere and couldn’t get out of your head.

But today, all over the country, there are huge parades, Konfetti, candy, music and people, mostly drunk, in costumes on the streets. Looks like this:

 

http://www.hotel-am-augustinerplatz.de/uploads/pics/rosenmontagszug-koeln-2012-2554065.jpg

©hotelamaugustinerplatzKöln

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.tel-aviv.diplo.de/contentblob/2582580/Galeriebild_gross/646942/karnevalrottweil2.jpg

http://www.neuepresse.de/var/storage/images/np/nachrichten/magazin/uebersicht/der-hoechste-feiertag-der-jecken-koelner-rosenmontagszug-gestartet/19137297-1-ger-DE/Der-hoechste-Feiertag-der-Jecken-Koelner-Rosenmontagszug-gestartet_ArtikelQuer.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later the day it looks more like this.

http://img.morgenpost.de/img/motor/crop100110184/020872619-ci3x2l-w620/Alkoholkontrolle-DW-Sonstiges-Dortmund.jpg

© morgenpost.de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the Karneval tradition is not only throwing yourself in a costume, getting drunk and roaring song lyrics you learned a minute ago,

but also laughing about the political satire on all the big parades, like in Cologne, Dusseldorf or Mainz. And that can look like this:

http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/20044159.jpg

©panoramio.com

http://mcdn.newsnetz.ch/bildlegende/140486/1727226_pic_970x641.jpg?1423229071

©newsnetz.ch

 

http://bilder.t-online.de/b/68/32/17/66/id_68321766/610/tid_da/motivwagen-an-rosenmontag.jpg

©t-online.de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reason, why I show you all these pics is, you won’t be able to witness any parade here in Berlin. There was never a big tradition here, due to its very own history and the long seperation of the city, the leck of financial support etc. Another reason for me, why I love living here. But newcomers from the heartlands of Karneval brought a little bit of their tradition to the Capital.

If you feel like experiencing this very german tradition, even without a costume, paint your face (at least with some lipstick hearts on your cheeks) and go to one of these places (the KULTURBRAUEREI is actually the closest to our hostel. And there is also a Elektro-Swing Party tonight, starting at 11pm, if you had enough of german Karneval songs…)

 

http://blog.top10berlin.de/tag/rosenmontag-berlin-2015/

 

Oh! also! there’s a live stream of one of the big parades, happening NOW:

 

http://www1.wdr.de/fernsehen/unterhaltung/comedy/sendungen/karneval/rosenmontagszug148.html

 

 

Enjoy!


Berlinale 2015

February 2nd, 2015

Berlinale

Welcome to Berlinale – the international Film Festival “05.02.2015 – 15.02.2015

 

The Berlin Berlinale is the city´s larges event, with almost 20.000 film professonials from 124 different countries are all coming to the exciting capital of Germany. Artists from around the world are attracted to Berlin. Many consider Berlin the unofficial capital of German film. It is the home to a rich cinema scene and a diverse, discerning public. Also, Berlin has captured the imagination of countless filmmakers. Over and over again, the city has served as the backdrop for great silver screen productions, often becoming itself the secret protagonist of the movie. Think “film” and “Berlin” is bound to spring to mind.

For two weeks every year Berlin is totally enraptured by the Berlinale. This festival enjoys by far the largest audience of any filmfestival in the world, with more than 300.000 tickets that are being sold, this year….

About 400 films are shown, the majority of these films are world or European premieres.

The Berlin Festival is divided into different film sections, each one with its own focus:

Competition: “Big” international movies are competing for the prestigious awards, the Silver and Golden Bear

Berlinale Shorts: Short films, radical, independent, controversial, disturbing

Panorama: Independent art house productions and documentaries

German Kino: Latest productions from Germany, including feature and documentary films (all with English subtitles)

Forum: Experimental and cutting edge films, most of them from far-flung corners of the world

Generation: International film selection for kids and teenagers

Tickets may be purchased three days in advance. Tickets for repeat screenings of Competition films may be purchased four days in advance. On the day of the screening, tickets are only available at the box offices of the cinemas themselves and on www.berlinale.de.

Art, business, glamour and Party!!! Don’t miss it…. J

If you need more INFO about Tickets, Venues and Partys just check out www.berlinale.de


Folks. It’s the Superbowl Weekend!

January 31st, 2015

This goes out to all Americans in Berlin. Most of them, right? And to non-Americans like me, who year after year, on a Sunday’s winter night prepare with energy drinks, beer, chips, gather with the other two non-american friends, who also have nothing to do on a Monday morning, switch on the TV around 1AM and wait for the America’s biggest sport event of the year to start, THE SUPER BOWL! So now you’re here in Berlin, dear football enthusiast, thinking about finding a stream to watch it, spending all night in the hostel, being really quiet, because of the unaware and ignorant people in your dorm room, who just don’t get it. It doesn’t have to happen that way! Fortunately enough people in this city LOVE to see the Seahawks destroy their opponent once more,  don’t leave the room during the halftime show (how bad will that be this year!), get excited about ridiculous ads  and actually have nothing to do on a Monday morning. This is where to go fellows!

 

I start with the most american one (it’s SO american!) and the closest one to our hostel, which is convenient, since you can actually walk to that place. It’s, and that probably true, Berlin’s biggest SuperBowl Party, they do everything to  warm up your heart so far away from home: two big screens, a s**tload of flat screens, live english commentary, cheap pitchers, American beer, Burgers, Rips, Wings, serious football fans.

Belushi’s bar

Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 39-41

free entry

https://www.facebook.com/events/696059220512231/

 

The White Trash Fast Food, now located in the heart of Kreuzberg, doesn’t say much about their SuperBowl Night, it either costs 1 or 3€ entrance (depends on if you look on their website or facebook), but they’re a great venue with awesome staff, serving fantastic burgers and good drinks in a super laid-back atmosphere (try their bowl cocktail! I don’t remember now how it’s called exactly, but it’s a GREAT drink for 3-4 people! With a burning fire in the middle!). White Trash is always a great decision.

White Trash Fast Food

Am Flutgraben 2

http://www.whitetrashfastfood.com/events/

Starts 11pm

 

The FC Magnet Bar, also located in Mitte, is THE bar for local soccer fans. Ask some of our staff, they’re regulars at that place. It’s a small, super friendly bar, good people, good beer, no place to freak out and go crazy, but I feel like often that is the better way to go anyways. So if you want to watch the match in a chilled bar, more intimate than the big Superbowl event, eat good Hotdogs and have cheap good beer, this is your place for Sunday night!

FC MAGNET Bar

Veteranenstr. 26

http://www.fcmagnetbar.de/news/list

starts 11pm as well.

 

Have fun you guys! May the Patriots show the SeaHawks that they aren’t the Broncos!


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Posted in Events in Berlin