I am sure you’ve read the iHeartBerlin list of the best blogs about Berlin. It’s a great list (because it’s got me on it), but I found myself thinking about all of the other ‘best’ Berlin blogs and media that I regularly visit. That’s not to say that I don’t love my friends from iHeartBerlin or CeeCee or Stil in Berlin. I was just missing my own favorites.
The following are not blogs that are necessarily updated; some of them aren’t even blogs at all (semantics!), but they are subjective, conceptual and represent Berlin from various different angles that I find important. [1. Some explanation for all of those who are going to contest me on my version of “blogs”: I think it’s time we look past the typical “web-zine” style of “blogs” as definitions of online media, because the borders between them and professional magazines have been torn down a long time ago. Blogs do not usually cover a topic in the journalistic sense, which is what I appreciate about this type of documentation. But much like the word “hipster”, the meaning of “blog” has completely dissolved. What’s the difference between a blog and a social media channel? When a blog gains economic value, does it transcend the boundaries of the amateur publisher into the realm of journalism? I think not – I think the typical blogs we talk about nowadays are something else, maybe online-magazines. But my point is: I think every conscious stream from a personal or local perspective, whether an editorial, a video, a news-snippet, a meme or art can be considered a type of web-log aka blog.]
Some of them may be a bit lopsided in favor of aesthetics (most of the Tumblrs, anyway), others are humorous anecdotes of life and failing life in Berlin, but if you’re looking for Berlin blogs that (sometimes) deliver content beyond the usual tropes of lifestyle consumerism, then look no further!
When You Live in Berlin
My dear friend Josie, whose profession is being hilarious, created this snarky Gif-Tumblr at the height of the ‘urban cliché gif’ hype. It’s one of those blogs you should absolutely follow if you want to crack a laugh every other leap year – since that’s how often she updates it – or if you haven’t scrolled through it yet.
How to find out if you’re a real German: a) read the name EATLER out loud b) if you’re not laughing, you’re a real German. Although the name might allude to it, this young player in the scene isn’t a food blog at all; it’s a restaurant blog. For all of you who want to know why your favorite Falafel joint had to close down or like to read tongue-in-cheek commentary about other foodie bloggers. Word of advice: take everything with a grain of salt.
The Berghain Playlist on Spotify
Some things can’t be put into words. Shunning the limelight despite the global attention for being the most important techno club worldwide, and its consequently enforced no picture policy has kept the Berghain a sacred space for free love, drug use and an impeccable, even if sometimes excessively mystified, line up of techno superstars. Even though many writers have tried summing up the extraordinary experience of spending a night at the cathedral of cock, the only way to access the feeling is by listening to the hypnotic techno, the force behind its fame. This Spotify playlist, created in 2013, is continuously updated with new and old Techno tracks that were played in Berghain and ultimately discussed in the (closed) music group on Facebook dedicated to it.
Berlin Food Stories
Everyone I know is passionate about food, but Per, the creator of Berlin Food Stories, makes others feel passionate about food simply by putting his experiences into words (and pictures). His reviews are in indulgent, decadent and helpful, even if our tastes don’t align 100%. I enjoy learning more about upcoming enterprises, interesting street food concepts and new flavors from him, as it’s easy to lose track in the current restaurant craze in Berlin.
Posters of Berlin
I’ve blogged about Posters of Berlin before. This Tumblr is dedicated to the Berlin practice of communicating events or political speech via posters. The collections seems to be focused on the various designs rather than the sociological connotations, but for me, it’s an extraordinary cache of Berlin specific dates and spaces. Scrolling through the posters is like walking along Reichenberger Straße, triggering vague memories of things I’ve seen and been to in real life.
It’s not exactly NTS radio, but there are a few nice shows on BLN.FM that I regularly listen to (usually when NTS starts airing mind-fucking tribal experimental percussions sets at 7 AM). What I really appreciate are the party and event listings. They are more curated than, say, Resident Advisor and have a better balance between electronic and other genres of music.
Bizim Kiez Blog (German only)
Gentrification is a big deal, especially in Kreuzberg and Neukölln. When the Turkish Bizim supermarket on Wrangelstraße was supposed to be evicted from its premises, the community of the neighborhood formed the initiative Bizim Kiez to battle the unjust proceedings of the landlords and challenge the submissive attitudes of the politicians. Although the Bizim supermarket was able to stay put, the work isn’t done yet. The blog documents next steps, new cases of real estate speculation and displacement, and often posts statements, explanations and analysis of what’s currently going on in Kreuzberg (and beyond).
Chris John Dewitt Photography
There are many Tumblrs dedicated of Berlins past. This one, created by photographer Chris John Dewitt, stands out. What draws me to his pictures is his nonchalant eye for the gaps that existed in the landscapes of Berlin during the 80s, on both sides of the wall. His analog photography has a gritty feel to it, but it’s never nostalgic and tacky. I sense his fascination through his pictures with this weird and defragmented city, as if it was my own.
A taxi driver in Berlin. When I first discovered Autofiktion, I had no idea what this guy was going on about. His commentary – from backseat conversations to political issues – is always sharp and excessively ironic, so I suggest you grab some popcorn on the way. Cab drivers are usually just the extras in the background of urban life. It’s nice to finally hear one of them speak up, and by speaking I mean eloquently and intelligently transforming little anecdotes into saucy Berlin poetry.
Berlin Beer Goggles
Photographer Dan Daam captures Berlins craziness and raunchy nightlife in analog snapshots and portraits. Although he always seems to be at the right place at the right time to cover the weird stuff of Berlins street life, his pictures also provide an comforting, universal aesthetic that makes you feel like flicking through your own photo album.
Kiss The City
So if you’ve been following the FINDINGBERLIN Instagram account, you’ll have noticed how intrigued I am with the stuff people like to write on the walls of Berlin. From political messages to random philosophy, my archive of “Fundstücke” has been growing steadily in the past five years. It all started with Stefan’s post in 2011, so I’ve decided to take that idea further (and liberate my Instagram feed from the ambiguous hashtag #berlinkisses) and dedicate a whole Tumblr to my collection. I’m still sorting out my favorites, but they’ll all end up there eventually.