Author Archives: andberlin

Curry & Chili – Currywurst with a kick in Berlin

Close up of Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

As a general rule Currywurst is a sausage smothered in ketchup with a sprinkling of curry powder but the best Currywurstbuden take things a step further.  You could say that Curry & Chili on the corner of Osloer Strasse and Prinzenallee in Berlin Wedding has taken it several steps, as it lays claim to the title of Deutschlands schärfster Imbiss (Germany’s spiciest snack bar).

Curry & Chili, a Currywurst Imbiss in Berlin

Frank Spieß opened his Imbiss in 2005 with the intention of offering a 1 Euro takeout but rising costs meant he had to increase prices and led to him searching out a new concept.  Driven by his own passion for spicy food, Frank decided to offer 5 different levels of spiciness.

There are now 12 options on offer.  First, the standard Currywurst with a sprinkling of curry powder and then, with the addition of chilli flakes, what most Buden will serve when you ask for ‘ein bisschen shärfer’.

And that’s when it starts to get interesting.

The 10 Sauces in the window at Curry & Chili Berlin

The brave, or foolhardy depending on your viewpoint, can now opt to add one of 10 levels of spiciness from a range of sauces – from Crazy Jerry at 11,000 Scoville to the own-brand, Curry & Chili Gold Edition at 7,777,777 Scoville.

The 10 sauces (Stufen) on offer at Curry & Chili Berlin

Photo: Courtesy of Curry & Chili

I’ve been to Curry & Chili three times now and the spiciest Currywurst I have eaten is the Stufe 5 – 250,000 Scoville – and I’m pretty sure this is right on my limit.  It was a bit of an effort to eat the two sausages I had and I didn’t quite finish my chips.  It is worth noting that as well as changing the spiciness, the different sauces also have a considerable affect on the flavour of the Currywurst.

Obviously, there are plenty of people out there with a higher tolerance for spicy food or a greater desire to push themselves than me because the Curry & Chili Club, reserved for those who have eaten all 10 sauces, now boasts over 200 members.

The rules for anyone interested in joining (translated from the Curry & Chili website) are:

  1. All 10 levels must be eaten.
  2. All 10 must have been eaten within a 6-month timeframe.
  3. The sausage or chips must be eaten within sight of a Curry & Chili employee.
  4. The sauces can be eaten in any order but level 10 must be eaten last to complete the challenge.
  5. Membership is of course free of charge. Events for members will be displayed on the Curry & Chili website.

I’m pretty sure that this is the kind of challenge that would appeal to groups of men on a stag do (Junggesellenabschied) in Berlin or a ‘lads holiday’ but I have noticed that there are a number of female members too.

I think that the enjoyment is taken out of eating a Currywurst when your lips are burning and your eyes watering so I would definitely recommend working your way through the sauces to find your level.

Currywurst & Chips (Currywurst & Pommes) at Curry & Chili Berlin

Curry & Chili is definitely the place to go for Currywurst in Berlin if you would like to test your capacity for spicy food but the standard of the sausages and the ketchup, made fresh each day by Frank’s wife, mean that I would recommend it for a more leisurely and pleasant snack too.

Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy

ALANIZ Painting at Bärenquell Brauerei in Berlin - still from Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy by Vocativ

Photo: Still from Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy by Vocativ

I find the comparison to Banksy in the title annoying given their very different styles but if you can get past that, Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy offers some fascinating insight into the motivation and creative process of the Berlin-based street artist.

Whilst taking Vocativ on a tour of his art in Berlin, ALANIZ, describes how moving to the German capital from Argentina transformed him and brought out a darker side to his art.

When I first discovered ALANIZ and posted about him I saw mostly colourful paste-ups but he has recently concentrated on larger walls painted with rollers in mainly black and white paint.

Speaking of these walls he says:

I don’t see that what I do is illegal.  What I’m doing actually is a favour for the community, you know, I’m making them look better.

Like Plotbot KEN, the subject of last week’s street art post, ALANIZ is a fan of painting on and in the city’s abandoned buildings.  Watching him free climb the walls of the Bärenquell Brauerei to get close to his piece there makes you wonder about the risks he is willing to take to paint in the perfect spot.

Inside the Mind of ALANIZ, Berlin’s Banksy

ALANIZ has featured many times on andBerlin, including in yesterday’s Berlin, Berlin: Autumn video, and will undoubtedly be seen here again soon – until then you can see more of his street art on his Facebook page and Flickr stream.

Berlin, Berlin: Autumn

Berlin Street Artist ALANIZ at Bärenquell Brauerei from Berlin, Berlin Autumn

Photo: Still from Berlin, Berlin: Autumn by Nehemias Colindres

With less than a week to go until the winter solstice it’s time to celebrate one of the most beautiful times of the year in Berlin, autumn, with a short film from Nehemias Colindres – Berlin, Berlin: Autumn.

The film is an ode to Berlin set to some beautiful images of the city and, as the last stubborn brown leaves cling to the almost naked trees and icy winds hint at snow, we should remember the colours of autumn soon to be replaced by an almost exclusively grey on grey backdrop.

Berlin, Berlin: Autumn

Berlin Songs: Stephen Paul Taylor – Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked

Stephen Paul Taylor - Everybody Knows Shit's Fucked

Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video originally Instagram of Louisa Menke

Wearing tight trousers, chunky boots, a spangly top and a headscarf, Stephen Paul Taylor,a Canadian Wahlberliner, sings ‘Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked’ and then he starts to dance, flicking his legs in what will surely become the Office Party dance move of 2014.

The scene was captured by Louisa Menke a Dutch photographer and pro skater and posted to her Instagram account.

The “everybody knows shit fuck” dance

A video posted by Louisa Menke (@louisaamenke) on

The video was shared on Reddit and that’s when its popularity just took off.

Asked about the song in an interview for a Munich radio station, Taylor said:

I think it embodies the frustration and confusion that’s going on in the world right now. Because things are pretty fucked. Really all you can do is say Shit’s Fucked and accept it in a way. I think maybe that’s just the zeitgeist.

Spotting the opportunity that the viral video has presented SPT has recorded a full-length video for the song in his kitchen with some friends and there’s a release party at Urban Spree on 11 December 2014.

Stephen Paul Taylor – Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked (Reddit Edition)

If you like Stephen Paul Taylor’s Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked, you should check him out on Bandcamp and follow @blastingbrains on Twitter.

via // @gillyberlin //

Plotbot KEN – Street Art Goes Nuclear

Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin

The apocalyptic scenes in the works of Berlin street artist, Plotbot KEN are perfectly suited to the abandoned sites where he often paints.  The above piece is one of a number gracing the walls of the former NSA listening station at Teufelsberg.  His gallery work featured at the alternative Christmas Market, Stattmarkt at Stattbad Wedding.

Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin Street Art by Plotbot KEN in Berlin

You can see more Berlin street art from Plotbot KEN on his Facebook Page and Tumblr.

Berlin Maps: Bars, Burgers and Christmas Markets

A stroke of genius from Giulia Pines kicked off a new trend in Berlin in November.  Her Berlin U-Bahn Bar Map for Thrillist inspired a number of other guides based on the Berlin transport map.  Best men the world over now have the perfect tool to plan a bar crawl in the German capital and the map will provide no end of inspiration for spontaneous after work drinks.  Thanks to the imitators you can also do a burger crawl or a Christmas Market marathon.

Thrillist’s Berlin U-Bahn Bar Map

This is the map that started it all.  Substituting the names of each of the S and U-Bahn stations inside the Berlin ring for a bar within 10 minutes walking distance, Giulia Pines created a guide that really captured Berliners’ imaginations.  Thrillist’s Berlin U-Bahn Bar Map was a massive social media hit and at the time of writing has over 35,000 likes on Facebook.

Thrillist Berlin U-Bahn Bar Map

Photo: Thrillist

Burger City Guide Map Berlin

The success of this simple and effective idea guaranteed a herd of copycats.  The Burger City Guide Map Berlin has a number of suggestions for several stations but others have been left blank.

Burger City Guide Map Berlin

Photo: Burger City Guide

Burgers and Hip Hop – U-Bahn Burger Map Berlin

Appearing in my social media feeds on the same day as The Burger City Guide Map Berlin, the U-Bahn Burger Map Berlin from the folks behind burger extravaganza Burgers and Hip Hop is a more comprehensive guide and will no doubt be responsible for a slew of broken diets.

U-Bahn Burger Map Berlin - Burgers and Hip Hop

Photo: Burgers and Hip Hop

Weihnachtsmarktfahrplan Berlin – Christmas Markets Map

An Amazing Earth magazine gave the map a festive twist with their Weihnachtsmarktfahrplan Berlin.  The city is awash with Christmas Markets and remembering where they are can be a bit tricky.  With this map you know you’ll never be far away from your next Glühwein.

Weihnachtsmarktfahrplan Berlin - a map of Christmas Markets from An Amazing Earth

Photo: An Amazing Earth magazine

Talking of Glühwein, this widely circulated meme (which I haven’t been able to track down a source for) will sum up the Christmas build up for thousands of Berliners.

Glühwein

Photo: Source unknown

BVG Transport Map

And finally…just in case you’ve forgotten what the original looks like here is Berlin’s S and U-Bahn map

Berlin Transport Map - BVG

Photo: BVG

CSI: Berlin

Horacio Canine in CSI Berlin - a crime drama for Furries and advert for Eurofurence 20

Photo: Screenshot from CSI Berlin on Vimeo

When it comes to Krimis (crime dramas) in Germany, Tatort is undoubtedly top dog – watching the newest episode on a Sunday evening is a religion for some people.  Tatort, like the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise in the states has several spin-offs based in different cities, including Berlin.  But will Tatort be ousted from the affections of Berliners now that they can watch CSI: Berlin.

Move over Horatio Caine, here comes Horacio Canine.

CSI: Berlin was made as an advert for Eurofurence 20, a convention for ‘Furries’ held at Berlin’s Estrel hotel in August 2014.

CSI Berlin

//via Berliner Buzz//

Sunday Documentary: The Iconic Photo of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Anthony Suau - Iconic Photo of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Photo: Anthony Suau | Time Magazine

On the 9th of November 1989 the eyes of the world were on Berlin.  TV crews and journalists from all corners of the globe gathered in the German capital to document one of the 20th century’s defining moments – the fall of the Berlin Wall.  25 years on from that incredible night it is only right that today’s Sunday Documentary should be about the Mauerfall. Photographer Anthony Suau was amongst those capturing the scenes of jubilation and euphoria for Time Magazine and he recounts his experiences in The Iconic Photo of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

As thousands of people gather in Berlin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the border that separated East and West it is time to reflect on the events that made it all possible.

Tonight in Berlin the border is visible once more.  The Lichtgrenze (Border of Light), an installation of 8,000 illuminated balloons marks the course a 15km stretch of the wall from Bornholmer Strasse to the Oberbaumbrücke.

Like the Lichtgrenze, on 9th November 1989 it all started at Bornholmer Strasse.

In response to mass protests and a giant tear in the Iron Curtain making it possible for citizens to escape through Hungary into Austria, the East German government decided to relax it’s border controls and allow travel between East and West.  In a fortuitous twist of fate an uninformed Günter Schabowski appeared at his daily press conference and told the gathered reporters about the easing of restrictions.  Asked when the new directive would take effect he replied ‘As far as I’m aware, immediately. Straight away.’

And so the fate of the Berlin Wall was sealed.

East Berliners curious to see the Western half of their city went immediately to the border crossing points and thousands gathered at Bornholmer Strasse.  Harald Jaeger was the guard in charge of Passport Control at the crossing point and under increased pressure from the crowd he disobeyed the orders of his superiors and opened the border.

As a symbol of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was a natural gathering point for the celebrations that night.

No doubt emboldened by alcohol, the new sense of freedom afforded to them and a feeling that the guards no longer had the same power over them, revellers climbed onto the wall.  But even that wasn’t enough for some and they began attacking the barrier that had divided the city for 28 years. The wall had fallen symbolically that evening but many were determined to see it fall literally too.

With knives, hammers and pick axes they set about destroying the Berlin Wall.  It was this destruction that was captured by Anthony Suau for Time Magazine in what has become one of the iconic photos of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Iconic Photo of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

In the Belly of a Whale – El Bocho

Berlin-based Street Artist El Bocho At Work On The Street In Berlin

Prolific Berlin-based street artist El Bocho speaks to Andreas Lamoth und Frederic Leitzke about his work and his motivations in 2013 in a new episode of their award-winning documentary In the Belly of a Whale.

You may recognise a number of the pieces featured as El Bocho has appeared many many times on andBerlin.  Street art from his Citizen series, Little Lucy and most recently Tina Berlina characters pop up regularly on the streets of Berlin.  You can see more of his work on his website and Facebook page.

In the Belly of a Whale – El Bocho

Autumn Colours in Berlin

Autumn Foliage at Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin

There is something magical about autumn in Berlin.  Pushing aside all thoughts of a hangover after the first Schmankerl-Hüttn of the year in order to take advantage of the sunshine and unseasonably warm Berlin weather we headed for Gemeindepark Lankwitz yesterday.

The sun brought out the best in the autumn foliage and having picked the park at random from a Google Maps search we were pleasantly surprised to find deer, goats, sheep and ducks there.

Stag at Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin Doe a Deer at Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin Duck at Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin Squirrel at Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin War Memorial at Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin War Memorial in Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin Steffi and Dave Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin

Autumn Colours at Gemeindepark Lankwitz in Berlin

As we have enjoyed a hot and dry summer and mild, sunny and sometimes positively balmy autumn in Berlin so far this year I can only assume that the winter is going to be ridiculously cold to compensate.