More rental Bikes on Berlin Streets soon

Berlin rental Bikes

Berlin rental Bikes - typical bike pool by Deutsche Bahn – Photo: T.Bortels/

A new player has  just entered the Berlin Rental Bike game, promising about 5000 rental bikes to hit Berlin streets in the near future.

Most of the bikes by the Leipzig company Nextbike will probably be placed inside the S-Bahn-Ring – but over time more and more bike stations should also be available outside the ring – at least along larger streets and near busy places.

Renting a bike will be relatively sheep, making it attractive for both locals and tourists. A half hour ride will most likely cost one Euro, a day pass will be available for only nine Euros – cheaper then most of the ‘regular’ bike rental services.

So far Deutsche Bahn had been the only big player in Berlin’s Rental Bike business. You might already have seen one of Deutsche Bahn’s bike pools, recognisable mostly by their almost iconic concrete blocks here and their on the sidewalks near larger street crossings.

In contrast to Deutsche Bahn’s bike pools, the new bike pools should work without any concrete blocks, making them slightly more ‘invisible’ than the current clusters of concrete blocks.

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Full story in German at

First design for David Bowie Memorial Plaque revealed

Berlin’s Minister for Culture Tim Renner just presented the first design of the David Bowie Memorial Plaque which is about to be mounted on the building in Hauptstraße 155 later this year. Renner basically posted a first photo on his facebook page, asking for feedback. And – yes – feedback  there was.

Most people seem to be rather disappointed by the design and the inscription, to say the least. Some say it was looking cheap, others even call it awfully ugly. And then there is also a spelling mistake: “Triologie” instead of “Trilogy”. And also Tim Renner himself seems to have his doubts about the design, beginning his posting with a “Hmmm”.

At the moment, next to Bowie’s name and date of birth and date of death the current design of the memorial plaque would also feature somthing like an introduction – in case the reader might not know who Bowie was: “The Singer, Composer, Actor, Painter kept reinventing himself…” – why not also list that he was also a great piano player, clown, philosopher and …

Well – have a look for yourself. Luckily enough there is still some time for a revision – currently the inauguration of the David Bowie Memorial Plaque is scheduled for August 17th or 22nd.

Does Berlin actually even need a David Bowie Memorial Plaque? I don’t know…

Full story in German at

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Berlin by Numbers: Births, Marriages, Deaths

Here we go for another edition of Berlin by Numbers. I really do like statistics – they tell so much about Life and Death. Looking at the bare numbers of Birth, Marriage and Death can be – refreshing…? I don’t know. And Berlin statistics are then again special in their own way, since the city has changed quite a bit over the past decades. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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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