Carneval of Cultures Street Parade live stream

This year’s Carneval of Cultures Street Parade just kicked off. Wheather conditions are fine, and the parade currently makes her way through the streets of Berlin-Kreuzberg.

Not in town but still want to see, what the parade looks like? Lucky you: local public radio station Radio1 and local public TV station RBB are both covering the parade with live streams and photo galleries etc. – you’ll find the live streams and more from their website www.radioeins.de and www.rbb-online.de

And then there’a also the Carneval of Cultures Street Festival…

S-Bahn strikes again [update: end of strike]

Almost a bit boring – but still relevant:
Deutsche Bahn train conductors are on strike – again.
And that means that also Berlin’s S-Bahn conductors are on strike – again.

Again: about one thrird of Deutsche bahn trains should be operating – and most of the S-Bahn lines will operate every twenty minutes. But as far as i know – again – the Ringbahn will not be in service.

All other public transport, like Trams, U-Bahn and busses, run by Berlin’s public transport operator BVG,  will be operating ‘as usual’ – again.

Further information about the strike should be (again) available on the homepage of Berlin S-Bahn – although currently the site seems to be down. Or is it just me? Anyways – here’s the link to the page with schedules etc.:
www.s-bahn-berlin.de/bauinformationen/betriebslage.htm

[UPDATE] Surprisingly enough one day after the Deutsche Bahn strike began, it will be over. For how long? Nobody knows – at least for a couple of wekks the radio says. Over the day there may still be irregularisies – but (as the radio noted) from about 7 pm on trains should be operating close to normal – and so should Berlin’s public transport provider S-Bahn.

Berlin rent index 2015

The private residential rental index for Berlin has just been released. Any surprises? Not so much: slowly but surely Berlin’s residential rents are rising.

Apartments are still quite affordable in Berlin – especially if you compare rents paid by Berliners to rents paid in other European capitals. The increase is also still quite modest – but actually the official rent index only covers the ‘known’ rents.

It seems to be difficult to find reliable numbers that would tell more about the actual situation. The average numbers don’t really tell how much a rent can actually increase when tenants change. Rumors are, that in some previous cheaper areas some apartment rents have risen by 50% to 100% .

And what the Berlin rent index 2015 also does not tell is how difficult it actually can be to a) find an affordable apartment and b) be the one who can actually sign the contract and move in. But maybe that’s a different story anyways.

However – if you would like to have an insight into the ‘official’ interpretation, then you may check either of the following pages:

Mietspiegelabfrage

You ‘just’ need to enter your address, the year the building was built and the size of your apartment and the tool will spit out the average rent paid for a comparable apartment:
www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de/wohnen/mietspiegel/index.shtml

Wohnlagenkarte

a map showing Berlin residental areas colored in three categories: above average (red), average (orange) and below average (yellow):
www.stadtentwicklung.berlin.de/wohnen/mietspiegel/de/wohnlagenkarte.shtml

Conclusion

As far as I can see Berlin residential rents vary between approximately €4,- and €8,- depending on the areas and the condition of the apartment / building. Or in other words: a coal heated one room apartment in Köpenick is probably still cheaper than a roof top loft with a view in Mitte. News? You decide.

Happy Father’s Day!

Today it’s a public holiday day – but that’s (of course) not because of Father’s Day, but ‘Himmelfahrt (Feast of the Ascension). But since in Germay both ‘celebrations’ are on the same day, Father’s Day is kind of a public holiday day as well.

Berlin S-Bahn on strike again

The good news first: since today the North-South S-Bahn tunnel is back in operation.

The bad news: this week Berlin’s S-Bahn drivers are on strike again. This means that only about 30% of all S-Bahn trains will be operating between Tuesday, May 5th and Sunday, May 10th.

During that time period, the ring is closed – no S-Bahn in operation. Instead most of the other lines will be in operation, mostly on a 20 minute schedule.

All other public transport, like Trams, U-Bahn and busses, run by Berlin’s public transport operator BVG,  will be operating ‘as usual’ – which means vehicles might be quite crowded and you should probably calculate a couple of minutes on to of your ‘normal’ travelling plans.

Further details can be (again) found on the homepage of Berlin S-Bahn:
www.s-bahn-berlin.de/bauinformationen/betriebslage.htm

Berlin First of May / Walpurgis Night

On friday it’s again the First of May – and the night before it’s Walpurgis Night. And just like in many german and european communities both are celebrated in Berlin. However – you might have heard already that Walpurgis Night and especially First of May have a bit their own ‘rituals’. I’ll try to explain a bit about it – and later I’ll add a page about Berlin First of May and Berlin Walpurgis Night to the info pages.

First I should probably say that on First of May some areas are not quite safe. There are not really any no-go areas – but instead there is a strange tradition of having riots in the streets of Berlin – especially in Kreuzberg – but also in some areas of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte. But who is rioting? And why? Hard to say.

Berlin’s First of May Riots

As far as I know it all started back in the kate eighties (May 1st 1987) when a peaceful public neighbourhood party at Kreuzberg’s Lausitzer Platz  got overrun by police – and people reacted not quite amused. Police actually decided they had to withdraw from Kreuzberg. Since then at least for police forces Kreuzberg can be a ‘difficult’ terrain to go – at least on First of May.

The best place to go nowadays on First of May would probably be the so called MyFest (www.myfest36.de) in Kreuzberg. Over the years people got sick and tired of all the rioting and the best alternative seems to be to have – again – a peaceful neighbourhood party. So there will be some stages with live bands playing and for sure there’s gonna be some street food to snack. But anyways – be aware there can be complications.

Walpurgis Night in Berlin

Further information on Walpurgis Night traditions:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night

 

Berlin S-Bahn strike this week

Again Deutsche Bahn will go on trike this week – and, again Berlin’s public transport provider S-Bahn, owned by Deutsche Bahn, will be affected. Here’s how and when the strike will strike tomorrow (Wednesday, 22nd of April) and the day after (Thursday, 23rd of April).

About 30% of regular S-Bahn traffic will run. That means most of the stations will be connected – the plans are that every twenty minutes there should be a train. However, the popular ‘Ringbahn’ that rides all across Berlin in a large scale circle, will not be operating at all.

Berlin’s main public transport operator BVG is planning to help with additional and longer U-bahn trains, busses and trams – but you should not rely on this backup to work very well and instead add some extra travelling time to your schedule.

related:

Berlin Detroit – Detroit Berlin

Back in the days of techno, there were some rather strong connections between the two cities Detroit and Berlin*. Bands from both cities influenced each other, and every now and then  techno DJs from Detroit visited Berlin to perfom in one Berlin’s techno clubs – and Berlin DJs visited Detorit to spin some vinyl in Detroit’s night life.

That was back in the 90ies.

Since then both cities changed a lot. In sort: Detroit’s inustry went down, Berlin’s tourism industry went up. Now Berlin’s “techno legend” Dimitri Hegemann was recently visiting Detroit, suggesting to “use the power of abandoned spaces”to re-vive the city – just as Berlin did.

Read on at Detroit Free Press:
Berlin techno entrepreneur continues to eye Detroit

PS: Kraftwerk?! E-Werk!!

*PS2: There’s even at least one sampler called “Berlin-Detroit Techno Alliance”
PS3: More about Techno, Detroit, Berlin and all that Jazz: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techno

Berlin architecture exhibition at Stilwerk

This friday (20th March) the Berlin chamber of architects (Architektenkammer) will open an exhibition of Berlin architecture at Stilwerk in Berlin-Charlottenburg. On display are 65 architecture projects from Berlin – and by Berlin architects.

You can have a preview of all 65 exhibited projects at the homepage of Architektenkammer Berlin: http://www.ak-berlin.de/publicity/ak/internet.nsf/tindex/de_da_2015_projekte.htm

da! Architektur in und aus Berlin

21. March –  18. April 2015
stilwerk Berlin, Kantstraße 17, 10623 Berlin
Opening hours: Monday – Samstag, 8 a.m.  – 8 p.m.

English homepage of stilwerk: http://www.stilwerk.de/en/berlin/

S-Bahn replacement shuttle buses

Currently the north-south S-Bahn tunnel between Gesundbrunnen and both Yorckstrasse stations (S1, S2, S25) is closed – and will stay closed until 1:30am on 4 May 2015 (Monday).

One of Berlin’s S-Bahn official recommendations is to use ‘Ringbahn’ instead – which might be a good idea if you really want to travel from Gesundbrunnen to Yorckstrasse – or of course the other direction. Alternatively you may jump on one of the “Schienenersatzverkehr” (SEV – S-Bahn replacement shuttle buses) Buses serving the closed S-Bahn stations – more or less.

The SEV-Buses go quite frequently – every 3–4–5 minutes. There is a north branch and a south branch, meeting at S-Bahn station Friedrichstrasse.

Find more information on this information page about the construction work – and here you can download a fly with detailed information, time tables, positions of the bus stations etc.

One curiosity: the bus drivers neither sell tickets nor check tickets – just as S-Bahn drivers would.

Berlin S-Bahn-Bus Ersatzverkehr-Haltestelle

S-Bahn Ersatzverkehr Bus-Haltestelle “North” at Brunnenstrasse / near Bernauer Strasse