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

Fashion Week Berlin

January 14th, 2015

Starting next monday, Berlin will host on of the most important fashion weeks from the 19th till the 23rd. Models, Hipsters, Fashion Shows and after Partys. The world of fashion in one city. Its “Fashion Week”!!!  Its the perfect time for buyers, trade experts, the media and people that are interested in fashion to collect information at fashion trade shows and attend exhibitions and off-site events.
 Fashionweek

You will find all the different Shows, Labels, Events and after Partys here….

Berlin “Fashion Week”


Various Labels will present their latest collections. Such as Perret Schaad, Whitetail, Sopopular, Isabell de Hillerin, Sadak, Vektor, Bobby Kolade, Odeur, Guido Maria Kretschmer,  Hien le, Anne Gorke, Augustin Teboul, Laurel and many many more.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (at Brandenburger Tor)

Enjoy the Show!


Struth! the germs got me

January 4th, 2015

images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

some weird homespun remedies Germans really use.
i shit you not – they actually work

 

 

1) snuffles: inhalation of salt and chamomile
bring 2 liters water to boil, mix with chamomile ( you can use teabags) and 3 spoons of salt – inhale. helps fighting runny noses
2) sore throat: cold pack
put a wet cloth around your throat, then wrap it with a scarf over night. your body will pump as much blood as possible to the cold region, i.e. your throat. satisfaction guaranteed
3) sore throat: gargling
depends on whether you like it salty or not. I usually gargle a salt solution. alternatively you can bring 500 ml to boil , add  2 spoons of sage and let it simmer for 15 minutes. this tincture tastes better than salt and helps too.
4) cough: onion syrup
cut up an onion in half, sprinkle with sugar and leave covered for 1h. „enjoy“ the juices that appear on the surface. they will not only soothe your cough but are rich in vitamin C.
5) all purpose: beer cure
my fav – it either helps or not, but you  tried at least. beer cure is common on bavaria, but so are marian apparitions….
6) chicken broth
boy, these chicken need to run quickly during flu season. a chicken broth is ubiquitous in winter. it is literally the WD-40 of flu remedies

enough voodoo.
there is also a pharmacy just round the corner from the hostel. ask for aspirin complex if you want to be fit within minutes.


History lesson I. The Royal Palace.

December 29th, 2014

Today it gets historical folks.

As you have probably seen the big construction side on „Unter den Linden“, on the opposite site of the Berlin cathedral, you also might have asked yourself wt* is happening there. Berlin gets it City Palace back!

The history of the „Berliner Schloss“, destroyed in the hail of bombs during the last days of the 2nd world war, actually begins in 1443, at a time, where Berlin didn’t even exist as a city yet, but started together with Cölln as another settlement to develop economically and politically. So hard, that the elector prince Friedrich II. (I had to translate this from the german word „Kurfürst“. If you’re confused, if this means that a prince got elected: Nope. But this helps: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince-elector ) decided to move his residency down to the Spree river, where also trade routes were easier to control.

Unfortunately it is unknown, how the medivial palace looked like. During the 16th century Prince-elector Joachim II. let it mostly tear down and constructed a Renaissance building, which got nearly destroyed during the long years of the Thirty Years War and was again rebuilt under Friedrich Wilhelm, the Great Elector Prince.

It probably looked like this, illustrated by an unknown artist in the year 1685.

664px-Berliner_Schloss_1685

It seemed to be a lot of building, rebuilding, tearing down, inventing new, construction side here, construction side there. Everything we love about our city until today. It’s one big construction side. Anyways, Friedrich III., who should become King Friedrich the First decided in 1701 to change the palace to his permanent fancy high-end royal residence, with a new Baroque facade, new private and representational/above stairs chambers with ceiling paintings and a castle square (where the March revolution of 1848/49 broke ground!)

437px-Rittersaal_(Schlüter)

This form of the place last until the last days of World War II with just slight changes and a dome, constructed between 1845 to 1853.

The City Palace around 1904.

1904

On Feburary 3rd 1945, the day of the hardest air strikes in Berlin, the palace burnt down completely from the inside, beside the Northwest wing and just left the foundation walls with all the plastic decorations (which got destroyed in 1949 during the shooting of the Soviet movie „The Battle of Berlin“!). In 1950 also these remainings got blown up by the GDR govermnent. Today when you walk through the Volkspark Friedrichshain, up on the hill in the middle of the park, you actually walk on the rubbles of this extraordinary royal palace.

kriegsbild

Since 2011 the palace grows and grows back again to finally be completed in 2019 as the Baroque Palace in its last form. There’s tons of information out there, if you’re interested in the developing of the project. You can also go to that big cube on Unter den Linden, the “Humboldt Box”, which provides the plans, models and the history of Berlin’s oldest palace.

Have a look here:

http://www.humboldt-box.com/en/

And now let’s all run for kings and queens and election princes!

 

(all pics Wikipedia)

 


you can’t survive on doner kebabs

December 11th, 2014

better than dönerwell, technically you can. however, if you are tired of lying to your mum what you had for dinner there are some great alternatives.
we have all been there, the question of all questions: food or beer. if you have just a nickel for food here are some suggestions how to save there. canteens are the answer. dirt cheap and apparently healthy. at least they don’t sell ketchup as salad.

there are some great canteens throughout berlin which are open to public, not just the staff.
let me begin with a strange one
police canteen in marzahn (märkische allele 174). renowned for its authentic east german food ( better than it sounds and quite filling)
you will spend less than 4€, guaranteed! it’s for police so don’t go there straight from the club

 

kiezkantine (Oderberger Straße 50,)
a stones thow from the hostel, open on weekdays between 12.00 to15.45. there you get  some great food prepared by people who have  mental issues but make it up by  great  cooking skills. veggie options available.

 

canteen at the volksbühne theather (Linienstraße 227)
accessible from the back of the massive building. food is nothing special but down-home and you will be able to spot some truly interesting people you would normall have to pay to see.

 

universal music canteen (Stralauer Allee 1, Friedrichshain)
pretty swanky – with some wannabees. the highlight is the deck on the river on the oposite side from  watergate.
the food is more international than in the other ones but slighty more expensive. i just checked this week’s menu, pretty delicious for max 7 euros.

 

isin japanese canteen (Mittelstraße 24 , mitte)
just  round the corner from branderburg gate in a bleak back-road you’ll find this fine, yet still affordable sushi restaurant. it’s not really a canteen, however it mostly caters for japanese staff from companies nearby

 

now you don’t have to lie to anybody anymore – you are welcome