Grüne Woche Berlin

Swiss Cheese Stand at Grüne Woche Berlin

Grüne Woche (International Green Week) is a massive food, agriculture and horticulture exhibition held for the 80th time in 2015 at Messe Berlin.

I went for the first time on Saturday and was amazed by the huge selection of different food and drink from all around the world on offer.

My food highlight of the day was eating Poffertjes, a small pancake-like dessert from the Netherlands, served with butter and orange liqueur.

Poffertjes Batter Being Poured at Grüne Woche Berlin Poffertjes Being Prepared at Grüne Woche Berlin Poffertjes at Grüne Woche Berlin

Naturally, I took advantage of the opportunity to sample some beers and managed to Untapp 10 new brews, the highlight of which was a Pale Ale from Liechtensteiner Brauhaus.  For the real enthusiast there was also beer bread on sale.

Pale Ale from Liechtensteiner Brauhaus at Grüne Woche Berlin Beer at Grüne Woche Berlin Bread at Grüne Woche Berlin

Pigs, horses, cows, goats and alpacas were all on show in one hall.

Cows at Grüne Woche Berlin Alpacas at Grüne Woche Berlin

My first Grüne Woche Berlin experience was overwhelmingly positive and I’m already looking forward to a return next year when I hope to have a little bit more time available to check out the German and International Beer Hall.

Apples at Grüne Woche Berlin Food Sign at Grüne Woche Berlin Tulips at Grüne Woche Berlin Bavarian Cheese Seller at Grüne Woche Berlin Cow Balloon at Grüne Woche Berlin Green Funkturm at Grüne Woche Berlin

Berlin Time – A Berlin Time Travel Experience by Matthias Makarinus

Photo: Still from Berlin Time by Matthias Makarinus

Photo: Still from Berlin Time by Matthias Makarinus

Matthias Makarinus has produced some of the best Berlin videos around and regular readers may recognise his name from my posts about his Rainy Day and Festival of Lights 2010 videos.  His latest project Berlin Time features shots from both those videos and shows us Berlin’s changing face during the day and throughout the seasons.

Watch as the city wakes and goes to sleep again, shines in summer and shivers in winter, cheer on the runners of the Berlin Marathon and marvel at the Festival of Lights and the beautiful Christmas Markets.

With his use of timelapse and hyperlapse techniques Matthias Makarinus has made Berlin Time feel like an immersive experience – sit back and take a journey through the space and time of Berlin.

Berlin Time

Acid Tanks – Plotbot KEN at work

Plotbot KEN at a Former Chemical Factory From Acid Tanks by Isabelle Pett

Photo: Still from Acid Tanks by Isabelle Pett

This video by Isabelle Pett shows Berlin street artist Plotbot KEN at work in a former chemical factory just outside Berlin.  The editing and the industrial soundtrack (The Sect – Underworld Machine Code Remix) are well suited to the setting and KEN’s post-apocalyptic artworks, created on four large storage tanks.

Acid Tanks

Berlin Clubs – Illustrations by Pablo Benito

Tresor Berlin Illustration by Pablo Benito

Tresor – Illustration by Pablo Benito

Berlin has a reputation as one of the clubbing capitals of the world and people jet in from all over the globe to experience the uniqueness of the city’s nightlife.  Graphic Designer, Pablo Benito from Barcelona has included two of the German capital’s most iconic clubs in a series of prints available from his PeBeStore.

Tresor appears in its old guise, housed as it was in the vault of the former Wertheims department store, before its relocation to a former power station to make way for the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz.

Berghain Berlin Illustration by Pablo Benito

Berghain – Illustration by Pablo Benito

Arguably the world’s most famous club, Benito describes Berghain as

…the capital of techno. This decadent building is the nerve centre of the hedonistic lovers of electronic music.

Berghain by Night Berlin Illustration by Pablo Benito

Berghain by Night – Illustration by Pablo Benito

Clubs in Berlin are often notoriously short-lived and a number of landmark venues are currently under threat so I for one hope that Pablo Benito illustrates more of the city’s hotspots before they’re lost forever.  In the meantime you can buy his current range of prints through his online store and connect with the artist via Twitter and Facebook.

// via mixmag //

Hipsters Love Beer – I love beer, does that make me a Hipster?

Hipsters Love Beer

Photo: Still from Hipsters Love Beer by Nacho Punch

The craft beer scene in Berlin has exploded in the last couple of years and for a beer lover like myself that is definitely a good thing.  Sometimes though, beer appreciation seems to go the way of wine snobbery and this video of hipster mockery from Nacho Punch made me chortle.

I have to say, I’d love to try a Christian Bale Ale – “Oh, that’s so hoppy”.

Hipsters Love Beer

// via Huffington Post //

Konyali – A special Döner in Berlin

Close Up of Spezial Döner at Konyali in Berlin

In the UK, the kebab has been pretty much relegated to the status of post pub snack and alcohol absorber but, thanks to a large Turkish community, many of Berlin’s Kebab shops and Turkish restaurants are on another level and the Döner Kebap is a snack staple.  One of my favourite Dönerbüden (kebab shops), recommended by a very good friend, is Konyali in Kreuzberg.

When Cihan first brought me to the restaurant next to the exit from the U-Bahnhof at Kottbusser Tor it was the Spezial Döner that caught my eye when I scanned the menu.

Spezial Döner at Konyali in Berlin

A plate of Döner meat served on a bed of Pommes (chips or fries) and salad with sauce, the Groß (large), which I always go for, clocks in at a very reasonable 5€.

I still remember the smile that I had on my face when I realised that the basket of bread the waiter put on the table was for me and how that smile broadened when I tasted it – amazing!

Bread at Konyali in Berlin

There is a smaller version available for 3,50€ and also Döner Kebap im Brot for 2,80€ if you’ve left your appetite at home, though you’ll still need to be hungry to finish them.

Döner Kebap im Brot at Konyali in Berlin

My only criticism of the Döner im Brot is that the bread is a little crispy for my preference.

I should also point out the only other drawback for me, which is that like a number of kebab shops in Berlin, Konyali doesn’t sell beer but don’t worry, this is Kreuzberg so there are a handful of Spätis within spitting distance.

I haven’t made it past the Döner options but as you can see from the menu, Konyali serves lots of Turkish specialities.  If watching this video, which I found on their website, of the dishes being prepared doesn’t make you hungry, nothing will.

Konyali Berlin

The Kebap here is the best of the traditional lamb or veal Döner that I have had in Berlin and since Cihan introduced me to Konyali it has been one of my go to lunch options when I’m out and about in Kreuzberg.

Berlin Street Art Vol 15 – Various Artists

A new year, a new selection of remarkable street art from Berlin to feast your eyes on, including some new artists as well as some very familiar faces.  As usual, where an artist has featured here before you can click on their name to see more of their work.

Dave the Chimp

According to his website, Dave the Chimp was ‘born in an egg on a mountain top’.  As well as decorating the streets with his quirky characters his artwork adorns skateboards and snowboards.

He has also turned his hand to directing music videos and one of my Berlin Songs series, Robots in Disguise – I Live in Berlin features snippets of the video he directed for the band’s song Girl.

Nutty Protest - Street Art by Dave the Chimp in Berlin

Negative Vibes

Stigmata - Street Art by Negative Vibes in Berlin

Marshal Arts

New to andBerlin, these Run DMC paste-ups from Marshal Arts gave me a chuckle.  See more from Marshal Arts on Facebook.

Run DMC - Street Art by Marshal Arts in Berlin Run DMC 2 - Street Art by Marshal Arts in Berlin


Born Christian Wahle in East Berlin, Lake runs the indoor climbing facility Der Kegel in Berlin’s RAW Gelände where his artworks adorn the walls.

Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood - Street Art by Lake in Berlin

See more work from Lake on his website.

Bobby Aviles

Salvador Dali - Street Art by Bobby Aviles in Berlin

El Bocho

Judging by the response to my Tourist Information From Tina Berlina post, I’m not the only one who loves this character by El Bocho.  I’ve also thrown in a Little Lucy for good measure.

Tina Berlina - Try a Döner - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin DJ Little Lucy - Street Art by El Bocho in Berlin

Otto Schade

This baby ‘using’ a policeman’s helmet is very different from the other Otto Schade pieces I’ve seen in Berlin and London and I LOVE IT.

Baby - Street Art by Otto Schade in Berlin

Check out the Otto Schade website for more from this Chilean artist.


Homeless - Street Art by SOON in Berlin

Unknown Artists

If you recognise either of these pieces and know who the artist is, please let me know in the comments so I can give the proper credit.

Cop One - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin Old Man - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

Sunday Documentary: Ostblut

Kalle from Oldschool Tattoo Berlin from Ostblut by Sammy Metwalli

Photo: Still from Ostblut by Sammy Metwalli

Filmed, edited and directed by Berlin-based filmmaker Sammy Metwalli, Ostblut is a short documentary about Kalle, a tattoo artist who opened East Berlin’s fist tattoo shop.

Growing up in East Berlin under DDR rule, Kalle describes himself as ‘a public enemy’, and it was whilst imprisoned for his political views that he learned how to tattoo from an older inmate who recognised his artistic talents.

Tattoos were not tolerated in the East German prison system and inking or being inked was punished by 3 weeks solitary confinement in the ‘Bunker’.  Kalle was serving out one such punishment when he learned of the fall of the wall, an event that would dramatically alter his life and facilitate his new career.

My second life started that day. Before that, I didn’t have a life.

The walls of Kalle’s shop, Oldschool Tattoo Berlin, in his native Friedrichshain are decorated with the homemade tattoo needles used by youths in the DDR during his childhood, though these days the equipment he uses is obviously more sophisticated.

Ostblut is a cracking documentary on many levels: Kalle’s is a fascinating story and an interesting portrait of life in Berlin before and after the fall of the wall; it is artfully shot and creatively put together; it has a pulsating soundtrack ideally suited to the film – my only criticism, I wish there was more of it.


New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Silvester in Berlin – Part 2

A Rocket Misfires on The Streets of Berlin on New Year's Eve (Silvester)

Photo: Still from video by YouTube/TheChosenOne

This is the moment a presumably faulty firework explodes near a crowd of New Year’s Eve revellers on the street in Berlin.  As I mentioned yesterday in my post about JUST’s drive through Berlin on Silvester, Berliners love to let off fireworks as part of their NYE celebrations.

There is something about Silvester in Berlin – it may be the booze, the collective excitement of everyone celebrating together, or maybe the overflowing adrenaline and testosterone produced by all those loud bangs – that sees sense fly out the window.

As this next video shows, Berliners love to let rockets fly straight from their hands, and whilst this might make for a striking image you have to wonder about the risk of injury.


// via B.Z. //

And with all those fireworks and all that madness things have to go wrong sometimes right?  As a rocket misfires and explodes amongst a group partying on the streets of Berlin, a man runs past the camera first removing his burning top and then turning his attention to the fire in his crotch.  If that doesn’t make you think twice about your New Year’s Eve celebrations in Berlin and how crazy Silvester fireworks are, nothing will.

This is what new year in Berlin looks like

// via überlin //

New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Silvester in Berlin

New Year's Eve Fireworks - Berlin Silvester

Photo – Still from New Year’s Eve in BERLIN by JUST

Frohes Neues!  Happy New Year!  Blywddyn Newydd Dda!  2015, just like every new year in Berlin, started with a bang.  Berliners love their fireworks on New Year’s Eve (Silvester or Sylvester depending on your preference) and Berlin-based photographer and journalist JUST was out on the streets filming the mayhem.

When I saw a video of the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Neukölln a few years ago I was amazed by the carnage and this year I was a part of it.  The friends I celebrated with had brought the appropriately named Boom Booms and plenty of other Böller (bangers) and rockets.

Standing at the bus stop on our way to a NYE party I commented to Steffi that I wouldn’t want to drive a car through the streets with all the fireworks going off around me.  Having watched the video that JUST made I kind of wish that I had. Sit back and enjoy a trip along the Karl-Marx-Allee in Friedrichshain, over the Oberbaumbrücke into Kreuzberg and finishing in Neukölln.  Experience in the safety of your own home the fireworks of a Berlin Silvester.

New Year’s Eve in BERLIN 1.1.2015 (long Version

// via JUST //