Berlin S-Bahn on strike (again)

The german engine driver union (GDL) just decided: engine drivers will be on strike over the weekend. And since Berlin’s S-Bahn is part of Germany’s rail company Deutsche Bahn this means that also Berlin’s S-Bahn engine drivers will be on strike over the weekend.

Here’s some details: from tonight / Saturday morning 2 a.m. until sunday night / monday morning 4 a.m. “no” S-Bahn will be in service. I put the “no” in quotation marks because the past has shown that sometimes there actually still are some trains in service.

However – if you depend on getting from A to B this weekend, you better not rely on Berlin’s S-Bahn service – instead you better check alternatives how to travel across Berlin city this weekend.

The good news is: all U-Bahn and Trams and Busses will be in service on the regular basis. So on the one hand you still will be able to use public transport, on the other hand I have the slight suspicion that you’ll not be alone. Trams, busses and U-Bahns might be packed this weekend.

S-Bahn Berlin
Two S-Bahn trains parked during the S-Bahn strike 2007, one train moving – near Gesundbrunnen between Wedding, Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte

What I really find a bit strange, even disturbing, is that there seems to be absolutely no information about the strike on the english edition of the Berlin S-Bahn’s website – nor or the english edition of the ‘mother house’ Deutsche Bahn. Also the english edition of the homepage of the city of Berlin seems to provide no information about the strike – and also the english edition of Berlins public transport service BVG says nothing about the strike or alternative routes. Wow.

Further reading on the 50-hour-strike can be found at The Local:
www.thelocal.de/20141018/rail-strike-cripples-german-train-users

Well… Have a nice wekkend!

10 Berlin News & Stories / Press Review Week 36

What are international news websites, magazines and newspapers writing about Berlin? Here is a list of ten Berlin related news articles from around the world:

As Rents Rise, Can Berlin Artists Still Afford a Place to Work?

artnet News, September 1
Berlin lost yet another building of studios last month. For the past 15
years, the Atelierhaus Prenzlauer Promenade had offered up 3,000 square …”

Modest, inner-city Games concept for Berlin, Hamburg

Reuters UK
“The Games are a sports fest for Berlin and the whole world. Not in an
isolated Olympic quarter but in the very heart of the city,” Berlin

Berlin Brandenburg International Airport – Still no news of when Berlin’s new gateway will open

eTurboNews, September 1
BERLIN, Germany – There are still no news of when Brandenburg International, Berlin’s new gateway, will open. It was originally planned for 2010.

Berlin Erects Monument for WWII Euthanasia Victims

artnet News, September 3
A wall of blue glass has been erected in Berlin as a monument in remembrance of the disabled individuals who were euthanized during the Third …

Palestinian-born German hopes to be next mayor of Berlin

The Times of Israel, September 2
After unpopular incumbent Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit announced his resignation Tuesday, Berlin’s new hope may lay in Palestinian immigrant …

Berlin Music Week celebrates newcomer artists

Deutsche Welle, September 3
Up-and-coming music stars are performing on the streets of the German capital. Berlin Music Week hopes to draw music lovers and industry insiders …”

In Berlin, it’s a whole new city, but the Wall’s traces remain

Washington Post, by Zofia Smardz, September 4
It’s taking forever to get to my friend Tony’s apartment. It’s been 25 minutes at least since we got on the U-Bahn in Berlin’s Mitte district, and still the …

Tourism boom annoys some Berlin residents

Canada.comt, September 4, by Stefan Nicola
A young woman looks down at central Berlin from the broadcast tower at Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany. Alexanderplatz, a crossing point of …

World Jewish Congress to meet in Berlin in wake of growing anti-Semitism

World Jewish Congress, September 4
The participants will also take part in the rally against anti-Semitism organized by the Central Council of Jews in Germany in front of Berlin’s iconic …

Berlin Beats Rome as Tourist Attraction as Hordes Descend

Bloomberg, September 4
Wieland Giebel’s stores near the Brandenburg Gate that sell Berlin Wall pieces for less than $10, miniature Trabant cars and 3,000 books about the …

Kreuzberg music club SO36 celebrates 36 year anniversary

One of Berlin’s night life highlights turns 36 – and since the number 36 plays an important role in the club’s history, there will be a great party week celebrating this 36 year anniversary.

Named after the back then wild wild East part of Kreuzberg (postal code Südost 36 (South East) or short SO36) it kept rocking all ups and downs a club can rock: punk gigs, riots, roller disco, , bingo – SO36 has seen it all.

As a Berlin based music lover I have enjoyed many many gigs here – and as a musician I very much enjoyed playing here as well. I have to say  the backstage never really earned the attribute ‘comfort zone’ – always too hot (in a good and bad way) and never enough air – just to mentions two details… But who needs to rest backstage when you can party on the dance floor anyways? For me the SO36 also always was a venue where you could be close – or at least feel close: close to the stage, close to the stars, close to the people you’re close with. I just hope, the SO36 will never have to close. Have (at least) another swell 36 years!

Couple years ago the venue was actually close to closing – but support by bands and fans finally enabled the venue affording an anti-noise wall so the neu-Kreuzbergers could dream their little dreams, while the SO36 could keep on rocking…

SO36 Kreuzberg Party

SO36 birthday party – dance floor

The birthday week fest event schedule:
14.08. 35 years of EA80 – 36 years of SO36
15.08. Dancing with Tears in Your Eyes “SO36 Special”
16.08. 36 years SO36 – The Gala (Queershow, Live Act Eat Lipstick, DJs, Party …)
17.08. Café Fatal (Dance * Ballroom * Disco)
18.08. ROLLERDISCO
20.08. Night Flea Market // Nachtflohmarkt
21.08. Vika Goes Wild
22.08. Core Tex Fest Hardcore Day CANCELLED

SO36 stage (berlin, Kreuzberg)

a gig at SO36 / view from backstage, 1999 (archive)

Visit the venue’s homepage: http://www.so36.de/
Learn more about legendary venue SO36: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SO36

PS: I think I don’t have to mention any silly comparisons with New York’s CBGBs, or underline the importance for the Berlin music scene / punk scene / cultural scene, or point out, that “The S.O.” is (and always was) one one the most liberal, queer friendly, anti-racist, open minded, dank-but-colorful surroundings ever, or even start name dropping (Kippenberger, Terrorgruppe, Einstürzende Neubauten, Dead Kennedys) because you can find out all of this yourselves :P

Go See: Exhibition “Titel 172″ at Bethanien, Kreuzberg

exhibition at Bethanien, Berlin Kreuzberg – only until Tuesday:

“Titel 172 – Prahlerei ist die beste Ausrede auf dem Acker”

Works by Julia Ossko, Eugen Schulz, Danny Gretscher

exhibition at Bethanien, Berlin Kreuzberg

25.7. – 29.7.2014
15:oo – 20:oo Uhr

Kunstquartier Bethanien
Mariannenplatz 2
10997 Berlin Kreuzberg

Bethanien Invitation

see also:
http://www.kunstquartier-bethanien.de/bethanien_projektraum.html

Half Bread Half Butter

The fashion tradeshow for selected brands known as Bread and Butter was in the news today – for half a reason: in the future the tradeshow will visit Berlin only once a year, instead of twice.

I must say I don’t even know what’s all the fuzz about? Already years ago I would have suggested exactly this – but of course nobody eery asked me about this matter. I anyways never understood why you would have to have a tradeshow twice a year – in the same spot. Ok – it’s fashion – but is it really a that big thing?

And then there is Berlin winter. The Berlin weather conditions around the beginning of the year would be reason enough to not have the tradeshow around that time of the year: cold, dark, windy – and probably either muddy, dirty or ‘just’ wet. Not really the nicest surroundings, especially if you compare it to Barcelona.

So now we will have Bread and Butter in Berlin in summer – which is nice. And Bread and Butter in Barcelona in winter – which probably also is quite nice. And former airport Tempelhof will also in the future host the event. Which is also nice.

Bread & Butter Berlin Airport Tempelhof

© breadandbutter.com / Marco Magnago

Berlin Football – Public Viewing Mayhem

Just in case you’re wondering, what’s all this mayhem across Berlin City today: it’s the semifinal football world cup match between Germany and (ta-dah!) Brazil.

Weather you’re interested or not – you probably can’t really avoid seeing, hearing and probably even feeling it: Football’s in the air (yes, over here Football in the name of the game) and in almost every bar, every television set, every corner. Be it in the usually quite quiet greens of  Tiergarten – you’re just around the corner of Germany’s biggest public viewing event. Be it in ‘alternative life style-ish’ Prenzlauer Berg – most likely even the smallest Hot Dog booth will have a flatscreen on display, showing the game. Be it in high quality shopping and culture destrict around Kurfürstendamm – you will witness a car parade, honking their way through Charlottenburg. This – at least – is my impression, 4 hours before kick off.

The weather may not be good enough to actually join any of those numerous open air public viewing arenas – but – be sure: if you really want to see the match, there is plenty of options. Just walk into the next bar or kebap restaurant and ask – since the first big public viewing mayhem in 2006 ‘every locality’ will most likely have a TV and probably also turn the volume up when the game is on.

Well – what else can I say? Enjoy the show! And just in case you are not interested in Football (or Soccer) and would like to avoid this ‘circus’ with all its ‘clowns’ –> please try to relax… It will be over soon anyways.

Update: the weather was just fine, and thousands of fans witnessed this incredible match: Germany won over Brazil 7:1 !! So… Here’s the next / the last three public viewing opportunities for this World Cup:
1) Wednesday July 9th Argentina vs. Netherlands
2) Saturday July 12th ??? vs. ???
3) Final: Sunday July 13th ??? vs. Germany

Update: Ooops – they did it again! First Brazil 7:1 !! And then the german team also won against Argentina in the world cup final – which means: germany is Weltmeister!
Outside there’s fireworks, some fire fighters and police cars can be heart – and cars honking their way up and down the road (“Autokorso!”). Hurray. Congrats!

see also: Berlin info page “public viewing”

Berlin Football World Cup Public Viewing 2006

Berlin Football World Cup Public Viewing 2006 – more Berlin Pictures over at bilderbook.de/berlin

Carnival of Cultures and Streetfest

It’s this time of the year: temperatures are rising, Carnival of Cultures Parade is marching, Streetfest is bubbeling – Kreuzberg is celebrating the Carnival of Cultures 2014.

This year I am again not actively taking part in Carnival of Cultures and the related open air / street party  – but of course one somehow can not avoid the festival feeling when traveling to / through Kreuzberg this weekend.

Berlin Hallesches Tor Kreuzberg

All weekend U-Bahn line U1 is packed with party people of all ages and origins. Many people are dressed up for the special occasion, some are even wearing costumes. Everything is ok, everything is fine.

From Friday till Monday the street fest near U-Bahn station Hallesches Tor is the hot spot. Four stages (Bazaár Berlin, Eurasia, Farafina & Latinauta) offer live music from all around the world – all day – all for free. And over 300 booths invite you for a special snack.

June 6 – 9 2014
Berlin Kreuzberg
Blücherplatz
Friday 16 to 24
Saturday / Sunday 11 to 24
Monday 11 to 19

I made it to a friend’s balcony and took this photo. What you can see is the U-Bahn Station Hallesches Tor, probably “THE” station this weekend. And you can see the ‘fog’ – or actually it is smoke – that probably comes from dozends, if not hundrets of mini grills. Greatness. Bon appetit!

See also:

Further information about the Parade and the Street Festival: www.karneval-berlin.de
Photos, live stream, interviews at Radio Eins www.radioeins.de/veranstaltungen/kdk

another real estate project in Prenzlauer Berg

If you’ve been to Kastanienalle in Prenzlauer Berg, you probably know this wide open space opposite of the Biergarden Prater that was used as a parking area for ages. Nothing special – just some space for about 100 cars, some trees, some trash, some graffiti – a short cut and an open view connecting Kastanienallee and Schönhauser Allee.

Now these times seem to be over. Yesterday I witnessed the first tree cutting activities. Today the roar of the chain saw continued – I expect all trees gone by the end of this day.

Of course this didn’t come as a surprise. The typical Berlin gaps (Baulücke) became quite rare over the last few years and at least since I saw the construction site at Schönhauser Allee / Cantianstrasse I expected some construction activities in Kastanienallee rather sooner than later.

So – what is the plan for the ex-parking gap between Kastanienallee 97-99 and Schönhauser Allee 148? The online news magazine prenzlauerberg-nachrichten.de seems to know: a 30 Million Euro apartment and commercial project – both rental and for sale. On the front towards Kastanienallee the focus will be on apartments, on the front facing Schönhauser Allee it will be office space. A walk through / passage connecting both streets is officially part of the project – but we’ll see what will be left of that. Since the architect (Grüntuch Ernst) seems to be the same as the one that designed the real estate project Marthashof in Schwedter Strasse, I have my doubts if that passage will actually be accessible for the public. Or maybe that passage will be used as a mini shopping mall – packed with fast food restaurants, shoe shops and a Starbucks coffee shop? That would be… I don’t know… We’ll see.

Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – Ex-Parking

Find a selection of other projects by Grüntuch Ernst to get an idea, what this spot might look like when the building is built: www.gruentuchernst.de/eng/berlin1

Update: the official project website seems to be online – at least for the real estate / appartment part of the project “Puhlmann Hof” –> www.puhlmann-hof.de
From the renderings you can get a good first impression of what Kastanienallee 97-99 will probably look like, when it’s ready: something between Marthas Hof and Hackescher Markt… or so… :)

Berlin alcohol laws – your country (DE) has been blacklisted.

Wow. “Your country (DE) has been blacklisted.”
That’s a welcome message of a quite special kind.

When I was browsing through Berlin related news this morning, a report about Berlin’s alcohol law caught my eye. The headline “Berlin will allow 2 am last call” already suggested that that Berlin probably wasn’t this Berlin. And the teaser text went on “authorizing restaurants and bars in Berlin to serve alcohol until 2 a.m” leaving me with the certainty, that the article was actually not about night life and alcohol laws in ‘my Berlin’, but about local alcohol laws in some other Berlin, probably somewhere in the U.S. of A.

Nevertheless I wanted to read up that story, thought it would give me some goose bumps, imagining it was about this Berlin, capital of Germany, where I live – and where bars are certainly open after 2 a.m.. I tried to imagine what a great hoax it would be to tell people, from now on they would only be served alcohol until 2 a.m. – especially since ‘everybody’ knows Berlin is a 24/7 city where the bars only close, when either the last bar fly or the bartender decides to leave the building. So for people in Berlin, New Hampshire the 2.a.m. regulation may be great news – for people Berlin, Germany however this would be the end of night life, as we know it.

Berlin alcohol drinking laws

Well – so I tried to read the full article, over at Berlindailysun. But clicking that link only lead me to a page that said “Your country (DE) has been blacklisted.”. Huh. No offense – but whoever designed that error message could probably have added some piece of additional information. Or? Well. Anyways – It must be quite a bit frustrating when you’re running a local newspaper in a small town newspaper in New Hampshire, population around 10.000, and then there are all these people that would like to read english/american news about Germany’s capital Berlin. So in that sense I do understand to block a website for a hole country – but the error message could indeed be a bit more ‘welcoming’ :)

Berlin Daily: country blacklisted error message

Read on about Berlin alcohol laws:
Berlin-Info > Drinking in Public
http://www.nuberlin.com/berlin-info/publicdrinking/

see also:
Website of the The Berlin Daily Sun
www.berlindailysun.com
Website of the City of Berlin, New Hampshire
www.berlinnh.gov
The Berlin Daily Sun at Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Berlin_Daily_Sun
Berlin, New Hampshire at Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin,_New_Hampshire

Happy New Year! Happy New Berlin!

You might have recognized it already: this blog has just once again made a dramatic domain move: from ticket2berlin.com –> back to nuBerlin.com – and I like it. Why? Well – to start from the beginning: first I thought “nuBerlin” was a too freaky domain to be recognized – too unprofessional – and ticket2berlin would sound more attractive, appear more reliable. This would be the domain where you could find useful information about Berlin – preparing yourself for a trip to the B-City… And first I liked the “ticket” beeing part of domain name. First of all it would underline the traveling point of view, and then it would also be useful keyword for SEO. And last but not least I hoped to have a “ticket” in the name would attract advertising clients.

Long story cut short: after a couple weeks I already disliked the commercial aspect of having a “ticket” in the domain name. So –  I packed my things and moved back to nuBerlin.com – the original domain plan.

Why am I telling you all this? What does it have to do with the Happy New Year? Well – I just made the move yesterday, 1st of January 2014 –– and since the domain name relates to something like “New Berlin” I thought I let you guys know. Ah – and the twitter account also changed back:
twitter.com/nuBerlin_com
Please feel free to follow – and I might actually follow back :)

And then there’s also this gorgeously boring video I wanted to embed and share: riding on the Berlin S-Bahn on New Years Evening between Hackescher Markt and Westkreuz – and you can see all the fireworks along the tracks. On midnight the train stops at Hauptbahnhof / Central Station. No sound – bring your own. Greatness.