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New Berlin Novels

First off, metblogs appears to have cheated death, for now at least. The donation drive to keep things going continues, though, and there are no guarantees for the long term. Back to Berlin. This article reviews three recent novels set in the city, and uses that format as an excuse to make some sharp, but accurate, [...]

The future of art in Reuterkiez

Arm und sexy, the blog of the like-named, and newly-opened, shop on Reuterstraße, warns of cuts to the heavy subsidies which have underpinned the disconcertingly fast growth of art in Reuterkiez recently. There’s a meaning on June 1 to plan for how the area can survive on its own.

The end of Metblogs

Everything’s coming to a rapid end here; metblogs is probably closing next week, and the entire site will be taken offline. That means this blog will vanish into the black hole of internet history. Take a last look around, before the doors close. I’ve contacted the metblogs admins about keeping an archive of the site online, [...]

Bioplastic in betahaus

Mix and heat cornflour, water, vinegar and glycerine. You now have a hard-setting material from which you can construct anything from lampshades to wallets to bags. This is bioplastic: very much like regular plastic, but made in the kitchen and less likely to remain in garbage dumps for millennia. The Open Design City, in the back-room [...]

Salon Populaire

Spent a couple of hours on Friday dashing round assorted gallery openings. Less motivated by the art, to be honest, than by having excuse to walk round Mitte — and so, being in the wrong frame of mind, didn’t see much worth mentioning. Best of the bunch was No portrait. No pornography by Lar Theuerkauff, [...]

Catherine Hales

Last-minute plug for some English-language poetry tonight: Berlin-based British poet Catherine Hales launches her stunning new poetry collection, Hazard or Fall, in the first of Dialogue Berlin’s poetry events at Café Hilde in Prenzlauer Berg. Show More Summary

Achtung Berlin

As this site is keen to point out, Berlin has an entire armada of film festivals beyond the Berlinale. Starting today is Achtung Berlin, which dedicates itself to films produced in and around Berlin. The Programme is, as ever, somewhat overwhelming, but I’m reassured and delighted to find a frisbee session nestling in there among the [...]

Free shops and clothing exchange parties

With clothing exchange parties we get a fresh face and new self-image for something that’s been happening been going on around students, squatters and groups of friends since, well, forever. Rather than getting together informally to swap trousers, provide a party as an extra excuse. The list of events in Berlin isn’t that long, and [...]


I have a good view from my balcony. To the right, a cemetary. Opposite, “Berlin’s largest sun-tanning centre”. And to the left, I can see Hermannplatz, dominated by a Karstadt department store. It’s hard to picture this slightly shabby shop as the last remnant of a doomed icon of Weimar modernism. But that’s exactly what it [...]


The start of February saw the launch of Herbstradio, a new Berlin community radio station that imagines itself spiritual successor to the late lamented Radio MultiKulti. You can hear them at 99.1 MHz, or online. The project is only here for sure until the end of this month. What happesn then depends on the outcome of [...]

Berlin as collective fantasy, 70s punk edition

Michael Bracewell has just recorded a series of five quarter-hour spoken essays about Germany. The episode on Berlin is somewhat underwhelming. The introductory section, though, precisely pins a certain kind of British punk dream about Germany in general and Berlin in particular, ‘a fantasy of febrile decadence and alienated modernism’: ’somewhere in the middle of [...]


blows away cobwebs Well, I finally returned to Berlin in December. Then this week back to Neukölln, and glad of it. Schöneberg had its touches — the Dildo King stall nestling innocently within the all-too-picturesque Weihnachtsmarkt, for instance — but there’s a particular guilty pleasure to being on the front lines of gentrification. Today, though, I thought [...]

Cities to live in: 7th

AskMen ranked Berlin in the Top 10 cities to live in, in its list of the top 29 places to live. They labeled the city, affordable and cultured. And you can’t really argue with that. The top list is led by Chicago which is (from my experience) either too hot, or way to cold and also [...]

Terroristen …

Found myself in the middle of a demo on Saturday night. Couldn’t figure out exactly what they were up and on against — I think it’s the usual anti-establishment (Spreeufer, …) and pro open spaces/speech etc. kind of thing. Lots of people though and despite their sometimes very individual outfits they all looked pretty friendly and I [...]

MISSING: Afonso Tiago

If you look at the map as of where he went home, this is especially disturbing since most of us have been there and followed his steps not knowing what could happen. Anyway, these people need help — please post, feel free to download the poster from their blog and put it up! There is also [...]

Freie Wahl?

Im Prinzip bin ich immer dafür die freie Wahl zu haben — wieso auch sollen Menschen zu etwas gezwungen werden was sie nicht wollen? Im Fall der Initiative “freie Wahl” bin ich dabei diesen Standpunkt zu überdenken. Nachdem die christlichen Wurzeln meiner Familie bei mir auch nach der Konfirmation nicht fruchten wollten, habe ich mich selbst [...]

Building a worse rat-trap

Somehow I missed this stroke of genius from last month. One brilliant politician has proposed saving Berlin from vermin by sending the poor out to hunt them: “People who collect bottles could be paid €1 per rat” He’s not thought this one through, has he? I don’t mean because it’s a half-baked, inhumanew market solution for a [...]

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