Category Archives: Something Else

Berlin Maps: Rents, Crime, Transport and Planning

Over the last couple of weeks a number of posts have popped up in my Social Media timelines with links to maps of Berlin.  The maps provide valuable insights into the history and development of the city and/or useful tools for residents and future residents alike.

Interactive Map of Berlin Rents and Affordability

Berlin Rents and Affordability Interactive Map Screenshot

Source: Berliner Morgenpost

Published by Berliner Morgenpost under the title Neuvermietungen: Wo Sie sich Berlin leisten können, and based on the GSW Wohnmarkt-Report 2014, this interactive map allows you to determine where you can afford to live in Berlin.

The data is based on properties offered for rental in the first three quarters of 2013.

A slider allows you to select a monthly net income for your household and by selecting the number of rooms required (bedrooms +1), the map will display rental data for each of the areas marked on the map.

The map is colour-coded to show the percentage of household income required to rent the given properties (typical area in m2).

There is also a very handy comparison with prices in 2008 for those interested in the development of the property rental market in Berlin.

Click here for the Neuvermietungen: Wo Sie sich Berlin leisten können interactive map of Berlin rents and affordability.

Via überlin on Facebook

Berlin Atlas of Crime

Berlin Atlas of Crime Interactive Crime Statistics Map Screenshot

Source: Berlin Atlas of Crime by Tobias Burri and Lars Bullmann

The Berlin Atlas of Crime is an interactive map created by Tobias Burri and Lars Bullmann that visualises criminal activity in Berlin for 2010 and 2011, with data taken from the August 2012 report of the same name, as produced by the police of the Federal State of Berlin.

The dropdown menu allows the user to switch between overall crime statistics or specific categories of crime: Robbery, Mugging, Arson etc. to create a Heatmap.  Clicking on each district of the map displays more detailed crime figures.

You can find out more about the data represented in the ‘About the Project’ section of the website.

Click here for the Berlin Atlas of Crime interactive map of crime statistics.

Via Digital Cosmonaut on Twitter.

Interactive Berlin Transport Map

VBB-Livekarte Interactive Berlin Transport Map Screenshot

Source: VBB

Currently in a test phase on website of VBB (Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg), the provider of public transport for Berlin and Brandeburg, the VBB-Livekarte is an interactive travel map.

The user selects the transport options required and the currently active services move along their routes on the map.

Whilst it is still in development (U-Bahn and bus data is not currently available) this is an interesting development and once full, real-time data is available with be an invaluable travel tool for Berlin.

Click here for the VBB-Livekarte interactive map of Berlin public transport.

Via berlinish on Twitter.

Figure-ground Diagram (Schwarzplan) of Berlin (2010)

Berlin Schwarzplan (Figure-ground Diagram) 2010

Source: Shlur

Schwarzplan is the German term for a Figure-ground Diagram, an architectural map, which is described by Gareth Davies on Shlur:

Mostly used by city planners, architects and urban designers, the idea of a figure-ground diagram goes back to 18th Century Rome, when Giambattista Nolli created a detailed map of 12 copper plates using the same basic principle. White symbolises unbuilt space, such as roads, parks and squares, and black indicates built space in terms of the ground-plan of the buildings. The result is something both abstract and filled with detail, a kind of practical Yin and Yang of the city. Figure-ground diagrams help to see the ratio of built space to that of empty space, enabling city planners to envisage areas that are conducive to a good communities, have a human scale and don’t lead to a disconnectedness between buildings and the further urban fabric.

The article on Shlur has further maps of Berlin that show it’s historical development.  The comparison of the maps from 1940 and 1953 show the shocking extent of the destruction of Berlin in World War II.

Click here for for the Shlur article: Schwarzplan – Maps in Monochrome.

Via Slow Travel Berlin on FB.

Photos From My Phone – May

Here are my May highlights from Berlin as illustrated by the photos I took with my phone.  Some of these photos have appeared in my Twitter feed, on my Facebook page or my Instagram account.

Early in May I went back to Burger de Ville and tried the Funky Pommes, which come drizzled in Garlic butter and topped with parsley – I recommend you try them for yourself.

Funky Pommes at Burger de Ville in Berlin

I finally made it to see the Wannsee in daylight and it was so good I made a second trip and both times I stopped for a drink in the Biergarten at Loretta am Wannsee.

Beer in the Biergarten at Loretta am Wannsee

And I was joined by an uninvited guest…

Hornet  on a beer glass in the Biergarten at Loretta am Wannsee

Street Food Thursday has become one of the highlights of my week and I was back again almost every week in May.  The sandwiches at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ are just that good.

Pork Belly Sandwich from Big Stuff Smoked BBQ at Street Food Thursday at Markthalle IX in Berlin

I spotted this drunk Octopus looking for a fight at Burgeramt

Drunk Octopus looking for a fight at Burgeramt in Berlin

A brief spell of sunny weather (a false summer) meant that the flowers started to bloom in all their glory.

Summer Blooms in Berlin

I took a wander around the Hansaviertel for the first time in ages and marvelled at the architecture.

Balconies in the Hansaviertel in Berlin

Mauerpark is only a short walk from my flat so I made my first (of many) visits of the summer to the Bearpit Karaoke.

Bearpit Karaoke at Mauerpark in Berlin

I spotted a beautiful old Ford Falcon parked on Paul-Lincke-Ufer…

Ford Falcon Details

And I was back at Mauerpark to take in the sunset

Sunset From Mauerpark in Berlin

Fingers crossed and thumbs pressed (even though doing both at the same time is painful) that June’s selection will involve a lot more sunshine.

Photos From My Phone – April

At the end of March I finally got around to upgrading my iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 5 and as a result I’ve been taking a lot more photos with my phone whilst I’m out and about in Berlin.

It was at the start of April that I really started to notice the sweet machines on the walls of the city.

Sweet Machine in Berlin

The ease of taking photos with my iPhone meant that I captured more of the interesting patterns in the city’s architecture like these coloured blinds contrasted against the concrete of a Kreuzberg building…

Colour Blinds in Berlin

…and a Plattenbau near Alexanderplatz.

Plattenbau at Alexanderplatz in Berlin

And I snapped scenes that caught my eye like these girls walking under the artwork in the U-Bahnhof at Schloßstrasse.

Artwork at U-Bhf Schloßstrasse in Berlin

A great new food event – Street Food Thursday at Markthalle IX – started in April in Berlin and means there’s more time to enjoy the incredible sandwiches, like this Beef Brisket, at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ

A Beef Brisket at Big Stuff Smoked BBQ in Markthalle IX Berlin

…which I followed up with cocktails at Würgeengel.

Daiquiri at Würgeengel - a Berlin Cocktail Bar

I spotted this cheeky monkey on my way to take pictures of one of the huge black & white portraits in JR’s Wrinkles of the City project in Berlin.

Cheeky Monkey - Street Art by Unknown Artist in Berlin

As well as the JR exhibition at Galerie Henrik Springmann I would also highly recommend the Olympus OM-D Photography Playground at the Opernwerkstätten.  I took lots of photos of this wonderful installation by Korean artist, Jongmoon Choi.

Olympus OM-D Photography Playground in Berlin

Another consequence of taking more phone photos is that I have become more fond of Instagram and the breathtaking photos of Miss Underground inspired me to look for empty spaces in the Berlin U-Bahn like the exit at U-Bhf Klosterstrasse.

U-Bhf Klosterstrasse in Berlin

And finally, sunset season is well and truly underway in Berlin.  Seeing the pink skies out of my window I grabbed my phone and captured this sunset over Mauerpark from my balcony.

Berlin sunset over Mauerpark from my balcony

If you’d like to keep up with my continued exploration of Berlin in real-time follow me on Instagram.

The 1 Reason I Don’t Miss Berlin – GEMA

GEMA Blocked Video message from a YouTube video

GEMA (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs) is the music artists representative group in Germany and the iron fist with which it rules the music industry is the only thing I don’t miss about Berlin.

Anyone who has spent any time in Germany will have experienced the frustration of trying to watch a video on YouTube only to find out ‘GEMA has not granted the respective music publishing rights’.

Even videos uploaded by the artists themselves are often blocked.

A hatred of GEMA is universal and protests about increases in performance fees have been frequent in 2012.

GEMA Protest at Kulturbrauerei Berlin

Reasons Why I Miss Berlin #1 – Anything Goes (Pony on the S-Bahn)

Pony on the Berlin S-Bahn train (screenshot from YouTube video)

I haven’t even been away from Berlin 48 Hours yet and I already miss the city. Where else would someone take their pony on the train?

Pony on the Berlin S-Bahn

Reports that a ticket inspector spotted the pony and told the owner ‘Hay, you canter ride with that on here’ are as yet unconfirmed.

Berliners it seems are almost immune to the idiosyncrasies of their fellow citizens.  Amongst other notable things I’ve seen on the U/S-Bahn in Berlin that no-one has batted an eyelid at: a man with a Fridge/Freezer balanced on a shopping trolley; a man sat in an armchair; a man dressed in stockings, suspenders, a top hat and tails.

Photos From My Phone – November

Another new series on andBerlin, Photos From My Phone, is a monthly round up of some of the things I’ve seen and done in Berlin, many of which I won’t have blogged about.

If you follow me on Twitter or Like my page on Facebook you may have seen some of these snaps before.

So here’s a taste of what I got up to in November:

I saw this Street Art with some bears attacking the Fernsehturm by Bimer after brunch with friends at Café Aroma.

Bears vs Fernsehturm - Street Art by Bimer in Berlin

I took a quick snap of the Fernsehturm at night from Alexanderplatz.

The Berlin Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at Night from Alexanderplatz

I saw this graffiti – Wem Gehört die Stadt (Who owns the city) when I went for a burger at Burger de Ville.

Wem Gehört Die Stadt - Graffiti by Unknown Artist in Berlin

I went for some very tasty cocktails at Reingold.

Spirit Bottles at Reingold a cocktail bar in Berlin

A Daiquiri at Reingold in Berlin

And then onto a party at Adam’s (from Travels of Adam) apartment, where I saw this sticker on one of the doors in his building (it translates as sexist shit shit).

Sexistische Kackscheisse (Sexist Shit Shit) - Sticker in a Berlin apartment building

I spotted this picture of the Tempelhofer Berg, a proposed mountain on the site of the Tempelhof Airport whilst enjoying a great night out with friends at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food.

A picture of the proposed Tempelhofer Berg (Tempelhof Mountain) at White Trash Fast Food

I went to see a friend of a friend, Thimo Sander, play guitar with German band Plan B at Postbahnhof in Berlin.

Thimo Sander playing guitar with Plan B at Postbahnhof in Berlin

Christmas Market season in Berlin started and I went to Schmankerl-Hüttn (twice), an Austrian ski chalet themed bar at the Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz to listen to German Schlager, dance on the benches and drink beer and Jägermeister.

Queueing to go into Schmankerl-Huettn at Winterwelt am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin

I hope there will be another couple of trips to Schmankerl-Hüttn and other great nights out in Berlin on the cards in December.