Archive for the ‘Gifts to the World’ Category

i won’t be there

because i will be flying back from Nuremburg just in time to run down to my German conversation course at the Goethe Institut but:

Art critic Heinz-Peter Schwerfel will be premiering his film Berlin – arm aber sexy at the Martin Gropius Bau on the 7th of May at 19:00. The film, with music from Johannes Brahms, Lychee Lassi, MIA, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth, Stereo Total and others, examines Berlin’s happening art scene and the locust like behaviour of the artists, critics, collectors and charlatans that have descended on the city in the past few years. Schwerfel himself will be in attendance along with Sabrina van der Ley, artistic director of ART FORUM Berlin, and a bunch of other art mavens. Since entrance is FREE…yes…FREE, you can expect a crowd of penniless types like yourself so get there early. But If you – like me – end up missing the premiere, you can also catch it showing on arte on the 5th of June.

Niederkirchnerstr. 7, 10963 Berlin
07 May 2008, 19:00

Last Night at L.U.X.

at the opening party of the 2nd Annual PornFilmFestivalBerlin
performance artist Mouse got her Naughty Poodle on!

Berlin’s Gift #7 – A whole lot of everything

Better late than never – here’s Berlin’s gift #7. For a recap of all gifts, please check

Every city has something special to offer; landmarks, great shopping opportunities, rivers, arts etc. The list is so long that one fails to mention even a small important portion of them.

This time, as Berlin’s seventh gift, we want to share our feelings about this city, why we keep living here while others are moving away, while people keep complaining about money, while nobody really wants to live here although they all share one thought; Berlin ist geil !

Berlin’s Gift #6: Hans Rosenthal

Hans Rosenthal was undoubtedly one of the greatest TV entertainers in Germany. He was born in 1925 just around the corner from where I live in Prenzlauer Berg, I just found out by running into the memorial plaque at the house recently.


He had a hard childhood, as his parents died early, his brother and other relatives were killed in the holocaust. He survived hiding in a gardeners colony in the north of Berlin. After the war he started as an apprentice with the Berliner Rundfunk and started his broadcasting career 1948 as producer and editor at RIAS. He went on becoming a quizmaster, most of the shows he invented himself. One of my big childhood memories is watching “Dalli Dalli” a show that Hans Rosenthal hosted from 1971 to 1986.

To give you an impression, here’s a best of:


Berlin’s Gift #5 – Electronic Music

Unz, unz, unz! Just like the Döner, you either love or hate electronic music. Never the less electronic music and especially music are a very German thing and lots of it was developed in Berlin.

Berlin Gift #4 – Demonstrations

OK. Here we are again. Berlin’s seven gifts to the world.
Continuing today with the 4th gift: the right to peaceful assembly, or in other words: the right to demonstrate…


Is there a better example than Berlin in its role as initial point for the peaceful revolution in November 1989? Is there any other city out there, which is able to announce 2500 demonstrations per year? 2500! PER YEAR!
A wise government realizes that permitting peaceful gatherings helps citizens feel that they have a role to play in their society. To forbid it causes citizens to feel insecure, disconnected, and distrustful of their government. We, as Berlin citizens can tell you a story about that…

So, if you are thinking about to take over the world, you might need to attract some participants – perhaps you should try it by initiating a demonstration here in Berlin, it’s not that difficult. But be sure – there will be an anti-demonstration…

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Berlin’s Gift #3 – Döner

Berlin’s third gift to the world does not directly come from Berlin but still it is so wellknown that this should almost count as Berlinish. We are talking about a pretty important aspect of the typical Berlin life: Nutrition.

Things are so incredibly fast in Berlin, so fast food rules.

Among all the competitors there is one clear winner:
Döner (mit alles und schaf) !



Gifts to the world!

You probably noticed the posts yesterday and today, but if you want to see what the rest of the world is giving, check out this post over at David is doing a great job assembling all the goodness from around the globe! I will also frequently update the stream using my

Berlin Gift #2 – Marlene Dietrich

From the mean streets of Berlin’s Schoeneberg district, Marlene Dietrich’s star rose to cinematic immortality. Within weeks of her premiere as a sultry film siren she was already in Hollywood working on Gary Cooper and an Oscar nomination at the same time. The Blue Angel, Blonde Venus and Flame of New Orleans brought a generation of red blooded he-men to their knees and was named one of AFI’s ‘Greatest Female Stars of All Time‘. Here is her screen test for her first peformance, as the femme fatale Lola Lola in Josef von Sternberg’s 1929 masterwork ‘The Blue Angel‘.

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Berlin’s gift #1: Harald Juhnke

For the next seven days, the Metroblogging sites around the globe will be unveiling seven gifts their cities can share with the world – one gift a day for seven days. Metroblogging Berlin starts of with the Berlin entertainment icon Harald Juhnke.

OK. Here we go. Berlin’s seven gifts to the world.

Starting today with the extraordinary actor, singer, entertainer . He was born in one of Berlin’s proletarian neighbourhoods the “Wedding” in 1929. In 1948 he left school to start a career as an actor. He played at several theatres until in the 50’s and 60’s he got famous as a movie actor. Synchronising Marlon Brando, Charles Bronson, Peter Falk and Peter Sellers is a less known aspect of his career. In the late 70’s he started to work on TV. He did a lot of sketch shows and some big music shows. He was known as the german Frank Sinatra. In 1959 a life long struggle that killed him in the end began.

He died April 1st 2005 at the age of 75 years. I still remember the time I was a Taxi Driver. One night Harald Juhnke and his wife entered my taxi. I immediately recognized him but didn’t say a word. Some time later shortly before we arrived at their house his wife said to him: “Harald don’t forget to take out the trash”.

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