Sunday, May 30, 2010

MELT! picknick

As I'm typing these lines, a mere 140km away from Berlin in the city of steel Ferropolis (near Dessau), Melt! resident DJ Markus Welby is already serving the first course of finest electro tunes. The musical banquet that Melt! Picknick rightfully can be described as will continue with Simina Grigoriu, a brunette bombshell who happens to double as first-class techno DJ and producer. And if the weather permits and (the predicted) heavy rainfall doesn't bust the party, these phenomenal acts will be followed by none other than Fritz Zander, Fritz Kalkbrenner and Robag Whrume. The grand finale a.k.a the cherry on top of this electronic feast will be a live set by the great Paul Kalkbrenner. Ever since Berlin Calling, this Berlin-based DJ has created a name (or shall we say legend?) for himself even outside the spheres of electronic music and Berlin underground parties, and made his way into mainstream. Whether that's desireable or not remains questionable, his bank account is certainly thanking him.

And while I'm sitting here in Berlin, receiving text message updates about the awesomeness of Melt! picknick by friends and secretly wishing that it would start raining so I'd have at least one teensie reason to be glad about getting stuck in Berlin (for personal reasons), I'll definitely round up a few photographic and video impressions post-picknick to share with you what we may have missed out on.

Ps. It just started raining cats and dogs...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

the sunny side of life

"We start to party when others go to bed!" a Norwegian tourist proudly proclaimed last weekend, leaning against the bar at Zur Möbelfabrik, sucking on his Vodka Lemon and feeling oh so Berlin. I daresay it's not very unconventional to begin a night by catching the last S-Bahn (during the week) or running into a Kaiser's supermarket just before it closes at 24:00h to stock up on whatever will last you through the night. What many visitors and tourists are unaware of, however, is that here in Berlin we don't wait until the sun goes down to have a good time.

Especially in the summer time, all sorts of festivities and celebrations draw crowds of young and old to the streets of Berlin. The first of May - traditionally a day of street riots and political protests - nowadays also encompasses street fairs and open-air parties all throughout Kreuzberg and the Wrangelkiez. This year, one could enjoy some fine electro tunes in front of Luzia (Oranienstraße) and around the Spreewaldplatz (Görlitzer Park).

Last fall, 350 participants attended an anti-climate change demonstration which doubled as a silent rave party throughout the streets of Berlin-Mitte. While political activism and environmental consciousness stood at the forefront of this event, the tunes of legendary Dr. Motte and Dj Dirty Doehring (Bar 25) caused every electro-loving Berliner's heart to skip a beat.

Among the annual Karneval der Kulturen and Bergmannstraßenfest (which are coming up this and next weekend), there's a bunch of low-key and semi-secret rave parties taking place in and around Berlin all throughout the summer. To figure out the when&where, keep a lookout on the internet (Facebook; Berlin-based blogs such as ...or simply ask one of the many hipsters milling around Görlitzer Park ;)

Having said that, I would like add that these parties rarely end when the sun sets... so even if you prefer spending the daytime hours in bed (and can actually afford to do so), you won't miss out!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

what summer is all about...

this one's for all the ladies out there...

"He who moves not forward, goes backward" (J.W. v. Goethe)

I probably don't need to lecture anyone on the profundity of Goethe's thoughts, although I would like to point out how applicable these can be to our personal life from time to time. I started to give free reign to my thoughts and creativity here at la Berlina little over a year ago and only recently decided that it was time to try something new, something different. In a flash of inspiration, I wrote a piece entitled "The 101 on Open-Air Festivals", which - to my great delight - was published on only hours later.

Launched by the Berlin-based globetrotting photographer and journalist Katja Hentschel, Travelettes is an online travel magazine/blog aimed specifically at the needs and interests of female travellers. It's the place to read about local fashion trends and insider's shopping tips, get the low-down on cheap accomodation and good eats, and figure out when and where to party - and with whom. Whether you're looking for advice on how to score super-cheap flights or how to pack light (for real!), a travelette may just have the answers you are looking for!

"The travelette gets a manicure on Monday and Tuesday will go off to hike in the Himalaya. She does not conform to conventions and thinks Paris Fashion Week is just as exiting as stomping through the Amazon rain forest in rubber boots. She worries about matching colors but laughs off mosquito bites." (

I've been avidly reading the articles on even before I started contributing myself, and have come across a number of helpful pointers - the latest being Jaclyn's series of posts on couch surfing (see here and here).

Without further ado, I recommend you check it out and, if you share our love for travelling/journalism/photography, consider contributing yourself!

Monday, May 17, 2010

melt! klub weekender: LCD Soundsystem à Berlin

Anyone still convinced that all Germany has to offer is bratwurst and beer has clearly never been around long enough to experience what its really like around here. Another common misconception amongst travellers is that the only place to have fun in Germany is in larger cities like Munich, Hamburg and of course BERLIN. Au contraire: especially if you're considering to stop by during the summer, it might of interest to check out one of the many open air music festivals traditionally located in smaller towns and villages.

A true gem of the German festival scenery is the Melt! festival, which takes place annually in Ferropolis, the "city of steel" (near Dessau, Germany). The lineup for Melt! 2010 (July 16 -18) is no less impressive than that of the past 12 years. Among popular indie rock acts such as The XX, Miike Snow, Bonaparte, Johnossi and Two Door Cinema Club, a multitude of legendary DJ acts will heat up the crowd (can you spell Booka Shade, Tiefschwarz or C-R-O-O-K-E-R-S?). If you're still not convinced, check out the entire line-up here.

Anyone unwilling to leave the comfort of good old Berlin for some good music and Melt! atmosphere had the opportunity to check out the Melt! Klub Weekender, which took place May 6 -8 smack in the city centre. After performances by "Errors" and "Yacht", no other than LCD SOUNDSYSTEM took the stage and played an incredible (almost) 2 hour set. Walking home that night with the 1/2 drum stick that hit me during the Errors set and humming "New York I love you, but you're bringing me down", I knew the 20€ for a Melt!Klub day-pass was money very well spent.

stage jam-packed with equipment
Errors frontman Simon Ward
LCD Soundsystem

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

happy birthday ♥

When I wrote my first post for laBerlina a year ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. No idea about the press accreditation I would soon receive for all kinds of events in and around Berlin. No idea about the after-show parties I'd attend and the contacts I'd make there. No idea about the sweetness of Fashion Week and goodie bags and getting to see Berlinale films for free. No idea about the video I would shoot of a Silent Climate Rave here in Berlin that would spread across the internet in no time. In short: I hadn't yet realized that I could apply my love for writing, photography and artistic production and create something that other people considered interesting and worth reading.

Thus, I extend my utmost thanks and gratitude towards everyone that's supported me along the way. A big thanks goes to my family and friends for encouraging and inspiring me. Another thank you to all of the PR assistants and event planners who gave me a shot by putting me on their guest lists. But most importantly: a big fat thank you to everyone that actually takes the time to read the mess I create around here! I have received a lot of wonderful feedback from friends and friends' friends around the globe - merci beaucoup!

I haven't been posting for a while, mainly because I was preparing for important exams and because I've become involved in another project,, which I will make sure to introduce more thoroughly soon. With exams and stress behind me and a wonderful summer ahead, I can't wait to start writing again regularely.
With that in mind, muchas gracias para todo y hasta pronto!