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!