New Berlin Airport might be Forever Delayed, expert says

New Berlin Airport BER Terminal

Photo: The new Berlin airport - view on the main terminal / CC BY-SA 3.0 by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) - own work

Today the Berliner Zeitung has some bad news for everybody who thought, that it would be soon possible to arrive at and/or take off the new Berlin Airport BER – or actually the newspaper is quoting an expert who has some bad news: according to Dieter Faulenbach da Costa, who was part of the BER planning team until 1999, too many mistakes were made – and it might have become impossible to open the the airport at all.

Dieter Faulenbach da Costa is quoted saying that things have happened, that should never happen to any large scale project. While now some parts and details of the airport are changed to meet legal regulations, other details will then have to be changed, to work together with the changes. This will then again evoke other changes – and so on…

The airport opening was first scheduled for 2011. Currently, other experts, and also the city’s major Mueller are of the opinion, that an opening of the airport is still possible at end of the year 2017. However, many major project milestones are currently delayed. So we will probably  soon find out, if there will be another delay for the grand opening…

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A photo of a dog on a Skateboard

Berlin Kreuzberg: dog on a skateboard

A dog on a skateboard, Berlin Kreuzberg - Photo:T.Bortels/

I recently had an ‘interesting conversation on twitter… It started like this:

A photo of a Dog on a Skateboard?! Yep, sounds familiar.

Since I knew I took a photo of a Dog on a Skateboard back in Kreuzberg in 2014 I took a deep dive into the photo archives – and there it was. Back then we were in Kreuzberg, walking around Engelbecken to watch the light installation Lichtgrenze, part of the the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. And right at Bethaniendamm, near Engelbecken there was this bad ass dog, basically skating up and down the street. Well – he wasn’t actually ‘skating’ like a pro – but he was indeed using the skateboard as I used to use it: about half of your legs on the board, the other half kicks the street for speed – then all legs go onto the board and you enjoy the view – and the looks – as you roll down the street…

Berlin dog on skateboard IMG_1675

Dog and his Skateboard – Bethaniendamm Berlin Kreuzberg 2014 – Photo: T.Bortels/

Berlin dog on skateboard

Dog on Skateboard, Lichtgrenze – Bethaniendamm Berlin Kreuzberg 2014 – Photo: T.Bortels/

dog on a skateboard Berlin Kreuzberg

Dog on a Skateboard – Bethaniendamm Berlin Kreuzberg 2014 – Photo: T.Bortels/

Berlin Home Building: Apartment Construction in 2015

Berlin Home Building: Apartment Construction 2015

Berlin Apartment Construction 2015 - Photo: T.Bortels/

Recently the Berlin Bureau of Statistics have released numbers and figures describing the Berlin Apartment Construction in 2015. And since I find the numbers quite interesting I had a closer look and I’ll try to sum up some of them.

In 2015 alone a total of 22.365 was approved by the supervision authorities. That is indeed more than 16% more apartments than in the year before – but still not quite the record of the year 1995 when almost 30.000 apartments (29.457) were approved.

Of these 22.365 apartment, 17.935 will be newly built. About one third of these new constructions are planned as condominium apartments, two third are planned as rental apartments. About 90% of the new constructions are built in apartment buildings – only about 10% are planned as single-family houses or as town houses. An additional 4.430 will be built as attic extensions or similar, inside an already built apartment house. Most of the planning permission applications have been submitted in the Berlin districts Treptow-Köpenick , Mitte and Lichtenberg.

The total cost / total budget for all residential and commercial constructions in Berlin, approved in 2015 is estimated at 3.7 Billion Euro – about 4.6% less than in 2014.

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New Order’s new Video for Singularity feat. West Berlin in the Eighties

Watching the video ( and reading the lyrics for New Order’s song Singularity I must admit that I don’t really know why the band decided to have Eighties West Berlin footage as a ‘back drop’ for the video. But maybe that’s just me. And on the other hand I also must admit that I do enjoy seeing Eighties footage from West-Berlin anyways and always – even if the footage shown in the video for Singularity is already well known from last year’s B-Movie – Lust and B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979 – 1989.

Yes, of course – I know –  Joy Division do occur in the movie. And the film actually follows Mark Reeder (wikipedia) who moved from Manchester to Berlin in 1978 and who basically brought Joy Division to Berlin, building a musical bridge Manchester and Berlin.  And so it seems the band does somehow recall their early Berlin days and pays tribute to their Berlin audience from the Joy Division era – and their Berlin mentor Mark Reeder. Nice.

If you haven’t seen B-Movie – Lust and B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979 – 1989 yet: go see it! It’s really worth watching – even if you haven’t been in Berlin in the Eighties. And it’s now actually finally available on DVD: b-movie-der-film.de7see also:

Traffic Accidents in Berlin

Last Friday together with the Berlin Senate the Berlin Police presented the new Traffic Accident Statistic for Berlin. The good news: over the years the number of fatal accidents went down. The bad news: the total number of accidents went up.

The main cause for accidents on Berlin streets are mistakes made when people make a turn – causing over 10.000 accidents on Berlin streets in 2015 alone. Runner up with nearly 6.000 accidents is what I would call selfishness: people either ignore the right of way, or they just don’t care.

Most of the traffic accidents (over 70%) are (of course) caused by cars – or actually car drivers. The number is even higher when we look at the number of car drivers involved in traffic accident: over 75%.

So if you happen to visit Berlin please be careful. Even though Berlin may look and feel quite relaxed, there is a lot of bad things happening also – traffic accidents being one of them. Please be careful, take your time – and also look after others. Only because the traffic lights are green doesn’t mean you are actually safe. Thank you!

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Police arrests two ‘terror suspects’

On Thursday night German Police arrested two people, suspected of planning a terror attack in Germany. According to media reports the men had planned an attack on Berlin’s popular sight Checkpoint Charlie and/or on Alexanderplatz. The police however could not confirm such details.

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Fatal Car Racing in Berlin

Last Monday’s fatal car accident in West Berlin’s shopping area between KaDeWe and Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church is only the tip of another iceberg. Two young men had been racing down Tauentzienstraße (continued from Kurfürstendamm) – crossing at least two red traffic lights – crashing into a third car and killing its driver.

In 2014 alone Berlin saw over 3000 traffic accidents caused by speeding – and 52 people got killed in traffic accidents. That means that on average every week one person gets killed on the streets of Berlin.

In the recent years Car Racing continued to be quite a common problem in Berlin. Mostly young men driving across the city a high speed – in 2014 some 38 special speeding tickets were issued for illegal racing.

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Berlin Weather in January: cold, wet, windy – and sunny

In January we had again something of everything: some wind, some rain, some snow – and some sunlight. The temperature went down to something like -12°C and up to around +12°C – not too bad, but also not really nice. Overall I would say: the Berlin Weather in January was “ok” so far.

Berlin Winter Weather - sunshine on Oderberger Stasse Prenzlauer Berg in January

Sunshine on Oderberger Stasse Prenzlauer Berg

On the weekend it may however become a bit stormy. Some warm air is meeting with some cold air. Temperatures are expected to be slightly above 0°C – rain and winds will probably dominate the weather condition on Saturday and Sunday. Well… Have a nice weekend then!

PS: Feel free to check this weather map of Deutscher Wetterdienst / German Weather Service: