Lately, “new Berlin” has become shorthand for an under-visited European city that is cheap, fun, and up-and-coming. Ever since creeping gentrification and a massive rise in tourism have thrown into question the German capital’s status of the world’s “coolest” city, people have been racing to determine its successor. Candidates besides Leipzig include Krakow (Poland), Vilnius (Lithuania), Belgrade (Serbia), Tallinn (Estonia), and Warsaw (Poland). They share, to varying degrees, many of the elements that made Berlin famous in the 1990s: affordability, empty buildings that can be repurposed and a sizeable arts scene. But unlike Berlin, they won’t have the opportunity to develop their cool reputation slowly—and are just as likely [...]
To attempt any ranking of David Bowie's work in movies on a scale of strangeness seems a fool's errand; there's no computer on earth that can tally up respective curiosity points for playing both Nikola Tesla and Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol and The Snowman, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and The Man Who Would Be Goblin King. That said, it's difficult to find a Bowie performance more abjectly forgotten—and yet so wonderfully bizarre—than the Weimar-set 1978 black comedy Just a Gigolo. Perhaps, you ponder, it was just a cameo? Nope, he's the star and the rest of the cast is filled out by—get this—Kim Novak, David Hemmings, Curt Jurgens, [...]
I've never heard anyone say an ill word about the Berlin Holocaust Memorial! And yet here is a fairly thorough take-down. The title doesn’t say “Holocaust” or “Shoah”; in other words, it doesn’t say anything about who did the murdering or why—there’s nothing along the lines of “by Germany under Hitler’s regime,” and the vagueness is disturbing. Of course, the information is familiar, and few visitors would be unaware of it, but the assumption of this familiarity—the failure to mention it at the country’s main memorial for the Jews killed in the Holocaust—separates the victims from their killers and leaches the moral element from the historical event, shunting [...]
"It was like a Hitchcock horror film. They simply pecked away!" -A witness in Berlin describes a recent crow attack on a cyclist. As has become an annual occurrence, the arrival of spring to the German capital brings with it a rise in assaults on passersby as aggressive crows seek to protect their nests. One bird expert says concern about the avian bombardments is overblown, noting that, "the injuries are minimal, but nasty scrapes and blood make the attacks look more dramatic than they really are."
"Just like Paris Hilton ruined Amnesia in Ibiza, another vomit-inducing narcissist of the fake celebrity world has decided to ruin everything sacred in the scene we know and love." —Guess who. GUESS! [Via]
The second in a pair of essays today on being an expat in Berlin.
"Here is the real core of the religious problem:
Help! H e l p !"
—William James, Varieties of Religious Experience
"You're in Berlin because you feel like a failure."
I had met this man all of ten minutes ago and he had already summed me up neatly. I made subtle readjustments to my clothing, as if it had been a wayward bra strap or an upwardly mobile hemline that had given me away. More likely it was my blank stare in response to his question, "So, what brings you to [...]
Przemek Pyszczek: Do you want to know the Berlin art world’s dirty little secret?
Butt Magazine: Yeah, of course I do.
P: Everyone’s obsessed with reality TV. Everyone’s watching ‘Project Runway’.
Travis Larusson: ‘Housewives’… Like e-ver-y-one.
P: We try to avoid ‘The Real Housewives of OC’ and ‘Miami’ ‘cause those are busted. Like seriously. Here there’s ‘Germany’s Next Topmodel’ with Heidi Klum screaming, ‘Schlampe!’
T: Which means slut in German.
P: And, ‘Schnell, schnell!’ Faster, faster! Germans think she’s the ultimate ho. When she speaks German apparently she sounds like the biggest trashbag.
Lazy German beavers can't swim 46 kilometers of the Spree River through Berlin without a man-made rest-stop to help them catch a breather? Beavers are supposed to be so busy and industrious. And delicious. Did you know that beavers were once a popular Easter meal in Germany? (I did not!) As Der Speigel reports: "During Lent, the period of fasting prior to Easter, people were forbidden from eating meat. The church, however, had declared that beaver, because it lives in water, was not an animal but a fish, making them an attractive meal." People and their rationalizing! In my building, the elevators are set to stop automatically at every [...]
If you've ever wanted to know how a nice Jewish girl like Merrill Nisker became Peaches, the new feature film slash documentary "Peaches Does Herself" won't exactly connect the dots for you.
If you'd like to see Peaches and her Fatherfucker Dancers reenact her rise to fame—complete with a giant bed that looks like a vulva, dancers in pink zentai that are orgiastically unzipped, and a surgery gone awry, then Peaches Does Herself offers all of that and more. Besides Peaches and her dancers, "Peaches Does Herself" stars Sandy Kane, of New York City public access fame—she's a former stripper in her sixties who wields a dildo [...]
The first in a pair of essays today on being an expat in Berlin.
When I first moved to Berlin this summer, there was a big piece of graffiti in the courtyard next to my front door. "Tourists fuck off," it said, in cheerful blue spray paint. It didn't really bother me at first—I wasn't a tourist, I was moving here; I speak German and have a German passport. And who loves tourists anyways? In New York, where I'd lived for the past six years, hating on tourists was part of what defined you as a New Yorker. Being rude to slow-walking Scandinavians wasn't just a way of [...]
31. Weeping Wall
30. Moss Garden
29. V-2 Schneider
28. Move On
26. The Secret Life of Arabia
25. Be My Wife